FLEXIBLE GRADING AND PASS/FAIL OPTIONS

The purpose of the Flexible Grading Option (FGO) is to encourage students to explore the breadth of Amherst’s open curriculum as they seek to meet the college’s stated learning goals. Students who enter Amherst College as first-years may elect to take up to four of the total number of courses required for the degree under the FGO; transfer students who enter as sophomores may elect to take up to three courses required for the degree under the FGO; and transfer students who enter as juniors may elect to take up to two courses required for the degree under the FGO. Students may not take more than one such course in any one semester. Courses taken in the second semester of the senior year are not eligible for the FGO.

To elect a course as FGO, students must file the FGO form, signed by their advisor(s), with the Office of the Registrar by the end of the add-drop period. Instructor permission is not required on the FGO form, and instructors are not informed if students have elected the FGO option for their course.

Students will have five days after the date grades are due to either accept the grade assigned by the instructor, or, in the case of passing grades (“D” or better), elect to have a pass (“P”) displayed on their transcript for the course. (No grade-point equivalent will be assigned to a “Pass.”) If the letter grade assigned by the instructor is an “F,” an “F” will be recorded. If the student takes no action, the assigned grade will remain on the transcript.

Second-semester seniors who have not exhausted their FGO options may select one course to be taken Pass/Fail. To do this, seniors submit a Pass/Fail form, signed by their advisor(s) and the course instructor, to the registrar by the end of the add-drop period. (No grade-point equivalent will be assigned to a “Pass.”)

In exceptional circumstances, and only once during their career at Amherst College, students who have not previously exhausted their FGOs and have not elected an FGO in that semester may, with the permission of their instructor, academic advisor, and class dean, convert one course to an FGO after the end of the add/drop period.

In exceptional circumstances, and only once during their career at Amherst College, students may, with the permission of their instructor, academic advisor, and class dean, convert one course to Pass/Fail after the end of the add/drop period.

Flexible Grading and Pass/Fail forms are only available in the Registrar's office during add/drop.  Converse Hall, Room 101.