Skip to main content.

Due to the continued disruption caused by COVID-19 pandemic, academic policies have been changed for the Spring 2021 semester to provide students with greater flexibility during this difficult period. As a result, some courses in the Spring 2021 schedule will be eligible for Pass/No Credit (P/NC) grading, and all completed courses with passing grades under P/NC will be available for use towards academic requirements, including University Studies, major, minor, program of study, and certificates. The number of courses a student can select as Pass/No Credit is limited to two (2) for full-time undergraduate students, and one (1) for graduate students and part-time undergraduate students. UMass Law and HON courses are not eligible for P/NC.

Faculty are required to issue course letter grades for all students. Students who elect P/NC option for a course will have their letter grade converted to a “P” grade or “NC” grade on their transcript, but the university will maintain a record of the actual letter grade earned. The P/NC option provides the following:

  • A grade of “P” will be recorded on the transcript for grades of D- or better in undergraduate courses and grade of C or better in graduate courses.
  • A grade of “NC” will be recorded on the transcript for grade of F in undergraduate courses and grade of C- or worse in graduate courses.

Students may select the Pass/No Credit option on eligible courses in COIN beginning on February 1, 2021 through May 12, 2021. 
Spring 2021 Pass No Credit Select and Revoke Job Aid

The chart below displays if a Spring 2021 course is Eligible or Ineligible under the Pass/No Credit column. Students will be prevented from selecting an ineligible course as P/NC in COIN.

There are good reasons why all courses cannot be graded on a P/NC basis.  Some degree programs, like in Nursing, Engineering and Law, must follow rules established by external accreditors that do not permit credit for courses that do not receive standard A-F grades.  In addition, each academic program offers courses that serve as prerequisites for other courses and students must achieve an established level of competency before they are prepared to move to higher level courses and be successful. 

Academic departments are best suited to make judgments about which courses in their majors are crucial to understanding the subject matter and where demonstrated competency is required for student success. Since A-F grading is the way programs document whether or not students have achieved a sufficient level of understanding, academic departments are in the best position to choose which courses are eligible for P/NC grading and which are not.

No, all Honors courses (e.g. HON 201) and Honors sections (e.g. ENL 102.04H) are ineligible for the Pass/No Credit grading option.

Students can select or revoke the P/NC option in COIN from February 1, 2021 through May 12, 2021. The P/NC decision cannot be reversed after May 12, 2021. 

For undergraduate students:

  • Full-time students: No more than TWO eligible undergraduate courses can be taken P/NC.  An undergraduate student is considered full-time if enrolled in 12 or more credits per semester.
  • Part-time students: No more than ONE eligible undergraduate course can be taken P/NC. An undergraduate student is considered part-time if enrolled in 11 or fewer credits per semester.
  • Honors courses (HON) are ineligible for P/NC. 

For graduate students:

  • No more than ONE eligible graduate course can be taken P/NC for graduate students. Note that undergraduate courses taken as P/NC cannot be used toward graduate degree requirements.
  • All UMass Law courses are ineligible for P/NC. 

For law students:


  • All UMass Law courses are ineligible for P/NC. 


Financial Aid and the need to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) are some of the reasons for limiting the number of courses that can be taken on a P/NC basis. All students are strongly encouraged to consult an academic advisor and their dedicated financial aid counselor before making a final decision about grading options. For more details, please see response under How does Pass/No Credit (P/NC) option affect my aid?

Unlike undergraduate students who have to take at least 12 credits to be considered full-time, graduate students (except in the School of Law) are considered full-time if they are enrolled in nine or more credits. One graduate course amounts to 33% of a typical graduate student’s course load per semester. Moreover, the total number of credits required for a master’s degree (30) is significantly less than the 120 or more credits required for a baccalaureate degree. This necessarily limits the number of courses that can be made available to be taken on a P/NC basis. 

Courses with a P or NC grade do not impact your GPA. In other words, P and NC grades will neither raise nor lower your semester or cumulative GPA.

Eligible courses completed with a passing grade under the P/NC option will be available for use towards academic requirements, including University Studies, major, minor, program of study, and certificates.

You may request an Incomplete (I) grade in a course by submitting the Incomplete Grade Request Form at Registrar/Student Forms no later than 48 hours after the class final exam. You may select a P/NC grading option in COIN until May 12, 2021 on any eligible course, including Spring 2021 courses for which you had requested an Incomplete Grade. If no P/NC grading selection is made by May 12, 2021 for a Spring 2021 course that you have received an Incomplete grade, and the required work is not completed within one calendar year, an FI (failing grade) will be issued. If no P/NC grading selection is made by May 12, 2021, the grade submitted by the faculty when the work is complete will be a letter grade and cannot be changed to P/NC.  

You can choose to elect the P/NC option and will be allowed to move on to the next course with a P, however, students should understand that the P grade includes any grade of D- or better for undergraduate courses and any grade of C or better for graduate courses. Undergraduate students who pass a class with a grade lower than a C may not be adequately prepared for subsequent classes that rely on prior knowledge of a subject and should consult with their instructors or advisors before they attempt a subsequent class. If you receive an NC grade, you will not have met the prerequisite requirement and will need to repeat the course prior to taking a subsequent course.

The decision to convert a letter grade to a P/NC grade should not be made lightly. Students are strongly urged not to make decisions to switch to P/NC in any course(s) without consulting with their college’s professional advisor and/or their faculty or program advisor, to ensure that selection of P/NC will not present unintended obstacles toward their degree progression, or for those desiring to attend graduate school (including law, medical, dental, or veterinary school) who may be required to or wish to provide letter grades for certain courses.  

For the spring 2021 semester only, for students who elect to switch to P/NC in a course that they are repeating to replace a previously earned grade, the original grade will be removed from their GPA calculation and, as with all P/NC grades, the P or NC will not impact their GPA. Students should evaluate whether to elect the P/NC option as the GPA calculation with a letter grade may raise cumulative GPA more than a P or NC grade.

No, all undergraduate students must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA and the total number of required credits for their major to graduate.  In addition, you must meet your major GPA requirement as specified by your department.

For undergraduate courses, a passing grade “P” is recorded on your transcript if you receive a D- or better grade. But undergraduate courses taken as P/NC cannot be used toward graduate degree requirements.

For graduate courses, a passing grade “P” is recorded on your transcript if you receive a C or better grade.

P/NC could have several impacts on financial aid. Students on probation for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) who opt to receive a P will not have the opportunity to improve their GPA as required by their academic plan. Students in this situation would need to submit a subsequent appeal. These students will still earn the credits attempted.  There is no guarantee that an appeal will be approved.

NC is considered a grade and is viewed as attempted but not earned credits. Students are required to earn 67% of the credits they attempt which will be affected by receiving a NC grade. NC will also affect student’s requirements to complete their program within a time frame of 150% of the defined academic length for the student’s program. Students who receive NC grades will continue to have the credits accounted for within their financial aid credit load. For example, if you are taking 12 credits this spring semester and choose to take NC grades in two of your classes you would not be dropped to half-time and your financial aid would not be re-evaluated. Students will continue to be reviewed for Satisfactory Academic Progress and will need to appeal if their completion percentage would be less than the required 67%. Our standard Satisfactory Academic Progress policies apply if you choose to have your class graded in the traditional format.

NC grades may also have an impact on scholarships. A student who receives institutional merit scholarships will have the opportunity to appeal if they find they are not meeting the guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic by completing the Reevaluation Request Form. Students who find they are not meeting requirements for scholarships not administered or controlled by UMassD (private scholarships, John and Abigail Adams, etc.) are encouraged to reach out to their aid provider to request additional consideration.

We strongly encourage students who are considering the P/NC option to contact their dedicated financial aid counselor for assistance.

Academic sanction determinations will be made following normal university policy and students will be placed on academic warning, probation, suspension or dismissal at the end of spring 2021 if they meet the relevant criteria for academic sanction.

Yes, Dean’s and Chancellor’s List designations will be made for undergraduate students for spring 2021, provided students receive letter grades for at least 12 credits of work.  Please note that credits for any courses selected for the P/NC option will not apply toward those 12 credits.

The P/NC credit option may be selected and revoked in COIN for individual courses through May 12, 2021. The P/NC decision cannot be reversed in COIN after May 12, 2021.  Please consult with your academic and/or professional advisor, as well as mentors, prospective employers or graduate schools before choosing this option.

Yes, you may request an official letter from the Registrar’s Office indicating the letter grade that was submitted by the faculty member prior to the P/NC conversion.

The Athletic Department will maintain the current policy for athletic eligibility which requires a minimum GPA of 2.00 after two full-time semesters and a minimum GPA of 1.70 after the first full-time semester. 

More information


Visit us virtually

Visit us from anywhere, at any time.
Take a virtual tour of the UMass Dartmouth campus.