Pass/D/Fail Option

Students may take a maximum of 23 points for a grade of P (22 points for students entering as transfers).  Students who entered Barnard prior to fall 2003 may take a maximum of 21 points for a grade of P.  Some courses record  mandatory Pass/Fail grades for all students enrolled, e.g.,  Physical Education and ENGL BC 3092.   Only elected grades of P are included in the maximum allowed; that is, a student may elect P/D/F in 23 (or 22) points over and above the mandated P's.

Your instructor will not be informed that you have elected the Pass/D/Fail option. Your instructor will assign you a letter grade, which will be converted to P/D/F.

  • A letter grade of A+ through C- will appear on your transcript as a P.
  • A letter grade of D will appear on your transcript as a D.
  • A letter grade of F will appear on your transcript as an F.

While a grade of P is not included in your grade point average, grades of F and D are included. 

Requesting Pass/D/Fail Status

A Pass/D/Fail request must be filed for each course taken P/D/F. A course that appears on your program in two parts (e.g. lecture and lab) requires a separate P/D/F request for each part. A two-semester course requires a separate P/D/F request for each semester.  All requests for P/D/F must be filed by the deadline and are irreversible after the deadline. You may not request P/D/F retroactively.

Restrictions for Pass/D/Fail

You may not elect the Pass/D/Fail option for:

  • First Year Writing or First Year Seminar.
  • classes going toward your minor (if any).
  • classes in your major field.

You may elect the P/D/F option for a class in your major field ONLY:

  • if it will NOT be used to fulfill a major requirement; and
  • if it exceeds the number of points required for the major; and
  • with the specific approval of the Department Chair.

Reminder:  To be eligible for Dean's List, you need 12 graded points each semester.   No limitation is placed on the number of Pass grades that may be recorded in a single term, except those rules that apply to Dean’s List, to eligibility for financial aid, and to the overall 23-point maximum.

The 23-point cap is a cap on points the student elected to take P/D/F.  Even if a student has chosen to uncover grades for some of those points, the student still cannot elect P/D/F in more than 23 points (or 22 for transfers).  For example:  If a student elects P/D/F in 15 points  and uncovers 10 of them, she can elect only 8 more points P/D/F, even though she has only 5 points of elected P on her record.  Note:  The uncovering policy takes effect in fall 2016, for courses elected P/D/F in that semester.  It is not retroactive to earlier semesters.

Electing the Pass/D/Fail Option Via myBarnard

See the Academic Calendar for the deadline each semester.

Instructions for Electing the P/D/F option

  1. Go to your current myBarnard program.
  2. Click on "Pass/D/Fail Option" (on the right, under the last course listed on your program).
  3. In the Elect P/D/F column, check the box next to the course for which you would like to elect the P/D/F option.
  4. Before you can click on Submit, you must read the Rules governing the Pass/D/Fail option (link at the upper right of the screen). If you do not see the Rules, make sure to disable any pop-up blockers.
  5. Click on Submit.
  6. Within 3 business days, the Registrar’s Office will review your request.

To check on the status of your P/D/F request, check the P/D/F screen again.

If your request is still pending, you will see:

Date Requested P/D/F option; Registrar's approval is pending.

If your request has been approved, you will see this message:

Green check Date Approved by Registrar. No further action required.

If you have requested P/D/F in a course in your major subject area, you will see this message:

Red check Date This course is in your major. Approval from department chair required. Check your email for instructions.


(See the Rules for information about declaring P/D/F in a course in your major.)

If you do receive approval, you will later see on-screen messages:
Blue check mark Date: Department chair has approved

Green check mark Date: Registrar has received department chair approval. No further action required

If the chair does not approve, you will later see an on-screen message that says:
Red X Date: Department chair has denied

Within 2-3 business days after the Registrar or the Department Chair has approved your request, you will see a P on your Plan, to the right of the point value for the course. You have completed the process.

Revoking the P/D/F election

To revoke a course’s P/D/F status (this can only be done before the P/D/F deadline) click on the box next to the course in the Revoke column.

Within 3 business days, the P will be gone from your eBear program, and you will see a notation that the option has been revoked.

Uncovering an elected P grade

Students may uncover their grades in any course that they initially elect to take P/D/F; they must request the uncovering no later than the registration deadline of the semester following the one in which the P/D/F course was taken (i.e., the second Friday of the following semester).  Caveats:  Graduating seniors cannot uncover P/D/F grades in their final semester.  (If a graduating senior elected P/D/F in a course that is required for the major, the Registrar’s Office will uncover the grade the month before graduation, but the student cannot uncover any P/D/F grades for her final semester.)