Committee on the Undergraduate Program proposes flexible Pass/No Record grading policy

Policy would allow students to designate non-GIRs as P/NR

The Committee on the Undergraduate Program (CUP) has proposed a flexible Pass/No Record grading policy that would allow students to retroactively convert any class to P/NR grading for up to 48 units cumulative after the first year. The policy, if approved in a faculty meeting April 22, will be implemented for the class of 2024 in the fall of 2020.

The policy would not affect any current MIT students.

The flexible P/NR grading proposal would replace sophomore exploratory and junior/senior P/D/F.

In an email sent to dorms March 10, the CUP encourages students to submit their thoughts about the proposed grading changes to an online form.  

The Flexible P/NR grading system “provides more flexibility than the existing grading options offered beyond the first year” and “is more straightforward for students and advisors to understand than Sophomore Exploratory and Junior-Senior P/D/F,” according to the proposal

Additional objectives of the proposed grading system include “facilitating the transition to MIT, encouraging exploration and discovery throughout a student’s career, and creating a safety net to help reduce student stress,” while simplifying “the current menu of grading options.”

Under the flexible P/NR grading system, first-year grading remains P/NR in the fall and ABC/No Record in the spring, although credit limits for first-years are under discussion. Beginning in the second term, students would be able to designate up to 48 units total as P/NR during their time at MIT. Students would have until the add date of the next enrolled semester to retroactively convert classes to P/NR grading. 

The proposed changes place no restrictions on either the timing or classes converted to P/NR. All subjects would be eligible for P/NR designation, including GIRs and major or minor requirements. A passing grade would be a C- or better, while an NR would be a D or F.

Students would be free to spread out their use of P/NR classes or use them all in one semester.

The Flexible P/NR grading policy was proposed by physics professor Jesse Thaler.

If the motion to change the Rules and Regulations of the Faculty is approved at the faculty meeting April 22, the CUP will review the “implications and consequences of the policy during the first five years and report to the Faculty with a recommendation to reaffirm, amend, or rescind the policy,” according to the proposal overview.