Spring 2021 Pass (P) Grade Option Policy


As USF made the decision to continue remote learning during spring 2021 and return to campus when risk has diminished, the provost and deans have approved access to the Pass (P) grade option for after the posting of grades. This temporary measure for the spring 2021 semester is in recognition of the challenges the semester has posed to students and the continued seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak. Expanded access to the Pass (P) grade aims to fulfill our mission of cura personalis or “care for the whole person,” while still providing a pathway to fulfill program and degree requirements. Students who receive a letter grade (A - D-) will be given the ability to elect the Pass (P) grade option during a one-week window. Some courses will be exempt from this policy.

Applies for spring 2021 to: Graduate and undergraduate students, and visiting students; domestic and international students; all campus locations; all schools except School of Law.



  • The registrar's office will add Pass (P) as an option in addition to letter grades A-F, after grades are posted by instructors. Students may elect the Pass (P) grade option for courses not exempt from this policy.
  • Restrictions on Core and major courses not exempt from this policy will be lifted so that Pass (P) counts as fulfillment of those requirements for spring 2021 semester courses only.
  • The deans of the college/schools will determine, in consultation with their department and program chairs, which courses are exempt from the expansion of the Pass (P) grading option.
  • It is required that students consult with their faculty/academic adviser before making this choice. Students will be asked to confirm that they sought any guidance that they needed before electing the Pass (P) option.
  • This policy is not an extension of the existing P/F option (as laid out in the Catalog), but a one-time unique grade option policy initiated for spring 2021 only.


  • Students with financial aid must maintain a 2.0 GPA as an indicator of satisfactory academic progress (SAP). First semester students will need at least one letter grade to ensure that they have a GPA. Pre-licensure, credentialing, and some additional programs may require course grades.
  • Admissions requirements of graduate and professional programs, information requested by employers, and some documentation may require course grades in order to maintain good academic standing for certain scholarships.
  • Future guidance from the US Department of Education regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress in relation to financial aid may affect whether some students can exercise the Pass (P) option.
  • While a P will count as passing a course, it does not necessarily qualify students to advance to the next step in their major. Some majors have and will maintain a letter grade minimum that is higher than D- in a particular course to advance in the major or program. Please check with your academic adviser regarding any particular rules in your major or program.


  • Provost will notify students, faculty, and staff in Academic Affairs of the policy after it is fully approved. A website will contain the policy with updated considerations and implementation information.
  • Faculty will submit grades at the end of the semester by the May 27, 2021 deadline.
  • An electronic form will be available for students to elect the P (Pass) option starting Friday, May 28, 2021 at 9:00 am (the day after the grade submission deadline) through Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 11:59 pm.
  • Students will be asked to affirm on the Pass (P) election form that they consulted with their faculty/academic advisor before electing the Pass (P) option.

Spring 2021 Pass Option FAQs

Approved by: Council of Deans and Interim Provost Cannon on January 12, 2021.