Advising & Registration
Pass / No Credit Option

McCormick undergraduates may take a maximum of eight (8) quarter courses under the Pass / No Credit (P/N) option, and use these courses toward a degree.

  • During the freshman and sophomore years, only one (1) course may be taken in any quarter under the P/N option.
  • Junior, pre-senior, and senior students are not subject to any limitations in a given quarter, other than the overall guidelines.

Ineligible Courses

The following courses may NOT be taken P/N:

  • Required mathematics
  • Basic science
  • Basic engineering
  • Engineering Analysis
  • Design Thinking & Communications (formerly Engineering Design and Communications) -- including the speaking requirement

Refer to the P/N Grade Option Policy to determine which (if any) courses in your major program can be taken P/N.

Non-Northwestern Courses

Non-Northwestern University courses that were taken for a grade (but which will appear without a letter grade on the student's transcript, nevertheless) may be exempted from P/N restrictions.

Students should secure approval for this exemption via a curriculum petition before applying such credits against their degree requirements.

How to Take a Course P/N

If you decide you wish to take a course P/N, you normally can do so via CAESAR.

Please note: to take some courses P/N, students need to get approval from the Undergraduate Engineering by emailing mccormick-school@northwestern.edu and by submitting a P/N form.  This ensures that students do not choose to take a course P/N, intending to use it for a degree requirement, only to find out later that earning a "Pass" will not fulfill the requirement.

Students must check with the Undergraduate Engineering Office before taking the following courses as P/N:

  • ANY engineering course
  • Math
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Astronomy

Deadline to Take Courses P/N

Friday of the eighth week of the quarter. See the Academic Calendar or contact the Office of the Registrar for exact dates each quarter.