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Policy on Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option for Courses taken in Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 semesters

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McGill School of Continuing Studies (SCS) Policy on the “ADDITIONAL” Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option for Courses taken in the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 Semesters

1. What is the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option?
 

The S/U option is an alternative to the standard letter-grade system whereby final course grades of “A” through “F” are recorded on a student’s Transcript or Record of Study. Instead, an “S” or “U” is recorded, as appropriate.

Under normal circumstances,

  • students must select the S/U option before the end of the add/drop period in which the course(s) is being taken;
  • students may select the S/U option for elective courses or those outside their area of specialization;
  • courses with final grades of “S” or “U” are not included in GPA calculations;
  • the S/U option does not apply to graduate-level courses; and
  • the S/U option cannot be counted towards undergraduate major or minor program requirements.
 

Additionally, under normal circumstances, the S/U option is not available for any course offered by the School of Continuing Studies.

 
2. What changes has McGill made to the S/U option for Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 courses?
 

On December 15th, 2020, Senate approved a motion regarding an “Additional” Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option, exceptionally and only for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 semesters.

Elements of the Additional S/U Option

Where permitted by Faculty/School regulations and program requirements,

  • with the exception of Special Students, all students may exercise the Additional S/U Option for eligible courses and programs;
  • students may take up to a total of 6 credits under the Additional S/U Option;
  • these credits may be associated with elective, complementary, or required courses;
  • credits designated as S/U under this Additional S/U Option do not count toward the maximum specified by the existing S/U option;
  • courses taken under this Additional S/U Option will be excluded from the grade point average (GPA) calculations, but they will be included in the attempted credits total; and
  • credits for courses with a final grade of S will be included in the number of credits earned.

Note that each Faculty/School has discretion to identify courses and programs that are not eligible for the Additional S/U Option. Policies specific to the School of Continuing Studies (SCS) are provided in sections 4 through 13 below.

 
3. What is the deadline to apply for the Additional S/U Option?
 

For the Fall 2020 semester, students may select the Additional S/U Option by no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 18th, 2021.


For the Winter 2021 semester, there are two dates, one for graduating students and one for non-graduating students.

  • Graduating Students: no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 11th, 2021
  • Non-graduating Students: no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 20th, 2021

The link to the Request Forms will posted to this page on April 2nd, 2021.

IMPORTANT: A student cannot make any changes after the above deadlines even if the Additional S/U Option was selected by mistake. Students are therefore strongly encouraged to speak with an academic advisor in their home Faculty/School before making a decision to have a course graded as S/U.
 
4. Can I select the Additional S/U Option for 6 credits in a single semester?
 

Students registered in SCS credit courses and programs may select only one eligible course (3 credits) per semester.

 
5. Are SCS NON-CREDIT courses eligible for the Additional S/U Option?
 

With the exception of pre-requisite courses required for admission to a non-credit program, SCS non-credit courses are eligible for the Additional S/U Option. Students may select only one course per semester.

Please note that you will need to log into the Additional S/U Request Form using your McGill credentials, not your Destiny/Athena credentials. If you need assistance with this, please contact Client Services at 514-398-6200.

 
6. Do I need to notify the School or my instructor if I select the Additional S/U Option?
 

No. When a student submits the Additional S/U Option Request Form, the School will be notified. The Request Form will be reviewed by the School’s Client Services unit to determine whether or not the course is eligible. Once the Request Form has been processed, you will receive a confirmation email with the eligible course flagged as S/U.

 
7. Once I submit the Additional S/U Option Request Form, can I change my mind?
 
A student cannot make any changes after the deadlines specified in section 3 above, even if the Additional S/U Option was selected by mistake. Students are therefore strongly encouraged to speak with an SCS academic advisor before making a decision to have a course graded as S/U.
 
8. Can I select the Additional S/U Option for credit courses offered by the Department of Language and Intercultural Communication (LIC)?
 

An “S” grade will be accepted so long as the numerical grade can also be provided and that it meets the minimum requirements for admission to a program or progression to the next level.

 
9. Can I select the Additional S/U Option for credit courses offered by the Translation Studies unit?
 

An “S” grade will be accepted so long as the numerical grade can also be provided and that it meets the minimum requirements for admission to a program or progression to the next level.

Please consult this page in the SCS e-calendar for minimum requirements for admission to or progression within Translation Studies certificate and graduate diploma programs.

 
10. Can I select the Additional S/U Option for credit courses offered by the Career and Professional Development (credit) unit?
 

An “S” grade will be accepted for all courses with the exception of those courses that form part of the Diploma in Accounting and the Graduate Certificate in CPA Professional Education.

 
11. Can I select the Additional S/U Option for CCOM 206, Communication in Engineering?
 

Yes. The Faculty of Engineering has confirmed that an “S” grade taken under the Additional S/U Option will be accepted.

 
12. I am seeking Advanced Standing for one or more courses. Will SCS accept an “S” grade for these courses?
 

If you are seeking Advanced Standing for one or more courses, an “S” grade will be accepted so long as the numerical grade can also be provided and that it meets the minimum requirements. Please see this page in the SCS e-calendar for complete information.

 
13. Can I select the S/U option if I am on Academic Probation?
 

In order to graduate from McGill, a student needs a minimum GPA of 2.0. Courses taken under the Additional S/U Option are not included in GPA calculations. It is therefore not in the interests of students on Academic Probation to select the Additional S/U Option.

 
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