Grading Options

Grading options are intended to provide students with the opportunity to explore new and challenging subjects and to broaden their educational experience with reduced effect on term and cumulative ratings. These options must be approved by the student's advisor and designated by Add Date, except for the Flexible Pass/No Record option (see below).

Flexible Pass/No Record (for undergraduate students entering as first-year students in Fall 2020 and after and transfer students entering in Fall 2021 and after). Beginning in their second regular semester, students will be eligible to convert the recorded grades for up to 48 units from earned letter grades to Pass/No Record up until Add Date of the next regular semester in which they are enrolled. Any subject of any number of units may be designated under the Flexible P/NR option, so long as the student has a sufficient number of units of Flexible P/NR credit available for use; all the units of the subject must be designated as P/NR, i.e., a student may not designate part of the units of the subject as P/NR. This grading option may be used for any subject, including those which fulfill General Institute or Departmental Requirements, and may be taken at any time. After designation, earned letter grades of A, B, and C will be converted to a grade of P, and grades of D and F will be converted to NR.

Experimental Grading Policy to Increase Flexibility for Major Exploration and Discovery in the First Year (Fall 2018 and Fall 2019 entrants only). First-year students entering during the fall of 2018 and the fall of 2019 will be eligible to designate up to three Science Core General Institute Requirements (GIRs) (3.091, 5.111, or 5.112; 7.01; 8.01; 8.02; 18.01; and 18.02 or their equivalents, including Concourse and Experimental Study Group versions of these subjects) to be graded on a pass or no-record (P/NR) basis after their first term. MIT’s “hidden" grade policy is in place for subjects taken under this experimental policy, regardless of the term taken. Other regular MIT grading policies including first-year grading remain in effect.

This grading policy is authorized as an experiment by the Committee on the Undergraduate Program and is intended to provide additional flexibility for students to explore and discover diverse areas of study early in their careers.

After the first term, students should designate a Science Core GIR to be taken under P/NR when they initially register for the subject, though the deadline for this decision is Add Date of the term in which the subject is being taken; regular deadlines for adding and dropping subjects remain in effect. Under this grading, a P (passing) indicates C or better performance (C- with modifier used within MIT) and NR reflects a grade of D or F. Students earning a grade of NR receive no credit for those subjects, which do not appear on their transcripts.

First-year students who earn a grade of NR in a Science Core GIR under P/NR in their first term or ABC/NR in their second term will be required to retake the subject. Students under this experimental policy may subsequently designate that same subject as one of their three P/NR options or take it under regular grading.

Upper-level students who earn a grade of NR in a Science Core GIR they have designated to be graded P/NR may retake it as many times as needed to pass on P/NR without using up an additional P/NR opportunity.

Upper-level students who earn the internal grade of D in a Science Core GIR taken under P/NR, may elect to switch the P/NR grading to regular grades so that they receive academic credit for the subject. The grade of D will be reflected on their official transcripts and will count towards their GPA. Students are still considered to have used their P/NR option for this subject and may not elect an additional (fourth) subject to take under P/NR. Requests to change to regular grading for a particular subject in which a D was earned should be made via the add/drop application, by Registration Day of the student’s next regular term at MIT. Final-term seniors who make this request must do so prior to the Committee on the Academic Performance's SB degree candidates meeting.

Sophomore Exploratory (for undergraduates entering as first-year students prior to Fall 2020 or as transfer students in Fall 2020 or earlier). Sophomores may designate one subject as exploratory in each of their fall and spring terms. An exploratory subject is one in which the student may either accept the grade awarded in the subject or change the subject to listener status through Registration Day of the succeeding term. Students receive no credit for listener subjects, which do not appear on transcripts. Any subject may be designated as exploratory—including an Institute, departmental, or minor requirement or a cross-registered subject taken at another school.

Junior-Senior P/D/F (for undergraduates entering as first-year students prior to Fall 2020 or as transfer students in Fall 2020 or earlier). Students may take a total of two subjects to be graded P, D, or F during their junior and senior years, where P indicates C or better performance (C- with modifier used within MIT). Such subjects may not be used to fulfill the General Institute Requirements or departmental or minor requirements. However, the subjects will count toward units completed beyond the General Institute Requirements.