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Pass/Fail Grading

Please Note: Watch this page for the new process applicable to Spring 2020 semester only. See the Provost’s message on Pass/Fail Grading Options for Spring 2020 for the options which will be available to undergraduates.


The Pass/Fail grading option is available to Montclair State University undergraduate students only. Its purpose is to encourage students to explore unfamiliar areas of study without concern for the effect on academic standing.

  1. Available to Montclair State University Undergraduate Students Only.  All Montclair State undergraduates are eligible to select one course per semester for which they are registered for pass/fail credit, not to exceed 24 semester hours in the degree program.
  2. Eligible Courses: Only those courses which are free electives in the student’s program. The purpose of this option is to encourage students to explore unfamiliar areas of study without concern for the effect on academic standing.
  3. Ineligible courses are those courses which meet the major, minor, collateral, teacher certification, communications or general education requirements.  Note that all courses taken in the major department and all collateral courses shall be used in determining the major GPA, thereby rendering these courses ineligible for the Pass/Fail option.  (The only exception could be a course that the department has specified previously as not being acceptable in the major program).
  4. Courses offered on a pass/fail basis only will not preclude the student from also taking an additional course on a pass/fail option.
  5. Grading:  students will receive either a grade of “P” (pass) or “F” (fail) for coursework completed under the option. A grade of “P” does not affect the student’s average; however, a grade of “F” will have the same effect as a traditional failure.
  6. Students may elect to rescind the pass/fail application at any time to the end of the ninth week of the semester for regularly scheduled courses or the midpoint for short term courses, courses that meet less than full time, and summer courses. Students should know that letter grades will not replace “P”s if changing majors, attending graduate school, obtaining certification, applying to other colleges requiring letter grades, etc.


Any student electing the Pass/Fail option is required to complete a “Pass/Fail Application” and return it to the Office of the Registrar prior to the end of the third week of classes for fall and spring semester regularly scheduled courses or its equivalent for short term and summer courses.

Any student electing to rescind this application must present his/her copy of the Pass/Fail form to the Office of the Registrar prior to the midpoint of the semester/session.  Upon submission and verification, the pass/fail request will be voided and a letter grade condition will be in effect. NO CHANGES MAY OCCUR AFTER THE MIDPOINT OF THE SEMESTER.  In line with University policy, faculty members must assign grades as earned by students.  Grades of A to D- will be transformed to P through the Office of the Registrar for students who have opted to take a course on a Pass/Fail basis.