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Policies & Procedures

Academic Procedures

Satisfactory-Fail Option

Matriculated undergraduate students in the College can elect to take one course per semester, with up to a maximum of eight courses, as satisfactory (S) or fail (F). The grades “S” and “F” do not affect the cumulative grade point average. While students can elect this option for almost any course, it should be noted that courses with a grade of “S” or “F” cannot be used to fulfill College, major, minor, or cluster requirements.

Instructors assign and submit regular letter grades for students choosing this option, as they are not informed which students have elected the option. The registrar records “S” for letter grades “A” through “D–” or “F” for the letter grade “E” on the students' permanent record, retaining the letter grades “A” through “E” on file. Students who are interested in conveying maximum information on the transcript to professional and graduate schools should speak to an advisor prior to electing the option.

Students can declare the option by using the online form through the eleventh week of classes (the same deadline as for withdrawing from courses), and except for first-semester students and transfer students in their first semester who may change or declare the option through the thirteen week of the semester. The option may not be changed except under certain circumstances. The option is not available in summer.

Once notified of charges of academic dishonesty, a student cannot declare the S/F option. The Board on Academic Honesty may revoke a previously declared S/F as part of a penalty imposed through the established hearing procedure.

Students who declare the S/F option, and later wish to use that course to fulfill a College, major, minor or cluster requirement, may petition the supervisor of academic records in the College Center for Advising Services (CCAS) to uncover the grade for that course.  Additionally, students can petition in their senior year to uncover all of their “S” grades.  Petition forms are available on the CCAS website.

Students who are planning to get degrees from the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences should note that courses taken with the satisfactory-fail option may not be used to fulfill department requirements or cluster courses. These courses may be used to fulfill additional humanities or social sciences requirements or for free electives for an engineering degree. Otherwise, only courses taken beyond those required for a degree may be taken with the option.

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