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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis Briefs: Pass/fail parameters reconsidered

Published: March 12, 2010
Section: News

The Student Union is currently negotiating with the University Curriculum Committee (UCC) to expand the university “pass/fail” program to include general education requirements (GEs) and major requirements.

The pass/fail option must be declared with the university registrar when registering for a course. Upon receiving a final grade, students can decide if they would like a “P” placed on their final transcript instead of their “D-” or above (failing grades are not exempt). A student may only use the pass/fail option four times and not more than once a semester.

The Union proposal would allow the program to fulfill GEs and possibly major requirements if a grade was a “C+” or higher.

According to an e-mail from Dean of Arts and Sciences Adam Jaffe, the matter “will be considered first by the UCC. If the UCC recommends a change to current policy, that change would have to be approved by a vote of the faculty at a faculty meeting.”

“It will allow students to have better freedom when taking general education courses,” Union President Andy Hogan ’11 wrote in an e-mail to The Hoot. “Students will be more adventurous and take courses that they are interested in, rather than the ‘easy A’ course to satisfy the GE requirements.”

Jaffe wrote “The Dean’s office does not have an opinion.”

The timing regarding the decision and when the policy could potentially take effect is uncertain, but, Hogan wrote, “we hope that this proposal will afford students more academic freedom.”

By Nathan Koskella, Editor