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Earn credits without affecting your GPA

Do you want to take an interesting, unfamiliar, or challenging course, but worry it might impact your GPA? Good news: You can take up to eight elective classes with a pass/fail (P/F) grading option as an undergraduate student.

The only way a pass/fail class will affect your GPA is if you get an F. Here’s how it works: If you receive any grade of D- or above, you’ll earn credit hours and a grade of P (pass) will appear on your transcript. There is no impact on your GPA. However, if you fail the course, you won’t earn any credits, a grade of F (fail) will appear on your transcript, and your GPA will be impacted.

Courses taken as pass/fail count toward your full- or part-time standing for purposes of financial aid or loan deferments.

How to take a class as pass/fail

Follow these steps:

  1. Contact your school, who you will need to speak to first. They'll provide you with the form you need.
  2. Fill out the form and be sure to get the required signatures from your advisor and the dean of your school.
  3. If you’re a graduate student, you’ll also need your instructor’s signature on the form. If you’re an undergraduate student, your instructor won’t know you’re taking their course as pass/fail and their signature isn’t needed.
  4. Turn in the form to the Office of the Registrar by the pass/fail option deadline.

Requirements and restrictions

Every degree program has different requirements for taking the pass/fail option. Check your school’s academic bulletin or contact your advisor for details.

After you’ve invoked the pass/fail option, you can’t change back to a letter grade for the course.

Pass/fail versus satisfactory/fail

Certain courses are taught as satisfactory/fail (S/F). This is different from the pass/fail option. In these courses, you will receive an S or F—not a letter grade. Courses graded as S/F generally include that information in the schedule of classes. Like the pass/fail option, a grade of S isn’t calculated in your GPA, but a grade of F is.

IU Indianapolis

Office of the Registrar

Campus Center, Room 250
420 University Blvd

Indianapolis, IN 46202