Spring Semester S/U Option for Undergraduate Students

All undergraduate classes are now eligible for 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. This policy applies to all undergraduate courses, regardless of prior status, but is limited to courses for which no grade has been assigned.

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. Once you have requested the S/U grading option in a course, that decision is final and you cannot revert to a letter grade for that course.

How will the S/U option impact my grade point average (GPA)?

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

Will my professor know if I change from a letter grade to the S/U option?

Faculty members will continue to record letter grades. In any classes for which you select the S/U option, any grade of C or above will be reflected on your record as S. Any classes for which a D or F has been assigned will appear as U. For students electing the S/U for a selected course, the faculty member will only know of the S/U option when posting the final grade. Faculty will only be able to select an S or U when grading.  For example, if the student elects to take Spanish 111 as an S/U course, the only grading option for the faculty member to select is S or U. The other grades will not appear as choices. 

Which courses are eligible to be taken as S/U?

Students may select the S/U grading option for any and all of their classes for the Spring 2020 Semester, unless the class has already been graded. Students must be enrolled in 12 credit hours (regardless of grading option) in order to maintain full-time enrollment status.

Will these courses count against any limits placed on the number of S/U classes allowed?

No. Classes for which students select the S/U option for the Spring 2020 Semester will not count toward any limits (semester or undergraduate career) on S/U classes that your college/school may have.

Is the S/U option available to me if I am on academic probation?

Yes. The S/U option is available regardless of your current academic standing for the Spring 2020 Semester.

Does this opportunity have any effect on classes that are already set up to be graded as S/U?

No. These changes to policies and limits associated with S/U options do not apply to classes that are set up to be graded as S/U, such as internships, practica, research, etc.

Will these courses count toward my degree requirements?

Yes. If you select the S/U grading option, the course will count toward all appropriate degree requirements as if you had taken it on a graded basis. This also applies to major/minor/general education requirements.

How will the changes to S/U affect repeated course credit?

If you are repeating a course and select the S/U grading option for your repeated course, the grade for your previous attempt will no longer be factored into your GPA and any credits earned will be removed. If you earn an S this semester, credit for the course will be reapplied. If you earn a grade of U under the S/U option this semester, the previous grade will be factored into your GPA.

(For nursing students only: All grades are computed into the GPA, even those for courses that are repeated.)

What if letter grades are required for professional programs, employment, or graduate studies?

If you have concerns regarding the need for letter grades to apply for professional programs, employment, or graduate studies, specific measures can be taken. Letter grades will be held. It will be possible for you to request an official letter verifying your letter grades if that is necessary. Those who need verification of their academic achievements as translated by a letter grade will be able to obtain it.

I am applying to a law school, medical school, or graduate/professional program.  Can I choose the S/U option for my classes?

If you are applying to law school, medical school, or other graduate or professional programs, please speak with your advisor and/or the pre-professional advisor regarding admissions requirements before deciding whether to take the S/U option.

How will the S/U option impact the President’s List or Dean’s List for Spring 2020?

The President’s List and Dean’s Lists policies will apply to Spring 2020. These distinctions will only be awarded to students who maintain the required number of letter grades and meet all conditions as stated in the Mercer catalog.

Minimum Letter Graded* Hours Required Semester GPA
President’s List 12 4.00
Dean’s Lists 12 3.55
Dean’s Lists 8 3.66
*Letter Grades: A, B+, B, C+, C, D, or F

How will this option impact Latin honors?

Any course for which you select the S/U grading option during Spring 2020 will not be factored into the GPA calculations for Latin honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude).

Once I select the S/U option for a course, can I change my mind and go back to a letter grade?

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

Do the changes to S/U grading apply to undergraduate students enrolled in post-baccalaureate classes?

Yes. Changes to S/U grading for Spring 2020 will apply to undergraduate students enrolled in post-baccalaureate (graduate level) classes. All undergraduate level courses can be changed to S/U. However, you should contact your advisor before making any changes to graduate level courses.

Will this option be available to students who participated in a Study Abroad program during Spring 2020?

Yes. Students who participated in Study Abroad programs will be able to select any and all courses to be posted to the Mercer record as S/U. The Study Abroad Office will assist in making these changes.

I am an international student. Will having my classes changed to S/U impact my visa status?

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

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

HOPE and Zell eligibility have both an hour calculation and a GPA calculation.

  • 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 towards the 127 hours limit.