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Undergraduate S/U Grading FAQ
Frequently asked questions and answers about undergraduate Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grades. Please refer to the Graduate School Policy Library for more information on graduate S/U grading.
What is S/U grading?
Students can opt to have a course graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) in lieu of receiving a traditional letter grade. Effective spring 2021, students may elect S/U grading by submitting the Request for Undergraduate S/U Grade form by the course resign deadline. For courses taken fall 2020 or earlier, students needed to submit the request form by the end of the drop/add period. Students cannot select S/U grading for courses that count towards UB Curriculum general education requirements or major requirements. S/U grades do not factor into your GPA. More information on S/U grading can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Your course instructors will submit a letter grade for you at the end of the semester. The letter grade is then converted to the appropriate S or U grade. A grade of C or better is converted to an S. A grade of C- and below is converted to a U. Students may opt to recover their letter grade at any point.
How did S/U grading change for spring 2020?
For spring 2020 only, S/U grading was permitted for any course, including those that count toward UB Curriculum general education requirements and major requirements. Some degree programs may require you to choose or recover letter grades in major courses and pre-requisites in the future. To date, these programs include Nursing, Accounting (with the exception of MGA 201 and 202) and Occupational Therapy. In addition, students were permitted to elect S/U grading for repeated courses.
I’m trying to decide if I should take a course S/U. What should I know to make an informed decision?
- You do not have to make this decision right away. You have until the resign deadline to submit a request.
- Any grade that is C or higher will convert into an S, otherwise it is a U (C- through F).
- S/U grades do not figure into GPA calculations.
- Students must remain engaged in the course and complete appropriate coursework to earn an S grade.
- If you need letter grades in order to meet the institutional GPA requirement for graduation, selecting S/U may not be your best option. Likewise, if you are counting on a letter grade to boost your GPA and help ensure you retain scholarships and/or progress in your major, an S/U might not be appropriate.
- You may need letter grades in order to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress.
- You may want GPA-impacting course grades in order to be competitive for graduate school admissions (and other purposes external to the program); Graduate programs, law schools and medical schools often require letter grades for courses relevant to the discipline.
- S/U grades will not factor into determining Dean’s list eligibility. Full guidelines for Dean’s list eligibility are in the Undergraduate Catalog.
- Courses taken for S/U grades will not count toward Latin Honors eligibility. Full guidelines for Latin Honors eligibility are in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Please contact your academic advisor if you have questions about whether S/U grading is a good option for your particular situation.
I am repeating a course this semester. Am I still able to elect this course for S/U grading?
No. When a course is repeated, S/U grading is not an option.
What is the difference between S/U and P/F grading?
P/F grading is designated at the course-level, and all students enrolled in the course will receive either a P or an F grade at the end of the term. Students may not elect this option. The P does not correspond to any specific letter grade; rather, it is an indication that the student has passed the course. There are no grade points associated with a P, but the credit hours are earned. However, the F grade (failure) is included in the GPA.
S/U grading is a student-selected option for a course that is normally designated with A-F or P/F grading. The course instructor does not know if a student selects a course for S/U grading. The course instructor submits the appropriate letter or P/F grade at the end of the term. Grades of P or A through C are converted to a grade of S. Grades of C- and below are converted to a grade of U. S/U grades do not factor into the GPA. Once grades have been assigned for the term, a student can reclaim the letter grade that the instructor assigned. When a student reclaims a letter grade, the letter grade replaces the S/U on the student’s record, and the letter grade is factored into the GPA.
How do I change a course to S/U grading?
Students can submit the Request for Undergraduate S/U Grade Form by the end of the resign deadline for the course.
I requested S/U grading for a course. Can I also request and be granted an Incomplete for that course?
Yes, as long as the circumstances follow the parameters for you to request an incomplete grade from the faculty member. You may only be granted approval for an ‘I’ grade by your instructor if you have a passing average in the coursework that has been completed, and have well-defined parameters to complete the course requirements that could result in a grade better than the default grade.
Last updated: January 20, 2021 9:42 am EST