Pass-Fail Grading


There are two types of Pass/Fail grades. Academic departments designate the grading category of a course or courses when a new course is proposed or through a course change proposal for existing courses. These grade mode designations become part of the College’s Course Master File and cannot be changed for individual students or for an individual course or section of a course in a given semester.

Pass/Fail Only

Courses with Pass/Fail Only designation are always graded with a Pass or Fail ("P" or "F"). Credits earned count toward degree requirements; grades are not used in calculating grade point average. These courses may not be taken on a letter grade ("A-E") basis.

Pass/Fail Option

A student may opt to receive either "A" through "E" grading or P/F grading. In these courses, students will be graded "A-E", unless they register their Pass/Fail status with the Registrar during the add/drop period. These Pass/Fail option grades are reflected as "P*" or "F*". The asterisk delineates them from the Pass/Fail only grades. Instructor permission is not required for a student to take this option. The student’s grade mode choice is indicated on class rosters and grade sheets. Credits earned count toward degree requirements; grades are not used in calculating grade point average. A student may choose to change back to a letter grade mode during the semester in accordance with Key Dates and Deadlines.

Pass/Fail at the Undergraduate Level

At the undergraduate level, a "Pass" grade is defined as achievement of the minimum requirements of the course.

  • Students may not opt for Pass/Fail grading during their first semester at Oneonta;
  • Courses taken to fulfill major requirements, concentration requirements, General Education requirements, or minor requirements may not be taken on a Pass/Fail option basis;
  • Some departments may have Pass/Fail restrictions on courses required for related work.
  • Students are limited to one Pass/Fail option course in any semester and to a total of 12 semester hours of Pass/Fail option overall;
  • Students may take up to 4 semester hours of Pass/Fail option physical education activity credits in addition to the 12 semester hours described above. They may use this option during their first semester on campus as well as during a semester in which they have enrolled for an academic course on a Pass/Fail basis.
  • Students who exceed the maximum Pass/Fail option credits must complete an equal amount of additional credit beyond the 122 credits required for graduation.

Pass/Fail Grading at the Graduate Level

Grades of "P" (Pass) may be counted toward a master’s degree when the course is offered on a Pass/Fail Only basis. If students register in a course where they select Pass/Fail Option rather than "A-E" grading, that course will not be counted toward a master’s degree. For graduate level courses a Pass is equivalent to a grade of "B" or higher.

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