P/NP or S/U Grading

Passed/Not Passed (P/NP) Grading

P/NP & S/U Grading Deadline Exceptions

The Campus recognizes the stresses that students and instructors faced in their academic and personal lives. To reduce academic uncertainty and increase flexibility while trying to adapt to remote instruction, the Academic Senate and administrative partners modified the P/NP deadlines for the following quarters:

COVID-related extensions:

  • Spring 2020: Jun 4, 2020.
  • Summer Session I 2020: Jul 24, 2020.
  • Summer Session II 2020: Sep 4, 2020.
  • Fall 2020: Dec 11, 2020.
  • Winter 2021: Mar 12, 2021.
  • Spring 2021: Jun 3, 2021.
  • Summer Session I 2021: Jul 23, 2021.
  • Summer Session II 2021: Sep 3, 2021.
  • Winter 2022: Mar 11, 2022.
  • Spring 2022: Jun 2, 2022.
  • Summer Session I 2022: Jul 22, 2022.
  • Summer Session II 2022: Sep 2, 2022.

UAW srike-related extension:

  • Fall 2022; Dec 2, 2022.

All other terms/quarters are unaffected.

For the latest updates regarding P/NP & S/U grade options and deadline extension information, see Academic Policies & Guidelines for Changes in Campus Operating Status.

For previous-term deadline exceptions, see sidebar.

An undergraduate student in good academic standing may request to take specific courses on a P/NP basis. Such requests must be submitted and confirmed by the 25th day of instruction (see calendar for possible COVID-19 exceptions). Undergraduates should contact their dean's office for information regarding the requirements or restrictions of their particular college.

The grade of pass is awarded to undergraduate students for work in courses that otherwise would receive a grade of C– or better. Units thus earned are counted in satisfaction of degree requirements but are not counted in determining your grade point average.

Not more than one-third of the units taken in residence on the Davis campus and presented for graduation by an undergraduate student may be in courses taken on a Passed or Not Passed basis (DD Reg A545). For information regarding additional conditions and/or restrictions, consult your dean's office. If you plan to attend graduate or professional school, you may also wish to consult with Pre-Graduate/Pre-Professional Advising Services regarding P/NP grading.

If you received a previous letter grade in a course, you may not repeat it using the P/NP option. However, if you took a course P/NP previously, you MAY repeat it for a letter grade.  If you receive an Incomplete in a course you took for a letter grade, you may not complete the course on a Passed/Not Passed basis.

If you previously took the course for a letter grade, you may not change the grading basis of a course you are repeating in Schedule Builder.

For registration information regarding how to select pass/not passed grading for a course, see Pass/Not Passed.

P/NP usage can be complex; students should consider potential consequences related to satisfactory academic progress, time to degree, financial aid, and postgraduate study requirements. If you have P/NP usage questions, consult your advisor.

To request Passed/Not Passed grading for a letter-graded course when the action requires approval, use the Optional P/NP Grading Mode Change petition. The form is available for students who are not in good standing to petition their Dean’s Office based on recent Academic Senate flexibilities; petitions must be submitted before the deadlines above.  Once approved, the grading mode change cannot be changed back to letter grading unless a Retroactive Change Petition is submitted and approved by the Grade Change Committee.

Maximum P/NP unit exceptions. For undergraduate students, the following exceptions to Academic Senate policy (DDR A545.B) apply:

  • College of Letters & Science. Excluding the courses that are graded on a P/NP basis only, the limit for optional P/NP grading is not more than one-fourth of the units completed on the Davis campus and presented for graduation.  Units opted to be taken on a P/NP basis for Summer Session I & II and fall 2020 WILL NOT be excluded from the College’s one-fourth limit of optional P/NP grading.
  • The College of Engineering has separate policies & requirements.
  • These exceptions do not override additional college or major limitations on the use of P/NP courses for degree requirements. For example, some colleges require that all courses for majors be taken for a letter grade.

The Academic Senate and the Office of Graduate Studies are assessing potential Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, or S/U, flexibilities for future quarters. Should flexibilities be added, an announcement will be released.

Passed/Not Passed Grading in Beginning Language Courses

To enforce Academic Senate Regulation 536 (ASR), a student who has completed a second or more advanced year of high-school-level course work in a foreign language in tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade shall be awarded credit for Course 1 (or its equivalent) in that language only if he or she takes the course on a P/NP basis. Enforcement of this regulation occurs in the sixth week of the quarter. For more information, contact the Office of the University Registrar.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grading

The grade of 'Satisfactory' is awarded to graduate students for work in graduate courses that otherwise would receive a grade of B– or better and for work in undergraduate courses that otherwise would receive a grade of C– or better.

In accordance with Academic Senate Regulations, Graduate students, under certain circumstances, may be assigned grades of S or U, but units earned in this way are not counted in calculating the grade point average. Graduate students must contact Graduate Studies to request to take a letter-graded course on an S/U grading basis. Petitions to elect S/U grading are available from Graduate Studies and must be signed by your graduate advisor for approval and submitted to the Office of the University Registrar for processing. A graduate course in which a C, D or F grade is received may not be repeated with the S/U option.

In specifically approved courses, instructors assign only Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory grades. Such courses count toward the maximum number of units graded S allowable toward the degree, as specified by each degree program.

If you previously received a letter grade in a course, you may not repeat it using the S/U option. If you receive an Incomplete in a course you took for a letter grade, you may not complete the course on an S/U basis. Ensure the grade mode you have selected reflects letter grading. For registration information regarding how to select S/U grading for a course, see P/NP or S/U Grading Options.