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
- Students should register for the P/N option when they initially register for the course in CAESAR. Students may change their grading option using CAESAR's Update function or by submitting a P/N form (available at the Office of the Registrar) at the Office of the Registrar. See additional rules for McCormick students.
- Undergraduate students may change registration from grade to P/N and vice versa through Friday of the the third week of classes.
- Graduate school students may change registration from grade to P/N and vice versa through the fifth weekday of the term.
- The P/N option may only be used for general education classes and/or unrestricted electives.
- The P/N option may not be used for first or second-year language classes in French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Latin or Italian.
- A maximum of one P/N class may be taken in any quarter. See your school's specific policies below for exceptions.
- All pre-requisites must be met before a class may be taken P/N.
- Not all classes may be taken P/N. If the class detail section on CAESAR says "Student Option" (abbreviated OPT), P/N is available.
- Occasionally, a "No P/N" note may also be added to classes.
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.