Academic Regulations & Procedures

Satisfactory/Credit/No Credit (S/Cr/NC or "scrunch" option)

In order to encourage exploration into unfamiliar, risky areas of the curriculum, Carleton offers students the option to take courses under the S/Cr/NC option. S/Cr/NC grades have no grade point value and do not count toward a student’s GPA. A continuing student may elect to take up to six credits per term on a S/Cr/NC basis with a maximum total of 30 such credits being allowed during the student’s four years at Carleton. The limits of six and 30 credits do not include mandatory S/Cr/NC courses. The grade of S means the equivalent of at least C- work; Cr means D+, D, or D- work; NC means F work.

Students may declare up to six credits per term as elective S/Cr/NC by completing and submitting a S/Cr/NC request, instructions for doing so are from the Registrar’s Office website. Students considering a S/Cr/NC option should discuss the choice with their instructor and adviser. The student’s request to S/Cr/NC must be submitted by the late-drop deadline. Before a S/Cr/NC will be processed, the instructor must acknowledge that they have had a conversation with the student (though such an acknowledgement does not imply their agreement with the student’s decision to S/Cr/NC); the student will not be denied the option if they have engaged in a conversation with the instructor prior to the late-drop deadline. The instructor and adviser will be notified when the S/Cr/NC has been processed.

Students considering a S/Cr/NC option who are contemplating graduate school should be aware that some graduate schools compute S (satisfactory) grades into a GPA as the lowest possible letter grade they might represent and some schools compute NC (no-credit) grades as F grades; some graduate schools look askance at more than a few ungraded courses on a transcript. The Academic Standing Committee (ASC) will not consider petitions to change a grade to or from the S/Cr/NC option.

Courses may not be retaken S/Cr/NC unless they were originally given only on a S/Cr/NC basis.

Note that for a course to count toward the major or the minor, it cannot be taken on an elective S/Cr/NC basis. Departments may make exceptions for extra-departmental courses if appropriate. Courses taken to fulfill specific college graduation requirements (e.g., liberal arts requirements and writing and language proficiency) must be passed with a grade of S or C- or better.

If the professor wishes to grade all students on a S/Cr/NC basis, prior approval of the Associate Provost is required.

At the option of the instructor, an independent study may be offered on a mandatory S/Cr/NC basis, on a mandatory A–F basis (with no option for a S/Cr/NC grade), or on an elective basis (with the student given the option to elect to alter the A–F basis to a S/Cr/NC grading basis by the deadline described above; it is only in this last case that the credits are charged toward the 6- and 30-credit maximums). The grading method for independent work must be designated on the independent study form approved by the instructor.

The registrar cannot verify the exact letter grade represented by “S.”

Last Revised: April 29, 2024

For: Faculty, Students

Last Reviewed: October 20, 2022

Maintained by: Office of the Provost