Spring Semester S/U Option for Graduate Students

Graduate students may elect to change the grading option of individual courses from letter grades to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (pass/fail) grading for the Spring 2020 Semester.

Students who elect the S/U option must officially declare the decision during the identified period of April 15-24, 2020. You will soon receive information from the Office of the Registrar, and you will submit your requests beginning April 15th using a form located on MyMercer. The deadline for declaring your grading option (letter grade to S/U) is April 24, 2020.  One you have requested for the S/U grading option in a course, that decision is final and you cannot revert to a letter grade for that course.

The S/U option will not be available for Spring 2020 graduate courses that have already been completed and graded.

The S/U grading option does not apply to courses in the following:

  • College of Nursing
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Health Professions
  • Master’s degrees in Biomedical Sciences and Preclinical Sciences
  • Doctoral degrees in the School of Medicine
  • Doctoral degrees in the College of Education except for seminars already using S/U grades
  • School of Law, as all course grades will be converted to S/U

A grade of S is the equivalent of B or better letter grade for courses contributing to programs in the College of Professional Advancement, College of Education, and School of Music; master’s degrees in Theological Studies and Family Therapy; and the doctoral degree in Ministry. Satisfactory performance is reflective of C or better letter grade for courses contributing to programs in the School of Business and School of Engineering and master’s degrees in Christian Ministry and Divinity. No credit is awarded for a grade of Unsatisfactory. S/U grades are not calculated in the GPA.

Will all graduate courses automatically switch to S/U grading?

No. Policies related to S/U grading are being relaxed during the Spring 2020 Semester to allow students in certain programs to elect to change from letter grading to S/U grading. Students must complete the form and identify graduate courses for S/U grading. Students in the School of Law do not need to complete the form as all course grading will reflect S/U.

Do I need to consult with my academic advisor before switching to S/U grading?

Your academic advisor can provide insight on the impact of S/U grading on your particular program of study. It would be useful to discuss this option with your advisor prior to making a decision. Changing a graduate course to S/U grading does not require approval from your academic advisor.

My program restricts the number of grades of C and below that can be earned.  How will a grade of U be interpreted under such a policy?

A grade of U in all cases is grouped among grades of C and below and may be considered within such policies.

How will S/U grades impact my GPA and degree completion?

Hours earned with an S grade will be added to the total required for program completion but will not affect the cumulative grade point average; a grade of U will result in no hours earned and no penalty to the cumulative grade point average.

Can I change my mind after selecting S/U grading?

No. Once you have asked for the S/U grading option in a course, you cannot later change to a letter grade.

Will switching to S/U grading impact my employer’s reimbursements/compensations associated with the course?

Most employers, including RAFB, have indicated the S/U grading system will not impact tuition reimbursements. You should consult with your employer regarding the impact of S/U grading on reimbursements/compensations prior to making a decision.

Will receiving S/U grading impact my visa status?

Visa status for international students will not be impacted by changing graduate courses to S/U as long as students remain enrolled as a full-time student.

How does S/U grading impact HOPE or Zell eligibility?

Under current Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) guidelines, HOPE and Zell eligibility have both an hour calculation and a GPA calculation. We continue to monitor these guidelines in the event that they are altered. Current guidelines are as follows:

  • GPA Calculation: Both the S grade and the U grade will NOT be included in the HOPE/Zell GPA calculation.
  • Attempted\Paid Hours Calculation: Both the S grade and the U grade will be treated as attempted/paid hours.