Course Options Pertinent to the Winter 2020 Semester

As a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, our campus has made the decision to provide students with an extension to the selective drop period until 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, April 17th as well as an option to switch some or all of their Winter 2020 courses to a Pass/Fail grading mode by 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, May 5th. Please see below for more detailed information about each option.

Pass/Fail Course Grading Option

Undergraduate and graduate students have the ability to move some or all of their Winter 2020 courses to a Pass/Fail grading mode. Specifically, this action includes:

  • All undergraduate and graduate students have the one-time option of switching the grading system for their Winter 2020 courses to a Pass/Fail mode. 
  • All undergraduate and graduate courses switched to a Pass/Fail mode under these circumstances will be permitted to count towards the student’s major, certificates, cognates, or minors requirements. In addition, for undergraduate students, these courses will not count towards the current four-course limit of pass/fail courses counting towards a degree. Graduate students should confirm individual program policies on the number of pass/fails normally allowed. 
  • The "Pass" grade will be recorded as "P" on the academic transcript.
  • The "Fail" grade will be recorded as "FCV" on the academic transcript.

Instructions for Switching Courses to Pass/Fail

Before making a decision to switch a 2020 winter-term course to the Pass/Fail mode, students are strongly encouraged to speak with their academic advisor. Use the following links for information on advising offices or to schedule an advising appointment:



In order to switch a course to the Pass/Fail mode, please submit a Pass/Fail Request Form to the Registrar’s Office by 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, May 5. Without your request to switch to the P/F grade, you will receive the default grade listed for your course (A-E for most courses). Late requests will not be processed.


Will I receive an A-E grad for my class?

If you opt for the Pass/Fail option, you will not receive an A-E grade. If you do not select a Pass/Fail grade, the default is your A-E grade, which will appear on your transcript.

What is the Pass/Fail conversion for letter grades at UM-Dearborn?

Below is the existing University grading conversion system: 

  • Undergraduate course: C- or better is a P,  D+ or worse is an F
  • Graduate course: B- or better is a P,  C+ or worse is an F
How will electing a course for Pass/Fail affect my GPA?

For students who elect a Pass/Fail grade in Winter 2020, their GPA will not be affected whether they receive a Pass or a Fail grade in their course. 

Undergraduate students who are repeating a course and elect a Pass/Fail grade, will have their prior course grade dropped from their GPA calculation which will likely have a positive impact on their GPA depending on what grade they received the last time they took the course. This applies to the Winter 2020 term only. 

For graduate students, all attempts remain on the transcript and are averaged into the cumulative GPA.

For a repeat course with a “Pass” grade, how would the GPA calculation be done?

Undergraduate students who are repeating a course and elect a Pass/Fail grade, will have their prior course grade dropped from their GPA calculation. This applies to the Winter 2020 term only. 

For graduate students, all attempts remain on the transcript and are averaged into the cumulative GPA.

I am currently on probation. Will selecting a P/F grade have an impact on my probation status?

Students should speak with an academic advisor to better understand if switching their courses to a Pass/Fail option will impact their probation status. For some students, it may be in their best interest to maintain their current grade mode in some or all of their courses if they have advanced well in their courses and have satisfied the requirements of their probation in order to move into good academic standing. However, if a student's academic performance in the Winter 2020 semester is not sufficient to bring them into good academic standing, students should consider switching to the Pass/Fail mode, particularly for courses where they expect a low grade.

I am currently receiving financial aid. Will a Pass/Fail grade impact my current or future financial aid eligibility?

For the current semester:

  • No, changing to this option will not change your current semester financial aid.  

For future semesters:

  • Both Pass/Fail are used to determine Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Students who receive a Fail in a course will count against the SAP calculation in the Cumulative Completion Rate and Maximum Timeframe measurements.  
  • Students that are currently in a Warning SAP status, the Fail could lead to ineligibility of financial aid in future semesters.

Please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for further questions at

Will my choice of a P/F grade affect my medical school applications?

Please consult with the health professions advising office in order to make an informed choice.

I am a veteran student. Will switching one of my courses to a Pass/Fail mode impact me?

(UPDATE: COVID-19 national emergency)  No, although the VA does not typically make payments for classes resulting in non-punitive grades, if COVID-19 is reported as mitigating circumstances for the student’s receipt of a non-punitive grade (i.e., Fail in a Pass/Fail class) the VA will pay for the class.

The current law, under normal circumstances, states that if a student receiving VA Education Benefits completes the term and receives a non-punitive F grade(s), the non-punitive grade(s) must be reported to the VA. This affects your rate of pursuit, and the VA will do a calculation to determine if there is an overpayment. An “F grade” is not counted as earned credit, and is not calculated into the grade point average.

For questions regarding payment, please call the VA Education Hotline 888-442-4551. Do not hesitate to contact the UM-Dearborn Veteran Affairs Coordinator at 313-436-9196 or if you have any questions.

I am considering transferring to another university. Will switching one of my courses to the Pass/Fail mode impact me?

Students are strongly encouraged to check with the university to which they are considering transferring in order to discuss any implications of switching to the Pass/Fail mode prior to making a decision.

Will electing one or more of my courses as Pass/Fail impact my eligibility for Academic Honors awards, including the Dean’s List?

In general, most Academic Honors awards do include stipulations for minimum GPA requirements. There are also stipulations for a minimum number of credit hours enrolled, and a minimum number of credit hours graded A-E. In order to fully understand the impact of switching some or all of your courses to Pass/Fail, it is strongly recommended that you speak with an academic advisor.

(Transfer credit) Will courses taken at my current school in Winter 2020 with grades of Pass/Fail (or its equivalent) be transferable into the University of Michigan-Dearborn?

Courses taken in the Winter 2020 semester, if otherwise transferrable, will be granted credit if the grade is deemed as Pass/Satisfactory from the transferring institution. These courses, if applicable, will fulfill general education and degree requirements.

Selective Drop Period Extension

With the significant change to remote teaching and operations occurring at the very end of the selective drop period (with courses resuming in remote format on the last day to drop with penalty), students may need more time to properly determine if they should withdraw from individual courses, even with the flexibility offered by their faculty, or the potential to change the course to a Pass/Fail.

Therefore, the university will extend the selective drop deadline until 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, April 17th.  Students should email with necessary details to process the drop. Refer to the add/drop form and email these details for processing your request (the form may be used, but is not required). 

A grade of "W" (Official Withdrawal) will be recorded on the student's academic record. A "W" grade results in no credit, no honor points, and has no impact on the grade point average (GPA).

Students who have questions regarding the selective drop period extension, should be directed to their college’s advising office.


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