The information below is meant for CAFE advisors. When sharing pass/fail information with students, please direct them to this webpage.


  1. What does pass/fail mean?
    The general university grading system uses a series of letters (i.e., A, B, C, D, E). If students change their grading option to pass/fail, they will either earn a “P” grade in the course or an “F” grade rather than a letter grade. Letter grades A through D are converted to pass. A letter grade of E is converted to fail.

    Typically, only elective courses or courses only offered as pass/fail can be completed under the pass/fail grading system. For the Spring 2020 semester, the university approved the pass/fail grading option for all undergraduate graduation requirements. This means all courses can be taken pass/fail if the student so chooses. Note that some programs will continue to require that a student earn a minimum grade to progress in a program or course sequence, even though only a “P” would be reported on the student’s transcript.



    Students who are double major or dual degree students involving programs outside of CAFE should check with the other programs. 

  2. Will instructors know which students selected the pass/fail grading option?
    No, instructors will enter letter grades and the Registrar will convert these letter grades to pass or fail.

  3. When do students need to decide?
    Students have plenty of time to decide if they want to change to the pass/fail grading system for one or more courses. The university’s deadline to request changes to the pass/fail grading option is May 1, 2020 at 11:59 pm. However, consider that the request must come from you, the advisor. Please allow sufficient time for you to make the request by the deadline.

  4. How does the pass/fail grading option affect GPA?
    A grade of “P” represents a passing grade in a course taken on a pass/fail basis. Credit hours successfully completed under this grade option count towards graduation but will not be used in calculating grade point average. A grade of “F” represents failure in a course taken on a pass/fail basis. An “F” grade is valued at 0 quality points and 0 credit hours and does not impact grade point average.

  5. How does pass/fail appear on transcript?
    Below is an example of how courses completed under the pass/fail grading option appear on a student’s transcript. The earned hours (EHRS) for this term reflect all courses successfully completed. However, the quality hours (QHRS) only reflect those courses completed for a letter grade. Only courses completed for a letter grade are used when calculating GPA. 



  6. If a student chooses the pass/fail grading option, will it count against any limits on pass/fail classes?
    No, classes selected for the pass/fail grading option for the Spring 2020 semester will not count towards any limits on pass/fail classes. Typically, the limit is 4 elective courses. 

  7. If a student chooses the pass/fail grading option, should they tell the course instructor?
    No, students do not need to tell the instructor that they’ve chosen the pass/fail grading option. Instructors will continue to record letter grades. For classes in which students are completing under the pass/fail option, any letter grade of “D” or above will be reflected as a “P” on their transcript. “E” grades will appear as an “F” on their transcript.

  8. Can first-year students take classes on a pass/fail basis? 
    Typically, first-year students are not allowed to take courses on a pass/fail basis. However, the pass/fail grading option will be available for all students for the Spring 2020 semester unless the course has already been graded (i.e. it was a part-of term course that has already ended).
     
  9. Can students on academic probation take classes on a pass/fail basis?
    The pass/fail grading option is available regardless of a student’s current academic standing for the Spring 2020 semester. Remember that courses on the pass/fail grading system do not count towards a student’s GPA.

    New probation – Must earn a 2.0 GPA or higher for the semester to prevent eligibility for suspension and must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher to earn good standing.
    Continued probation – Must earn a 2.0 GPA or higher for the semester AND must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher to earn good standing.
    Reinstated student – New probation rules apply (see above). For academic bankruptcy, students must earn a 2.0 or better GPA on 12 or more graded hours.

  10. Can students change to pass/fail if they are repeating the course and plan to file a repeat option?
    No, students cannot change their grading option to pass/fail if they plan to file a repeat option. They must complete the course for a letter grade.

  11. Can students change back to a letter grade after changing to pass/fail?
    No, once students have changed their grading option to pass/fail, it cannot be changed back to a letter grade.

  12. If a student changes to pass/fail, are they still considered a full-time student?
    Undergraduate students are considered full time if they are enrolled in at least 12 credit hours (9 credit hours for graduate students). Students may select the pass/fail grading option for all their classes for the Spring 2020 semester, unless the class has already been graded. Selecting pass/fall does not impact enrollment status. 

  13. How will changing to pass/fail affect a student’s scholarship?
    The student should speak with someone associated with his/her scholarship prior to switching to pass/fail. 

  14. How will changing to pass/fail affect a student’s financial aid?
    The student should speak with his/her Financial Aid Counselor prior to switching to pass/fail.

  15. Will students still be eligible for the Dean’s List for the Spring 2020 semester if they change their grading option to pass/fail?
    For the Spring 2020 semester, the qualifications for the Dean’s List have been adjusted. To be eligible for the Dean’s List, students must complete at least 12 credit hours with at least 9 credit hours completed for a letter grade and earn a 3.5 semester GPA. In addition, any courses taken as pass/fail must earn a “P” grade.

  16. Will students still be able to graduate with honors (Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude) if they change their grading option to pass/fail?
    At this time, the qualifications for graduating with honors have not changed. Students changing to the pass/fail grading option could impact their ability to graduate with honors. Please consult Louise Gladstone in the Center for Student Success.

  17. Will students still be able to access student support services (i.e. Student Health Services, Counseling Center, etc.) if they change to the pass/fail grading option?
    Changing to the pass/fail grading option will not impact a student’s ability to access student support services if they are enrolled in at least 6 credit hours regardless of grading option.

  18. What about student athletes? 
    If a student athlete’s eligibility for NCAA or club sports/activities requires a certain GPA on a set number of credit hours, they may not be eligible to change to pass/fail. Speak with their CATS advisor to confirm.

  19. What about students in special programs?
    If a student is in a special program (e.g., ROTC, Honors, Parker Scholar), check program requirements regarding GPA on a set number of credit hours before permitting a change to pass/fail.

  20. Which courses can be changed to pass/fail

    For the Spring 2020 semester, the university approved the pass/fail grading option for all undergraduate graduation requirements. This means all courses can be taken pass/fail if the student so chooses. Note that some programs will continue to require that a student earn a minimum grade to progress in a program or course sequence, even though only a “P” would be reported on the student’s transcript.


  21. Which undergraduate programs within CAFE have progression requirements?

    *indicates programs continuing to require a minimum grade to progress. All decisions should be made in consultation with the student’s major advisor.

    Career & Technical Education (Ag Education)Hospitality Management & Tourism
    Consumer Economics & Family Financial CounselingHuman Nutrition 
    DieteticsLandscape Architecture
    Merchandising, Apparel & Textiles

  22. Is the student applying for the University Scholars Program? 
    If so, students may not be eligible for this program if they move to pass/fail. To qualify for USP, student needs 3.50 GPA in the applicant’s major field and a 3.20 overall. Courses completed as pass/fail do not count towards a student’s GPA. Students should consider how switching to pass/fail will impact their GPA.

  23. Which graduate programs within CAFE are accepting pass/fail for required courses? (Passing grade would be a "C" or above.)

    Agricultural Economics=NOIntegrated Plant & Soil Science=YES
    Animal and Food Science=NONutrition and Food Systems=NO
    Community and Leadership Development=NOPlant Pathology=NO
    Entomology=YESRetailing and Tourism Management=NO
    Family Sciences=NOScience, Translation and Outreach=YES
    Forestry and Natural Resources=YESVeterinary Science=YES


  24. Which certificate programs within CAFE are accepting pass/fail for required courses?

    All certificate programs are accepting pass/fall. Undergraduate and graduate certificates have minimum GPA requirements and may continue to require minimum grade requirements.

     

  25. Can students take a class pass/fail if they plan to go to professional school (i.e. Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary) or Graduate School?
    Please check with one of the pre-professional advisors (Lesli Hall for pre-health and Dr. Roberta Dwyer or Colette Tebeau for pre-veterinary medicine) or the appropriate graduate program. 

  26. How do I request a course be changed to pass/fail for one of my advisees?  
    Send an email to Jamie Dunn (jamie.dunn@uky.edu) to request a student’s grading option be changed. Only requests from advisors will be processed.

  27. Do I need to request a separate GPS exception for courses taken as pass/fail to count for degree requirements for my advisees?
    No, a GPS exception will automatically be processed. At the college level, Louise Gladstone and Jamie Dunn process these exceptions. Exceptions for UK Core courses will be processed through the Registrar’s Office. Louise and/or Jamie will communicate these requests to the Registrar’s Office. 

  28. If a student received an “I” grade in a course from a previous term, can they change it to the pass/fail grading option?
    No, the student must complete the course under the same grading scale.

     

  29. If a student completes a course pass/fail and earns a “P, can the student use a repeat option in the future if they take it for a letter grade?
    Yes, the student could use a repeat option if the student completes the course in the future for a letter grade. 

     

  30. If a student completes a course as pass/fail and earns an “F”, can the student use a repeat option in the future?
    There wouldn’t be a need to file a repeat option since the F grade does not impact the student’s GPA. However, the student should strongly consider withdrawing from the course if he/she will not earn a passing grade. Be sure to consider financial implications and the like when withdrawing from one or more courses. 

     

  31. If a student earns a “P” and retakes the course for a letter grade, will this be marked as duplicate credit?
    Yes, the second completion of the course will be marked as duplicate credit. The student will need to submit a repeat option to have the second completion replace the first completion.

     

  32. If a student wants to elect P/F grading for a pre-requisite course but the letter grade is insufficient, what should the student consider?

    The student may want to consider withdrawing from the course if they will not earn the pre-requisite grade. Even if the student changes their grading option to pass/fail, the earned letter grade will be recorded in the Registrar’s Office and may be utilized by a department for progression. For example, if a C grade is required for progression and the student completes the course with an underlying D grade that is converted to a P grade, the student may need to repeat the course. After the second completion, the student will need to utilize one of their repeat options to have the second completion count in their GPA.

  33. If a student wants to elect P/F grading for a pre-requisite course but the letter grade is insufficient (as determined by the dept., such as CHEM), what should the student consider?
    The student may want to consider withdrawing from the course if they will not earn the pre-requisite grade. Even if the student changes their grading option to pass/fail, the earned letter grade will be recorded in the Registrar’s Office and may be utilized by a department for progression. For example, if a C grade is required for progression and the student completes the course with an underlying D grade that is converted to a P grade, the student may need to repeat the course. After the second completion, the student will need to utilize one of their repeat options to have the second completion count in their GPA.

     

  34. Who do I contact if I have additional questions?
    For program specific questions, please reach out to someone from that area.  Below is contact information for members of the Center for Student Success.
    Jamie Dunn, Assistant Dean for Advising and Student Support
    Louise Gladstone, Director of Student Records
    Lesli Hall, Undeclared/Exploratory and Pre-Health Professional Advisor
    Mike Pirrman, Director of Academic Progress and Transfer Support