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.   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.

The Status of PDF elections section of the screen shows you the total number of points you have elected Pass/D/Fail, over all 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 Web Advisor for Students on myBarnard.  (Use a browser other than Safari.)
  2. Click on Pass/D/Fail
  3. Your courses are listed.   In the Select column, click on PDF.
  4. Click on Submit.
  5. 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 your request but no action.

If your request has been approved, you will see Approved in the PDF Status column and next to the class in the Status of PDF elections section of the screen.

You will also see Grading: Pass/Fail on the course section on your Plan.

If you have requested P/D/F in a course in your major subject area,  the notation "Dept Chair approval reqd" appears in the PDF Status column and in the Status section below, and you will receive email instructing you to obtain department chair approval.  If the request is approved, you will see Approved.  If the request is denied, you will see Denied next to the course in the Status of PDF elections section of the screen.

(See Restrictions, above, for information about declaring P/D/F in a course in your major.)

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 Revoke in the Select column.

Within 3 business days, the Grading: Pass/Fail will have returned to Graded.


Uncovering an elected P grade

Students may uncover their grades in any course that they initially elect to take P/D/F.  They submit the request to uncover on the same myBarnard site on which they elected P/D/F.   Students see the grades they received and can then decide whether to uncover.  They can see grades and request uncovering starting two weeks after the end of fall semester exams and four weeks after the end of  spring semester exams, but 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).   Once a grade is uncovered, the student cannot subsequently request that it be covered again.  Each semester, the information about when and how to uncover grades is posted on the Academics page of myBarnard.  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.)   NOTE:  The policy on  uncovering P grades takes effect for fall 2016 courses.  It is not retroactive to spring 2016 or earlier semesters.