Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

› For the latest information on McGill's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please visit https://www.mcgill.ca/coronavirus.

› For Faculty of Science FAQs (including S/U info), please visit https://www.mcgill.ca/science/covid-19.

Remote learning in Fall 2020

S/U Option Guide

The S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) grading option is available to students for all courses in the Winter 2020 term, including spanned (D1D2) year-long courses that began in Fall 2019 and end in Winter 2020. 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 anything.

Additionally, BSc and BA&Sc students can select the S/U option on Summer 2020 courses, and can count those courses for Science programs (but not for non-Science programs). Note that this is different from the Winter 2020 term.

See the bottom of this page for links to the forms for requesting the S/U option.

This document is meant to give Science and BA&Sc students broad guidelines. If you still have questions, please contact your advisor at https://www.mcgill.ca/science/undergraduate/advice/sousa .

Also see our FAQ at https://www.mcgill.ca/science/covid-19.

First, some facts:

  1. S/U grades do not affect CGPA.
  2. 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.
  3. Here is how grades are calculated for undergraduate students:
    Adapted from the Calendar at
    https://www.mcgill.ca/study/2019-2020/university_regulations_and_resources/undergraduate/gi_grading_and_grade_point_averages
     

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?

  1. For Winter courses, May 22 is the deadline. You will be able to see your grade before deciding.
  2. For Summer courses, the deadline is the end of course add-drop for that session (May, June or July). For May courses, it is extended to May 8.
  3. Decisions are final. We will not allow reversals of your decision. Think carefully and be sure of what you want. Talk to your advisor if you are not sure.
  4. We are allowing reversals for courses where you selected the S/U option in January. If you prefer a regular grade you can have it. Winter 2020 courses only, but it includes spanned courses from Fall 2019 that end in Winter 2020.

When should you consider using it?

  1. If your course grade is below your CGPA, then the S/U will prevent your CGPA from being lowered.
  2. If you earned a D grade on an elective, 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 electives. You cannot count a grade of D for a program course.
  3. If the course is a prerequisite for a program or school that you are applying to, you should check with the admission people 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. This is one reason when the S/U declaration deadline is May 22, which is pretty late for a Winter term course.

When should you consider not using it?

  1. 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.
  2. 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 program course, only for an elective. If this is a required course, you should talk to your program advisor.
  3. 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.

How can you select the S/U option?

  1. For Winter 2020 courses, use this webform. Note the deadline is May 22, and you can only use the form ONCE.
  2. For Summer 2020 courses, add the S/U option on Minerva.
    If you cannot add the S/U on MInerva (because you already have S/U on another summer course, or because you are in U0), then use this webform. The deadline is the course change period for the session your course is in (May, June or July). Usually this is the fourth lecture of the course. Late applications will be ignored. You can use this form more than once, but you cannot change your mind about the option on a given course.
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