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Take a Course Pass/Not Pass (P/N)

This page provides information on deadlines, regulations and policies for taking a course pass/not pass (P/N). 

Deadlines for changing your grading options

P/N regulations

General policies:

Additional school specific policies

School of Education and Social Policy

  • No more than six classes with grades of P or D (or a combination of P and D) may be taken at Northwestern and offered for graduation.
  • The P/N option (and classes in which a student earns a D) may not be used for Core, Concentration or Distribution Requirements.

Medill School of Journalism

  • The P/N option may not be used for journalism or IMC classes.
  • Only one class may be taken P/N per quarter (excluding TN quarter).
  • No more than six classes with P grades may be counted toward the 45 units required for a degree.
  • The P/N option may not be used for classes taken in fulfillment of Medill’s social science, elective concentration or distribution requirements.

Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

  • No more than six P grades earned may be used for graduation.
  • P/N Option may not be used to satisfy WCAS Distribution Requirements.
  • P/N Option may not be used for foreign language classes taken toward meeting the WCAS foreign language requirement.
  • P/N Option may not be used for required major or related classes.
  • P/N Option may not be used for freshmen seminars.
  • No more than one-fifth of the total Northwestern classes with grades of P or D (or a combination of P and D) may be offered for graduation.

Bienen School of Music

  • Music students may not take music classes under the P/N option, except for those courses graded solely with P/N grades.
  • No more than six P/N classes (in non-music subjects) may be counted toward the degree.
  • The P/N Option is available to non-music students in all music classes including applied music, except as noted in the class schedule and on CAESAR.

School of Communication

  • No more than six P/N classes may be counted toward graduation, and 35 of the 45 credits needed for graduation must be C or better.
  • Classes in the major department may be taken under the P/N option only by permission of the Associate Dean.

McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

  • To register for the P/N Option for any McCormick class, you must have a P/N slip signed by a staff member in the Academic Services Office (Tech L269). This slip must be taken to the Office of the Registrar to be processed.
  • No more than eight P/N classes may be counted toward the degree.
  • Freshmen and sophomores may only take one class P/N per quarter. Juniors and seniors who wish to take more than one P/N class per quarter must obtain a signed P/N slip from the Academic Services Office and present it to the Registrar's Office for processing.
  • Engineering students who desire to take P/N classes in BIOL_SCI, CHEM, ASTRON, PHYSICS or MATH must obtain a signed P/N form from the Undergraduate Engineering Office and present it at the Office of the Registrar for processing.

The Graduate School

  • P/N rules vary by department. Check with your department for specifics.