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SCE Spring 2020 Pass/Fail FAQ

These regulations reflect thoughtful consideration for the special circumstances pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the Spring 2020 semester only as approved by Faculty Senate and Fr. Shanley, President of Providence College, and supersede the usual rule limiting  only one P/F course per semester.

For all students, regardless of whether the P/F option is exercised, a notation will be placed on the academic transcript for the Spring 2020 semester.

Beginning Thursday, May 14th at 12:00, noon EST students will be able to view all their grades and semester and cumulative credits and grade point averages in CyberFriar.

All SCE undergraduate students are eligible to elect any, and all, SCE courses-

  • Core/Proficiencies, including Perspectives on Western Civilization 
  • Major/Certificate
  • Free electives 

graded with a standard letter grade of ‘D-’ or higher to a ‘P (Pass)’ for academic credit during the following timeframe: 

Class of 2020: Thursday, May 14th through Wednesday, May 20th 
All other SCE students: Thursday, May 21st through Monday, June 1st 

Within the established dates above, students should complete one form electing their Pass option(s) for any, or all, of their courses.

Once the Pass option is exercised, students will not be able to change back to a letter grade.

Changing grade options may have implications.  Students should read this FAQ carefully and should consult with their academic advisor and/or others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there courses I am unable to take as a Pass?
The Teacher Certification, EDU courses, for which a particular grade is required for certification, may not be taken with a Pass grade.

GR courses are not eligible for the Pass/Fail option.

What if I elect a Pass grade and later need access to the letter grade for graduate school as an example?
The Office of the Registrar can provide you with a letter indicating the original grade of a course.

Can I take a course that is a prerequisite for another course as a Pass?
Yes. A grade of Pass meets the prerequisite requirement for all other undergraduate courses at Providence College.


How would a grade of Pass impact my GPA?
A grade of Pass does not compute into the GPA.

How would a grade of Fail impact my GPA?
A grade of F appears on the academic transcript, is included in the grade point computation, and counts as attempted credits.

What if I am retaking a course in Spring 2020 to replace a grade from a previous term?
Only the most recent grade and earned credits will be counted in your GPA or academic requirements, whether or not the course grade is higher than the earlier attempt.

Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress

If I declare one or more courses pass/fail, how will it affect my financial aid? 
If you choose to select courses as pass/fail, you need to make sure your current GPA is at the minimum standard for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and institutional aid renewal. For your reference, we have provided the SAP policies for SCE and Graduate Students. All financial aid requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 for renewal (unless otherwise specified). Before choosing the Pass/Fail option, students should make sure their current GPA is at the minimum standards for financial aid renewal. If you have any questions, please consult with a financial aid advisor before electing Pass/Fail.


If I declare one or more courses as a Pass, am I still eligible for Dean’s List? 
Yes. The criteria for Dean’s list remain the same.  You must be in good academic standing (defined as a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above), have a semester average of 3.25 or higher and no grade lower than “C,” completed a minimum of nine credit hours, and no incomplete grades (“I” or “NM”) in the semester. Only 1 standard letter grade may be elected as a Pass grade to remain eligible.

If I declare one or more courses as a Pass, am I still eligible for graduation honors (cum laude, magna cum laude)?
Yes.  Graduation honors is determined by the final cumulative GPA. Opting for a letter grade versus a Pass grade does impact the GPA and students should thoughtfully weigh one option over the other.

Special Considerations

I’m pre-Health. What factors should I consider before declaring a course as a Pass?
For students interested in the health professions, the ability to elect P for Spring 2020 courses may cause confusion. Normally programs require that any prerequisites are taken for a grade and in a face to face setting (particularly for lab courses). This requirement has been loosened by many programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many schools have come out with statements that they will accept P for prerequisites for this semester and sometimes for the upcoming summer terms. Additionally, recognizing that face-to-face laboratory courses and regular courses will be impossible in the near term, there has also been a temporary acceptance of online courses and labs from some programs. Students who are trying to decide what to do about their grades for the spring semester are urged to research programs of interest to determine their COVID-19 P/F policies and to also reach out to the Health Professions Advisor, Dr. Lynne Lawson, for advice.

How should I make this decision?
Please consider all factors before making your decision. If you need help weighing the pros and cons, talk with your instructor, or your academic advisor.

If I have additional questions about electing a Pass grade that are not addressed here, where should I go?
We encourage you to speak with your academic advisor, Jennifer Andrews,, about your choice and about any impact your choices might have for success in future courses or admission to future programs.

Class of 2020 UG Students can no longer opt for the Pass grade as the deadline has passed.

Spring 2020 Pass/Fail Policy Submission Form