Admissions and Standards Committee

Motion to Expand the Pass/Fail Grading Option


This policy provides procedures by which undergraduates may enroll in elective courses outside their majors on a pass/fail (satisfactory-unsatisfactory, S–U) basis. The pass/fail (S-U) option is intended to encourage students to explore subjects outside their major.


Effective the fall after BOR approval but no earlier than Fall 2008.

Students may enroll in courses taught on a pass/fail (S-U) basis subject to the following conditions:

1. Course taken pass/fail (S-U) will appear on the official transcript with a grade of "S" or "U." These grades do not count in the computation of the grade point average.

2. Credit earned with a grade of S will count only toward meeting the 120 hour semester requirement and/or 39 hour academic residence requirement (if not already met through major/dept/college requirements). See Sections 14XX and 14XX of this Catalog. Courses taken pass/fail (S-U) will not count toward:
a. core curriculum requirements, Areas A-F
b. courses required for a major or minor, or
c. courses that satisfy department or college requirements.

3. No more than 10 hours of courses taken pass/fail (S-U) may be counted towards an undergraduate degree. Courses taken on a pass/fail (S-U) basis beyond this limit will earn institutional credit but will not count toward graduation.

4. To take courses on a pass/fail (S-U) basis, a student must have a Georgia State University cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5.

5. To take a course on a pass/fail (S-U) basis, the student must meet all prerequisites and all other enrollment restrictions (e.g., GPA requirements, co-requisites, etc.).

6. The request to be graded pass/fail (S-U) in a course must be made before the end of regular registration and, if approved, cannot be changed in any way at any time.

7. Students enrolled in a course on a pass/fail basis must meet all normal course requirements (e.g., attendance, reports, papers, projects, examinations, labs, etc.). It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor by the end of the first week of classes and obtain from the instructor the requirements necessary to earn a grade of S.

8. The normal withdraw policy will apply to courses taken pass/fail (S-U). Students enrolled in a course on a pass/fail (S-U) basis will receive a “WF” if withdrawn from the course after the midpoint of the academic term, subject to the usual exceptions for Hardship Withdrawals. Withdrawals in courses taken pass/fail (S-U) count against a student’s limit of withdrawals with a W just as courses graded A-F do. See Section 13XX of this Catalog.

9. Colleges/departments may decide that certain courses may not be taken on a pass/fail (S-U) basis.

10. This policy applies only to courses that are normally graded on an A-F basis.

11. This motion applies only to undergraduates.

Rationale and Implementation:

As Georgia State draws a higher-quality undergraduate student body, we have a small but significant group of students who would like to explore subjects outside of their major without putting their GPA at risk. For example, an accounting major might want to take an art course just to see what art is like. Both UGA and Georgia Tech have responded to this need by allowing undergraduates to take a limited number of courses on an S-U basis. The policy above is an adaptation of their policies in light of Georgia State’s unique situation.

To minimize programming changes and to ensure that students understand the full ramifications of taking an S-U grade, this policy would be implemented with a paper form. The form would list the restrictions above and students would be required to sign to indicate that they have read and understand these rules. (This procedure is borrowed from UGA.) A student would then take the form to the department that offers the course the student wishes to take S-U or, in some colleges, to the OAA office.

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Revised 4/19/00