Undergraduate students enrolled for the Spring 2024 semester will be assigned traditional letter grades at the end of the term, as is the current practice. Undergraduate students may opt to convert any B+, B, B-, C+, C, C- or D grades for the Spring 2024 semester to a Pass, which will be noted as a P* on a transcript. P* grades are functionally equivalent to traditional P grades and do not calculate into your GPA, but the credits earned will still count toward your degree. Students will have from Monday, May 13, 2024 to Friday, May 17, 2024, 5:00 p.m. Eastern to select which grades they would like to convert.

Converting eligible grades is not required, but may be helpful for your GPA . Please consider this option carefully, as you may inadvertently lower your GPA by converting high grades to a Pass. For example, a B+ grade would increase your GPA if you currently had a 3.00. You are strongly advised to compare your current GPA with each grade's associated GPA value according to our Grading Policy when making your selections.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Pass grades transfer to another school?

Potentially not. This will be determined by the other school's transfer policy regarding Pass/Fail grades. In the case of Pass/Fail for this option, a Pass is equivalent to a D or higher. Many schools, including Emerson, specifically exclude grades below a C- from transferring to their programs. Please contact the school you are applying to with questions regarding what they will accept in their transfer credit review process. Our advice would be to not select this option if you are transferring to another school.

Should I pursue an incomplete learning contract with my professor, or wait to convert my grade to a Pass?

If you anticipate failing a course, please be aware that you cannot exclude the F grade through the Pass option process. You may ask your professor to pursue an incomplete, but please note that incomplete contracts are for situations where you've satisfactorily completed most of the required work for the course, so an incomplete contract may not be applicable.

If you're passing a course, but the anticipated letter grade is one that will negatively impact your GPA, you will need to weigh the benefit of choosing the P* option (to exclude the letter grade from your GPA) against the benefit of pursuing an incomplete which would allow you to complete additional work that may result in a better grade.This will require that you communicate directly with your instructor to determine the final grade issued once the outstanding work is submitted (due within 60 days of the end of the semester, on or before July 1, 2024). Remember that you should compare your current GPA with each grade's associated GPA value according to our Grading Policy when making your selections.

For example, a 2.00 GPA is equivalent to a C. If you have a C+ in a course already, this grade is helping your GPA and you should keep it. You may optionally pursue an incomplete if appropriate, but it is not necessary and up to the discretion of your faculty member whether your situation qualifies for this option. On other hand, if you get a D in a course, this course is hurting your 2.00 GPA, so you could elect to convert it to a Pass. If, however, you feel like finishing up the work that remains for the course will allow you to improve the grade to a C+, you could instead pursue an incomplete, if appropriate. If you need any further academic advice, you are welcome to meet with a professional advisor at the Academic Advising Center.

Can I convert my grade to Pass if the course is a prerequisite or requirement?

Yes. Students may convert eligible grades for any Emerson prerequisite, Liberal Arts, major, or minor requirement, including VMA courses; however, that requirement will only be fulfilled by earning a P*.

We do NOT recommend that students take a Pass option in courses that may be considered critical to getting into study abroad programs (especially non-Emerson), internships, future employment, or graduate school programs because we cannot predict what other programs and institutions will accept.

Who can request the Pass option?

Any undergraduate student who is taking classes on the Boston campus can use the Pass option.

Graduate courses and undergraduate courses taken through study abroad programs, ProArts Consortium, ELA, Kasteel Well, or Emerson’s Professional Studies courses are not eligible.

When and how can I request the Pass option?

Students will have from Monday, May 13, 2024 to Friday, May 17, 2024 to select which grades they would like to convert. The grade selection form will be available at emerson.edu/PassOptions.

How many courses may I convert to Pass?

Only B+, B, B-, C+, C, C- or D grades can be converted to a Pass. Students may choose to convert one or all eligible grades courses to Pass. 

Why does the Pass (P*) grade have an asterisk, and will that appear on my transcript and degree audit?

The asterisk on the Pass grade will appear on the transcript and degree audit to indicate that there was a change in the College’s Pass/Fail policy, and explains why a course that was normally only available for a letter grade received a Pass.

The P* grade indicates that you earned at least a D or better in the course. The credits for a P* count toward the required 128 needed to graduate, but do not calculate into the GPA.

If I fail a class, can I change it?

No. Courses that have received an F are not eligible for this exception.

May I repeat a course taken as Pass?

No. Courses that receive a passing grade (including P*) may not be repeated unless the course itself is repeatable (e.g., topic courses).

Will the Pass option affect my academic standing?

Converting ALL of your Spring 2024 grades will disqualify you from the Spring 2024 Dean's List, but as long as you meet the existing academic standing requirements, your academic standing status (Good, Academic Notice, Suspension) will not be affected by converting a letter grade to Pass.

Students must still pass at least 75% of their credits to remain in good academic standing, and the P* grade is considered a passing grade. Grades of F, WF, WP, and Incomplete are not considered as successfully completing a course and will negatively impact your academic standing.

Am I eligible for the Dean's List if I choose to take the Pass option?

Full time students achieving a Spring 2024 semester GPA of 3.70 or higher grade point average for the Spring 2024 semester will be placed on the Dean’s Honor List. The Dean's List calculation will be run after May 17th, once final grades have been processed.

Please note, however, that if you convert ALL of your Spring 2024 grades to Pass, you will NOT have a Spring 2024 GPA and you will therefore NOT be eligible for the Spring 2024 Dean's List.

Am I eligible to earn Latin Honors at graduation if I take the Pass option?

The Pass option will not prevent you from receiving latin honors if you would normally be eligible.

Honors graduation at Emerson College is based on a student’s entire undergraduate academic record. For a student to graduate with Latin Honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude), the student must have: completed a minimum of 64 credits at Emerson College and at least 75 percent of the college-level work done in letter-graded courses (not pass/fail courses). Students who meet all the above criteria and are in the top 30 percent of their graduating class will receive Latin Honors. Students in the top 5 percent will graduate summa cum laude; students in the next 10 percent will graduate magna cum laude; and students in the next 15 percent will graduate cum laude.

Latin honors calculation will be made based on current cumulative GPAs (excluding Spring 2024 final grades). Additionally, latin honors will be calculated after letter grades are submitted by faculty, and students in both groups will be eligible to receive latin honors awards. Latin honors will not be calculated, however, after letter grades have been converted to Pass.

Do courses taken Pass have a different tuition rate like an Audit?

No. Courses taken Pass* are subject to the standard tuition rates.

Will the Pass option affect my financial aid?

No. Students who pass their Spring 2024 courses (using letter grades or P*) will continue to be eligible for federal and institutional financial aid. As with any other semester, students who do not pass 75% of their attempted credits will not make Satisfactory Academic Progress and will receive notification of their status and outreach to determine whether an appeal to maintain aid eligibility is necessary. As a reminder, grades of F, WP, WF, and Incomplete do not count as passing.

Will the Pass option affect my veteran’s benefits?

No. Current VA info for students using education benefits states that switching to a Pass grade will not change how their benefits work.

I am a varsity athlete. Will taking courses Pass affect my eligibility to play?

The NCAA requires that a student be in good academic standing and making satisfactory academic progress to play. See "Will the Pass option affect my academic standing?" above.

I withdrew from a class this semester. Can I change it to a Pass?

No. Once you have withdrawn from a class with a WP or WF, you cannot change it to Pass.

Is the Pass option available during May Intersession or for Summer courses?

No. The Pass option is only available for Spring 2024 classes.

Can I change my mind about the Pass option after the submission deadline?

No. Students have until Friday, May 17th to submit the Pass* request form. After that deadline, students may not elect or reverse the Pass* option.

What if I need to take an incomplete grade for a course?

Students with an Incomplete (I) will not be eligible for a grade change to a P* (Pass). Students should follow the Incomplete contract that is established with their faculty.

When will my Pass* grades be reflected on my transcript and degree audit?

Students will have from Monday, May 13, 2024 to Friday, May 17, 2024 to select which grades they would like to convert. Grades will be converted to P* the following week (May 20–24).