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This document1 amends and supersedes the grading policies of the Peabody Conservatory as stated in the Academic Catalog: Academic Regulations › Grading System and RegulationsThe amended policies apply to graduate students and undergraduates as noted below for fall 2020 and spring 2021.

Default Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading 

All enrollments in the spring semester 2021 will be reconfigured to be graded as satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U).  Students may elect to have courses, lessons, and recitals graded for a letter grade instead of S/U by changing grading format for each individual course by 3 May 2021. After 3 May, the grading format for courses may not be changedNote that ensembles may not be changed from the S/U grading format. 

THE HOMEWOOD SCHOOLS haves also adopted the default S/U format for classes, but their policies will differ slightly with regard to deadlines and processes to change the format.  Please note that not all class may be available for a letter grade.  In all cases, the policies of the division that offers the course will apply: Peabody policies for Peabody classes, and ASEN policies for ASEN classes.

DUAL DEGREE students will follow the policies adopted for Homewood students.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading 

The grades S and U are new to Peabody and will be implemented for the first time in the fall semester.  S/U grading is similar to P/F grading with one important difference: F is a failing grade that typically counts for 0 quality points in a student GPA, whereas U does not factor into the GPA.  Courses that are graded S/U will not factor into a grade point average.   

THE GRADE S indicates that the student has passed the course and satisfied the degree requirement.  In a course sequence, a grade of S in a course indicates that a student may advance to the next course.  

  • For undergraduate studentsthe minimum passing grade is 60%.    
  • For graduate students, the minimum passing grade is 70%.   
  • For all conservatory students, the minimum passing grade for lessons and recitals is 80%. 

THE GRADE U indicates that the student did not pass the course and satisfy the degree requirement.  The student will need to retake and pass the course before advancing to the next course.  

Peabody has adopted S/U grading as a default specifying only that S is the minimum passing grade to satisfy the requirement and advance. The Homewood Academic Council has also recommended that, “S grades be mandated to satisfy all degree requirements that ordinarily require a letter grade including those that would require a grade of C or higher.  

Other Notes on S/U 

  • Students that received an In Progress (IP) grade in the fall semester 2020 will receive a grade in the format selected by the student before 7 December 2020. 
  • For courses graded S/U, Peabody will only preserve the grade appearing on the transcript. Students will not be able to uncover pass/fail or S/U grades in the future. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Good Academic Standing 

This information amends and supersedes the section Academic Regulations › Academic Standing in the Academic Catalog for the fall semester 2020. 

  • Students who retain S/U grading for a simple majority of credits will need to demonstrate a qualitative measure of Satisfactory Academic Progress and Good Academic Standing by passing an established percentage of attempted credits (below). 
  • UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS who elect to take more credits in the S/U format than the letter-grade format must pass 70% of their credits where pass is defined as an S in the S/U format; a D or higher in a class; or B- or higher in a lesson and recital. 
  • GRADUATE STUDENTS who elect to take more credits in the S/U format than the letter-grade format must pass 80% of their credits where pass is defined as an S in the S/U format; a C or higher in a class; or B- or higher in a lesson and recital. 
  • Undergraduate students and graduate students who elect to take more credits in the letter grade format will be evaluate according to the procedures in the Academic Catalog. 
  • Students on academic probation in fall 2020 will be evaluated at the end of the semester and subject to the academic action as noted in  Academic Regulations › Academic Standing in the Academic Catalog. 
  • Academic Affairs will work with students on academic probation to make choices that are consistent with goals for improvement. 
  • Students expecting reimbursement from employers, such as Howard County Public Schools, should inquire about reimbursement for classes that are graded S/U 
  • Students receiving outside (non-Peabody) scholarships or funding should inquire with those organizations about GPA requirements and classes that are graded S/U. 

Dean’s List

For S/U grading, the criteria for inclusion on the Dean’s List are:

  • Full-time status in an undergraduate degree program.
  • The completion of at least 12 credits for a letter grade
  • A semester grade point average of 3.67 or higher.
  • No ‘In Progress’ grades for the semester.

Students who achieve the Dean’s List with a semester grade point average of 3.90 or higher are designated “High Honors.

This policy amends the standard policy only in noting that at least 12 credits must be taken for a letter grade.


1 This is version four, dated 4 April 2021. This version includes the grade preference deadlines for spring 2021 <return>