Information about the CR/NC and S/U grading policies
The “grading mode” of a course refers to the type grade that will be assigned by the instructor at the conclusion of a course. At Occidental, most courses receive a letter grade, though there are some courses that are only offered with the Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading modes. These two alternate grading modes are similar, but have some key differences:
- CR/NC. Students earning the equivalent to a C or higher will receive a grade of CR, while NC is equivalent to a C- or below. CR/NC courses can not be used to fulfill Core, major, or minor requirements. Courses with this grading mode have no impact on a student’s GPA. Some 0-, 1-, and 2-unit courses are only offered using the CR/NC grading mode.
- S/U. Students earning the equivalent to a D or higher will receive a grade of S, while students earning the equivalent to an F will receive a grade of U. Unlike the CR/NC option, courses taken S/U are able to fulfill major, minor, and Core requirements. Courses with this grading mode have no impact on a student’s GPA. All FYS courses use the S/U grading mode.
In some cases, students may have the option of choosing either the CR/NC or S/U grading mode for a course that would normally receive a letter grade. These grading modes come with restrictions, however, so it is important that students review the information on this page carefully. In addition, some graduate programs, professional school, and fellowship programs may have a preference for letter grades, so students are strongly encouraged to discuss their options with their faculty adviser and, when relevant, with advisers from the Pre-Health, Pre-Law, and/or National and International Fellowships offices before making a decision.
See below for more information about each of these grading modes!