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Academic Advising

Spring 2020 Undergraduate Pass/Fail Grading FAQ

In response to concerns presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UofSC Faculty Senate voted to expand the pass/fail scale for undergraduate students and make it applicable to Spring 2020 classes. The following FAQ addresses questions students may have regarding how this grading mode may impact degree and LIFE Scholarship applicability, academic standing, and other requirements that may affect a student's academic record. 

Expanded Pass/Fail Grading Scale

On April 1, 2020 the UofSC Faculty Senate approved an entry to the 2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Bulletin providing grading accommodations to students in the form of an expanded pass/fail grading scale.

The following are some questions undergraduate students may have regarding the expanded pass/fail scale. All undergraduate students are encouraged to speak with their academic advisor PRIOR TO submitting the pass-fail grade request form to discuss individual academic implications. 

For financial aid implications, please speak with a Financial Aid Counselor in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Download a copy of the Academic Pass/Fail FAQs [pdf].


If you are an undergraduate student enrolled in full term Spring 2020 courses or Spring 2 2020 courses that issue standard letter grades (A through F), you will be eligible to opt in to the Spring 2020 Pass/Fail system of S+/S/U.

Earned grades of A, B+, B, C+, and C will be replaced with S+.

Earned grades of D+ and D will be replaced with S.

An earned grade of F will be replaced with U.

All undergraduate students are eligible to request a grade of S+/S/U through the Spring 2020 Pass Fail Grade Request Form. The deadline for all requests was July 1, 2020.

No, students who chose to take a course on a traditional Pass/Fail basis will continue on a Pass/Fail basis using the University’s established S/U system (e.g., S is earned if the grade is D or above and U is earned for grades below D).

No. Students who elected to take a course on a Pass/Fail basis prior to campus closure in Spring 2020 will continue on a Pass/Fail basis using the University’s established S/U system.

No. A student assigns themselves a WF by withdrawing from a class after the WF deadline; it is not an earned grade assigned by an instructor. If a mental health, medical, or personal crisis prevented academic success or required you to withdraw after the WF deadline of Spring 2020, you may wish to petition for a hardship withdrawal.

No. This Pass/Fail Grade policy applies only to courses taken in the Spring 2020 semester.  If you feel that the COVID19 pandemic created challenges that prevented you from resolving an incomplete (I) grade, please contact your instructor about possible accommodations or extensions.     

Selecting the Pass/Fail Option

No, this is optional not mandatory.

No, your request goes directly to the Office of the University Registrar for processing.

No, faculty members will not be notified if you choose to request a S+/S/U grade.

You will have until July 1, 2020 to submit a Spring 2020 Pass/Fail Grade request.

Credit Hours & GPA

Grades of S+/S/U do not impact the GPA.

Courses with S+ and S will count towards earned semester hours and a course with a grade of U will not.

Life Scholarship Applicability

For courses with grades of S+/S, the hours earned will count toward Life Scholarship credit hour requirements. Grades of S+/S/U will not affect the Life Scholarship GPA.

Degree Applicability 

Courses graded with the S+ will count towards all applicable curricular, major, minor, progression, and graduation requirements.

Courses graded with S+/S will count toward all requirements where a grade of D or better is allowed.

If a degree requires a course to be passed with a grade of C or better, a student must have earned an S+ in the course to meet that requirement.

Courses graded with a U will not count toward any requirements.

Please consult with your academic advisor prior to submitting a pass-fail grade request.

If a course is a prerequisite for another course and a grade of C or better is required in the prerequisite, a student must have earned an S+ in the prerequisite course.

Answer coming soon

Course Grade Forgiveness

Yes, but because the S+/S grades do not carry GPA points or GPA hours the impact on your institutional GPA will be different than if you used a standard letter grade to forgive the first attempt. If you replace a first attempt grade of D+, D, F, or WF with an S+/S grade, the first attempt’s GPA hours and GPA point impact will be removed from your institutional GPA—but you will not earn GPA points or GPA hours from the S+/S grade you are using for grade forgiveness.

No. If a student retakes the course in question, it will count as the first attempt.

Academic Standing 

Yes. To return to good academic standing a student’s cumulative UofSC GPA must be 2.0 or above. However, students who were placed on university academic probation at the end of fall 2019 and do not meet the 2.0 GPA requirement at the conclusion of spring 2020 will not be placed on suspension, but will remain on probation.

No. Students who were placed on university academic probation at the end of fall 2019 will not be placed on suspension after the spring 2020 semester; their academic standing will remain the same as at the conclusion of fall 2019.

Semester and Graduation Honors

No. Course taken on a Pass/Fail basis will not be counted toward semester honors. In addition to meeting the semester honors GPA threshold, a student must complete at least 12 hours with standard letter grades to qualify for semester honors.

Yes. Courses with grades of S+/S will count toward the 60 credit hours required for graduation honors for a bachelors degree and 30 credit hours required for an associates degree.

Transcripts and Attestations

No. Comments will not be placed by the course or course grade. The University of South Carolina transcript key will include comments regarding the Spring 2020 Pass/Fail grade mode.

Because some graduate and professional programs require letter grades to be reflected on transcripts, when necessary, students will be able to request an official letter attesting to the letter grade earned in any classes that were converted to S+/S/U. This letter would attest only to grades, not to GPA and students can be assured that those who need evidence of your academic achievements this spring will be able to receive it. Such letter can be obtained from the Office of the University Registrar once a Pass/Fail Grade request is processed.

Study Abroad Transfer Credit 

No. Study abroad grades earned at a foreign institution during the Spring of 2020 will be equated to the UofSC grades of S/U.

Other Considerations 

Because professional schools may require a letter grade for admission into a professional program, the Office of Pre-Professional advising (OPPA) has compiled a list of how some U.S. health professions schools are considering a pass/fail grade on a student's transcript. This list is maintained by OPPA and updated often.

U.S. Dental Schools

U.S. Optometry Schools

U.S. Physician Assistant Schools

U.S. Veterinary Schools 

For additional questions or considerations, please contact the Office of Pre-Professional advising.

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