Pass/Fail Grading Policy for Spring 2021 Semester

Continuation of the public health emergency created by the Covid-19 pandemic means that the campus will not be returning to normal operations in the Spring 2021 term. The largest portion of instruction will continue to be remote; most students will continue to work on their courses while living off-campus. Though faculty and returning students have had time to adjust to remote instruction, the economic and other stresses of the pandemic have not disappeared. To alleviate some of the stress students may experience, the university will operate under a partial alteration of undergraduate grading mechanisms.

Modified Grading for Undergraduate Students and Undergraduate Courses for Spring 2021

(includes UG students in 500 level courses):

  • All courses designated as Letter Grading only courses will continue to be offered as Letter Grading with Pass/Fail option.
  • Students will be allowed to select Pass/Fail grading for up to three courses.
  • The deadline to declare Pass/Fail will be extended to Tuesday, May 4th 2021.
  • The current University policies restricting the number of Pass/Fail courses a student can take in a given semester and restricted usage of Pass/Fail courses for satisfaction of major, School/College, and University requirements including the General Education and Writing curriculum will be suspended for the Spring 2021 semester.
  • Prerequisite courses are courses in which mastery of the material indicated by a specified grade is required to register for, or stay registered in, a higher-numbered course or for entry into a particular major.  Each department or major may, if it so chooses, use the underlying letter grades (i.e., the initially-reported letter grades) in prerequisite courses that are taken pass/fail to enforce the minimum grade requirement specified for registering, or staying registered, in a later course or for entering the particular major.  Use of underlying grades for this purpose will have no effect on a student's semester or cumulative GPA.
  • Undergraduates enrolled in graduate-level courses (600 or above) will follow the graduate grading rules in which, for most courses, a SAT (satisfactory) grade is available.  Any graduate course selected for Sat/F grading will count in the total number of courses an undergraduate is taking Pass/Fail.  Undergraduates enrolled in graduate-level courses must make arrangements with the instructor prior to the end of the semester to receive a SAT instead of a letter grade.
  • Actual course grades may be needed by the student for application to graduate school, medical school, professional programs, other post-baccalaureate purposes, and to meet scholarship eligibility requirements.  Students have up to six months after graduation to select a letter or pass grade before their University record/transcript is “frozen” and no further changes are allowed.  After this period, if a student has a course in which a pass grade was received but requires a letter grade for any of the reasons identified, that student may request an official letter from the Registrar’s Office indicating the letter grade that was submitted by the faculty member.

Grade Recording Process Note:  The grading scheme that applies to each course, (e.g, Mandatory P/F, Letter Grade only, or Letter Grade w/option for Pass/Fail) is specified when it is submitted to the Registrar’s Office to be offered the next semester.  For courses with a grading scheme of Letter Grade w/option for Pass/Fail (also known as “Elective Pass-Fail”) the instructor submits a letter grade earned for every student. If the letter grade is F, it is a Failing grade and is factored into the GPA. If the student receives a passing letter grade (A through D), an initial computation of the cumulative average will be made. This average will include all graded courses from prior semesters as well as graded courses from the current semester. If the course elected Pass/Fail during the current semester carries a grade higher than the initially computed cumulative average, the reported letter grade will be recorded and the cumulative average recomputed; otherwise the P or F will be recorded.  This ensures that there will be letter grading (A through D) for students whose GPA will be helped by receiving the actual letter grade they earned in the course.