PASS/ILL grades 2020‑21


For courses taken in the fall and winter terms of the 2020-21 academic year, the University has approved the option of converting your letter grades to a PASS or an ILL, once all final grades have been submitted for the term. Until all your grades have been added, we can’t consider a request for PASS/ILL grades.

The deadline to apply for a PASS/ILL grade for fall 2020-21 courses has passed. 

It may be possible to request approval for a late grade change for your fall term class. To do this, you’ll need to apply for an academic waiver. Before applying, make sure you read through the section on eligibility for PASS/ILL as not all courses are eligible for conversion.

Undergraduate students: Apply through DalOnline > Web for Students > Apply for Academic Waiver.  Select the ‘grade change’ type.

Graduate students: Apply using the pdf academic waiver form, and email this to your grad coordinator for review.

Eligibility for Pass/Ill

If you receive a passing grade, you can request to have your grade changed to PASS. This grade is GPA-neutral and is a good option if you feel that your performance was impacted by the suspension of in-person learning or other factors related to COVID-19. 

If you receive a failing grade, you can request to have your grade changed to ILL. This GPA-neutral grade won’t give you credit for the course, but it will remove the impact of an F from your GPA.

If you have questions about PASS/ILL grade options, please reach out to your faculty advisor, or to the Records and Academic Support Team at ro.records@dal.ca

 

Not all courses are eligible for changing to PASS/ILL. The following exceptions apply:

  • Students in the Faculty of Dentistry are not eligible for PASS/ILL grades for any courses.
  • Students in the Faculty of Medicine are not eligible for PASS/ILL grades for any courses. 
  • Students in the Faculty of Law are not eligible for PASS/ILL grades for any courses. 
  • Students in the Faculty of Engineering are eligible for ILL grades only. Applications for PASS grades will not be considered. 
  • Students in the Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Management programs who are considering applying for a PASS/ILL waiver should contact the Undergraduate Advising Office.
  • Students in the Faculty of Graduate Studies are not eligible for PASS/ILL grades for thesis, comprehensive/qualifying exams, and internship/clinical placement/residency format courses. All other graduate level courses are eligible for consideration for PASS/ILL.
Please contact your faculty with any questions about these exceptions.
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

I have a PND grade due to an academic integrity allegation, can I change my grade?

We can’t process a grade change request until your academic integrity case is resolved. This means you may miss the February 1st deadline to apply for a PASS/ILL. If this happens, you’ll need to apply for a PASS/ILL grade through an academic waiver application once your case is resolved and a final grade has been recorded.

My academic integrity case is resolved, can I change my grade?

This depends on the outcome of your case:

  • If your final grade is a passing grade, you can request a change to a PASS.
  • If you received a failing grade which was assigned as a penalty, you can’t change your grade.
  • If you received a failing grade which was an indirect result of your penalty, e.g. you received a decrease in your final grade, or a piece of work was excluded, you can request a change to an ILL.
     

Will a PASS grade satisfy pre-requisite requirements?

When we convert your grade to a PASS, the previous letter grade is still used for the purpose of calculating pre-req requirements. This means that if you received a C- grade, your PASS would not allow you to register on a course which has a B- pre-req requirement. You would need to request an instructor override to add this class.  

Will a PASS grade satisfy honours requirements?

When we convert your grade to a PASS, the previous letter grade is still used for the purpose of calculating honours eligibility requirements. This means that if you received a C- grade, your PASS would not allow you to count this towards your honours hours. 

It's important that you meet with your honours advisor before applying for a PASS/ILL grade change.

 

I’m repeating a course, what happens if I request a PASS/ILL?

The repeat policy allows students to retake courses to earn a higher grade. Our practice is to always include the higher grade on your academic record. For the purposes of applying the repeat policy, we’ll use your previous letter grade to calculate which grade should be applied. 

If your Fall 2020 grade is higher than the previous grade earned in the course, the neutral PASS/ILL grade will be included in the GPA calculation. 

If your Fall 2020 grade is lower than the previous grade earned in the course, the neutral PASS/ILL grade will be excluded in the GPA calculation. 

Taking this option for a repeated course may have GPA implications, so it’s important that you discuss this with your faculty advisor.
 

I have a multi-term course; can I have this changed to a PASS/ILL?

You’ll need to wait until you have a final letter grade for your multi-term course before you can apply for a PASS/ILL. This means that you’ll need to wait until applications open for winter PASS/ILL grades to ask for this to be converted.

You can still apply to have your other fall term courses changed, provided you have final grades recorded.  

I’ve been dismissed / I’m at risk of academic dismissal; what are my options?

If you’ve been dismissed, or you’re at risk of academic dismissal, it’s important to reach out to an academic advisor. They can help you decide whether converting some of your grades to PASS/ILL is the right option. They can also help you with academic planning to help you succeed in your studies.

If you’ve been academically dismissed and have applied for a PASS/ILL grades, your academic standing will be re-assessed when your grades are changed. This may result in your standing changing to academic probation or returning to good standing.

   

I’m taking a class at another institution; can I change this grade to PASS/ILL?


The PASS/ILL policy only applies to courses taken at Dalhousie during the fall and winter terms. Your host institution may have a similar policy in place – contact them to see what the options are for converting your grades.

If your host institution does not have a similar policy, then your grade can not be changed.