Pass/Not Pass Grading

The purpose of P-NP grading is to encourage students to broaden their education by taking courses outside the usual program of study for their major and minor disciplines. Students may choose to attempt a maximum of 9 semester credit hours on a Pass-Not Pass basis, meaning that only a P (Pass) or NP (Not Pass) will be recorded as their final grade in the course. The following policies apply:

  1. Undergraduate students who are not on academic probation (P) at the beginning of the semester are eligible. A special (nondegree) student must obtain approval from their academic advisor and college dean.
  2. Only elective courses may be taken on a P-NP basis. In specific majors, some restrictions may apply, so students should consult with their academic advisor.
  3. Except for restrictions on its own undergraduate majors, a department may not deny the availability of any of its course offerings on a P-NP basis.
  4. Courses offered on a satisfactory-fail basis may not be taken P-NP.
  5. Students should register for a P-NP course in the same manner and at the same time that they register for their other courses. Students should then change to P-NP by processing a schedule change form with their academic advisor's signature in the P-NP approval section of the form.
  6. Students who elect to change back to a graded basis should process the change using the P-NP section of the schedule change form.
  7. Changes to or from a P-NP basis must be made before the last day to drop (usually the Friday of week 10 of the term).
  8. Registration on a P-NP basis is not indicated on the instructor's class list. Students will receive a P if their grade is D minus or better and an NP if their grade was F.
  9. Neither P (earned grade of D minus or better) nor NP (earned grade of F) is counted in calculating a student's grade point average (GPA).
  10. When students change their curriculum, any P credits that they have accumulated will be accepted by the new department if such credits are in courses normally accepted by the department.
  11. Credits taken on a P-NP basis at another institution and transferred to Iowa State may be applied as electives in a student's degree program if the credits are otherwise acceptable in that program. The number of P-NP transfer credits that can be accepted depends on the number permitted by the institution from which the student is transferring. If a student transfers more than nine semester P-NP credits, no additional Iowa State P-NP credits can be applied to the student's degree program.

For Spring 2020 coursework, please refer to the information immediately below regarding the temporary ISU Pass/Not Pass policy.