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Graduate Studies

Graduate student choice of non-numeric grades or withdrawal for 2020 Winter Term courses

Senate recently approved two transcript final assessment options in addition to traditional (numeric/letter) grades for courses completed at the end of the Winter 2020 term. These additional options may provide relief to students who passed their course but are unhappy with their final grade (Pass = P), or those who did not pass (No Credit = NC). The university has also extended the deadline for Withdrawal (W) from courses completed in Winter 2020 term until Friday, May 15, 2020.

Please note that in some circumstances there may be other, longer-term implications to having a Pass or No Credit on your transcripts. Consequently, you are strongly encouraged to discuss your possible choices with your program advisor or supervisor prior to deciding on either of the non-numeric options.

A Winter 2020 grade procedure online form for a Pass or No Credit will soon be made available. More details will be shared on how to make the request online once developed.

Graduate Student Choice of Non-Numeric Grades or Withdrawal for 2020 Winter Term courses

Under the 2020 Winter Term Grade Procedure for Graduate Students, graduate students will be able to request the following options for each course completed in Winter 2020 (including 2019-2020 Multi-Term Fall/Winter courses):

  • Keep a numeric/letter grade. (Default – no action required)
  • Request a Withdrawal (W) option in courses for which all academic assessment was not attempted/completed.  A ‘W’ would appear on a transcript.  This can be requested until May 15, 2020.
  • Request a Pass (P) notation in place of a numeric/letter grade for courses in which a final passing grade is achieved.  This P notation will not be calculated into a McMaster cumulative average. The Pass notation will mean the student has met the existing B- requirement as outlined in the Graduate Calendar. This can be requested until May 15, 2020.
  • Request a non-numeric grade of No Credit (NC) for courses in which a final passing grade is not achieved. A ‘NC’ is not calculated into the McMaster grade point but note that some McMaster programs or other institutions may treat NC differently in their calculations. This can be requested until May 15, 2020.


  • No action by the graduate student results in no changes to the grade assigned on the grade roster.
  • The options will not be available for students who are under investigation or h
  • Only originally assigned grades may still be appealed using existing Appeals Procedures.
  • The Withdrawal procedure is unchanged for Winter 2020 except for the extension of the deadline for the request to May 15, 2020.
  • A 2020 Winter Term Grade Procedure online form will be made available for graduate students to request a grade change as above. This form will be submitted to the student’s home Faculty/Program Office.
  • Graduate students requesting a Pass (P) are strongly encouraged to consult with an Academic Advisor in their home Faculty/Program Office prior to making this request.

Frequently Asked Questions and important information available on the Registrar’s Office website.

If you are unsure who you should contact for advice, email for suggestions.