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Memoranda from USC Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Programs Follow-up to 3/20 Provost Memo re: Options for Course Grades and Withdrawals

Dear Undergraduate Academic Advisors,

On Friday March 20, Provost Zukoski sent a memo re: Options for Course Grades and Withdrawals. Please note the following information that directly applies to undergraduate students:

  • Undergraduates can now change their course grade option to P/NP on Web Registration through April 24, 2020.
  • After April 24, no further grade option changes will be approved.
  • The undergraduate withdrawal deadline has been extended through May 1, 2020.
  • Courses taken Pass/No Pass during Spring 2020 will count towards all major, minor and university graduation requirements for all undergraduate students. This dispensation is only applicable to Spring 2020 courses.
  • The 24-unit limit on courses taken Pass/No Pass will be lifted for this semester only.
  • Any course taken for Pass/No Pass requires a C- or above to earn a Pass grade.
  • Pass/No Pass grades do not affect a student’s grade point average.
  • Undergraduate students pursuing a progressive degree program must complete all graduate level courses (courses numbered 500 and above) with a Letter grade. Additionally, all 400-level courses approved to apply to the graduate program must be completed with a Letter grade. This policy is updated in the FAQs below (dated 3/26/2020)

These changes are intended to help our undergraduate students successfully compete their spring semester. We expect many students to reach out to you – their trusted academic advisors – to help make the most well-informed decisions about these new options.

We hope the highlighted FAQs below will aide you as you support your students. Additional information about these changes and adjustments for graduate students can be found on the Academics FAQ website. The enclosed information is intended for advisors; please do not forward directly to your students.

Thank you for your dedicated support of our undergraduate students.

Andrea M. Hodge
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs
Office of the Provost


Q. Is the GE Pass/No Pass limit also waived? Can I take all my GEs Pass/No Pass this semester and still take another GE Pass/No Pass in the future?
A. Students can take all courses Pass/No Pass this semester. If a student exceeds the 24-unit limit on Pass/No Pass courses this semester, the courses will count toward all university requirements; however a student who hits the 24-unit limit this semester may not take courses Pass/No Pass in subsequent semesters.

Q. How does taking all courses Pass/No Pass impact students on academic probation?
A. Courses taken Pass/No Pass will not contribute grade points toward a student’s GPA. Students should carefully assess their performance in a course, and perhaps consult their Academic Review Counselor, before deciding whether to change any courses to Pass/No Pass.

Q. Can a student taking a class for freshman forgiveness choose to take the course Pass/No Pass?
A. Yes, a student taking a course for freshman forgiveness may change their grade option to Pass/No Pass. The Pass/No Pass grade will stand and their original grade will be excused from their GPA. Both grades will be reported on their final transcript.

Q. How will classes taken Pass/No Pass affect an internal USC transfer to X major?
A. Students should contact the undergraduate academic department of their intended major to understand how taking courses Pass/No Pass may impact their transfer. (Departments – if you have information for us to compile and share campus wide please forward.)

Q. How will Pass/No Pass impact my plans for professional programs, employment, or graduate study?
A. Students can consult with their academic and/or career counselor, or opt to earn Letter grades. When known, the student may choose to contact an employer or graduate program directly.

Q. Can Progressive Degree Program students opt to take their graduate courses Pass/No Pass?
A. Progressive degrees program students are a separate intermediate category between undergraduate and graduate students. The policy for progressive degree undergraduate coursework has been established. How this policy applies to graduate coursework is under review. Please check back at the end of this week for more information.

Virtual Advising Options for Undergraduate Academic Advisors

To: Undergraduate Academic Advising Community

From: Andrea M. Hodge, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs

Date: March 12, 2020

Subject: Virtual Advising Options for Undergraduate Academic Advisors

USC Undergraduate Programs expects undergraduate academic advising units to offer the following alternatives to students for the remainder of the semester:

  • Advising appointments: Provide alternatives to in-person advising appointments via Zoom Video and Audio Conferencing. Refer to the enclosure for recommended language to communicate this message to your students.
  • Advisor submission of paper registration forms via onestop@usc.eduThe University Registrar has confirmed that undergraduate academic advising paper forms (e.g. Academic Review or Course Schedule Change forms) may be submitted electronically by the academic advisor via their official USC email address, in lieu of hard copy with academic advisor signature, to
  • Student submission of paper registration forms via ask.usc.eduThe University Registrar has confirmed that undergraduate students who must register with paper forms (e.g. students with FLAN or GESM holds) should submit their forms through To submit, students should click on “Email Us” on the top left and fill in the contact form with their information. They should select “Registrar” as the intended area and “Registration” as the category. An option to “Attach Documents” is then provided at the end of the form.

Continue to check the website,, for current information.

Your cooperation in these efforts is greatly appreciated.