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Pass/Fail Grading

A grade of P (Pass) or F (Fail) may be reported for students in certain courses that have been designated by the program faculty for P/F grading and that have been approved by the Graduate Dean using the guidelines established by the Graduate Council. A "P" will not be used in calculating the student's GPA; an "F" grade will be used in calculating the GPA.

To be eligible for pass/fail grading, the course should meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • Require cooperation among students to the extent that individual performance cannot be graded apart from the ensemble or that quality grading will promote undesirable competition for grades of high quality (which may result in less learning for some students).
  • Involve application of knowledge or skill in such a manner that a reliable differentiation of grades is quite difficult beyond noting effective participation.
  • Other circumstances that cause the program faculty to find that P/F grading is the preferred system for academic quality reasons. 

Approval by the dean of the Graduate School to grade a course pass/fail must be requested in writing by the instructor, with a copy to the program head (if this is someone different than the instructor); requests that do not contain academic justification for the request (see bullet points above) will be considered incomplete. Send written requests to the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School; call the Dean's Office at 814-865-2516 with questions.

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