The Elective Grade System (P/CR/NC) option

The Elective Grade System (P/CR/NC) option was created in recognition of how the pandemic and remote learning have impacted students. With the P/CR/NC option, course results don’t impact your GPA. 

In addition, the Elective Grade System (P/CR/NC) option might encourage you to expand your course choices where you have an interest, but aren’t sure how well you might do. The Elective Grade System was created specifically for elective courses. 

* SFU_Elective_Grade_System_How_To_Guide.pdf
Download the Elective Grade System How To Guide.

Important notice!

Do you have any questions or concerns about the Elective Grade System Option?

Please consult with your Academic Advisor before choosing this option.

Contact an Advisor   }

Elective Grade System for Fall 2021

Students may begin opting into the Elective Grade System on October 4, 2021.

The deadline to opt in for the Elective Grade System is November 2, 2021.

You may not opt in after the deadline has passed.

Final Withdrawal Deadlines

Last day to drop classes using goSFU, with a withdrawal notation of “WD” for the course on your academic record, for Fall 2021 is November 2, 2021.

Students considering dropping a course are encouraged to speak with an academic advisor.

Video: Elective Grade System Information from an Advisor

Please watch this video; an advisor will talk you through important topics of the Elective Grade System, and highlight what you need to consider before choosing this option.

Jump to topic:

Agenda: 0:00:09
Overview: 0:00:26
Electives or Program Requirements: 0:01:55
Exclusions and Exceptions: 0:02:50
Repeats: 0:07:42
Scenarios: 0:08:44
Opt-in process: 0:13:11
Impacts: 0:15:50
Q&A: 0:17:00

Online Info Sessions: Elective Grade System

Need help understanding the new Elective Grade System? We are here to help!

Join SFU Academic Advisors for an online information session. This will be an opportunity for you to learn how best to use this policy so you can make an informed decision on your academic choices.

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Register for the session that works best for you! 
All sessions are an hour long and hosted online via Zoom.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • No upcoming sessions

What are the potential disadvantages of the Elective Grade System (P/CR/NC) option?

You need the course for your program. P/CR/NC graded courses will not satisfy program requirements. So if there’s any chance that you may want to enroll in a program that requires a particular course as an entry or a program requirement, don’t choose this option. Remember that you have until the Withdrawal (WD) deadline to make this decision, so consider your choices carefully and consult with your academic advisor.

Long term impacts. Your official transcript will reflect any switch to this option for a course. For example, P/CR/NC grades may:

  • Affect your ability to meet admission requirements for future programs, including graduate schools and professional programs.
  • Not be accepted or recognized for transfer credit at other institutions based on their institutional regulations. 
  • Impact your eligibility for certification or licensing requirements in specific fields.
  • Impact your eligibility for honour roll and scholarship consideration.
  • Impact NCAA eligibility.

Please note:

Some exceptions apply

Specific courses or programs may be ineligible for the Elective Grade System. 

How does the Elective Grade System (P/CR/NC) option work?

  • You must add (or remove) the Elective Grade System (P/CR/NC) course option no later than the withdrawal (WD) deadline.
  • You can apply no more than 12 units with P/CR/NC grades towards your degree program over the 2021 spring, summer, fall terms, and the 2022 spring term.
    • Within a given term, no more than 8 units (maximum two courses) may be graded P/CR/NC if you’re enrolled in 9 or more units.
    • No more than 4 units (maximum one course) may be graded P/CR/NC if you’re enrolled in fewer than 9 units.
  • If you take a course on a P/CR/NC basis, you will not be identified to the instructor. You will be assessed the same as other students in the course, with the same expectations, assignments, and tests.
  • You will not see your final grade before you decide whether to choose the Elective Grade System for a course. Your instructor will grade you using the Standard Grade System and cannot change the grading basis for you.

Please note:

Be careful not to exceed the opt-in limit. If your unit count changes during this time period due to withdrawing from courses, you are subject to the rules of your new lower unit count

What’s the difference between P, CR, and NC grades?

For a P (Pass), you must achieve a final grade of at least a C-.

  • P courses will count as credit towards degree completion, but will have no effect on your grade point average (GPA).
  • They can meet the prerequisite requirements when there is no minimum grade required or the minimum grade required is a C-.
  • They cannot be used to meet program requirements unless specifically listed.

For a Credit (CR), you must achieve a final grade of a D.

  • CR courses will count as credits towards degree completion, but will have no effect on your GPA.
  • They can meet prerequisite requirements when no minimum grade is required.
  • They cannot be used to meet program requirements unless specifically listed.

Grades below a D will be assessed as No Credit (NC).

  • NC courses will not count as degree credits and cannot be used to fulfill Program requirements nor meet prerequisites. They will not be included in the GPA calculation.

Standard Letter Grade Equivalent

Awarded Credit

Meet Pre-requisites when no minimum Grade Required

Excluded from the GPA

Pass (P)

C- or Higher

Credit (CR)


No Credit (NC)

F or N

What is the definition of Program Requirement and an Elective?

Program Requirements:

  • The courses used to satisfy the program subject or field requirements (e.g., major, joint major, honours, minor, double minor, certificates, or any combination thereof) as specified in the Calendar.


  • Any undergraduate course not used to satisfy the program requirements as specified in the Calendar. Normally, an elective will also be a course outside the subject area of a declared program of study; or
  • Any undergraduate course designated as Writing (W), Quantitative (Q) or Breadth (B-Humanities, B-Social Sciences, B-Sciences) that is not required to fulfill program requirements.

How and when can I add or remove the Elective Grade System (P/CR/NC) option?

  • You may add or remove a P/CR/NC option through Self-Service in your goSFU account. Please review the How to Guide for more information
  • You will be able to add this option prior to the WD deadline, on October 4, 2021.
  • The deadline to add or remove the Elective Grade System (P/CR/NC) option is the same as the withdrawal (WD) deadline, which is November 2, 2021 for the Fall 2021 term.

Please note:

You will not see your final grade before making a decision to opt into the P/CR/NC option.

How do I appeal an Elective Grade System grade?

All students considering an Elective Grade System Appeal to reverse their grade to the standard letter grade must consult an academic advisor. Please complete this form with your academic advisor. The Dean of your Faculty (or Designate) and the Registrar must approve the reversal before the grade is reversed.

In most cases, students will be ineligible to reverse their Elective Grade System grade to the standard letter grade.

Eligible reasons for Elective Grade System Appeal requests:

  • In order to be eligible for a reversal of your Elective System grade to a standard letter grade you must meet one of the following conditions:
    • To help meet external requirements (i.e., accreditation) where a change may have occurred since you made your choice.
    • In cases of documented misadvising where the student has been significantly disadvantaged.

Ineligible reasons for Elective Grade System Appeal requests:

  • You received a higher grade than anticipated.
  • You chose a program requirement by mistake.
  • You chose an admission requirement for a future program (e.g., graduate school, professional program) by mistake.
  • Your course is not accepted as transfer credit at another institution.
  • You would have made Dean’s or President’s Honour roll or any other awards or honorifics if you had not opted in.

Frequently asked questions

I can see all of the courses that I am enrolled in. Does this mean I can choose any course as the Elective Grade System?

All of your enrolled courses will appear on the list. goSFU is unable to only show you your electives. You must be careful when choosing the Elective Grade System to make sure that you only choose electives and that you do not choose program requirements. If you choose a program requirement by mistake, you may be required to repeat the course or take a comparable course to meet your program requirements.

Will I know my final grade before I opt into the Elective Grade System?

No. Final grades will be posted after the deadline to opt into the Elective Grade System.

How long will I have to opt for this grading scheme?

The last day to opt in will be the WD deadline. We hope to have this option available in goSFU self-service four weeks prior to the WD deadline. 

If I am enrolled in 9 units and select two courses (up to 8 units total) to be graded with the elective grade system but after decide to withdraw (WD) from my third class - what happens?

Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet the limits according to the number of units enrolled. After the deadline, if your enrollment is below 9 units and you have opted in for more than 4 units, all of your choices will be reversed and your grades will be changed back to the standard letter grade. Remember you can always return to the Elective Grade System in goSFU and change your choices right up until the WD deadline.

Can I apply the new P/CR/NC grading retroactively (ie: Fall 2020)?

No, you cannot.

Will I be able to retroactively choose the Elective Grade System (P/CR/NC) for one of these terms? ie. in the Fall 2021 term ask for a Spring 2021 term course to be changed?

No. The time period that you can choose to change your grading scheme will be strictly enforced.

When will I be able to choose the Elective Grade System for my course?

You will be able to choose the Elective Grade System approximately 2-4 weeks prior to the WD deadline. You will have until the WD deadline to make a decision.

What happens if I choose the Elective grade system and I change my mind before the deadline has passed?

You will be able to switch between the Elective Grade System and the Standard Grade System for your courses within the limits set from the date that the system opens up to the WD deadline. Once the deadline has passed, whatever decision you made for your courses is final. You cannot change grading systems once the deadline has passed.

Will I will be able to reverse the decision after the deadline has passed?

In exceptional circumstances, with the consent of the student and the permission of the Dean and the Registrar, the P or CR grade may be converted back to the originally-assigned standard letter grade. Please review and complete this form to appeal your Elective Grade System grade. You must meet the eligibility requirements to have your grade reversed. Please review the eligibility requirements above.

Will courses graded with the elective grading system be considered in the repeat policy?

Yes. Please keep in mind the following:

  • All attempts count regardless of the grading system used
  • The higher grade is included and the lower grade is excluded in the CGPA calculation
  • If the same grade or equivalent grade is earned for a repeated course, the course that was completed most recently is included CGPA calculation and the previous grade is excluded.
  • P is the equivalent grade to a C-
  • CR is the equivalent grade to a D
  • When comparing an NC with an F or N, the NC will always be included and the F or N grade excluded regardless of the order taken

Students are only allowed to choose a maximum of 12 units of course work for the P/CR/NC grading system throughout the one-year pilot. Do the previous P grades from Spring 2020 count in this 12 units?

No, any P grades from Spring 2020 will not count towards the 12 units in this pilot of P/CR/NC grades.

Students are only allowed to choose a maximum of 12 units of course work for the P/CR/NC grading system throughout the one-year pilot. What happens if the grading scheme is continued after the one year?

Currently, no decision has been made beyond the pilot period. 

Can faculties/departments with internal transfer course admission requirements (i.e. CMPT, BUS, ECON etc.,) decide whether P grades can be used to satisfy admission requirements, or whether a standard letter grade (A, B,C, etc.,) would be required?

Internal transfer course admission requirements will be treated as program requirements. However, the faculty/department has the discretion to accept the course with the P/CR/NC grade instead of requiring that the course be re-taken.

Are selective courses considered electives?

No. The selective* course that is used to fulfill the program requirement is not an elective and cannot be graded using the Elective Grade System. Courses from the Selective List may be used as electives if they are not used to fulfill program requirements or if the department has not restricted the full list to standard grading system only.  Please visit our page for more information or contact your department advisor for more information.

*A selective course is a course that is chosen from a list of courses to meet the program requirements.

Will FAL X99 and FAN X99 be eligible for P/CR/NC grading?

No, you cannot take FAL X99 or FAN X99 with P/CR/NC grading.

Can I choose the Elective Grade System for my WQB requirement?

If the WQB course is a program requirement, then you cannot choose the Elective Grade System. If the WQB course is not a program requirement, you can opt into the Elective Grade system, however, you must obtain a P to earn the WQB degree requirement. A CR would not meet the requirement.

How will a P, CR, and NC grade affect international students study permits, on-/off-campus work eligibility, post graduate work permits? 

A P, CR, or NC grade will not impact your unit load for the term. In other words, if you are enrolled as a full-time student for Spring 2021, opting for this grading scheme in one or more of your courses will not cause you to be part time. For information on how enrollment status impacts your immigration status or documents as an international student, please refer to the Enrollment Requirements for International Students on the ISS website, and contact an International Student Advisor if you have questions.

How will a P/CR/NC each affect my ability to be on the Honour Roll?

Admission to the Honour Roll requires that the student achieve a term grade point average (TGPA) of 3.50 or higher after completion of a minimum of 30 units at SFU, and a minimum of 12 units (which are counted towards the TGPA) in the term being evaluated. Students must not have received a grade of FD (failed, academic discipline) in any course in the term being evaluated.

P/CR/NC grades are not counted towards the TGPA and therefore would not count in the minimum number of 12 units. P/CR/NC grades will count in the calculation of the minimum number of 30 units completed.

How will a P/CR/NC affect my ability to apply for funding/scholarships/grants/bursaries?

The new grading scheme will not affect a student’s ability to apply for scholarships, awards, and bursaries.

The Elective Grade System (P/CR/NC) grades of Pass (P)and Credit (CR) will satisfy the minimum number of enrolled and/or completed SFU units required for scholarship, award, work-study and bursary eligibility during the pilot period (Spring 2021 to Spring 2022).

The undergraduate Elective Grade System (P/CR/NC) grades will not be used to calculate the cumulative grade point average for awards, scholarships, bursaries, work-study, and entrance scholarship renewals during the pilot period (Spring 2021 to Spring 2022).

How will a NC grade affect reporting on successful completion for government student loans and grants?

An NC grade would be treated as incomplete, in the same way as an F grade. This could impact your successful completion, and would be reported to the appropriate government loan authority.