Student Academic Engagement & Success

Pass/fail declaration deadline moved to deadline to withdraw

New pass/fail declaration deadline for fall 2023 classes is Tuesday, November 21, 2023.

Student Academic Engagement and Success (SAES) is pleased to announce that the pass/fail declaration deadline, which has typically been aligned with the deadline to drop a course without academic record, has been moved later into the semester to align with the deadline to withdraw from classes and/or the University. As we move into future semesters, we plan on keeping the pass/fail declaration deadline in the later part of the semester. By changing this policy, we hope to provide students with academic continuity alternatives other than simply withdrawing from a course.

The decision to change the date was made after careful examination of student behavior, discussions with faculty, benchmarking of our peer and aspirant schools, and observing the impact of changes to the academic calendar during previous semesters.  The recommendation to change the date was discussed by the faculty and student steering committees associated with SMU in Four, the University Registrar, school records offices, and was formally approved by Academic Policies Committee of Faculty Senate and the Educational Policies Committee.

In light of this new deadline, we ask that faculty whose students wish to switch to a pass/fail grading option, as long as it is before the deadline, give serious consideration to these requests. Completing a course via pass/fail enables students to earn elective credit, helps them stay on track toward a timely graduation, and for some, retain their full-time student status.

For students, we ask that you keep the following criteria in mind when looking to change a class to the pass/fail grading format. You may take one course per term on a pass/fail basis with a maximum total of 12 hours of pass/fail credit counting toward a degree. Your intention to take a course pass/fail must be indicated no later than the published deadline on the academic calendar by completing the Undergraduate Pass/Fail Option Declaration Form available in your school’s Records Office. After the declaration of intent, you may not change back to a letter grade.

We always encourage students to consult their advisers before utilizing the pass/fail option for any course. Not all courses can be taken pass/fail such as courses needed to meet major/minor requirements or those used to meet Common Curriculum requirements. Additionally, SMU schools may have different pass/fail policies for major and minor courses, and an academic advisor will help students navigate these exceptions.  We have created an expanded FAQ on the Registrar’s website to answer as many questions as possible to inform your decision.

Thank you for supporting this academic calendar change. As always, we look to support our students as holistically as possible as they work towards their degrees and believe that this change will make an impactful difference for many of our students and their ability to stay on track to an on-time graduation.

FAQs about pass/fail grading will be posted to SMU’s Office of the Registrar website soon.

With questions or concerns about the new pass/fail declaration deadline, please contact: