By Sam Trunkett, CLA Ambassador
We have all heard adage, “pain is temporary, but GPA is forever.” As a job-seeking senior, I can confirm that this saying is completely true. Many internships, jobs, and graduate programs filter out applicants just by setting a GPA requirement. This requirement may be rigid and does not necessarily give the hiring team or the admissions board an accurate idea of who the applicant is and how they will perform in their career or program, but this commonly used standard is here to stay whether we like it or not.
Unfortunately, the quarter system does not allow for mistakes or mismanaged time. Toward the end of each term a lot of students start to wonder about how they will pass their classes or how one course will affect their sacred overall GPA. After 10 terms, I can attest that this kind of stress is neither mentally or physically healthy. I have experienced and seen many of my peers struggle to finish the term strong in all aspects of their lives.
Fortunately, Oregon State University offers S/U grading that has saved the GPA of many students. What is S/U grading you ask? Well S/U actually stands for satisfactory/unsatisfactory completion. In most classes, professors and instructors use A-F grading; which is just assigns a letter grade to your transcript when you complete the course. The benefits of S/U grading are that S/U’s do not have a grade point equivalent and if earn a S in a course you receive the course credit without potentially suffering a letter grade that would damage your overall GPA. However, if you receive a U you do not receive course credit and may need to retake the class. Still, your GPA will not be damaged if you do get a U. In order to earn an S, you need to earn a C- or above in the course; anything lower than that will result in a U.
Before you go S/Uing your courses, you need to be aware of five important S/U grading facts:
1. There ***IS*** a limit to how many classes you can S/U. As an undergraduate student at Oregon State University, you can only S/U 36 credits.
2. You ***MUST*** obtain approval from your academic advisor in order to elect for S/U grading ***BEFORE*** you turn in your change of grading slip to the registrar.
3. There are some graduate programs that ***DO NOT*** accept S/U grading. If you are considering graduate school, law school, or medical school after your time at Oregon State University you should double check with the schools you are interested in to see if they will accept a S/U grade.
4. You ***CANNOT*** under any circumstances S/U a course in your major. If you are not feeling confident about a course in your major late in the term I recommend going to office hours to discuss your action plan for the last few weeks with your professor or instructor.
5. The deadline to S/U a course is always ***5pm on the Friday of Week 7!*** You can turn in your S/U request form at the registrar, but plan accordingly, because the line to S/U can get very long.
Happy Week 7, everyone! Go Beavs!