"Grade Mode" refers to the type of grade posted on your transcripts after you complete a course. For SOT and SIS master's-level courses, there are two types of grade modes a student can elect. The default mode is always "graded," which means you will receive a standard letter-grade (e.g. A, A-, B+, etc.) for the course you complete. The grade mode you can opt into when you register a class is "pass/fail," which means you will still receive a letter grade from the professor* but your transcripts will show either a "P" for pass or "F" for fail. You must earn a C- or better in a class to pass. If you elected the "pass/fail" grade mode at the beginning** of your course and pass, the grade you receive will not effect your grade point average (GPA). However, if you fail a course you elected to take "pass/fail," your GPA will be effected.
*Your professors will not know that you are taking their classes as pass/fail unless you opt to tell them yourself.
**There are deadlines to change your class(es) to or from pass/fail. Please reference the Academic Calendar for your course deadlines.