Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading FAQs : Spring 2020

Please note: Grades for courses in Summer 2020 will be issued according to standard grading policies.

Yes, this policy applies to all students at Villanova University, undergraduate and graduate, excluding JD students in the Charles Widger School of Law. The Graduate Tax Program implements S/U slightly differently and will supplement this with specific timelines and additional information.

A:  Faculty will assign final grades as usual. Students can elect to change one or more of their grades to the S/U grading mode by completing the form provided by Registrar’s Office as soon as it’s available. On the deadline for making that choice, see the question below: What is the deadline by which I must choose to change my grade(s) to S/U?

Villanova does not use Pass/Fail grades with the exception of the Law School. The S grade is satisfactory and is earned by a C or above. A U grade is unsatisfactory and is earned by a C- or below. 

You must earn a grade of C or above to receive the S grade.  

Grades of C- or lower are U grades (Unsatisfactory). Any course with a U grade does not count toward degree, major or minor requirements. If you elect to take a U grade in a course, it does not impact your GPA. However, you may need to repeat the course, if required, and/or make up the credits to meet the minimum number of credits required for your degree, major or minor.  If a student earns a D, D+ or C- in a course that does count toward the degree, major, or minor, it may make sense to keep the letter grade and NOT choose the S/U option.  Students are strongly encouraged to fully discuss the choices with their academic advisor and/or the staff in your college’s advising center prior to making a decision.

Students may choose S/U grading for all, some or none of their courses in Spring 2020.

Note: Courses that were ½ term courses and which concluded prior to March 16 are not eligible to be changed to S/U grading.

Note: The Fitzpatrick College of Nursing will only award S/U for all clinical practice courses. Students will not be allowed to choose S/U or letter grading for these courses.

If a student completes at least one course that uses normal letter grades, then the student will have a semester GPA and the grade for this course will impact a student’s cumulative GPA. 

You must make Satisfactory Academic Progress to remain eligible for financial aid. For undergraduate students, that means your cumulative GPA must be at least a 2.0 and you must complete at least 24 credits during any given academic year, including the following summer. Graduate students should consult the documents at the bottom of this webpage for their specific quantitative and qualitative standards. Choosing the S/U option on any or all of your courses will not impact your GPA, but it may impact the number of credits you earn. If you choose the S/U option and earn a C or better, then you receive the credits for the course, and they will count toward making satisfactory academic progress.  If you choose the S/U option and earn below a C, you will NOT receive the credits for the course, and they will not count toward making satisfactory academic progress. 

For the large majority of students, the deadline will be May 12, 2020 at 11:59 PM EDT, which is the day after the final grade submission deadline for most courses. 

Note: Some courses using a non-standard academic calendar will have a different deadline. For example, students enrolled in HRD (Campus and Online) and MPA (Online) must choose by April 30, 2020 and students enrolled in Fast Forward 4 courses offered by the College of Professional Studies must choose by May 8.

Note: If a faculty member does not submit final grades for a course by the final grade deadline, students will be able to choose S/U grading once those grades are submitted.

All decisions submitted by the deadline are final and cannot be reversed.  

No.  The purpose of the new S/U policy is to respond to the changes due to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Yes, if you do so prior to the authorized course withdrawal (WX) deadline, which is April 14 for courses scheduled using the standard academic calendar. After April 14, you will still be able to choose S/U, but you will not be able to WX.

Note: Some courses using a non-standard academic calendar will have a different WX deadline. For example, HRD (Campus and Online) and MPA (Online) must choose by April 20, 2020. 

Yes. If a student asks for an incomplete grade for the course, at the time of asking for the incomplete they must also ask for S/U grading or they will continue to earn a normal letter grade. To be clear - if a student does not choose S/U grading at the time of asking for an incomplete, then they will get their normal letter grade once they complete the work for the course. 

S/U grades are not calculated in your semester, technical or cumulative GPA. The fact that S/U grades will not affect your GPA may work in your favor, if the letter grades you earned negatively impact your GPA. But if one or more of the grades you earned would increase your overall technical or cumulative GPA, selecting the S/U option for those courses would be to your disadvantage. You can choose to receive the S/U grading option for all your courses, some of them, or none. If you choose S/U for all your courses this semester you will not have a GPA for the semester and your cumulative GPA will remain the same as at the start of this semester. 

The existing policies in each College will continue to define the qualifications to earn Dean’s List. In general, an undergraduate student will need normal letter grades for at least 12 credits in that semester and earn a 3.5 GPA or higher. Students enrolled in the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing should check the Nursing Handbook or with their advisor for Dean’s List criteria. Students enrolled in the College of Professional Studies should check with their advisor on Dean’s List criteria.

Yes. Undergraduates must earn 60 credits of graded course work (normal letter grades) at Villanova to be considered for honors at graduation (cum laude, etc.). S/U and transfer credits (including AP credits) are not included in the calculation. 

The student should check with their employer to determine if the S grade will be reimbursed.

No–the limits on the number of S/U grades have been waived for spring 2020 semester courses ending in April/May. S/U restrictions in upcoming semesters remain intact, according to the regulations set forth in each College.

No, however, you are encouraged to consult with your advisor and/or the staff in your college’s advising center. They will be ready to answer your questions about S/U grades, including any effect those grades may have on applications to graduate programs, law school, medical school, and professional licensing. 

You should consider what may be required for your situation with the advice of your academic advisor or College advising staff and make your decision accordingly.

Selecting the S/U option will most likely not impact the GPA requirement, if there is one, for your intended major. However, if you need a particular grade in a course (e.g., a C+ in PSY 1000 or a B- in Intro ECO courses) and you select the S/U option, the department will most likely not approve your request to declare.  Please contact the relevant major department with any further questions.

There are no changes to the Final Exam schedule. All policies regulating the Final Exam week continue to apply.

If a student on academic probation chooses S/U grading for all courses, the student will remain on academic probation for one more semester.  If the student continues to have one or more courses with normal letter grades in Spring 2020, the cumulative GPA after those grades are earned will determine if the student remains on academic probation.