Fall 2020 & Winter 2021
Exceptionally for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021, students in the Faculty of Engineering may take up to a total of 6 credits over the two terms to be graded under the Additional Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option.
The Additional S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) grading option is available to students for all courses in the Fall 2021 and Winter 2021 terms, including spanned (D1D2) year-long courses that began in Fall 2020 and end in Winter 2021. If a grade of S (Satisfactory) is earned, then these courses can be counted towards programs as required or complementary courses, or as electives. A grade of U (Unsatisfactory) doesn't count for credit and does not affect GPA.
This document is meant to give Engineering students broad guidelines. If you still have questions, please contact McGill Engineering Student Centre or your departmental/school advisor.
Also see the University S/U page.
First, some facts:
- S/U grades do not affect CGPA.
- To get S, a student must earn a C or better in the course. That is a minimum mark of 55%. If that is earned, then the credits are awarded. If a grade less than C is earned, a grade of U is posted, and no credits are given.
- Here is how grades are calculated for undergraduate students: Adapted from the Calendar at www.mcgill.ca/study/2020-2021/university_regulations_and_resources/under...
|Grades||Grade Points||Numerical Scale of Grades||S/U|
|A||4.0||85 – 100%||S|
|A-||3.7||80 – 84%||S|
|B+||3.3||75 – 79%||S|
|B||3.0||70 – 74%||S|
|B-||2.7||65 – 69%||S|
|C+||2.3||60 – 64%||S|
|C||2.0||55 – 59%||S|
|D||1.0||50 – 54%||U|
|F (Fail)||0||0 – 49%||U|
When do you need to decide about using S/U?
- Students who decide to have one or more courses graded as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) under this Additional S/U Option must do so before:
- For Fall 2020 courses:
- All students: 18 January 2021
- Request form link will be posted here on 22 December 2020
- Opening date: 4 January 2021 at 9 am
- Closing date: 18 January 2021 at 5 pm
- For Winter 2021 courses and multi-term courses beginning in Fall 2020:
- Graduating students: 11 May 2021
- Non-graduating students: 20 May 2021
- Request form link will be posted here on 2 April 2021
- Opening date: 5 April 2021 at 9 am
- Closing dates:
- Graduating students: 11 May 2021 at 5 pm
- Non-graduating students: 20 May 2021 at 5 pm
- For Fall 2020 courses:
- Decisions are final. We will not allow reversals of your decision. Think carefully and be sure of what you want. Talk to an advisor if you are not sure.
- To remain eligible for scholarships, students must take a minimum of 24 graded credits over the academic year (Fall 2020 and Winter 2021). Courses graded S/U are not considered graded credits. The Faculty reserves the right to use the actual grade underlying the S/U to assess the relative merits of students for scholarships, awards or prizes.
When should you consider using it?
- If your course grade is below your CGPA, then the S/U will prevent your CGPA from being lowered.
- If you earned a D grade on a Complementary Studies course, Natural Science Complementary Course, or Elective Course, using the S/U will prevent you from getting any credit, but will also prevent your CGPA from being affected. If you need the credit more than you care about the CGPA change, do not use the S/U option. Note that this only applies to complementary courses and electives. You cannot count a grade of D for a required (core) courses (including Year 0 math and science courses), technical complementary courses, laboratory complementary courses, or courses in any other category of the Engineering programs.
- If the course is a prerequisite for a program or school that you are applying to, you should check with the admissions office for that program or school to see how they view S/U grades. Normally, we would caution against using S/U on a prerequisite for admission, but conditions have changed due to the pandemic. It may take a while for schools to make decisions about this, so you may have to delay your decision.
When should you consider not using it?
- If your course grade is higher than your CGPA. Your CGPA will rise if you leave the grading as is. The S/U option will prevent your CGPA from being raised.
- If you earned a D grade and you feel that your CGPA is not as important as getting the credits. A D grade converts to a U and zero credits with the S/U option. You cannot count a grade of D for a required (core) course, only for complementary courses and electives. If this is a required course, you should talk to your program advisor.
- The course is a requirement for a school or program to which you are applying, and they insist on a regular grade. (If you failed, then S/U the course and try again.) Always verify the requirements for any school or program to which you plan to apply, as these may change in the coming weeks.
Is the Additional Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option available for Fall 2020 and/or Winter 2021 courses for students in the Faculty of Engineering?
Exceptionally for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021, students in the Faculty of Engineering may take up to a total of 6 credits over the two terms to be graded as S/U under this Additional S/U Option. Any course taken over these two terms is eligible to be graded S/U, including required courses, freshman courses, and technical complementaries.
To select the Additional S/U option, please click on the appropriate request form:
For Fall 2020 courses:
- Deadline to submit the request: 18 January 2021 at 5 pm
For Winter 2021 courses and multi-term courses beginning in Fall 2020:
- Graduating students: 11 May 2021
- Non-graduating students: 20 May 2021
- Request form – Link will be posted here on 2 April 2021
Please read the S/U Option Guide, the Student Records Additional S/U terms, and these Remote Learning FAQs to understand the potential effect of selecting the Additional S/U option for any courses. If you still have questions after reading those resources, you can consult with an advisor in the McGill Engineering Student Centre.
Can I still choose the S/U grading scheme for electives and complementary courses in addition to the Additional 6 credit S/U option?
Credits designated as S/U under this Additional S/U Option do not count toward the maximum specified by the existing S/U option (10% of the credits taken at McGill to fulfill the degree requirements). Therefore, students may select an S/U grading scheme on Minerva up to one (1) course per term for Complementary studies courses and electives by the add/drop deadline (see the Faculty policy ). The 6 credits of courses that can be selected under the 2020-2021 Additional S/U option are over and above the regular Faculty allowance of one course per term.
How will choosing the S/U option for one or more courses affect my GPA and academic standing?
Courses graded under the S/U option do not affect a student’s GPA. Standing decisions will be based on the CGPA for all courses taken as a letter grade. If a student’s standing from the previous term is probationary, unsatisfactory (readmitted) or continuing unsatisfactory, the standing decision will be made on a case by case basis, evaluating the CGPA as well as S/U grades.
Will choosing the S/U option affect my eligibility for scholarships?
To remain eligible for scholarships, students must take a minimum of 24 graded credits over the academic year (Fall 2020 and Winter 2021). Courses graded S/U are not considered graded credits. The Faculty reserves the right to use the actual grade underlying the S/U to assess the relative merits of students for scholarships, awards or prizes.
Does the Additional S/U option apply for graduate students?
Yes, graduate students can also choose to have courses graded as S/U. Note however, that a grade of B- or better is required in order for an S to be achieved in a graduate level course (see Graduate regulations in the eCalendar). Graduate students should contact the Graduate Program Coordinator in their Department or School if they have any questions.
If I choose the S/U option for a 4 credit course, can I choose S/U for another 3 credit course?
No, you may only choose the S/U grading option for a maximum of 6 credits over the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms. If you choose S/U for a 4 credit course, you may only choose a 1 or 2 credit course to be graded S/U.
Will choosing the S/U option affect my eligibility for the SURE program?
To be eligible for SURE, students must be full-time, i.e. registered in a minimum of 12 credits per term (graded or ungraded). Choosing S/U option for any courses will not have an impact on your eligibility for SURE. However, SURE supervisors may wish to consider your performance in a particular course that is relevant for their project.
Will choosing the S/U option affect the accreditation status of my program or my eligibility for professional certification?
Choosing S/U for one or more courses will not affect accreditation. The Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) has said that “Some programs will give pass/fail or satisfied/unsatisfied standings (or similar) in some courses where letter or percentage grades would typically be given. The CEAB trusts [universities] to continue to apply their normal academic standards and that students who pass will do so by meeting their institution’s requirements, and such changes will not adversely affect the programs’ accreditation status.”
For more information, please read the CEAB statement on COVID-19.
Regarding professional certification, e.g. through the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ), we do not believe that choosing the S/U option for courses should impact a graduate’s eligibility for applying for professional status. For more information, please consult the OIQ website.
For more information, please read the OIQ Statement on COVID.
Will choosing the S/U option affect my ability to transfer between programs?
A minimum of 27 graded credits must be completed at the end of the current academic year (Fall and Winter terms) where at least one term comprises 15 credits or
- at least 15 credits must be completed at the end of a winter term where it is the student’s term of admission or
- at least 15 credits must be completed in the last term of registration where a student is on a co-op work term or McGill approved internship program.
Please consult the appropriate intra- or inter-faculty transfer page for detailed requirements, application and eligibility instructions, and timeline.
Will selecting the S/U option for a course impact my application to graduate school?
Some graduate schools and prospective supervisors may view an S/U grade negatively, i.e. they may interpret it as a student hiding their grade. You should check with the program to which you are applying to understand how selecting S/U for a course might impact the review of your application. If the course is a requirement for a school or program to which you are applying, and they require a regular grade, you should not select the S/U option. Always verify the requirements for any school or program to which you plan to apply, as these may change in the coming weeks.
Can I change a course that I selected to be graded as S/U back to a letter grade?
No. You cannot change the S/U grading scheme back to a letter grade from a course for which you choose the S/U option. Once you select a course as S/U, your decision is final.
Content on this page was originally created for the Faculty of Science at McGill, and was revised and updated for the Faculty of Engineering.