Audits and Pass/Not Pass

Auditing a course and taking a course on a Pass/Not Pass basis gives you the option of learning the material in a course without the pressure of a grade affecting your GPA. There are some important differences between taking a course as an audit and taking it pass/not pass described below.


Auditing a Course

Auditing means you are enrolling in a course without receiving a grade or credit for that course. An audit counts for credit in terms of ISU billing, but it does not count towards maintaining full-time status. This option generally should be used only to take a course for which you have some interest, but that has no impact on your degree plan, or you are totally unfamiliar with the subject area and want a “trial run.”

Audits do not count towards your degree program, and the course can be taken again for credit. Audited courses do not appear on your permanent record, unless you make a special request through your academic advisor and can demonstrate active participation in the course. Audits do give you the same rights and privileges of any other student taking the course.

Audits cannot be added through AccessPlus: You must have the instructor’s signature on an Add/Drop Slip. Audits must be declared within the first 10 days of class.


If you change a class from credit to audit, you are officially dropping the class and adding it as an audit. This means you will use one of your drops if you change to an audit after the first week of the semester.

Pass/Not Pass Course Credit

Pass/Not Pass (not to be confused with Satisfactory/Fail) means you are enrolled in a course for credit, but are being graded on a Pass/Not Pass basis instead of a normal letter grade. Pass/Not Pass counts as credit for both ISU billing and for maintaining full-time status. This option should be used only to take a course for which you have some interest, but do not intend on using for your degree program.

There are many rules governing taking courses on a Pass/Not-Pass basis, but most students can decide whether or not to consider this option by asking themselves:

  • Do I want to apply this course to my degree program? The ECpE department does not allow Pass/Not Pass credit to apply toward a student’s degree program.

If you answered no to this question, then you should consult with your academic advisor about taking a course Pass/Not Pass. Courses can be changed to Pass/Not Pass basis until the drop deadline (see the ISU Academic Calendar), and you need only your academic advisor’s signature.

If you answered yes to this question, but took the course Pass/Not Pass prior to changing into the ECpE department, there is a chance you may be able to take it for a grade.  Please talk to your academic advisor if you fall into this category.

Your instructor will not know you are taking the course Pass/Not Pass; they will still consider you a student taking the course for credit.

Once final grades are submitted, the registrar’s office will change your letter grade to P or NP. A D- or higher grade is required to receive a P.

Pass/Not Pass courses do appear on your permanent record.

For other questions regarding Pass/Not Pass, feel free to check the ISU catalog ( or talk to your academic advisor.