University of Wisconsin–Madison


Pass/fail courses do not satisfy any Graduate School credit, coursework, or degree requirements, nor do they fulfill minimum or maximum credits required each term. Tuition is still charged for pass/fail course. For these reasons, very few graduate students choose pass/fail for courses numbered 300 or above. Seminars, independent study, and research may not be taken pass/fail. The pass/fail option is not to be confused with the S/U grading option.

A student requests to take a course as pass/fail via MyUW Student Center. They must first enroll for the course and then submit an online Course Change Request to change the course to pass/fail basis. After the student requests this change online via MyUW Student Center, it is reviewed and approved electronically by the Graduate School. Submission of a paper pass/fail form is not required. The deadline to request/cancel pass/fail is the drop deadline, which is the end of the 9th week of class during the fall and spring semester. Requests for late pass/fail will not be considered. Specific deadline dates, including those for summer sessions, are posted prior to each semester by the Office of the Registrar.

The instructor does not know that a student is taking the course on a pass/fail basis and therefore reports a letter grade for the course. The Registrar records a grade of S in place of the instructors’ grades of A, AB, B, BC, or C; and a grade of U in place of D or F grades. Neither the S nor the U are computed in the graduate grade-point average.

The enrollment system counts all credits in determining maximum credit loads. A Credit Overload Request is required if a student’s total credit load exceeds the maximum limit per term.

See Dean’s ApprovalEnrollment RequirementsMinimum Graduate Coursework (50%) RequirementMinimum Graduate Degree Credit RequirementMinimum Graduate Residence Credit RequirementOverloadsSatisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grades