The purpose of Pass/Fail is to permit the student to elect courses from unfamiliar disciplines.

Penn Engineering students may take a total of four course units on a Pass/Fail (P/F) basis. A total exceeding 4 P/F courses is permissible only for students electing more than the minimum courses required for the degree.

No more than one course per term may be taken on a P/F basis. If you are taking an overload (i.e., more than 5.5 course units), you may take more than one course P/F that term by submitting a “Petition for Action” to the Research and Academic Services Office.

For students matriculating in September 2002 or later, the Pass/Fail option can be used only for courses in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) and Free Elective categories of the course planning guide.

An earned grade of “D” or better will be issued as a “P” on your transcript, and it is not counted in computing the grade-point average; if you earn an “F,” the “F” is counted. If you fail a course under a P/F grade, you may not repeat it on a Pass/Fail basis.

You can change the Pass/Fail status of a course by going to PATH@Penn with the exception of writing courses which require you to make a request to the RAS Office via email


Directions on how to update your grade mode during the enrollment period are here.  If changing your grade mode after the enrollment period, you must submit a request to change a course to Pass/Fail via Path Forms.  THIS MUST BE DONE BEFORE THE END OF THE NINTH FULL WEEK OF THE TERM OR JUST BEFORE ADVANCE REGISTRATION, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.

Please refer to the University Academic Calendar for dates.  After this date, the P/F status is unalterable. It is the student’s responsibility to verify the Pass/Fail status of courses using Path@Penn.


(Note: Students matriculating prior to September 2002 are allowed to take any non-specified course and any course outside of the “Engineering” category on a P/F basis, subject to the other P/F conditions.)


*In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, specific divisions within the University of Pennsylvania granted alternate grading options for academic terms that were impacted.  See University Catalogs for details.  Dean’s List honors were suspended for 2019-2020 & 2020-2021.