SNU Encourages Students to Expand Academic Experience

An undergraduate classroom at SNU
An undergraduate classroom at SNU
SNU announced on April 28 that from the Fall 2017 semester, students will be able to take any classes that are not part of their major, double major, or minor on a pass/non-pass basis, otherwise known the S(Satisfactory) and U(Unsatisfactory) evaluation rather than the traditional A to F grading scale. Although the S/U system itself is not new, previously only certain courses were eligible.
Students at SNU are required to take a certain number of credits in their major, double major, and minor in order to graduate. Graded on an A+ (4.3 GPA) to F(0 GPA) system, students can receive 13 possible grades per class. From Fall 2017, students no longer need to fret about the courses outside of their graduation requirements. Although all students will still need to take exams and hand in assignments regardless of grading method, they will no longer have the added pressure of having grades from a non-graduation requirement course count towards their GPA.
SNU made this decision to encourage its students to enroll in classes of their interest without the burden of academic performance. SNU is the first university in Korea to put this system into practice. It was felt that the students’ curiosity and creativity were being stifled under the constant pressure to get a job or to excel academically. Students often hesitate to enroll in courses outside of their major out of fear of damaging their GPA.
SNU hopes that providing this option will motivate students to reach outside of their comfort zones and expand their academic experience.
Written by Yu Young Jin, SNU English Editor,
Reviewed by Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations,