Advising Guidance on Pass/No Pass Grading Option

The response to COVID-19 required a rapid move to online learning— Out of concern and compassion for your experience at Pacific University during this difficult time, we are offering Forest Grove Undergraduate students enrolled in Spring 2020 coursework the option to choose a Pass or No Pass grade rather than an A-F grade.

A grade of Pass or No Pass will not impact your GPA. You will still earn the credit with a Pass grade and Pass grades will still count towards all Core, Major, Minor, and other requirements and prerequisites in the same way they would have if it were letter grade.  

If you take no action, you will receive the letter grade. The benefit to you as a student is that you will see your final grade first in BoxerOnline when they are released to you, and then you can make a decision. 

When Can I request Pass/No Pass Grades?

Access opens on Monday, May 18 at 8 a.m. and closes on Friday, May 22 at noon (for Forest Grove Undergraduate Students). 

How Can I request Pass/No Pass Grades?

In order to change your grade to Pass/No Pass you will have to initiate the changes on BoxerOnline. A link will appear as the top-most link under the “Academic Profile” heading (immediately above the link to access grades). Instructions will be on BoxerOnline but you can also preview the instructions with screen shots.

Planning to Apply to Graduate School or Professional Programs?

Graduate and Professional programs typically desire a grade of “C” or better in all prerequisite courses. Before you take a Pass grade, it is advised to contact the program you plan to apply and inquire if a Pass grade is acceptable. You should be especially cautious about science, math, and psychology courses; but it could also be writing, economics, communication, language, or other arts and humanities courses. These are prerequisite courses where letter grades are more commonly required by graduate and professional programs. Unless you have heard for certain that your intended program(s) will accept Pass grades in the same way as a letter grade for a prerequisite course, it is recommended to take the letter grade. Please consider your decision carefully before you choose a Pass for a prerequisite course for graduate school.

Suggestions from Academic & Career Advising

If you plan to go to graduate school and are not sure if the course you are considering taking a Pass/No Pass for is a prerequisite course, please ask an advisor and refer to the admissions page for your program. Here are some general guidelines for each letter grade as you consider your decision.

A Grades

  • Take the letter grade!

A- Grades

  • Take the letter grade! 
  • Unless you are trying to protect a 4.0 GPA and are not going to graduate school, then take the letter grade.

B+ Grades

  • If you are planning to go to Graduate School, and this is a prerequisite course, take the letter grade.
  • It is typically advisable to take the letter grade unless this will lower your cumulative GPA significantly. Chances are, it won’t. Take the letter grade!

B Grades

  • If you are planning to go to Graduate School, and this is a prerequisite course, take the letter grade.
  • If this is not a prerequisite course for graduate school and a “B” will lower your cumulative GPA significantly, consider taking a Pass grade.
  • It is typically advisable to take the letter grade unless it will lower your GPA significantly.
  • When in doubt, take the letter grade.

B- Grades

  • If you are planning to go to Graduate School, and this is a prerequisite course, take the letter grade.
  • If this is not a prerequisite course for graduate school and a “B-” will lower your cumulative GPA, consider taking a Pass grade.
  • If you are planning on repeating the course to get better grade, and have room in your schedule to do so (and still graduate on time), you could consider a Pass; however repeating the course and getting a better grade will replace the old grade in the GPA. So it’s still better to take the letter grade.
  • When in doubt, take the letter grade!

C+ Grades

  • This grade will result in a Pass grade if you choose that option.
  • If this is not a prerequisite course for graduate school and a “C+” will lower your cumulative GPA, consider taking a Pass grade.
  • If this is a prerequisite course for graduate school, consider repeating it for a better grade if your schedule allows.  
  • When in doubt, talk to an advisor first!  

C Grades

  • This grade will result in a Pass grade if you choose that option.
  • Consider taking a Pass grade. The reason is because how it would impact your GPA. A C grade is a 2.0 which could lower your GPA significantly.
  • If this is a prerequisite course for graduate school, consider repeating it for a better grade if your schedule allows.  
  • When in doubt, talk to an advisor first!  

C- Grades

  • This grade will result in a No Pass grade if you choose that option.
  • Please consult with an advisor before you change your C- grade because this will result in a No Pass.
  • It is typically advisable to take the letter grade as you will earn the credit and it may count towards requirements.
  • If you are trying to save a high 3.0 GPA and do not have time to repeat this course later on, and do not need it for your major or graduate school then consider the No Pass option.
  • If this is a prerequisite course for graduate school, consider repeating it for a better grade if your schedule allows.  
  • When in doubt, talk to an advisor first!  

D Grade

  • This grade will result in a No Pass grade.
  • Do you need the credits to count towards your overall 124 (but not meet a specific Core, Major, Minor requirement)? If so, take the letter grade and be cautious of the hit to your GPA.
  • If not, take the No Pass option as it will not negatively impact your GPA.
  • When in doubt, talk to an advisor first!  

F Grade

  • This grade will result in a No Pass grade.
  • Take the No Pass option as it will not negatively impact your GPA.

The information above is specific to Forest Grove Undergraduates. The special Pass/No option is available to other programs and degrees as well, but the deadlines and processes will be different for the various programs. Please visit the Registrar's Office page with comprehensive information broken down by program. 

Changing your Mind Before the Deadline

Once a student submits a Pass or No Pass choice, it cannot be “undone” or changed through the same process. If a student needs to correct a submitted choice within the decision timeframe, they must contact registrar@pacificu.edu for assistance.

Changing Grades After the Deadline

Past the deadline, a grade could be changed only through the formal grade appeal process, as it represents changing a verified transcript that could have been accessed and used as evidence of verified academic history and will have been used as the basis for degree conferral for graduated students.

Contact Us

Academic & Career Advising and Registrar's Office
advisingcenter@pacificu.edu and registrar@pacificu.edu