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MSU Denver Logo and Provost Policy Statement Heading

Pass/Fail Option

Academics and Research

PDF Version: AA Pass/Fail Policy


  1. Introduction
  2. Roles and Responsibilities
  3. Policy Statement
  4. Policy History

I. Introduction

  1. Authority: C.R.S. § 23-54-102, et seq. (2019) authorizes the Trustees of Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) to establish rules and regulations to govern and operate the University and its programs. The Trustees authorize the President of MSU Denver, who subsequently authorizes the Provost, to approve, administer, and interpret policies pertaining to the academic functions of the University.

  2. Purpose: This policy lists the criteria and requirements for a student whose grade for a course is evaluated as pass/fail rather than as a letter grade.

  3. Scope: This policy applies to MSU Denver undergraduate students.

II. Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Responsible Executive: Chief Academic Officer

  2. Responsible Administrator: Associate Vice President for Curriculum and Academic Effectiveness

  3. Responsible Office: Academic Affairs Office

  4. Policy Contact: Associate Vice President for Curriculum and Academic Effectiveness, 303-615-1900

III. Policy Statement

The pass/fail option encourages students to venture out of their major and minor fields and thereby broaden their educational experience. A student must declare interest in the pass/fail option no later than the 12th day of classes for fall and spring, the eighth day of classes for summer or the second day of classes for parts-of-term of any semester by contacting the Office of the Registrar and completing the Request for Pass/Fail Option. Once approved, the request for the pass/fail option is irrevocable. A student who requests the option and later is declared ineligible will receive written notification from the Office of the Registrar.

Students who have completed at least one MSU Denver course with at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA may choose to be evaluated for a certain course on a pass/fail basis rather than by a letter grade. Major, minor, General Studies and other courses required for a degree and courses for teacher licensure may NOT be taken on a pass/fail basis. Self-paced courses may NOT be taken under the pass/fail option. Maximum graduation credit for courses taken using the pass/fail option is 18 credit hours earned in no more than six courses and limited to one course per semester or part-of-term. Course work must be graded to determine if it is pass or fail.

The “pass” grade (P) has no effect on the GPA; the “fail” grade is equivalent to the grade of “F.” The “pass” grade (P) is equivalent to the grade of “D-” or better. Pass/fail courses fall under the same withdrawal guidelines and deadlines as other courses in the institution, whether those guidelines and deadlines are established university-wide or by individual colleges, schools, or departments.

The instructor will assign and record the pass/fail grade on the final grade list that identifies students electing and eligible for pass/fail grading. Some institutions do not accept credit in transfer for courses in which a “pass” grade is given. Therefore, students who plan to transfer or take graduate work should determine whether the institution of their choice would accept the credit before registering for courses under the pass/fail option. Additionally, the student is responsible for ensuring that the course is not a major, minor or General Studies requirement.

IV. Policy History

  1. Approved by: Provost

  2. Effective: July 1, 2019

  3. Revised: July 2013

  4. Review: This policy will be reviewed every three years or as deemed necessary by University leadership.

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