Guidance and FAQ

Pass/No Credit Option for Rutgers–New Brunswick Undergraduate Students

Read the full policy online.

Rutgers students have shown resilience and perseverance as they have navigated new learning environments, technology, and unforeseen personal challenges associated with the COVID-19 crisis. These challenges have also raised concerns for some students about their academic performance.

The Pass/No Credit option is available to undergraduate students for courses taken during the Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Spring 2021 semesters.

  • The deadline for choosing the Pass/No Credit option for one or more courses for Fall 2020 is Tuesday, January 12, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EST.
  • The application for Winter 2021 P/NC will open to students on Friday, January 15, 2021, and close on Wednesday, January 27 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
  • The application for Spring 2021 P/NC will open to students on Thursday, May 6, 2021, and close on Wednesday, May 19 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

The request form is available through the "My Grades" widget on the myRutgers dashboard.

The FAQs below are designed to answer most questions; however, each student’s academic journey is unique. Students should stay fully engaged in the semester, completing all course-work as required. Students should then determine, with the help of an academic advisor or the One Stop Student Services Center, if Pass/No Credit should be pursued based on their final grade in the course and the effect on their major, academic progress, time to degree, and post-graduate plans.

Special Note: Grading and withdrawal policies vary by school. Students should make sure they have specific information for their own school of registration.

Information for students at Rutgers–Camden and Rutgers–Newark can be found at these links:

Students enrolled in the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy or the School of Nursing should consult with advisors there regarding what options are open to you consistent with accreditation requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Should I request the Pass/No Credit option this semester?

It depends. This option is not advisable for all students, regardless of grade, so consider all options before pursuing. First, consider alternatives that will better enable you to stay on track during these unprecedented times. Please avail yourself of all academic support services, including those within your department or school and those offered remotely by the Learning Centers. Additional academic and technical support resources can be found at success.rutgers.edu. Reach out to your professors to talk about the issues you are having. Discuss with them the possibility of making up work, acquiring additional time for assignments, and as a last resort requesting a Temporary Grade that will permit you to complete your coursework. Please note that the final decisions with respect to each remedy lies with the individual professor, but we urge you to communicate with your professors about any distress you are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional factors regarding how Pass/No credit may affect your spring course schedule, major, financial aid, time to degree or application for graduate school should all be discussed with an advisor before requesting the Pass/No Credit option.

How do grades convert in a Pass/No Credit option?

A grade of C or better (C, C+, B, B+, A) converts to a Pass (P) grade. Grades of D and F convert to No Credit (NC).

What if I have a Temporary Grade in a course (e.g., TF)?

If you choose the P/NC option for a course for which you have a Temporary Grade, the Office of the Registrar will make the appropriate conversion after the instructor has submitted the final letter grade.

How will P/NC grades impact my GPA?

Courses with a P/NC grade are not calculated as part of your GPA. In other words, P/NC grades will not raise or lower your term or cumulative GPA.

Will I have a semester GPA if I take P/NC grades?

It depends. P/NC classes do not affect GPA. If you choose the P/NC Conversion for some of your classes, your term GPA will be based only on your grades earned in classes that are not converted to P/NC. If you elect the P/NC Conversion for all courses in a given semester, you will not have a term average for that semester and your Cumulative GPA will not change.

Who can apply for P/NC grades through this policy?

The policy applies to undergraduate students in all Rutgers–New Brunswick schools, disciplines, units, and departments under the Rutgers–New Brunswick Chancellor, if their transcripts are issued from Rutgers University. (Undergraduates enrolled in Rutgers courses or programs through other institutions should consult with the home institution for their policy.) If you are a student at Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy or the School of Nursing, you should consult with advisors there regarding what options are open to you consistent with accreditation requirements. The Pass/No Credit policy described here does not apply to graduate students. Graduate students should contact their advisors to find out whether any alternative grading options are available to them.

Who do I contact to get further advising and request P/NC grades?

If you are considering requesting P/NC grades, consult with an academic advisor in your school. Academic advisors can help address your individual circumstances and any consequences of having grades converted to P/NC.

If you are a student at Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy or the School of Nursing, you should consult with advisors there regarding what options are open to you consistent with accreditation requirements.

Transfer students who entered directly into the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy or the School of Management and Labor Relations should contact the advising offices.

The request form is available through the "My Grades" widget on the myRutgers dashboard.

How many of my classes can I convert to P/NC?

You can choose any or all of your courses to be converted to Pass/No Credit. This option should be evaluated carefully, and you should consult with academic advisors in your school to understand the full impact of your decision.

Can I choose Pass/No Credit this semester if I chose this option in a previous semester?

This option is allowed; however, since Pass/No Credit can affect Standards of Academic Progress, choosing this option twice increases the potential impact on financial aid. You are strongly encouraged to talk first with the One Stop Student Services Center or an academic advisor as this choice may delay your time to degree and post-graduate plans.

What is the deadline for requesting P/NC grades?

For Fall 2020, the deadline is Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

For Winter 2021, the deadline is Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

For Spring 2021, the deadline is Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

What if I change my mind? Can I change back to a letter grade later?

If you choose to convert to the P/NC option and submit the online application, that is final. Please speak with your advisor before submitting the request. If you have questions or concerns about your decision, speak with your academic advisors.

Satisfying Requirements and Prerequisites

Will a Pass in a course count toward the degree credits I need to graduate?

If the course regularly confers degree credit, then grades of P will also confer degree credit. E-prefix courses do not confer degree credit, regardless of the grade earned.

Will a Pass in a course count toward completing the Core Curriculum?

Yes, a P means you earned a C or better, so for the Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Spring 2021 semesters it will count for Core courses.

Will a No Credit count towards completing the Core Curriculum?

No. If you earned a D and apply to have it changed to a NC, it will not count toward the Core. It will be better for you to keep the D grade.

Will a Pass in a course count toward completing major, minor or certificate requirements?

Yes, a P means you earned a C or better, so for the Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Spring 2021, a P will meet all major, minor, or certificate program requirements that would be met by a C or better.

If you are a student at Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy or the School of Nursing, you should consult with advisors there regarding what options are open to you consistent with accreditation requirements.

Will No Credit in a course count toward completing major, minor or certificate requirements?

No Credit grades will not meet that requirement.

What if I earn a No Credit in a prerequisite course?

If you choose the P/NC option in a course in which you earn a D, that grade of D will be converted to No Credit (NC) which will not meet prerequisite requirements. Hence, if you earned a D and you want to use the course to meet prerequisite requirements, you should not choose the P/NC option. Please be aware that some courses require grades higher than a D to meet prerequisite requirements and those courses will still require a P or the letter grade indicated by the department.

What if I opt to have a P grade recorded in a prerequisite course?

A Grade of P will meet the grade standard for prerequisite courses where a minimum grade of C is required. For courses for which the prerequisite grade standard is higher than a C, it will be at the discretion of the academic department whether to accept the grade of P as meeting the prerequisite.

What if I am repeating a course that I got a D or F in?

You may convert a course to P/NC even if you are using it for the Repeated Course policy. If you elect to switch to P/NC in a course you are repeating to replace a previously earned D or F, the original D or F will be removed from your GPA calculation and, as with all P/NC grades, the P or NC will not impact your GPA. If this is a prerequisite course, please see “What if I earn a NC in a Prerequisite Course?”

Special Issues with the D Grade (Why a D may be better than No Credit)

Should I convert a grade of D to No Credit?

Grades of D are passing grades that confer degree credits and count for Core requirements. In certain cases, grades of D may satisfy major, minor, and certificate program requirements. However, if the D is converted under the P/NC option, it becomes a No Credit and will NOT count for degree credits or for Core, major, minor, or certificate requirements. If you are considering converting a grade of D to NC under this policy, it is critical for you to discuss your options with an advisor.

I’m a graduating senior. How does the P/NC option affect me?

Graduating seniors who need the credit to graduate are almost always better off accepting the grade of D in order to earn the credit, rather than extending their graduation date to retake classes unnecessarily, unless a grade of C or higher is absolutely required for your major or minor program. 

Should I tell my professors if I am requesting P/NC grades in their classes?

You do not have to discuss the P/NC grade conversion with your professors. This is a confidential option. Faculty are required to issue regular letter grades for all students, even those who have opted for the P/NC conversion. The Office of the Registrar will convert letter grades to P/NC on the transcripts of students who have requested this conversion, but the university will maintain a confidential record of the actual letter grades. 

Scholarship, Financial Aid, and Academic Standing Issues

How will the P/NC option impact my scholarship eligibility?

Courses with a P/NC grade are not calculated as part of your GPA. In other words, P/NC grades will not raise or lower your term or cumulative GPA. Generally, it is not a good idea to invoke the P/NC option for any course in which the letter grade would raise your cumulative GPA. For more guidance, please contact the scholarship coordinator at your school or the One Stop Student Services Center.

How will the P/NC option impact financial aid?

Financial aid requires students to meet official Standards of Academic Progress which are determined by a student's cumulative grade point average at a specific grade level and the completion rate of a minimum number of credits. The completion rate percentage is calculated by the number of successful completed credits divided by attempted credits. NC grades count as credits attempted but not completed whereas D grades count as credits completed. Courses with a P/NC grade are not calculated as part of your GPA. In other words, P/NC grades will not raise or lower your term or cumulative GPA, but P grades will count as credits completed and may then push you into a category requiring a minimum GPA of 2.0 earned at Rutgers. This may be of particular concern for transfer students who already have a lot of earned credits not included in their Rutgers GPA calculation. Generally, it is not a good idea to invoke the P/NC option for any course in which the letter grade would raise your cumulative GPA.

How will the P/NC option versus withdrawing impact financial aid?

It depends on your specific situation. NC and W grades will have the same impact on Standards of Progress: they represent credits attempted that have not been earned. You should consult with the One Stop Student Services Center or an academic advisor in your school to discuss your individual circumstances.

What happens if I am following an Academic Plan for Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress and want P/NC grades, but I need letter grades to raise my GPA?

If you are receiving financial aid, you should speak with the One Stop Student Services Center or an academic advisor in your school to determine how a grade conversion might affect your financial aid eligibility and/or Academic Plan. Generally, it is not a good idea to invoke the P/NC option for any course in which the letter grade would raise your cumulative GPA.

Military-Affiliated Students

Will opting for P/NC impact my Veteran’s Benefits?

Please consult Rutgers Veteran Services for further advice and assistance.

How will the P/NC option affect me as an ROTC student?

You will need to contact your unit directly.

What if I am called to active military duty?

You should consult with Rutgers Veteran Services and your academic advisor for guidance on whether you should choose the P/NC option for any of your courses.

Students deployed as part of the National Guard or Reservists called to Active Duty are protected by the university’s policy on military leave. For protection under the university policy, you will need to provide your school with a copy of your orders. After that, depending upon the date of your activation, you will have a number of choices about how you wish to complete your semester or perhaps cancel your semester altogether. Please do not delay in contacting your dean if you have been activated, since your professors also need to be notified immediately if you wish accommodations for completing your semester. Rutgers Veteran Services has posted the university policy online. You may also wish to consult Rutgers Veteran Services for further advice and assistance.

International Students

I am an international student. Will P/NC grades impact my visa status?

No, as long as you remain enrolled full-time and make normal progress (as determined by the university), your legal/visa status will remain intact. Please visit the Rutgers Global International Student and Scholar Services and its COVID-19 webpage for the most current information. We urge you to contact the Rutgers Global International Student Office for detailed information about your visa status.

Honors

Will my Honors status be affected by P/NC grades?

Honors College students should please reach out to honorscollege@echo.rutgers.edu to discuss the impact on their status. Students participating in school-based honors programs should reach out to their program directly.

How will P/NC grades impact my ability to graduate with Honors?

Courses with a P/NC grade are not calculated as part of your GPA. In other words, P/NC grades will not raise or lower your term or cumulative GPA. Generally, it is not a good idea to invoke the P/NC option for any course in which the letter grade would raise your cumulative GPA.

Graduate and Professional School Applications

What if the course is required for graduate work or post-RU plans (e.g., pre-med requirement or prerequisite for a graduate program)?

You are encouraged to consider the implication of a semester with only P/ NC grades for future applications to postgraduate programs. If you opt for the P/NC option, your transcript will have a notation stating that you invoked the options Rutgers made available for students adversely impacted by COVID-19.

Even in normal times, graduate and professional schools do not calculate P/NC grades into GPA considerations, so there is no net impact on GPA. This is true even for medical school applicants (PDF) and law school applicants. However, many graduate and professional schools may want to see the actual grades earned for courses that are specifically required for their programs, such as the pre-med requirements and courses in the same subject as the graduate program. You should talk to an advisor if you are considering taking multiple P/NC grades in a subject related to your graduate/professional school plans to discuss any possible impact on your application.

If you are undecided about whether P/NC is the best option for you, please discuss this with the academic advisors in your school.