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Satisfactory/Fail Grading for Graduate Students

March 27, 2020

All graduate courses in spring 2020 will be graded satisfactory/fail (S/F) unless the student elects to receive an earned grade for the course.

  • Students will have the opportunity to choose to receive an earned letter grade in each class and may make that choice until the last day of spring semester classes, May 12, 2020. A new website is being created for this purpose.  Faculty will not know if a student has chosen to receive a letter grade.
  • There are no limits on satisfactory/fail credits for graduate students.
  • S/F is an appropriate grading scale for F1/J1 students to maintain status, so long as they also maintain appropriate enrollment status.
  • Any graduate program requirements related to letter grades in a particular course will be waived for the Spring 2020 semester.  However, students who do not do well in a course should be aware that they may not be adequately prepared for courses or exams that rely on prior knowledge of the subject. Students receiving a S/F may retake the course for a letter grade.
  • Students on academic probation who do not elect to accept course grades will be continued to the next semester, since they cannot increase their GPA with S grades.
  • S/F grades will not affect a student's eligibility for graduate assistantships, fellowships, or financial aid.
  • At the University of Maryland, graduate credit can be earned only for grades of C- and above.  If students do not elect to receive a letter grade, all letter grades of C- and above will be converted to S and all grades below C- will be converted to F.
  • Students will earn graduate credit with an S but not with an F. An S does not contribute to a student's GPA, but an F does. 
  • Students should consult with their academic advisors about any possible consequences for employment, certification, or other opportunities that might be affected by a decision to choose satisfactory/fail vs a letter grade.
  • The last day of classes, May 12, 2020, is also the last day to drop a course.
  • A note will be included on student transcripts indicating the unusual circumstances prevailing in spring 2020.

Contact Information

The Graduate School
University of Maryland

2123 Lee Building
7809 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742

301-405-3644
gradschool@umd.edu