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 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