Student Information:

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading Option / Grade-free First Semester FOR COHORTS 2014 AND 2015

The Grade-free First Semester scheme (GFS), aims to provide a supportive and enabling environment for NUS undergraduates to make a successful transition into the academic and social culture of university life.

The scheme is also intended to encourage students to pursue their intellectual interests, without undue concern that exploring a new subject area may adversely affect their CAP.

What does "Grade-free" mean?

“Grade-free” is not doing away with grades.

Rather, it allows students to exclude the grade of some module(s) from the computation of Cumulative Average Point (CAP). This will take the form of the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option. Students will receive letter grades for their modules, after which they can opt to keep the grade or convert it to a Satisfactory (‘S’) or Unsatisfactory (‘U’) grade, which will not be factored into their CAP.

1. Rules Governing The Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grade Policy
(For Students of Cohorts 2014 and 2015)

Students may exercise the S/U option for up to 32 MCs towards their degree requirements, of which:

  • 20 MCs under GFS, may be exercised only during the 1st semester (students in certain programs may be allowed to carry forward unused S/U MCs– refer to section 2.)
  • The remaining 12 MCs can be used any time during the candidature.

Definition of ‘S’ & ‘U’ Grades

  • ‘S’ is assigned if the grade obtained for a module is ‘C’ grade or above. MCs are counted towards degree requirement.
  • Conversely, ‘U’ is assigned if the grade obtained for a module is lower than ‘C’ grade. In this case, no MCs are earned.
  • ‘S’ / ‘U’ grades will be reflected in the transcript issued by the University and will be counted towards the 32MCs S/U limit.

S/U Declaration Exercise

The exercise will take place immediately with the release of examination results each semester. The exercise will be conducted for 3 days, starting from the day of release of results. The S/U option that you have exercised on module(s) is irrevocable once the S/U is over.

Limitations

  1. In Semester 1, students may opt not to fully utilize the 20 MCs under GFS if they:
    • choose to read below 20 MCs, or
    • choose to drop a module with W or F or IC grade, or
    • choose to read modules which are ineligible for S/U option

    In such scenarios, the unused MCs will lapse when the S/U system closes. No carry forward of unused MCs are allowed except for those pre-approved (refer to section 2.)

    Hence, students who wish to utilize all 20 MCs under GFS, should ensure sufficient modules are read in the 1st semester which are eligible for S/U option (refer to table 1.1).

  2. Students who choose to S/U a core module (e.g. MA1505) with a ‘U’ grade, must re-take the core module to meet graduation requirements. This is because no MCs are earned with a ‘U’ grade.  
  3. The S/U option can only be applied for modules taken in the current semester.
  4. S/U option cannot be exercised on modules with Completed Satisfactory/Completed Unsatisfactory (CS/CU) grading basis (e.g. EG16XX, EG26XX, EG36Xx)
  5. S/U option is not applicable on modules in which a student has been found to have committed plagiarism and modules which a revised grade had been prescribed by the Board of Discipline

1.1 Modules Eligible for S/U option

This table is applicable and relevant to FOE students of Cohort 2014 and 2015. For extensive information on module eligibility (esp. YSTCM & Yale-NUS modules), please refer to the Registrar’s Office S/U FAQ website.

S/N Modules Eligible for S/U? Exceptions
1 Level 1000 modules The following list of modules are not eligible:
  • CELC’s Level 1000 English language proficiency modules with zero MC (e.g. ES1000, ES1102)
  • YSTCM’s Level 1000 Major Study modules
2 Level 2000 modules without NUS module pre-requisites The following list of modules are not eligible:
  • USP’s Writing & Critical Thinking (UWC2101%) and Quantitative Reasoning modules (UQF2101%)
3 Engineering Level 2000 modules with NUS module pre-requisites The following list of modules are eligible: Only for Modules read in Semester 1
  • FASS, FOS, BIZ, SOC, SDE, YLLSOM (NUR), UTCP, USP, RVRC Level 2000 modules with NUS pre-requisites
  • YSTCM’s Level 2000 modules with NUS prerequisites (other than Major Study modules)
Modules read in any semester
  • CELC’s Ideas & Exposition 2 modules (IEM2201%)
  • CELC’s Level 2000 communications modules (e.g. ES2331)
  • GEK2508, GEM2509
  • FASS’ Level 2000 language modules (LAx220x^)
  • Yale-NUS language modules
4 Level 3000 modules and higher The following list of modules are eligible:
  • FASS’ Level 3000 and 4000 language modules (LAx320x^ and LAx420x^)
  • Yale-NUS language modules
5 Modules assigned IC grade Nil
6 Modules withdrawn with ‘W’ or ‘F’ grade Nil
7 Modules where students are found to have committed plagiarism Nil
8 Modules where a grade has been prescribed by the Board of Discipline Nil


Examples on some common Engineering modules that can/cannot be S/U-ed:

Module Able to S/U? Reason
MA1505 Yes Level 1000 module
EG2401 No Level 2000 with NUS module pre-requisite
HR2002 Yes Level 2000 without NUS module pre-requisite
ES2331 Yes CELC’s Level 2000 Communications modules


2. Carry Forward (CF) of Unused S/U MCs


In general, the 20 S/U MCs under GFS cannot be used beyond the 1st semester. However in semester 1, some students may be required to read modules ineligible for S/U option (depending on their program). Example:

  1. GEM1917 & ES1601 by RVRC
  2. Junior Seminar modules by UTCP
  3. WCT & QRF modules by USP
  4. Pre-allocated Engineering level 2000 modules with pre-requisites

Hence, special exceptions have been made to allow such students to carry forward a maximum of 8 MCs of unused S/U to the following semester. Details of CF rules stated below, apply only to unused S/U MCs provided under GFS Policy.
CF rules does not apply to the 12 MCs of "floating" S/U which can be exercised anytime during candidature.

Important points to note on CF

1 Only unused S/U MCs under GFS, can be carried forward. If student utilizes all 20MCs under GFS, no carry-forward is allowed.
2 The carry forward S/U MCs must be used in student’s 2nd active semester (not including the Special Terms) and not beyond.
3 The number of carry forward S/U MCs is max. 8 MCs, regardless of additional faculty/programme provision.
4 The carry forward S/U MCs can either be restricted or unrestricted for use in the 2nd semester.
     ‘Restricted’ – use for specific modules only
     ‘Unrestricted’ – use for any module eligible for S/U option
5 For students in intersecting programs, ‘unrestricted’ takes precedence over ‘restricted’ S/U MCs (refer to table 2.3).

Students in the following programs should refer to the respective tables for information on Carry Forward (CF) rules:

2.1 CVE/CEG/EE/ESP Poly-entry students
2.2 USP/UTCP/RVRC students
2.3 CVE/CEG/EE/ESP Poly-entry students who are also in USP/UTCP/RVRC


2.1 CVE/CEG/EE/ESP Poly-entry students

According to recommended study schedules, these groups of students are pre-allocated Engineering level 2000 modules with pre-requisites (ineligible for S/U option). Hence, the faculty allows MCs of these modules to be carried forward for S/U option in 2nd semester. In this case, the carry forward S/U MCs are ‘unrestricted’4:

Program Module(s) ineligible for S/U in 1st semester Unrestricted.
Carry forward (CF) S/U MCs to be used for:
Poly-entry students
CVE poly For cohort AY2014:
CE2155 (4 MCs)

For cohort AY2015 onwards:
CE2155 (4 MCs) & CE2134 (4 MCs)
Unrestricted.
Any module eligible for S/U option
CEG poly EE2020 (5 MCs) & EE2021 (4 MCs)
EE poly EE2020 (5 MCs)
ESP poly ESP2109 (4 MCs)


2.2 USP/UTCP/RVRC students

Such students may read certain modules ineligible for S/U option in Semester 1. Hence, MCs of these modules can be carried forward for ‘restricted/unrestricted’4 use in 2nd semester. ‘Restricted’ would mean that carry forward MCs must be used to S/U specific modules:

Program

Module(s) ineligible for S/U in 1st semester

Restricted/Unrestricted.
Carry forward (CF) S/U MCs to be used for:

Special Program students
RVRC GEM1917 (4 MCs)
ES1601 (4 MCs)
Restricted.
GEM1917 & ES1601
UTCP Junior Seminar modules (4MCs) Restricted.
IEM1201%
USP UWC-coded & UQF-coded modules
(USP students are allocated either one – 4MCs)
Unrestricted.
Any module eligible for S/U option.
For more information:
http://www.usp.nus.edu.sg/curriculum/acad-matters/su-option.html

Students from RVRC/UTCP/USP are to check with respective program administrators and websites for more information.


2.3 CVE/CEG/EE/ESP Poly-entry students who are also in USP/UTCP/RVRC

These students have to pay careful attention to intersecting rules of both programs on carry forward S/U MCs.
In this case, ‘unrestricted’ S/U MCs would take precedence over ‘restricted’ S/U MCs.

E.g. CEG poly + UTCP
CEG poly-entry student can carry forward ‘unrestricted’ 9MCs from reading EE2020 & EE2021, and ‘restricted’ 4MCs from a Junior Seminar module. Hence, student can carry forward a maximum of 8MCs for unrestricted’ use in the 2nd semester.

Applies to these students in 1st semester: CF S/U MCs from Faculty CF S/U MCs from Special Programs Overall CF MCs to be used for:
FoE + RVRC FOE (Unrestricted) RVRC (Restricted)  
CEG poly reading EE2020 & EE2021 + RVRC

CVE poly (for cohort AY2015 onwards) reading CE2155 & CE2134 + RVRC
9 MCs 8 MCs Max. 8 MCs of ‘unrestricted’ CF: Any eligible module
CVE (for cohort AY2014)/ESP/EE poly reading CE2155/ESP2109/EE2020 + RVRC 4 MCs 8 MCs Max. 8 MCs of CF:
  1. 4 MCs ‘unrestricted’ –  Any eligible module (including ES1601 & GEM1917
  2. 4 MCs ‘restricted’ – either ES1601 or GEM1917
FoE + UTCP FOE (Unrestricted) UTRP (Restricted)  
CEG poly reading EE2020 & EE2021 + UTRP

CVE poly (for cohort AY2015 onwards) reading CE2155 & CE2134 + UTRP
9 MCs 4 MCs Max. 8 MCs of ‘unrestricted’ CF: Any eligible module
CVE (for cohort AY2014)/ESP/EE poly reading CE2155/ESP2109/EE2020 + UTRP 4 MCs 4 MCs
  1. 4 MCs ‘unrestricted’ – Any eligible module (including IEM1201%)
  2. 4 MCs ‘restricted’ – IEM1201%
FoE + USP FOE (Unrestricted) USP (Restricted)  
All USP students 8 MCs 4 MCs Max. 8 MC of ‘unrestricted’ CF: Any eligible module For more information:
http://www.usp.nus.edu.sg/curriculum/acad-matters/su-option.html

For more detailed information on S/U policy (Min. Minor & Major, Residency requirements, etc.), students should refer to the Registrar's Office S/U Homepage.