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SPS Students

Credit and Transcripts

SPS students earn one unit of credit per course unless otherwise noted (e.g., Field Study and Study Abroad courses).

Pass/No Credit (P/N) Option

The pass/no credit option is designed to encourage students to learn about subjects outside their field of study without endangering their academic standing.

SPS students admitted into a degree program and with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher may use the P/N (pass/no credit) option to satisfy elective and distribution requirements only. P/N may be used for every nine courses completed at SPS. Students are limited to a total of four courses taken P/N and may enroll in no more than one P/N course per quarter. Courses taken P/N are not figured into the grade point average.

At Northwestern, the P/N option is a "blind registration" — the instructors do not know whether a student is taking the course P/N. Faculty assign a grade for the course and it is then converted to a P or an N.

The P/N option may not be used for English 110, 111 and 205 or any first-and second-year language courses. Consult courses listings for additional restricted courses. Courses taken P/N will not apply toward future admission requirements and are not figured into the GPA.

Students in credit-earning Post-baccalaureate Certificate Programs may not take courses P/N.

All requests to take courses P/N must be approved by an academic counselor before the second class meeting. Changing from P/N to a grade also must be done before the second class meeting. Download the Pass No Pass Option Request Form.

Independent Study

SPS students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 who have been admitted to a bachelor’s degree program and wish to pursue academic interests not available in SPS course offerings may design an independent study project. This project may involve in-depth research of a topic introduced in a regular course, original research, or creative work under the guidance of a faculty member. Separate applications are available for each type of independent study and must be submitted to the associate dean of student services and registration for approval at least two weeks before the term begins. Independent study is the most advanced course an undergraduate student can take and is comparable to a 300-level course. Required courses in the major may not be taken as independent study. Students may enroll in a maximum of three independent study courses in a bachelor's degree program.

Intensive Course Sequences

Intensive course sequences compress three quarters of academic work into the Summer Session. Each course counts as one quarter of work and carries its own tuition. Individual courses in any intensive sequence may be taken separately, subject to prerequisites.

The following intensive course sequences are offered this summer:
  • AAL 105-1,2,3 Elementary Arabic
  • AAL 111-1,2,3 Elementary Chinese
  • CHEM 101-0, 102-0, 103-0 General Chemistry
  • CHEM 210-1,2,3 Organic Chemistry
  • FRENCH 111-1,2,3 First-Year French
  • FRENCH 121-1,2,3 Second-Year French
  • GERMAN 101-1,2,3 Elementary German
  • ITALIAN 101-1,2,3 Elementary Italian
  • ITALIAN 102-1,2,3 Intermediate Italian
  • PHYSICS 130-1,2,3 College Physics
  • PHYSICS 135-1,2,3 General Physics
  • SPANISH 102-1,2,3 Intermediate Spanish
  • SPANISH 101-1,2,3 Elementary Spanish

Auditing Courses

School of Professional Studies students may audit certain School of Professional Studies courses under special circumstances. Summer Session courses offered by other Northwestern schools are not open to auditors. Students may not audit computer and lab courses, courses that meet for fewer than six weeks (including those that are part of intensive sequences; see complete list of intensive course sequences below); or any other course in which it is indicated in the description. Auditors are not permitted to submit written or oral assignments, or take examinations. Auditors do not earn academic credit, but audited courses appear on students' transcripts. Auditors are charged an auditing fee; please see the Tuition and Fees page for more information.

Students wishing to change their status from audit to credit must do so before the second class meeting and must pay the difference in tuition in full at the time the request is submitted.

Only the following courses may be audited:
  • All Organization Behavior courses with instructor’s consent.
  • ENGLISH 113-CN Introduction to Literature
  • BIOL SCI 165-CN Introduction to Human Physiology
  • BIOL SCI 170-CN Concepts of Biology
  • BIOL SCI 313-CN Human Anatomy

Grade Reports and Official Transcripts

Grade reports are available on CAESAR soon after the end of the semester or quarter. Grades are not given by phone, e-mail, or in person at either SPS office. Requests for official transcripts may be submitted in person or by mail to either SPS office at a cost of $8 electronically and $10 on paper each. When requesting transcripts by mail, please include the following information: the date, your name, mailing address, student ID number, date of birth, daytime phone number, date of last attendance at SPS, and signature. Please indicate whether you will pick up the transcripts in person (at the SPS office in Chicago only) or if you wish to have them mailed. If you want them mailed, include the complete address for each institution they should be sent to. Please indicate if you would prefer to have the transcripts mailed after Summer Session grades are posted.