S/NC Grading Policy Information for Undergraduate Students

University of Pittsburgh S/NC Grading Policy Information for Undergraduate Students 
Spring 2020 Semester (COVID-19) 

Communication to All Pitt Students from The Provost, March 20, 2020

The uncertainty of this unprecedented situation is a source of anxiety for many of our students and their families, and to help decrease stress and facilitate your continued academic success, the University is adopting a significant level of flexibility in course grading for the spring 2020 semester.    

The following is preliminary information for students about this policy. Additional guidance for advisors and mentors will be forthcoming. 

  • After the end of the term when grades have already been posted, all Pitt students enrolled in courses for a letter grade during the 2204 (spring) term may choose to convert the grading of any of their courses from a letter grade basis to a satisfactory (S)/no credit (NC) basis. 
  • S/NC is not a “pass/fail” grading system. S stands for Satisfactory. NC stands for No Credit. For undergraduate classes, S corresponds to a grade of C or better, and NC corresponds to a grade of C- or lower.
  • All courses that are awarded S grades will count toward graduation/degree requirements and satisfy future course prerequisites. Courses awarded NC grades will not count toward graduation/degree requirements nor fulfill course prerequisites. 
  • Neither S nor NC grades will impact a student's GPA. That is, a term-based GPA (and cumulative GPA) is calculated solely based on those credits that maintain a letter grade. 
  • Courses that are awarded NC grades will need to be repeated if the course is required for graduation in the student’s program or if a minimum grade of S is required (e.g., C or better in Calc 1 or Calc 2).   
  • While extension requests will be considered, students will be asked to make a decision with respect to S/NC grading one week after course grades have been posted. This will allow timely processing of graduation transcripts, thus it is especially important for graduating students to adhere to this deadline.  
  • Students are strongly encouraged to thoroughly discuss the decision with their academic advisors and mentors. It is important to recognize that these conversations can begin prior to grades being posted.

A few situations in which a student may wish to request a change from LG to S/NC:  

  • Student receives a poor grade and will need to repeat the class regardless (e.g., C- in Calculus, F in a required major course, D+ in a pillar class). 
  • Student receives a C in a class but doesn’t want the C factored into their GPA. 
  • Student receives a B in a class, but wants to preserve their 4.0 GPA.

A few situations in which a student may NOT wish to request a change from LG to S/NC:  

  • A S/NC grade may have a negative impact on future application to graduate or professional schools (e.g., med school, law school). 
  • A S/NC grade may have a negative impact on future licensure or on the accreditation status of their present program.   
  • A student received a grade less than S (e.g., C- or D), but can continue to progress through their program with any passing grade in the class in question. 
  • If a student needs to maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes (where a D would count, but NC would not) and changing the class in question would lower their Pace of Progress below 67%. 
  • If a student is military affiliated (ROTC, veteran) and needs to maintain their scholarship.

Students should have a thorough conversation with an Academic Advisor before making the decision to change their letter grade to S or NC. Please continue to use the Undergraduate Studies email to let us know about student concerns or if you have more questions: vpmccarthy@pitt.edu