Once upon a time there was a student we’ll call “Clyde.” Clyde elected to take a class S/D/F, which he thought meant the same thing as “Pass/Fail.” Clyde did just enough work to barely pass the class. To his dismay, he got a “D” in the class, which lowered his GPA. Don’t be like Clyde!
Many students refer to the S/D/F option as “Pass/Fail,” but as Clyde learned the hard way, there are important distinctions. It’s called “S/D/F” because there are three possible grades: an “S”, a “D”, or an “F.”
There is nothing to indicate to your instructor that you have elected the S/D/F option for your class; they still submit a letter grade at the end of the term. Grades of “A” through “C-” are automatically converted to an “S” and are not counted towards your GPA, while grades of “D” through “F” remain as such and are calculated into your GPA.
For more details:
How to check if your S/D/F request has been processed: