P/N Pass - No Pass Considerations to Discuss with your Advisor

Due to the dramatic shift to online learning, as well as the numerous personal challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, Wayne State University recognizes the need to support the well-being and success of both students and faculty during this time by offering a modified version of its pass/no pass grading policy for specific terms.

There are many factors for students to consider before opting into Covid Pass/No Pass marks at Wayne State University. The Office of the Registrar's COVID Pandemic Pass/No Pass Grading for Undergraduates page outlines the overall policy and how specific letter grades will translate to P/N marks.

While these are individual decisions that you must make for yourself, it is important to consult your academic advisor for guidance before opting into P/N marks to ensure you have considered the impact of your decisions given your degree requirements and future plans.  Below are some FAQs as well as some program-specific questions you may wish to bring up with your academic advisor before choosing the Pass/No Pass option for your course(s):

90-Second Solutions: How to Request Pandemic Pass or No Pass

  • Pass - No Pass FAQs
    • What terms can I opt for Covid Pass/No Pass grading? 

    Students can currently request P and N marks for Winter 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Spring/Summer 2021 terms. Covid P/N grading is different than the regular P/N grading which must be elected at the time of registration and requires advisor approval. 

    • How will taking a course P/N impact my GPA? 

    P and N marks are not calculated into your GPA, however, it may not be in your best interest to change some or all of your courses to P/N marks. A letter grade that improves your GPA is better than a P, since a P does not have an impact on your GPA. Conversely, one or more P marks may serve to prevent your GPA from lowering, depending on your starting GPA and the grades you have earned.

    In addition, if you are applying to graduate or professional school or if letter grades are needed for certification or licensure, it may not be in your best interest to take a P/N mark for some or all of your courses. If you are unsure whether this may be an issue in your program, please consult your academic advisor prior to opting for P/N.  Also, if you are considering a career in medicine or law, consider consulting with a Pre-med and Health Science Center or pre-law advisor.

    • How will taking a course P/N impact my credit hours toward degree? 

    For both Pass and No Pass marks, the credit hours for the class will count as hours attempted for your degree.  Credits for courses earned with a Pass will also count as hours earned toward your degree, however, credits for courses earned with a No Pass will not count as hours earned.  Since students can opt to change a D+/D/D- grade to a No Pass, these credits will be removed from a student's record and will result in fewer credits earned for the term and towards the degree.

    Since earning a No Pass (N) mark impacts progression toward a degree, selecting an N should be done in consultation with your academic advisor as well as the Student Service Center for any financial aid consequences.

    • I am repeating a course during a term allowing for P/N grading. Will a P/N mark apply as a repeat and remove my previous grade from my GPA? 

    Yes, you can use the P/N option to serve as your repeat grade. The grade and credits for the previous attempt will be removed from the record and GPA and the P/N mark will replace it, even if that mark is an N (0 credits). Please consult with your academic advisor to ensure you will benefit from choosing a P/N mark in this way.

    • Will my degree program allow the use of P grades towards my major? 

    This is not a simple yes or no answer as majors and professional programs (ex: Nursing) may have different requirements for the major/program classes.  Check with your academic advisor for specific requirements and policies

    • Will P grades apply towards my General Education requirements? 

    P marks apply toward the University General Education requirements but be sure to check with your academic advisor if you are using one of the courses to satisfy a major requirement as well. The department may require a letter grade.

    • Given that different programs may have policies restricting the use of P, what happens when I have a double major or a minor from another school? 

    You must follow the course and grade requirements for the specific major(s) and minor(s) you are pursuing. This may mean meeting with multiple advisors to determine how the use of P marks will impact course completion and timeline toward graduation.

    • I know how P/N applies to my current degree plan, but what happens if I change my major or do not get accepted to my professional program? 

    It is important to discuss a change of major or other next steps, if not accepted to your professional program, with your academic advisor.  They can help you explore all options of your new major or program, including the use of P/N marks.

    • I am an AGRADE student during a P/N term. Can I choose the P/N option for my courses?

    Students who are participating in an AGRADE program will need to work closely with their advisor and the director of the graduate program they are pursuing regarding P/N decisions. Certain graduate programs may allow for an N to apply to grades below a "B," but only for certain semesters impacted by Covid. Similar to the undergraduate policy, these decisions (if permissible) can be made up until the point of graduation and advisors should be the first line of contact.

    • What is the impact for P/N grading besides not counting towards my GPA?

    Meeting course prerequisites: For academic purposes, courses with prerequisites of a C or better in another class are not automatically met by a P mark in the prerequisite course. An override would need to be entered once the original prerequisite grade is evaluated.

    Employer reimbursement: If you have any employer reimbursement requirements or tuition agreements/sponsorships that are contingent upon standard grading and minimum GPA, it may not be in your best interest to take a Pass/No Pass (P/N) for some or all of your courses. You are strongly encouraged to consult your employer or sponsor prior to changing any courses to Pass/No Pass (P/N).

    • How might taking courses as P/N affect my graduate or professional school applications?

    Students pursuing admissions to competitive graduate or professional schools should consult with advisors well-versed in the admissions process for those programs and who can speak to various P/N considerations and their impact on an applicant.

    • My professor issued an "I" for a course during a Covid P/N term. Can I elect a P/N grade after I complete the course? 

    According to university policy, a student issued an "I" has up to one year to complete the requirements and earn a letter grade. If an "I" is issued for a term allowing for Covid P/N marks, a student can still request these options once the letter grade has been issued, up until the point of graduation.

    • I took courses at another institution as P/N. Can these courses transfer to WSU?

    As a general rule, if your previous school is "P" or "Pass" credit, WSU will transfer "P" marks as earned credit. Please note that these credits may not be accepted towards major or other program requirements. Your advisor can provide additional information on how transfer credit will apply towards your degree.

    • How does the P/N impact consideration for the Dean's List?

    Dean's List calculations are specific to the WSU school or college that you are in. WSU Dean's Lists have specific cut-offs for term GPAs based on the number of graded credits you have completed. Other restrictions and deadlines may also apply within a particular school or college. It is important to check with your advisor about how the Dean's list is calculated and the deadlines by which you need to make your P/N decisions so that your term credits and GPA are properly evaluated.

    • I am an international student, can I use the P/N option? 

    International students should consult with the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) as well as their academic advisor to ensure that the Pass (P) option for courses will still apply to your degree and not impact your graduation timeline and that the No Pass (N) option does not negatively affect your visa status by lowering your credit hour count.

    • I am a student-athlete, can I use the P/N option? 

    We encourage student-athletes to consult with their athletic advisor to discuss any potential impact on NCAA eligibility.

    • I opted for a P (or N) mark but now I have changed my mind and wish to reinstate my original grade. How can I request this change?

    If you have opted into a P or an N mark, you can change your mind and reinstate your original grade (and credits) up until the point of graduation. You or your advisor will need to email the University Records Office (academicrecords@wayne.edu) to make the request. The email must be sent from your Wayne State email address or from your advisor (include name, ID, course, and term).  We recommend consulting with your academic advisor prior to requesting this reversal to review potential changes to your GPA and credit hours.

  • For Financial Aid Purposes
    • Can I change my mind and restore my letter grades? Is there a deadline to make a final decision?
      Yes, once a P/N mark is requested, a student can choose to restore their original letter grade up until the point of graduation. Each term, a final deadline will be set for making P/N/Grade decisions for graduating students.
    • What happens to my financial aid if I elect to change an earned grade to an N or P?
      Grades that have been converted to a P (Pass) or N (No credit) will not increase or decrease your GPA. These courses are included in the pace calculation of your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status. A grade of "P" counts as credits attempted and earned. A grade of "N" counts towards credits attempted and no credits are earned. All current SAP guidelines are still in place and must be followed. However, we will consider reasons for withdrawal on a case-by-case basis when reviewing SAP appeals. We understand these are difficult times and will be reviewing appeals with this in mind.
      There are no credit hours earned for an N grade. If you fail to earn any credits in all courses in a semester for which you received financial aid, WSU is required to determine if you "earned" the federal financial aid you received.
      Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid if you have questions about how a switch may affect your financial aid