Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Option to Change to S/U Grades - Last updated April 14, 2020

Students will have the option of changing from A-through-F letter grades to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grades for the Spring 2020 semester.  Students may select which of their courses they would like to switch, but students are strongly encouraged to work with their advisor when deciding.  Program prerequisites that depend on students earning a sufficient letter grade in a course remain in effect, so students should not choose the S/U option in those courses. 

The deadline for switching is NOON on May 1. The system to make the switch is available now.  The instructions on how to change to an S/U is available on the Registrar's webpage.


What do S/U grades mean?

  • Undergraduate students: A “U” grade indicates the student’s performance in the class would have resulted in a failing grade.  An “S” grade indicates the student would have passed with a D- or better.
  • Graduate students: A “U” grade indicates the student’s performance in the class would have resulted in a failing grade.  An “S” grade indicates the student would have passed with a C or better.

Do S/U grades factor into my GPA?

  • No, an S or a U will not impact your GPA.

Do S/U grades affect  my Satisfactory Academic Progess (SAP) for financial aid?

  • A U WILL impact SAP, the same as an F would impact SAP.

Will this impact my 21st Century Scholarship?

  • No. The State of Indiana will consider that all courses with an "S" are earned credits that count toward your degree.

What if my major requires me to earn a certain grade in a class I am in this semester?

  • Do not switch to U/S grading for that class.

What if my major requires me to earn a certain GPA in my major?

  • If your major does NOT require a minimum grade for each class, and instead has a requirement of a GPA across all major classes, then you could elect to take a major course S/U. But always check with an advisor first.

I am a student athlete.  How will a S/U grade affect my athletic eligibility or scholarship?

  • Check with your athletic advisor prior to making a decision about choosing S/U grades.

Can I change my mind after I’ve put in my request to switch?

  • Yes, as long as it’s by the May 1 deadline.  Use the system to indicate your decision.

If I want to stay with A-through-F letter grades for all of my classes, do I have to do anything?

  • No.

Will I get credit toward graduation with an S grade?

  • Yes, earning an S will mean those credits in that class will count toward graduation.  A grade of U means you will not earn those credits. Keep in mind that if your major requires a certain grade in a class for graduation, the S may not sufficient. Check with your advisor.

Will this affect my graduation in May?

  • Satisfactory grades will count toward graduation requirements. See above response as well.

What happens if I get a U in a class required in my major?

  • You will have to retake the class for credit.

I am in a pre-major and need to apply for my major at ISU. Will an S grade impact that application?

  • It may. Please check with the college and your advisor as to how they will count S grades in courses needed for admission to a major.

If I plan to go to graduate school, law school, or medical school, what should I do?

  • Other schools may not count S grades when determining admissions to graduate, law, or medical school. If you are completing any courses that are required by post-baccalaureate programs, you should probably not change those courses to S/U.

How do S/U grades work for students on academic probation?

  • Students on academic probation may choose the S/U option in their classes. Check with your academic advisor because the letter grade you may earn in the class may help your GPA. An S will not improve your GPA.

Will an S or U for a class impact my ability to be on the Dean's List?

  • The Dean's List policy as stated in the catalog still stands. It states that "Dean’s List includes full-time students whose semester grade point average is 3.5 to 4.0. Full-time status for Dean’s List calculation is determined by a minimum of 12 credit hours of punitive grades (“A” through “F”)." To earn a spot on the Dean's list, you would need to have at least 12 credits hours be graded as A-F.

Will Latin Honors for graduation be impacted by S/U?

  • No. An S or U will neither improve nor prevent Latin Honors.

If I choose the S/U option for a class, does that mean I am now done in the class?

  • No. Making this choice does not mean that the class is over. You will still need to do what is necessary to achieve a passing grade in order to earn an S

If my class was already an online class this semester, am I still able to choose the U/S option for it?

  • Yes.

I took a course in the first 8 weeks of the semester. Can I change that grade to the S/U option?

  • No. The work for courses in the first 8 weeks of spring semester was completed before we made the switch to remote learning. They are not available to change to S/U.

If I’m retaking a class to improve a grade earned previously, should I choose the U/S grade option for the class?

  • No.  Only a new letter grade will replace your previous course grade and only a new letter grade will change your GPA. For graduates, there is no option to repeat a course for GPA improvement.

Is there a certain amount of points that are needed to have earn an S?

  • Each instructor determines the grading scale for each course. The grading scale defined in the course syllabus will continue to apply.


FAQs specific to Graduate Students

I am taking some graduate or undergraduate courses needed for admission to my graduate program at ISU. How will S/U grading affect my admission into the program?

  • Courses graded S will be considered sufficient for meeting the prerequisite requirement for program admission at ISU. 

Can I petition for a S grade to count towards prerequisite course grade requirements?

  • Students will be able to petition in the same process that is used for any request to waive a requirement. However, students are strongly encouraged to consult with the graduate program director and their academic advisor before choosing the S/U option for prerequisite courses within the program.

Will instructors have a say in how these S/U course grades are distributed? Or can the students choose?

  • The decision is up to the student, except in those courses that have specific grade requirements for progression in the program. These requirements are documented in program handbooks or the graduate catalog. Students should consult with the graduate program director or advisor for further guidance.

How will this affect graduate students on academic probation that need to have a certain letter grade in order to maintain good standing?

  • Students on academic probation will not face dismissal if they earn C or better (including S) grades in all classes this semester. S/U grades are not calculated into cumulative GPA.