Pass-Fail Option

The Pass/Fail option was created to allow students to explore an academic area that they find interesting, but for which they may not have a significant amount of prior knowledge.  For example, a student majoring in English may have an interest in Anthropology 153a:  Writing Systems and Scribal Traditions, but worry that they do not have a strong enough background in anthropology to take the course. This student may want to take the anthropology course pass/fail, so he or she can still explore the subject in spite of concerns about academic preparation.  Pass/fail should not be used as a way to try to accumulate additional credit hours. Nor should a student take a class pass/fail when he or she does not have the required prerequisites for the class.

Undergraduate students may enroll in up to four semester courses pass/fail. Letter grades covered by "pass" ("P" for performance at the "C-" level or above) will not be used in computing grade point averages. Grades of "D"and "E" will remain letter grades, to be used in computing grade point averages, and will be considered by Committee on Academic Standing when determining academic standing.

The following constraints apply to the use of the P/F grading option:

A. No more than one course may be taken pass/fail during a single term.

B. One course may be used to fulfill a general university requirement, excepting University Writing Seminars, writing-intensive and oral communication courses, with the pass/fail grading. No more than one course (and never the final one) in the foreign language sequence may be taken pass/fail if the language is being offered in satisfaction of the foreign language requirement.

C. Normally, courses taken pass/fail will not satisfy major or minor requirements. (Consult with the appropriate Undergraduate Advising Head for department/program-specific practices.)

D. In full-year courses, the elected grading option (pass/fail or letter grade) applies to both semesters and may not be changed at midyear. (Such a course taken pass/fail would expend two of the allowable four pass/fail semesters.)

E. Selection of the pass/fail grading option for a course must be made on or before the deadline announced in the university calendar normally, the 15th day of instruction. A course attempted on the pass/fail basis, in which the student received a grade of C- or higher, may be converted to a P grade after the end of the semester and before the announced deadline in the following semester, normally the 15th day of instruction. Students who wish to use the pass/fail grading option for an allowable general education requirement must indicate this when converting the received grade of C- or higher to the P.

F. In an undergraduate's final semester, conversion of a course attempted on the pass/fail basis, in which the student received a grade of C- or higher, must be converted to a P grade before the deadline announced in the university calendar for the receipt of senior grades, normally three days after the last day of final examinations.

Students must make all pass/fail option requests within the published deadlines — no exceptions will be made for a student missing the deadline to make an initial pass/fail option request nor to make a request to cover a grade for a course which had been elected on the pass/fail option earlier in the semester.

Petitions for exceptions to the above constraints and deadlines will not be entertained.

Please note: Arrangements between students and instructors do not constitute official pass/fail enrollment. Instructors are not informed of the grading option that a student has chosen. Students taking courses pass/fail must complete all assignments and examinations.

The Pass/Fail Grading Option Request Form for undergraduate students is online. The link will be available Sept. 15 - Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. Petitions to extend the deadline beyond this date will not be considered.

Click here for the online Pass/Fail Grading Option Request Form (available Sept. 15)

Steps for Pass/Fail:

1. Complete the online request form

2. Save your confirmation email

3. Email passfail@brandeis.edu to cover the grade – If you need to!

Electing a Class Pass/Fail

To elect a class pass/fail, undergraduate students must complete the form through the link above before the published deadline. Students may only fill out the form one time. Once the form is submitted, they may not change their course selection. No more than one course may be taken pass/fail during a single term.

In order to fill out the form, students will need their sage ID number. A confirmation email will be generated and sent to the student's Brandeis email address. This is the student's proof of their pass/fail request and should be kept for their records.

Cover a Class with a P Grade

After a final grade has posted:
a) If the student wants to keep the letter grade earned in the class, no further action is needed. This counts as one of the four pass/fail elections over the course of their undergraduate career.
b) If the student wants to cover the letter grade received in this class, they must email passfail@brandeis.edu before the pass/fail deadline indicated on the Academic Calendar. If the student fails to contact the office before the published deadline, the letter grade will remain on the record. The email should include the student's full name, sage ID number, the course subject, catalog number, and title of the course elected pass/fail.

Students must receive a grade of C- or higher to convert the letter grade to a P grade. Students who wish to use the pass/fail grading option for an approved general education requirement must indicate this in the same email.