For over 100 years, Massachusetts Maritime Academy has been preparing women and men for exciting and rewarding careers on land and sea. As the nation's finest co-ed maritime college, MMA challenges students to succeed by balancing a unique regimented lifestyle with a typical four-year college environment. As a member of the cadet corps you will live, study, sail, work and play in an atmosphere that encourages you to be your best.
Q: What is pass/fail (P/F) grading?
A: As long as you earn at least a ‘D-’ or higher, you would receive full credit for the course but no letter grade. Instead, you will receive a ‘P’ on your transcript, and the grade will not be factored into your GPA.
Q: Can I take any Spring 2020 course P/F? Is there a limit on the number of courses I can take P/F?
A: Any undergraduate course that does not have an STCW component can be taken P/F. Due to Coast Guard regulations, STCW courses must adhere to the normal grading policy. There is no limit on the number of courses that can be taken pass/fail.
Q: What do I need to consider before selecting to opt for P/F grading in a course?
A: There are several pros and cons to this decision including the potential implications for graduate school admission, perquisites for other courses, and transferability to other institutions. Students are encouraged to consult with their advisor and/or instructor before making a decision.
Q: How do I request P/F grading?
A: You must complete the Pass/Fail Request digital form for each course you want to take pass/fail. This form will automatically go to your instructor, who will assign you a ‘P’ or ‘F’ at the end of the semester instead of a letter grade. A copy of the form also goes to the Registrar’s Office.
Q: Will a ‘P’ grade fulfill a prerequisite that requires a C- or better? (i.e. The prerequisite for Calculus II is a C- or better in Calculus I)
A: Unfortunately, no. A grade of ‘P’ will not fulfill this type of prerequisite. Statistically students who do not achieve at least a C- or better in that prerequisite do very poorly in the next level. By upholding the C- prereq, your chance for success in the next level increases. You can still opt for P/F grading, but will need to retake the course and receive a C- or higher before going on to the next level.
Q: What if I change my mind and decide I want a letter grade instead?
A: Switching your grade to P/F is a permanent change and cannot be reversed. Please consider your decision carefully.
Q: What if I need to access the earned grade after the semester is over. For example, to submit as part of a graduate school application. Will I be able to access that?
A: No. The Registrar’s Office will not collect the letter grade. If you think that you will need access to the letter grade for any reason, then you should not take the course Pass/Fail.
Q: How will the P/F option appear on my transcript? Will it look bad to have P/F grading on my transcript?
A: When a student opts to choose the P/F grading option, a ‘P’ will be listed on your transcript for any course where a grade ‘D-’ or higher is earned. A failing grade will be listed as an ‘F’. MMA is going to add a statement to the back of the transcript explaining that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students were given the option to take classes pass/fail in the Spring 2020 semester. Since so many institutions of higher education are adopting some form of a pass/fail policy this semester, we don’t anticipate that it will be viewed negatively.
Q: If I choose the P/F option, would those credits be transferable to another University?
A: Maybe. The decision as to whether or not to accept ‘P’ grade for transfer is up to the individual institution. If you are thinking of transferring, you are advised to check with the institution that you are considering transferring to.
Q: How will P/F affect my GPA?
A: A passing grade of ‘P’ will not affect your cumulative grade point average (CGPA) and will be excluded from any GPA calculations. However, a failing grade of ‘F’ will negatively affect the student’s CGPA.
Q: If I choose P/F grading in a course I am retaking in order to improve my grade, will it change or replace the previous grade in my GPA?
A: Unfortunately, no. Pass grades have no effect on your GPA, so they will not replace a failure in your GPA.
Q: The regular P/F policy states that a student can only take a maximum of two classes P/F as part of his or her overall curriculum. Does this semester count toward that limit?
A: No, P/F grades earned during the spring 2020 semester will not be counted towards the regular policy limit.
Q: Will I still be eligible for Dean’s/President’s list if I opt for P/F grading?
A: Unfortunately, no. Students who elect to take one or more classes pass/fail are not eligible for Dean’s/President’s list. Taking a class or classes pass/fail in Spring 2020 does not affect your eligibility for future semesters.
Q: Can I still graduate with Latin Honors if I take classes P/F? What about Valedictorian eligibility?
A: Yes. Since Latin Honors (Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude) and Valedictorian are determined based on your entire tenure at MMA, opting for P/F grading in Spring 2020 will not interfere with your eligibility.
Q: Will taking a class pass/fail affect my scholarship that requires a certain GPA?
A: Student Financial Services will still look at your cumulative GPA to determine scholarship eligibility, however courses with a grade of 'P' are not calculated into your GPA.
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