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COVID-19: Pass/No Pass FAQ

Did BSU offer students the option of Pass/No Pass for courses for the Fall 2020 semester?

Yes! Based on the strong advocacy on the part of the Student Government Association, BSU academic governance approved a policy to allow undergraduate students to elect Pass/No Pass rather than letter grades in up to 9 credits for the Fall 2020 semester. It is important to note that this will be an option for the Fall 2020 semester only. No decision has been made yet about Pass/No Pass grading for the Spring 2021 semester.

Where is the Pass/No Request Form posted?

The Pass/No Pass request form is available on the Registrar’s Office page. Students may opt-in for Pass/No Pass grading until May 1, 2021.

Are there any courses which are not eligible for Pass/No Pass grading in the Fall 2020 semester?

Yes, the departments with the following course prefixes are not eligible for Pass/No Pass grading due to licensure or accreditation requirements:

  • ACFI – Accounting and Finance
  • ARTH and ARTS – Art and Art History
  • EDHM – Secondary Education
  • SPED – Special Education

Is there a limit to how many credits I can elect Pass/No Pass for in the Fall 2020 semester?

Yes, undergraduate students can opt-in for up to 9 credits of Pass/No Pass grading in the Fall 2020 semester. 

What if I want the grades in my Fall 2020 courses to raise my GPA for graduation?

If you want the grades to meet the GPA requirement for graduation or because you want to improve your overall GPA, it may be best to keep letter grades of C or higher since a Pass will not impact your GPA at all. We encourage students to check with their academic advisor before making any final decisions.

Can I opt-in to Pass/No Pass grading if I have an Incomplete in a course?

No, you must first resolve your incomplete grade and receive a letter grade; once the grade is resolved, you can opt-in for Pass/No Pass in that course.  Because of this, students are encouraged to finish any Incompletes as soon as possible.

Is there a deadline for requesting Pass/No Pass?

Requests to opt-in for Pass/No Pass grades after December 30 should be sent to Dr. Rita Miller, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, at Late requests will be considered until May 1, 2021.

What if I am repeating a course this semester and want to opt-in to Pass/No Pass?

BSU’s Repeat Course policy applies the newest grade earned in a course to a student’s GPA and excludes the previous course attempt. If for example a student failed ENGL-101 last semester and repeats ENGL-101 in Fall 2020, the F grade would be removed from the GPA calculation and credit will be granted for the Pass (P) in Fall 2020. A P does not factor into the GPA but the F would be removed from the GPA calculation.

Can I change back to letter grades if I Opt-In to Pass/No Pass Grading?

No, once an undergraduate student has opted-in to Pass/No Pass grading for the Fall 2020 semester there will not be an opportunity to reverse that decision. For this reason, it is extremely important for students to consider whether Pass/No Pass is the best option for them. 

Are there important things I should consider before choosing a Pass/No Pass grade for a Fall course?

Yes, undergraduate students are encouraged to have a conversation with their academic advisor to ensure they understand how choosing Pass/No Pass grades could impact them. Some areas to consider include: 

  • Impact on Financial Aid eligibility. Consult with your Financial Aid counselor. 
  • Progress toward degree. Develop a plan with your academic advisor. 
  • Athletic eligibility. While there are general guidelines for academic eligibility for intercollegiate athletics, specific questions should be directed to Sue Crosby-Tangen, P/N grades will have impact on eligibility as a student-athlete. 
  • Honors Program. Please consult the Honors staff at
  • Academic standing (i.e. if a student is currently on Academic Warning or Academic Probation).
  • Graduate/Medical school criteria. See below for more information. 

Will opting-in to Pass/No Pass hurt my chances of getting into graduate or medical school?

Every institution has different admission criteria. However, in general, if you have earned good grades for the semester, you should keep the letter grades. If you have already applied to specific institutions or are planning to, it may be best to contact their admissions office directly to understand how they are evaluating applicants who have elected to opt-in to Pass/No Pass grading this semester. This may help you determine if Pass/No Pass grading is the best choice for you. 

What if I was on Academic Probation last semester and need letter grades to get back to Good Standing?

It is important to remember that a Pass/No Pass grade does not count in a student’s GPA. Students in the Summit and Freshmen Grade Point Recovery (FGPR) Programs should talk to their Summit or FGPR advisor before opting into Pass/No Pass grading. Other students on Academic Probation should talk with their faculty advisor or email to speak with a professional advisor before opting into Pass/No Pass grading. 

Will a Pass (P) allow me to meet prerequisites for a future course I already registered for?

Prerequisites for future courses will be enforced based on the original letter grade a student earned in their Fall 2020 course(s). If for example a course has a prerequisite of a minimum grade of C, and a student earned a letter grade of C- before opting-in to Pass/No Pass grading, they would not meet the course prerequisite and would need to repeat the course and earn the appropriate minimum grade to advance to the next course in the sequence. 

Will a Pass (P) allow me to register for future courses that have a minimum grade requirement?

If you haven’t yet registered and attempt to register for a course that has a minimum grade prerequisite, you will be prevented from registering for that course. One of the three options below will need to be completed before you can register for the course in question:

  • Repeat the prerequisite course and earn the necessary minimum grade 
  • If your earned letter grade awarded prior to the P election was higher than the minimum grade requirement you may contact the Registrar’s Office at to inquire about the review of your original grade for prerequisite purposes.
  • Receive prerequisite override authorization to enroll in the next course in the sequence from the academic department chair of the course in which you’re attempting to register. 

How will I be notified if I don’t meet the prerequisite for a course?

Students are notified via BSU email if they are ineligible to take a course based on the prerequisite and are then dropped from the course in question.

If I opt-in to Pass/No Pass for any courses in Fall 2020 will I be eligible for Dean’s List?

BSU Dean’s list policy requires that a student complete 12 credits and earn a semester GPA of at least 3.3. As long as your semester GPA is a 3.3, and 12 credits are earned, you will be eligible for Deans list.

Will I still be eligible for Latin honors when I graduate if I opt-in for Pass/No Pass?

Yes! As long as an undergraduate student meets the criteria listed below they would still be eligible for Latin Honors as this is based on your cumulative (overall) GPA. Criteria for Latin Honors is listed below: 

  • Summa Cum Laude: Cumulative (Overall) GPA of 3.8 or higher 
  • Magna Cum Laude: Cumulative (Overall) GPA of 3.6-3.79 
  • Cum Laude: Cumulative (Overall) GPA of 3.3-3.59 

Will a Pass grade transfer to another college/university?

Transfer credit policies are different for each institution. If you are planning to transfer any Fall 2020 coursework it may be best to contact the specific college/university to see how they will evaluate any Pass (P) grades earned this semester. 

Will future employers assume that I didn’t do well in the Fall 2020 semester if some of my grades are Pass/No Pass?

No one can anticipate how other people and companies will view your grades so you are encouraged to make the best decision that you can right now. However, the Fall of 2020 will be remembered as a time in which the country was struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic and during which some universities in the country allowed an alternate form of grading. You will be able to offer any explanation you believe is necessary if the matter of your Fall 2020 grades is raised. 

In the future, how can I demonstrate what my final letter grade was for a course before it was changed to Pass?  

You may contact the BSU Registrar’s Office at any point in the future and they will produce a letter indicating what the original letter grade was. 

How do I know what my GPA will be once letter grades are submitted? How will I know what my GPA will be if I opt-in to Pass/No Pass for some courses?

The Registrar’s Office will post an announcement on the BSU Mobile App once all Fall 2020 End of Semester processes have been completed. These processes include finalizing Fall 2020 GPA and ensuring any repeated courses are being accurately applied to your record. For students not repeating any courses this semester, you can calculate your own GPA by using the GPA calculator tool available on the Academic Achievement Center's website.

My advisor also has questions about the impact of opting-in to Pass/No Pass grades. Who else can I speak to?

If you have additional questions, send an email to or and you will be connected with someone who can assist you.

I'm a graduate student who is taking an undergraduate course to fulfill my degree requirements. May I opt-in for the Pass/No Pass grading for this course?

No, even though the course you are taking is an undergraduate course it is being counted toward your graduate program and traditional letter grades are required for graduate programs. 



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