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Graduate Student Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option for Spring 2020 Classes

The deadline to submit a request ended on April 22, 2020.  For additional information, please contact: graduatesupport@fau.edu 


Guidance for Graduate Students in Selecting the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option for Spring 2020 Classes

The safety, health, and well-being of the Graduate Student community at Florida Atlantic University is our top concern. We understand that the ambiguity and uncertainty of the past several weeks and the move to remote learning may have required more attention focused on issues other than progress towards completing your graduate degree. Justifiably, this may have led to anxiety and some increased stress regarding your performance in classes.

To ease some of this burden and offer flexibility, FAU has modified its graduate grading policy for the Spring 2020 semester.

In eligible courses, graduate students may request a change from the standard grade mode (“A” through “F”) to the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grade mode for the Spring 2020 semester. A grade of “S” is equivalent to a “C” or higher. A grade of “S” in an eligible course will meet prerequisite and degree requirements. A grade of “U” is equivalent to a grade of “C-, D+, D, D-, or F” in a standard graded course.

Change of grade mode requests were accepted between  April 8, 2020 and April 22, 2020.  The deadline to submit a request ended on April 22, 2020.  The decision to select the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option is irreversible.


Which courses are not eligible for the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option?

College of Business
          None of the courses are eligible for the S/U option.

College of Design & Social Inquiry
          Courses in the Doctor of Social Work program

College of Education
          Courses in the Communication and Speech Disorders program
          Courses in Educational Leadership and Research Methodology program

College of Medicine
          None of the courses are eligible for the S/U option.

College of Science
          Courses in the Medical Physics program

All graduate courses other than those in the programs listed above are eligible for the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option.


What You Should Consider before Requesting the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option:

Please think carefully about the implications of requesting the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option. You should have a good idea of your performance in the course before choosing this option. You are encouraged to discuss the S/U option with your instructors and your faculty advisor before making the decision to change the grade mode. Below are some issues to consider.

  1. Your potential grade in the course. If you are doing well in the course and expect to earn a good grade, switching to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory is not recommended.
  2. As the “S” grade does not calculate into the GPA, any course you select to be changed will not count in your GPA.
  3. If you are a financial aid recipient, you must still comply with financial aid requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress. For more information about Satisfactory Academic Progress and the impact of grades on your aid, click here .
  4. If you are enrolled in a program with specialized accreditation, licensure or certification requirements and/or are required to get a standard letter grade for courses applicable to the program or certificate, then some (or all) of your courses may not be eligible for the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grade option
  5. If you are currently in a Master’s degree program and considering continuing on to a doctoral or professional degree program, then you should not choose the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option in courses required for admission to those degree programs. While graduate and professional schools will recognize the extraordinary circumstances faced by students during this COVID-19 semester, we cannot guarantee that all schools will accept a “S” in lieu of a regular grade.
  6. If you are currently on academic probation and/or working with an Academic Progression Plan (APP), then opting for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading may not be in your best interest. You will need letter-graded coursework to ensure that your term GPA reaches or maintains a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  7. If you are a student-athlete, you need to be aware of NCAA requirements for retaining (or regaining) athletic eligibility. Discuss any eligibility concerns with an advisor in the Student Athlete Success Center.
  8. International sponsored students (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE) may not be eligible to select pass/fail and satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading options for the spring 2020 semester. International sponsored students who choose to request this option must also obtain written approval from their Embassy Advisor. For further information, contact: Erin Hari, Associate Director for Global Academic Services at ehari@fau.edu or 561-297-4939

Click here to return to the FAU Graduate College COVID-19 updates page.

 Last Modified 4/23/20