Although a grade of "D" is treated as a passing grade at many colleges in the United States, there are exceptions to this rule. Some institutions have specific policies that apply when students earn a grade of "D" in a course.
As of 2014, exceptions to the policy of "D" being treated as a passing grade vary. Harvard University regards "D" as a passing, though unsatisfactory grade. At the University of California at Santa Cruz, "D" grades earn graduation credit but don't earn credit towards completing a major. Cornell University employs a more complex policy, where students who would have received a "D" if a course was taken for a letter grade instead earn a "U" for unsatisfactory when a course is taken under the pass-or-fail grading option.