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Northwestern University

The P/N Option

You may enroll in some classes with the understanding that you will receive a P (pass) or N (no credit) rather than a grade. The P/N option was created to allow you to experiment with classes outside your usual sphere of interest without endangering your academic standing.

To receive a P notation, you must earn a D or better in the class.

Rules regarding the P/N options

Maximum number of P/N classes

Most Northwestern classes are worth one unit of credit. Only one class per quarter may be taken P/N. 

The total number of units of credit you take P/N may be no more than six. (Classes offered only on a P/N basis are exempt from this six-unit limit.) Grades for not more than one-fifth of the Northwestern units of credit used to meet graduation requirements may be P or D.

Types of classes open to P/N

Types of classes students cannot take P/N

Occasionally a student decides to major or minor in some area in which he or she has already taken a class P/N and has earned a grade of P. If this happens to you, you can petition for permission to count the class toward your major or minor. To do this, consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in that major or minor.

P/N registration deadlines

If the option is available for a class, you must decide whether or not to take a class P/N before the last day of the 8th week of a quarter. The exact deadline for changing to or from P/N is given in each quarter's Class Schedule. You can make the change through CAESAR.

Winter 2020 and Spring 2020 quarters

For classes completed during Winter and Spring 2020 exceptions were made to the normal P/N policies. A summary is available in the 2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog addendum. Please consult your College Adviser if you have questions.

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