Office of the Provost

Fall 2020 Pass/Fail Option

Are you concerned about a grade you earned this semester?  Are you thinking about asking for a change from a letter grade to pass/fail grading in one or more of your classes? 

The purpose of pass/fail grading is to encourage students to broaden their educational experience with a reduced risk of lowering their overall grade point average. The instructor will assign pass grades of H (high performance) or P (pass) when a letter grade of C- or better would have been assigned and a grade of LP (low pass) when the letter grade would have been D+, D, or D-.  Grades of F and L earned under pass/fail grading will be included in the grade point average calculation. 

If you are interested in requesting pass/fail grading, please be aware that there might be pass/fail restrictions in your major or minor.  In addition, a Low Pass (LP) will not count toward major or minor requirements.  Students may elect to take USM Core (general education) courses pass/fail for fall 2020: this is a temporary suspension of existing policy and does not apply to courses taken to fulfill major or minor requirements.  The deadline for requesting pass/fail for the fall 2020 semester is January 28, 2021. 


If you would like to request a change to pass/fail grading, please follow these steps:

  1. Wait to see your final grade. No changes to pass/fail grading will be made until after final grades have been posted; this way you can be sure of your final grade before you request a change to pass/fail. 
  2. Meet with your faculty or professional advisor (find their names in Mainstreet) to discuss classes you are considering for pass/fail grading. Your advisor will help you make this decision. (Please remember that your advisors may be taking time off during the holidays; they will respond to you as soon as they can.) 
  3. Email the professor of the course(s) for which you have decided to take pass/fail grading and copy the advisor with whom you met as well as Registrar Karin Pires (  You can simply say, “Dear Professor, I have decided to choose pass/fail grading for your class.  My advisor and the Registrar are cc’d in this email. Thank you.”  Your email must be sent to your professor within 30 days of the final grade being posted (before the close of business on January 28, 2021).