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Update on PASS and ILL grades for 2020–21

Posted by Registrar's Office on December 17, 2020 in News


To        Dalhousie students

From:   Registrar's Office

Date:   Thursday, December 17, 2020

Re:       Update on PASS and ILL grades for 2020–21

For courses taken in the fall and winter terms of the 2020–21 academic year, Dalhousie 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. Note: this option is not available for all students (more information below).

Deadline for the fall 2020 term:

You can apply for a grade change through DalOnline up to February 1, 2021.

"PASS" grade:

If you pass your course, but do not feel your final grade is reflective of your overall performance on account of the suspension of in-person teaching or other factors related to COVID-19, you can request to have your grade changed to PASS. This grade is GPA-neutral.

"ILL" grade:

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.

How to apply:

Watch this video for a step-by-step process on how to request a PASS/ILL grade. If you have any questions about whether a PASS/ILL grade change is the right option for you, or how it might affect your degree requirements, we encourage you to connect with your faculty advisor before submitting your request.

The PASS/ILL grade format is not available for students in some Faculties or programs. The following exceptions apply:

  • Students in the Faculty of Dentistry, Law and Medicine are not eligible for PASS/ILL grades for any courses.
  • Students in the Faculty of Engineering are eligible for ILL grades only. Requests for PASS grades will not be considered. 
  • Students in the Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Management programs who are considering a PASS/ILL grade change 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.


  • Find answers to frequently asked questions on the Academic Support website
  • If you have questions about the PASS/ILL grade options, please reach out to your Faculty advisor, or to the Records and Academic Support Team at ro.records@dal.ca.

Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. We are all Treaty people.

We acknowledge the histories, contributions, and legacies of the African Nova Scotian people and communities who have been here for over 400 years.