Pass/D/Fail Option

The Pass/D/Fail option was approved by the faculty in January 2016, and goes into effect in spring 2016. 

Students may have a maximum of:

  • 1 Pass/D/Fail option course per semester
  • For students entering fall 2012 or later:  5 total non-standard grades, including AP, IB, other pre-college testing credits, winter term internship, winter term pass/fail, and courses taken under the Pass/D/Fail option
  • For students who entered prior to fall 2012, if they invoke the Pass/D/Fail option:  5 total non-standard grades, including AP, IB, other pre-college testing credits, winter term internship, winter term pass/fail, and courses taken under the Pass/D/Fail option
  • 2 courses taken under the Pass/D/Fail option

Pass/D/Fail Option Handbook language (see part C)

Pass/D/Fail Option Handbook language (relating to degree requirements, see part A, subsections a and b)


  Frequently asked questions about the Pass/D/Fail option:

How do I invoke the Pass/D/Fail option?

Please complete the request form, available in the Registar's Office.

I am only taking 3 courses, can I take one under the Pass/D/Fail option?

No, you must be enrolled in 4 or 5 courses in order to take one under the Pass/D/Fail option.

Can I take a course that is satisfying a college requirement with this Pass/D/Fail option?

No, Pass/D/Fail courses may not be used to satisfy distribution, College Writing, FYSE, or culture and civilization requirements.  Additionally, these may not be used to satisfy major or minor requirements.*

*with one exception: a first course taken Pass/D/Fail in a department or program in which a student subsequently declares his/her major or minor may, with the approval of the department or program chair, be counted toward major or minor requirements.

Will the instructor of the course know that I am not taking a course for a standard letter grade if I choose the Pass/D/Fail Option?

Maybe.  Faculty have the option to see the grading mode displayed for each student on their roster.  Some may choose to do view this, but others may not.  Faculty are required to enter a letter grade for all students, but behind the scenes letter grades of C- through A will be converted to a grade of “P” (Pass), while a grade of D or F will remain.

If one of my 4 courses I am taking this semester is Pass/D/Fail option, will I be eligible for College Scholar or Dean’s List if my GPA warrants it?

No, College Scholar and Dean’s List rules state that students must be taking 4 or more courses, with no grade below B-.  Since the letter grade is not recorded on the transcript, it cannot be included in the calculation of College Scholar or Dean’s List.

(If your 5th course is taken under the Pass/D/Fail option and you meet the other criteria above, you would be eligible for College Scholar or Dean’s List.)

Do these P, D, or F grades affect my GPA?

A grade of D or F will count in the GPA.  A grade of P will not.

Office of the Registrar

5142 Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753
phone: 802.443.5770
fax: 802.443.2030
registrar@middlebury.edu