William & Mary’s Pass/Fail options for Fall 2020 have been modified. See the Register’s Office for details on using Pass/Fail. In general, for Fall 2020, all undergraduate students may elect to take one course Pass/Fail, which is different from most semesters. You may not use P/F for courses required for your major, minor, proficiency or COLL requirements, which is the standard policy.
If you are planning on attending a professional graduate school after W&M, you need to consider whether or not your choice to take a course Pass/Fail will impact your chances of admission. Our preprofessional advisors have this advice. If you have questions, please contact your pre-professional advisor.
The professional schools will take this fall’s more restrictive policy into consideration when they evaluate your transcripts.
Under normal circumstances, medical schools, vet schools, pharmacy schools, and so on require applicants to have all of their required prerequisite courses graded. Because the emergency P/F policy is no longer in effect this semester, you should not take any course that is required by a professional school P/F.
The usual, non-pandemic advice on taking courses P/F is that if a course could possibly be of interest to an admissions committee, you should plan to take it for a grade, not P/F, and that is the advice this semester, too.
Choosing to take an elective P/F during the fall 2020 semester will not affect students' law school prospects. Since there are no specific course requirements for law schools, there is not a concern about treating any one course differently than others, at least with respect to students' law school applications.
Given that LSAC is continuing to modify the way it is giving the LSAT, using the LSAT-Flex option through at least November and likely beyond, and most law schools are holding classes online, taking an elective P/F during the fall 2020 semester will not affect your prospects for law school admission.
W&M has a combined engineering degree option with Columbia University. Their advice for P/F grades boils down to:
- If the class is in the list of prerequisites, a student should take it for real grade.
- Other classes are OK to Pass/Fail.