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Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Policy for Spring 2020

Oglethorpe faculty have approved a policy to allow all students the ability to take any or all of their currently ongoing spring 2020 courses on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis (this is the Oglethorpe equivalent of pass/fail). Students who decide to change any of their courses to S/U will still earn credit toward their degree requirements if they receive a grade of Satisfactory. We encourage students to consult with their instructors and advisors with any questions as they make these decisions.

Students wishing to take any courses on an S/U basis must submit an online request no later than April 18, 2020. If you have any questions, please contact the HUB for Enrollment Services at

Submit online S/U request


Modified Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Policy for Spring 2020

(1)   Students may elect any number of their Spring 2020 courses to be graded on a Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory basis (Note: this does not apply to courses already taken and graded in the first 8-week spring session).

(2)   For Spring 2020, the deadline for a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory election is extended to April 18.

(3)   Faculty will submit grades for each student completing a course. Grades will be converted to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory if the student elects the course to be Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, according to the guidelines below.

  • Satisfactory/S is defined as a letter grade of C- or higher.
  • Unsatisfactory/U is defined as a letter grade of D+ or lower.
  • For this semester, if a student requests the S/U option but earns a grade of D or D+ in that course, the letter grade will be used instead of S/U since that letter grade allows credit to be earned and is thus more generous.

(4)   Spring 2020 courses elected to be taken on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis are independent of the existing policy on Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory courses.

  • We will suspend the usual deadline, student eligibility criteria, and limits on the number of S/U classes possible over an entire OU career.

(5)   For spring 2020, any course may be taken Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, and that course will satisfy program requirements, as detailed below.

  • A grade of S in a course will satisfy any requirements for a major, minor, track, concentration, certificate, specialization, Core, or ADP General Education.
  • A grade of U in a course will not satisfy any requirements for a major, minor, track, concentration, certificate, specialization, Core, or ADP General Education.
  • If a letter grade of D or D+ is assigned (either because a student chose the letter grade option or it is due to the more generous option described in #3 above), then whether a requirement is satisfied or not will follow standard, published University guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • We believe that a modified policy on Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading is needed under the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves this semester. In these anxious times, the proposal is designed to give our students reassurance and true feelings of autonomy.  For students who prefer letter grades (whether to raise their GPA or for some other reason), this proposal allows them to make that choice. As always, students should consult with instructors and advisers about questions as they make these decisions.
  • The default action is a letter grade. If a student does not communicate an S/U choice by the deadline, then all classes will be recorded on the transcript with a letter grade.
  • Each student has up to the close of the business on the day of the deadline to communicate an S/U choice instead of a letter grade for each course.
  • Once the deadline has passed, no change to grading modality can be made.
  • A grade of “U” is calculated like a grade of “F” (Failing) in a student’s GPA.
  • A grade of “S” is not calculated in a student’s GPA.
  • A grade of “S” earns academic credit.
  • A grade of “U” does not earn academic credit.
  • If a student is repeating a course for grade improvement, the grade earned this semester will be the one calculated in his/her cumulative GPA. This is true whether they select the S/U option or the letter grade option.
  • As in #5 above, if a student earns an “S” in a course, then that course this semester will satisfy program requirements.
  • As in #5 above, if a student earns a “U” in a course, then that course this semester will not satisfy program requirements.
  • A committee makes final decisions on academic standing – not an computer system.
  • A student will get no worse an academic standing than his/her GPA indicates.
  • The committee will take into account S grades even though they do not raise the GPA.
  • As usual, Dean’s List decisions are based on the term/semester GPA.
  • A student electing all courses under S/U would not be eligible for Dean’s List.
  • A student electing all courses under regular grading parameters would be handled as usual.
  • A student electing a mix of S/U and traditional grades would have a Dean’s List decision based solely on the courses with traditional grades.
  • Oglethorpe will continue to evaluate a student’s eligibility for aid based on institutional guidelines. In most cases, aid eligibility will be determined based on a student’s overall academic record (GPA) and overall earned and attempted credit hours.
  • We have some flexibility over handling institutional scholarships.
  • Eligibility for external scholarships will be determined by each scholarship provider. We encourage you to consult the scholarship provider for more details about eligibility.
  • For HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship recipients, the state has not made any changes to GPA calculations for HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships as of yet. HOPE/Zell is based on cumulative GPA, so again, a semester of “S” grades would just be preserving your existing GPA for HOPE/Zell. A grade of “U” would have the same impact as a grade of “F.”
  • Federal Aid eligibility is based on satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Meeting SAP includes standards for both completion percentage (earned hours / attempted hours) and cumulative GPA.
  • “S” grades would favorably impact completion percentage.
  • Oglethorpe has some flexibility with SAP on institutional aid, but not federal or state aid. We have been given guidance that COVID-19 and its impact will be seen as a valid reason for struggling against SAP for students that file a SAP appeal for not meeting SAP standards.
  • It might and for these students if their high school has mandated grades so the credit transfers they would not have the option of our other OU students