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PA/NP Grading Option

What constitutes a Pass (PA) and a Non-Pass (NP) grade?

A D or higher in a course constitutes a Pass (PA), while anything lower constitutes a Non-Pass (NP). The thresholds for assigning D, E, and EN grades will continue to be defined by the point or percent ranges that the instructor has outlined in the syllabus, unless the instructor has communicated a change to that grading scale. 

If a student chooses to apply PA/NP, does it apply to all courses taken this semester?

Pass/Non-Pass is an optional, student-selected grade scheme. Students can choose to apply the PA/NP grading option to any or all spring semester courses. There is also no credit-hour limit on how many of the student's currently enrolled courses they can choose to take for PA/NP in Spring 2020. The limit of 20 hours of PA/NP coursework is waived for students using PA/NP in Spring 2020. This means that students who have used PA/NP in previous coursework are still eligible to choose to use PA/NP in Spring 2020.

How will the PA/NP grading basis affect a student’s GPA?

A course taken PA/NP will not impact your cumulative GPA, whether positively or negatively. While the credit will allow you to fulfill a degree requirement, there will not be a grade factored into your cumulative GPA. 

Does PA/NP grading disqualify students from Dean's List and Latin Honors at graduation?

While credits taken Pass/No Pass (PA/NP) normally are not counted towards Dean’s List and Latin Honors at graduation, for Spring 2020:

  • Students who are registered for 12 or more credits with at least 9 regular, graded hours and a 3.5 term GPA will be eligible for the Dean’s List
  • Spring 2020 courses taken PA/NP will be counted towards the 60 Ohio State hours required to earn Latin Honors (cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude)

How will the PA/NP grading basis affect subsequent pre-requisites?

The most important consideration to make is if the PA/NP grading basis is in the best interest of your academic future. Please know that a grade of PA (grade: A – D) will allow you to move forward to subsequent coursework, but it is in your best interest to continue learning and mastering all material so you are setup for success in future semesters.

The thresholds for assigning D, E, and EN grades will continue to be defined by the point or percent ranges that the instructor has outlined in the syllabus, unless the instructor has communicated a change to that grading scale. Students are strongly encouraged to carefully read their syllabi (and any communications from their instructors) for guidance about how the instructor will define a student's completion of the course to avoid receiving an EN (NP) grade.

How will Special Action Probation (SAP) policies and conditions be affected this semester?

To remain in good academic standing with the University and the department, students must maintain at least a 2.00 TPHR, CPHR, and MPHR (if applicable) every semester. Due to the disruption of the spring semester, the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has decided that new SAP actions will not be administered to students this term. If the Department is concerned about a student’s performance (i.e. TPHR, CPHR, MPHR less than 2.00 and/or multiple “NP” marks), he/she will be receiving further instructions and guidance after the semester is complete.  

Should students currently on Special Action Probation earn a TPHR, CPHR, and MPHR (if applicable) of at least 2.00, but receive “PA, “I”, or “W” marks for the semester, his/her SAP will be continued.

Students may only be removed from SAP at the conclusion of the spring semester if they have chosen to earn letter grades (A-E) in all of their courses this term and his/her TPHR, CHPR, and MPHR (if applicable) are of at least 2.00.

How will PA/NP grading options affect the use of Grade Forgiveness?

A PA/NP option can be used with the grade forgiveness policy for undergraduate students for Spring 2020. While it will remove the initial grade from your GPA calculation, a PA grade will not change your GPA (since this grade scale does not earn grade points). The second PA/NP attempt will be the final grade for this course, and you will not be allowed to retake the course again for grade forgiveness. This means that while your GPA may improve with the removal of the previous grade, it will not receive the additional boost of the second graded attempt.

Moving forward, you will be allowed to use grade forgiveness for courses where you earned a grade of PA or NP in Spring 2020. The second grade would become the permanent grade in your GPA, and you will not be allowed to apply to use grade forgiveness for that course again.

The deadline to request grade forgiveness is now April 17th, 2020.

How will the PA/NP grading basis impact admission to the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering majors?

If the course you are planning to take as PA/NP is an EPHR course, it will count towards admission to major much like AP credit does. With a grade of PA (Pass), the course will give you the credit to be eligible to apply to the major, but there will be no grade to impact your EPHR. Depending on your course grade, this may or may not be advantageous. Only you, armed with your knowledge of the grades you have received thus far and your estimated ability to succeed in the remainder of the course, can determine how this will impact your EPHR. As a reminder, an EPHR calculator can be found at the following links – Mechanical Engineering or Aerospace Engineering.

How will the PA/NP grading basis impact admission to other engineering majors?

Each major within the College of Engineering has different admission to major policies regarding PA/NP options. For example, since CSE requires that students have a major GPA, CSE 2221 cannot be taken as PA/NP. Please discuss the implications of the PA/NP grading basis with each major that you are considering.

Will choosing PA/NP affect graduation in any way?

Provided that you pass the class, graduation will not be impacted since PA/NP courses taken this semester will apply towards degree requirements.

How will PA/NP grades impact transfer credit or graduate school applications?

COVID-19 is a global pandemic, and other institutions of higher education are also allowing expanded use of this type of grade scheme. However, other institutions, including graduate and professional schools may differ in their acceptance of courses taken as PA/NP. Each program will need to make this decision based on what is best for their students and their programs. We will not know until after this has passed how any given field of study or program will decide to treat these grades, for how long they may choose to accept PA/NP, or for which coursework. 

Here is additional guidance from Dr. Jeffrey Bons (MAE Associate Chair for Graduate Programs):

"As you contemplate whether you want to select the PA/NP option, some of you may be wondering how this might impact your application to graduate school. The short answer is that a PA grade will not factor into your GPA.  There will be no adverse impact, other than if you would have received a high grade that would have increased your GPA. There’s no stigma with this at all in OSU’s graduate admissions. Graduate programs nationally are all grappling with this and many of them are doing the same – PA/NP.  Repeat - you will not be adversely impacted by your choice when it comes to graduate admissions.”

How will instructors know if a student decides to choose PA/NP?

Instructors will calculate letter grades (A-E) for all students but will only be able to enter a PA/NP option at the end of the term. Students can choose whether they let their instructors know they have selected the PA/NP grading basis. 

How will PA/NP grading options impact a student’s financial aid and/or scholarships?

Please contact Buckeye Link and/or the College of Engineering Scholarships Office to discuss the impact PA/NP grade(s) will have on your financial aid and/or scholarships. These offices will be able to provide you with the most accurate information for maintaining status in those programs.

How will PA/NP grading options impact a student’s involvement in special programs?

Please check with the organization through which your program is administered to see if a PA/NP will impact your eligibility. Special populations include, but are not limited to, Athletics, ROTC, Honors, Scholars, YSP, MSP, Resident Advisors and Peer Leaders.

Can international students take advantage of PA/NP grading options?

Please contact the Office of International Affairs to determine if electing PA/NP will affect your international student visa status.

Can courses taken as a PA/NP grading basis still count towards the Honors Contract?

Courses taken on a PA/NP basis will still count towards your Honors Contract hours. For more questions regarding this matter for Honors Contract, please contact Stephanie Rinehart. If you have questions about your Research Distinction or Honors Research Distinction, please contact Mike Knisley.