Nontraditional Grading Options

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Credit/No Credit Only

With appropriate departmental review and approval, a course may be offered only on a credit/no credit basis. The standard for granting credit under this option is the demonstration of competence in the material of the course.

Satisfactory/Not-Satisfactory Grading Option

For undergraduate students: Students are eligible to choose that a limited number of their courses be graded satisfactory/not satisfactory rather than with regular numerical grades. Any student who wishes to register for a course on a satisfactory/not satisfactory basis should check first with his or her advisor to determine restrictions and eligibility because colleges and departments vary in their rules concerning this grading option. In no case is a student allowed to register for more than 6 credits (or for one course, if that course is offered for more than 6 credits) on a satisfactory/not satisfactory basis in a given quarter.

  • Students may only register for up to 20 satisfactory/not satisfactory credits through Personal Services on MyUW. Exceptions may be granted by sending a request to
  • No more than 25 satisfactory/not satisfactory credits may be applied to an undergraduate degree. Such courses may not be used to satisfy university, college, or departmental course requirements (i.e., may be applied only to the elective component of a degree).
  • Generally, a student may not switch to or from satisfactory/not satisfactory grading for a particular course after the first week of the quarter.
  • Veterans should check with the Veterans and Military Services Office before requesting S/NS grading option.
  • It should be noted that the possibility of future objective evaluation of the student's total academic record is reduced by the extent to which the record includes course work that is evaluated by a grading system other than the numerical system.
  • A student should be aware that he or she may jeopardize future educational opportunities, particularly for graduate or post-baccalaureate study, when other systems of performance evaluation are used.

For graduate students: With the approval of the graduate program coordinator or supervisory committee chairperson, a graduate student may elect to be graded S/NS in any numerically graded course for which he or she is eligible. The choice must be indicated at the time of registration or by the tenth day of the quarter. Note, however, that a minimum of 18 credits of coursework for which numerical grades are assigned is required in approved courses at the 500-level and the 400-level in order to qualify for the master's degree.