A Few Words Regarding the Pass/Fail Grading Option

Dear Pre-Graduate Students,

Many of you may have questions out about taking the P/F grading option for courses and how this might impact your applications to graduate school. At this point in time, as of March 23, 2020, most admissions committees will not have formally set a policy regarding courses taken P/F during Spring of 2020. We think that the majority of programs will be flexible, understanding the difficulties and unusual circumstances that brought about the P/F option. As you decide whether or not to choose a P/F option for your current courses,


Keep in mind:

— The decision to take a course P/F should be made thoughtfully. Admission to graduate school does not rest on the grade in a single class, nor is perfection expected. Admissions committees will review your overall academic performance, and PhD programs and academic master’s programs in particular will pay special attention to your performance in courses central to your research/academic interests. If you are considering P/F be clear on your reasons for taking the P/F option and, if you are able, engage with your online classes a bit before deciding. Certainly, consult with your instructors, academic advisors, faculty mentors, and our office as you think things through.

— Know that your pre-grad advisors are here to support you. Though you may not be on campus, you are still at Penn and we are with you. We are available for 30min. advising appointments by phone or video, which you can schedule through Handshake.

By Becky Tamayo
Becky Tamayo Administrative Coordinator, Graduate School Advising Becky Tamayo