Courses: Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory Grading Option

Previously known as Pass/Fail, the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading option is intended to encourage students to explore courses they might not otherwise take. S/U courses can count towards general education requirements (curriculum codes).

Read the S/U policy carefully before submitting the form. That is your responsibility!

What do you need to know before reading the policy?
  • Involuntary S/U: a course for which S/U is mandatory; no letter grades are given
  • Voluntary S/U: a graded course for which a change to S/U necessitates a student-initiated request 

*you may request a grading change to (S/U) for only one course credit per semester or summer session.

If, after you have read the policy points carefully, you still have questions, direct those to your academic dean and/or instructor.


S/U REQUEST FORM: Voluntary S/U Grading Basis
    • You must be in a normal course load (at least 4.0 credits) to request to change a class to S/U.
    • To verify that the course allows S/U as a grading option:
      • Go to Dashboard Class Search in DukeHub.
      • Run a search for the class (unclick the search button for open classes only).
      • Check what is written next to Course Attributes.
    • If a letter-graded course does not allow S/U, this will be noted and you will not be allowed to request an S/U change.

    Only four voluntary S/U courses will count toward general graduation requirements, including credit count and curriculum codes.

    • Summer Term courses count toward this total.
    • This total does not include classes that are Involuntary S/U.

    Note for students already enrolled during and prior to Fall 2021:

    • This total does not include S/U courses on your transcript from Spring 2020-Fall 2021.
    • This is a firm deadline.
    • If you are uncertain, speak with your instructor about your progress. This will help you make a well informed decision.
    • If you have not yet declared a major and the course falls within a discipline you are considering, be mindful that some departments do not count S/U toward their major requirements.


    S/U REQUEST FORM: Declaration of the S/U Grading Basis

    * Read the form carefully and include all required information, for example, your dean’s name. You can find all needed information in DukeHub.

    You will receive email confirmation if approved. Save this!


    • Courses numbered 500 or higher require permission from the instructor to be taken S/U.
    • Robertson Scholars are not allowed to request a Voluntary S/U grading option.
    • No courses used for pre-health requirements should be taken as Voluntary S/U (check with the HPA office if you have any questions


    See Also:

    Do seniors in an underload have the option to request a course S/U?

    • If you are a senior in your final semester of study and are enrolled in an underload or attending part-time, you may request one course S/U as long as you are taking at least one graded 1.0-credit course.

    Do we have the option to request S/U in summer terms?

    • You may request S/U for a stand-alone Summer term 1 and/or Summer term 2 course—as long as you have verified the other relevant policy points (see above).

    How does the S/U policy apply to Dean’s List?

    • S/U applies in the following ways for Dean’s List eligibility in a semester:
      • If you request an S/U, you must be in at least three graded courses. Involuntary S/U does not count as one of the three graded courses.
      • If you earn a U, you will not be eligible for Dean’s List.

    Does Duke accept S/U course transfer credits?

    • Duke does not accept S/U transfer credit from study abroad, domestic study away programs, or other institutions.

    Do we have the option to retake courses that we requested as S/U?

    • You may not retake a course if you have already earned an S in it.
    • You may retake a course in which you earned a U.

    If I am a prehealth student can I take any of my prehealth classes as S/U?

    • No courses used for pre-health requirements should be taken as Voluntary S/U.



    See Also: