Grading Options (Pass-Fail & Withdrawal)

Pass/Fail Policy

  • Deadline:
  • Grading: For students choosing to take courses as pass/fail, will have a "P" or "F" grade recorded on their transcripts. A grade of “P” includes grades of A, B, C, and D.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA): A grade of “P” is not counted in your grade point average. A grade of “F” is counted in your grade point average.
  • Credits: Students may elect one course to take as pass/fail each term, including summer sessions, for a total of no more than 32 credits during their college career.
  • Degree Requirement: The pass/fail option may not be elected for any major requirement courses, minor requirement courses, or any courses taken to fulfill Core Curriculum requirements. 
  • Preprofessional Courses: Students considering the pass/fail option in their area of study or in required preprofessional courses should consult with their advisor about the impact of P/F grades on admission to graduate and professional schools.
  • Academic Probation: For students currently on Academic Probation, a grade of “P” will automatically lead to Continued Probation for the following semester.
  • Flexible Grading Policy for Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022. 

Course Withdrawal Policy

  • Deadline: Same as the pass/fail deadline above. Check the NYU Shanghai academic calendar.
  • Full-time Status: Students are expected to maintain a full-time program (minimum 12 credits) and will not be able to reduce their program to part-time status if they are enrolled in a full-time program at the start of the semester.
  • Grading: Students will receive a "W" grade on their transcript for the withdrawn course(s).

Grading Option FAQs

1. Should I choose pass/fail for my course?

Pass/Fail grading is designed for students to explore their academic interests outside their major areas without taking the risk of impacting their GPA. However, P grade typically might be perceived by others as a lower grade ("C" or "D"). During your undergraduate program, sometimes a few "P" grades are fine as long as you can explain the reasons behind them. In practice, it is inadvisable to take too many courses pass/fail. Below are some questions you should think about before choosing the pass/fail grading option. 

1) Academic considerations: What is your current grade? What grading components remain for the semester? What's the best possible final grade for the course?

2) Academic support: Have you talked to the professor about the workload and demands of the rest of the course? Have you been using the professor's office hours? Have you been using Academic Resource Center? Are there any ways you can improve?

3) Graduate school and internship considerations: Are you thinking about applying to graduate schools and internships in the future? Have you thought about how grad schools and internships may perceive a "P" grade as opposed to a letter grade?

2. Can I withdraw from Global Perspectives on Society, Writing as Inquiry, or Perspective on the Humanities?

a) Can I withdraw from Global Perspectives on Society?

No. Students cannot withdraw from Global Perspectives on Society.

b) Can I withdraw from Writing as Inquiry?

Yes. However, withdrawing from Writing as Inquiry would put students a year behind because Writing as Inquiry is a prerequisite for Perspectives on the Humanities.

c) Can I withdraw from Perspective on the Humanities?

Yes. Students can withdraw from Perspective on the Humanities. However, you have to retake and pass the course to graduate.

Perspective on the Humanities (PoH) is only offered in the fall semesters. If you retake this course in your junior year, it might impact your study away plan. Since PoH is a foundational writing course, it is not recommended for students to retake it in the senior year.   

To get academic support for your course(s), you could visit the professor's office hours and schedule an appointment with the Academic Resource Center!

3. After requesting the pass/fail grading option, can I change my grade to a letter grade?

No. Students can no longer change the decision once the pass/fail request is submitted. 

4. Do I need to inform my professor if I choose the Pass/Fail grading option?

No, students are not required to inform the instructor. In Albert, instructors will give all students a letter grade at the end of the term and the Albert system will automatically convert the grade into a “P” if relevant.

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