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Change of Grade Policy

Undergraduate students

Undergraduate Temporary Credit/No Credit Grade Election

For the 2020-21 academic year, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Spring 2021 (AY20-21), Northwestern offers undergraduate students a temporary grading option, Credit/No Credit (CR/NC), which will fulfill any academic requirement and bears no impact on the GPA.  Students will have the option to elect CR/NC grades for a portion of their classes graded over course of the year according to the following timeline:

Students are urged to consult an academic or career adviser as they consider this choice to understand the full impact of such changes on their future plans.  CR/NC grading elections are final and will not be reversed for any reason. 

In order to be eligible for financial aid, students must make annual satisfactory academic progress. Grades of NC are not considered completed classes for the purposes of satisfactory academic progress.

Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) Election Policy Highlights:

Electing Credit/No Credit (CR/NC):

table of number of CR courses allowed per courses

Number of Graded Classes in AY20-21

Number of CR Grades Permitted

11 and above


8 - 10


5 - 7


2 - 4




Table refers to the number of graded classes, not to the number of units taken (e.g., .5 credit class would count as 1 class and a 3-unit field study class would also count as 1 class.)

Classes ineligible for Credit/No Credit grades

Pass/No Pass vs. Credit/No Credit Grading

Credit/No Credit and Taking a Leave

 Credit/No Credit Election Form

Petition Process for Exception to the CR/NC Deadline

Students who were actively engaged in Spring 2021 classes but faced extraordinary circumstances at the end of the Spring 2021 or right after Spring Quarter, defined as a crisis at the level of a death in the family, hospitalization or similar types of incapacitation during the dates they could change grades to CR/NC, may seek approval from their school/college dean office to submit a petition to the Undergraduate Enrollment Petition Committee. Schools should carefully consider whether an exception request meets these criteria in order to determine whether to allow a student to submit a petition.

All petitions related to Credit/No Credit elections must be submitted by January 15, 2022. CR/NC exception petitions will not be reviewed or considered for any action after January 15, 2022.

Graduate students