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How do I Pass/D/Fail a class? How do I uncover a P/D/F grade?

Columbia College Students

Pass/D/Fail:

The purposes of the Pass/D/Fail option are to encourage students to take courses of interest to them outside of their field of specialization and to permit those who have not decided upon a major to test their talents in a particular field that may be of interest. Instructors are not informed if a student in their classes elect to use the Pass/D/Fail option. 

Courses used to meet the stated degree requirements (except those only given on a Pass/Fail basis) may not be taken for a Pass/D/Fail grade. All Core Curriculum courses (i.e., Literature HumanitiesUniversity WritingFrontiers of ScienceContemporary CivilizationArt HumanitiesMusic Humanities), as well as courses for the Global Core Requirement, Science Requirement, and Foreign Language Requirement, must be taken for a letter grade.

All courses used to meet the requirements of a major or concentration, including courses in other departments that fulfill requirements for a major, must also be taken for a letter grade, with the possible exception – to be determined by the relevant academic department or program – of the first one-term course taken by students in their eventual major.

All students registered in Columbia College during the regular academic year may elect one course each term during the regular academic year to take on a Pass/D/Fail basis (in addition to any courses that are graded only on a Pass/Fail basis). Students who do not utilize both Pass/D/Fail options during the academic year may elect, in the summer immediately following, to take one Columbia Summer Session course on a Pass/D/Fail basis. No more than one course may be designated to be taken on a Pass/D/Fail basis at any point in a given semester.

Students who wish to exercise the Pass/D/Fail grading option may designate in Student Services Online (SSOL) a single course for the grade of Pass/D/Fail until the Pass/D/Fail deadline specified on the Academic Calendar. After that deadline, students seeking to exercise the Pass/D/Fail grading option must petition the Committee on Academic Standing for an exception. Students should consult their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising about the petition process.

In order to encourage students to engage more fully in the courses they elect to take for a grade of Pass/D/Fail, students are allowed to uncover a grade of Pass in SSOL until the end of the Change of Program period of the following semester. Students have until the end of the Change of Program period in the Spring semester to uncover the grade of a course taken in the previous Fall term, and until the end of the change of program period in the Fall semester to uncover the grade of a course taken in the previous Spring or Summer term. Seniors who graduate in May have until June 1 to uncover the grade of a course taken in their final Spring semester. Students who wish to uncover a grade of Pass can do so in Student Services Online (SSOL).

The grade of Pass is not included in the calculation of grade point averages; the grades of D and Fail are included in the calculation of grade point averages.

Columbia Engineering Students

Pass/Fail:

Columbia Engineering students can take up to two non-technical courses pass/fail and the courses will count towards their non-tech requirement. Courses must be at the 3000 level or higher. Students should check that the department offering the course allows courses in their department to be taken pass/fail.  Students cannot take any core classes or language instruction classes pass/fail.  Only one class per semester may be taken pass/fail. (This restriction does not include courses that are only offered pass/fail.) The course grade cannot be uncovered. Courses taken pass/fail cannot count towards a minor; all courses taken for a minor have to be taken for a letter grade.

Before the Deadline

The Pass/D/Fail deadline is usually the 10th week of classes. During the Change of Program period, students may elect to change the grading option via SSOL. During the post change of program period and before the deadline, students should email the Registrar at registrar@columbia.edu with their request.

After the Deadline

Students must petition the Committee on Academic Standing. Find all instructions and forms online.

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James H. and Christine Turk Berick Center for Student Advising

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