New Policy on Rescinding a P/D/F Decision

In the fall of 2015 the USG Academics Committee met with the Faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing to discuss the possibility of allowing students to rescind a P/D/F decision. The result of those discussions was the following amendment to the current P/D/F policy:

At the point of declaring a concentration, students may appeal to rescind a P grade received for a single course taken in a previous semester in order to meet a prerequisite or departmental requirement for entry. The transcript will then reflect the letter grade earned in that course. Students wishing to make such an appeal should consult with their residential college director of studies. Students entering a certificate program may also appeal to rescind a grade of P earned in a single prerequisite or required course for that certificate provided that the program requires a letter grade for entry.

What does this mean in practice? The committee recognizes that a student’s academic plans may change over time, and it does not want a student to be prevented from pursuing a course of study simply because a course was taken PDF early in a student’s career. For example, a freshman initially thinking about majoring in molecular biology might take MAT 103 and then decide to PDF the course after changing her mind about majoring in science; however, on discovering a passion for Neuroscience in sophomore year, she realizes that she will need that math class as a prerequisite, and the department will only accept a letter grade. That student may petition her director of studies to rescind the PDF for MAT 103 and thus meet the prerequisites for Neuroscience. The exception is not intended to allow students to rescind a PDF because they have earned a better than expected grade in a course, even if that course is in their department of concentration.

A similar logic applies to students entering certificate programs. The PDF may be rescinded only if a graded version of a course taken earlier is required for entry into the certificate program.