The College

Grade Options

As an undergraduate at Brown, you may choose to take a course either for a grade or satisfactory/no credit.

You must indicate this grade option — grade (ABC/NC) or satisfactory/no credit (S/NC) — at the time you register for a course. You may change your grade option for a course during the first four weeks of the semester using the online registration system. No grade option changes are allowed after the first four weeks of any semester.

A small number of courses are designated by their instructors as mandatory S/NC. Such courses cannot be taken for a grade, and are indicated with an asterisk on both the internal academic record and the official transcript. If a student has done extraordinarily well in a course taken S/NC — defined by the Faculty Rules as equivalent to an A — the course instructor may give a grade of S with Distinction. S with Distinction grades are not recorded on your Brown transcript or your internal academic record. They do count toward eligibility requirements for Phi Beta Kappa and College honors at graduation. The Registrar's Office maintains a list of S with Distinction grades for these purposes.

In keeping with the spirit of the Open Curriculum, Brown does not compute students' grade point averages. If you have questions about how to complete applications for external opportunities (e.g., graduate or professional school, fellowships), please consult with an academic advising dean.

Course Performance Reports

In addition to the two grade options at Brown, you may request narrative evaluations of your performance from your course instructors. These course performance reports provide valuable information about your success in meeting course learning objectives, especially for courses graded S/NC. You may initiate the course performance report process in ASK, Brown's electronic advising tool, during the semester you are taking the course in question. Instructors are not obligated to honor requests for performance reports after the semester has ended.

Course Performance Reports are not part of a student’s official academic record or transcript, but a student may request that the University send out one or two Course Performance Reports with their official transcripts. In such cases, students must provide the Registrar’s Office with copies of the reports when submitting their transcript requests.