Auburn University Spring 2020 S/U Grading

Due to COVID-19, Auburn University has expanded the use of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading for Spring Semester 2020 as follows.

Faculty will assign A-F letter grades as normal for Spring 2020 courses.  After final grades are posted, students will have the opportunity to convert, on a course-by-course basis, each letter grade to an SP, SS, or UU:

  • SP - equivalent to a C or better for undergraduate and professional courses, B or better for graduate courses

    • Grade does not calculate into GPA

    • Student receives credit for the course

    • Course will count towards core, major, minor and certificate requirements

  • SS - equivalent to a D for undergraduate and professional courses, C for graduate courses

    • Grade does not calculate into GPA

    • Student receives credit for the course

    • Course will count towards core, major, minor and certificate requirements unless a grade of C or better is required in the course (B or better for graduate courses)

  • UU - equivalent to an F for undergraduate and professional courses, D and F for graduate courses

    • Grade does not calculate into GPA

    • Student receives no credit for course


A note will be added to transcripts defining SP and SS grades as “Satisfactory” and UU grades as “Unsatisfactory.”

Students should wait to request to change any grades to SP/SS/UU once all their final grades have posted in AU Access and work with their academic advisor to make these changes. Students will have until June 1, 2020 to request to change grades.

S/U Grade FAQs

Which Spring 2020 courses are eligible for me to select to be a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option?

Students may choose the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option on a course-by-course basis for undergraduate or graduate courses for which they are currently enrolled. Students will be required to contact their academic advisor before making this decision.

Can I change more than one course to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory?

Yes. For the spring 2020 semester only, students may declare as many (or as few) courses as they choose as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

What are some of the things I should think about before deciding whether to move to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SP/SS/UU)?

There are many things to consider as you make your decision. Things to consider include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:

  1. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades do not factor into your term or cumulative GPA. Any hours completed under Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory mode are counted in earned hours.
  2. If you have a GPA requirement you need to meet, it may not be in your best interest to change some or all of your courses to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SP/SS/UU). If you need to raise your GPA for any reason, such as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), athletic eligibility, scholarship requirements, to meet the cumulative GPA required to graduate, etc., it may not be in your best interest to take a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SP/SS/UU) for some or all of your courses. You should consult an advisor in these departments if these apply to you before changing any course grades to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.
  3. If you are applying to graduate or professional school, or if letter grades are needed for certification or licensure, it may not be in your best interest to take a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SP/SS/UU) for some or all of your courses. If you are unsure whether this may be an issue in your program, please consult your academic advisor.

What is the difference between an SP and an SS grade?

Both are Satisfactory grades. Grades of SP will be assigned to students who receive a grade of A, B, or C after standard grading has closed. Grades of SS will be assigned to students who receive a grade of D after standard grading has closed. These two grade modes are required to differentiate those courses that require a C or better for progression. Some courses that require a C or B for progression will require a grade of A, B, C, or SP to progress.

What is the difference between the F and UU grade?

Both are failing grades. The UU does not impact students' grade point average (GPA), while an F does impact GPA negatively (0 quality points). If a student elects to be graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SP/SS/UU) for this semester, and they earn a failing grade, they would receive the UU grade.

Is it possible that some students in a class will receive Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SP/SS/UU) grades while others receive letter grades?

Yes. Each student will decide which classes, if any, they wish to receive Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades. Some students in a class will likely elect to receive Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, while others will choose to receive letter grades.

What is the process for declaring one or more courses Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory?

After all of your final grades have posted in AU Access, you will work with your academic advisor to change any spring 2020 grades to SP/SS/UU. Follow instructions from your advisor either received by email or on your college’s advising website to request to change grades. The deadline to make the request is June 1st, 2020.

Once your academic advisor submits the request to change grades, you will receive a confirmation email requesting you to accept the change in AU Access. You will have three days to accept the change. If you do not accept the change within three days, the change request will expire. Once you accept the change, the request will be forwarded to the Office of Registrar for processing. Please allow 3-5 business days for processing.

What is the deadline for selecting Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Options for my Spring 2020 class schedule?

The deadline to request to change a grade to SP/SS/UU with your academic advisor is June 1, 2020.

Can any undergraduate or graduate student pursue the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option in courses during Spring 2020 semester regardless of classification, academic standing, or GPA?

Yes. This option is available to all undergraduate and graduate students.

Are these changes to the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory rules permanent?

No, due to the impact of COVID-19, these changes are for the Spring 2020 semester only.

How will this change affect Dean’s List?

To qualify for Dean’s List, students must complete the semester with at least 12 hours of Auburn graded coursework and earn a 3.75 GPA or higher.  Graded courses work applies to courses graded under standard grade modes (A, B, C, or D).

Will selecting the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option impact my enrollment status (full-time, part-time, etc.)?

No. Changing to this option does not affect your enrollment status calculation.

I am currently taking coursework at another institution and plan to transfer my credit at the conclusion of Spring 2020. Will these courses be eligible for the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option?

It Depends. Auburn will accept the transfer courses and final grades in accordance with the policies from the transferring institution. Students are encouraged to contact the institution at which they are currently taking courses with any questions related to grading options for courses they are currently taking. 

Does this opportunity have any effect on classes that were previously designated to be graded as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory?

No, these changes to rules and limits associated with Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Options do not apply to classes that are set up to be graded as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

I am considering applying to Law School or Medical School. Can I choose the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading basis for my classes?

Please speak with your advisor and/or the pre-professional advising resources.

I am an international student. Will changing my classes to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading basis for the Spring 2020 impact my visa status?

As long as you remain enrolled as a full-time student, changing your enrollments to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading basis for Spring 2020 semester will not impact your status. Please check with the Office of International Programs for specific questions concerning your immigration status.

I am enrolled at Auburn as a visiting/transient student. How will the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option impact my course of study at my home institution?

You must contact your home institution to determine if and/or how courses graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis can count toward your course of study at your home institution. 

Who do I contact if I have further questions about the changes to the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option for the Spring 2020 semester?

Please contact your college’s student services office or the Office of the Registrar.

I declared a course Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, but then changed my mind. Can I change it back to graded?

No. Once you have elected to take a course grade as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, you cannot revert to a letter-graded format.

What if I need to access the earned grade after the semester is over. For example, to submit as part of a graduate school application. Will I be able to access that?

No. Your transcript cannot be updated once the grade mode change has been made. If you think that you will need access to the letter grade for any reason, please contact the Registrar’s office.

I’m taking a course that is a pre-requisite for another course (for example, MATH 1610). Is it ok to take this course Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory?

It Depends. All courses for which you receive a grade of SP or SS in the Spring 2020 semester will be accepted as pre-requisites for other undergraduate courses. Please understand that the same pre-requisites apply, and classes that require a C or better will require an SP grade (or A, B, or C).

I have a scholarship from Auburn, and I need to maintain a certain GPA. What happens if I declare one or more courses Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory?

Institutional aid requires a minimum cumulative GPA for renewal; some scholarships require higher GPAs. There is no GPA associated with the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option. So, before choosing the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option, students should make sure their current GPA is at the minimum standards for institutional aid renewal. If you have any questions, please consult with the scholarship office before electing Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

I’m a Veteran, and my tuition is paid for by the government. Can I declare any courses Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory?

Auburn has not received guidance from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on how they plan to treat Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades with regard to benefits. If you are receiving veteran's benefits and have questions, please contact the Veterans Resource Center.

Degree Works - If I select Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SP/SS/UU), will my course credits show up in Degree Works?

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SP/SS/UU) grades will show up in the degree audit for undergraduate students. Passing grades (SP and SS) will show that a requirement is satisfied once the grade is posted. Fail (UU) will show up under insufficient at the bottom of the audit.d.

Financial Aid Impact - How will taking the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SP/SS/UU) grading option impact my financial aid?

The Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option will not impact your GPA. However, if you opt for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SP/SS/UU) and receive a UU grade, it could negatively affect your "satisfactory academic progress" for financial aid purposes. The Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option will impact students who need to improve their cumulative GPA because Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SP/SS/UU) grades will not count in your GPA. The Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option will impact your passing rate, which is required to be 67% or higher to receive federal financial aid.

How changing to the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option will impact a student will vary based on the situation of the individual student. Students will be required to consult with their academic advisor and should speak to a financial aid counselor before changing any courses to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. Your financial aid advisor can help you with determining how your financial aid and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) might be impacted.

Switching to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory - I don't want to switch to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SP/SS/UU). What do I need to do?

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (SP/SS/UU) is optional; this means you do not have to change to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading. If you want to keep the current grading mode of A, B, C, D, or F, there is no further action you need to take.

Last updated: April 23, 2020