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 student 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 form, which is available from the Registrar’s Office website. The form requires both the student’s and the instructor’s approval and must be completed and received by 5:00 p.m. on the seventh Friday of the term for ten-week courses, the third Friday of the term for first five-week courses, and the eighth Friday of the term for second five-week courses.

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.

Students considering a S/Cr/NC option should discuss the choice with their advisers. Those 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.

If the professor wishes to grade all students on a S/Cr/NC basis, prior approval of the Associate Provost is required. An independent study may be graded on a S/Cr/NC basis at the option of the student or the instructor; in the latter case, the credits are not charged toward the 30-credit maximum. The grading method for such a course must be designated on the independent study form, signed by the instructor.

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

See also concentrations, drop/addmajor field requirements, minors, and Phi Beta Kappa.

Last Revised: September 9, 2021

For: Students, Faculty

Last Reviewed: October 20, 2022

Maintained by: Office of the Provost