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Spring 2020 Academics FAQ

Will I be able to switch some or all of my classes to Pass/Fail?
Yes, but there are some things to be careful of.  In light of the current disruption due to COVID-19 outbreak, our faculty have been swift and decisive in voting to make the Pass/Fail option more available for the courses you are taking this semester. Essentially, any student may shift any course (except honors in major and student teaching) to Pass/Fail until 5:00 pm on April 17. Students may opt to take some, all, or none of their courses Pass/Fail.

How do I go about changing one or more course(s) to Pass/Fail?
Consult with your academic advisor, who will help you weigh the risks and benefits of your decision. Should you decide to shift one or more courses to Pass/Fail, your advisor will email the registrar’s office and copy you.  The registrar’s office will send you an email confirmation when the change has been made. That will be the official record of the matter, and these correspondences must be sent to and from “” email addresses.

Once my advisor has shifted my class(es) to Pass/Fail, can I switch them back at a later time?
No, the shift to Pass/Fail is not revocable.

What do I need to be careful of?
Anything your advisor points out as a potential drawback of taking a course Pass/Fail.

A “P” grade does not calculate into your GPA, however, an F grades does calculate into your GPA. If you need to raise your GPA, taking courses Pass/Fail limits your ability to do so.  If you need to raise your GPA (cumulative or in your major) to meet graduation requirements for this May, Passed courses will not help, and Failed courses can hurt your eligibility to graduate.

Some graduate programs prefer or require that you have letter grades for some or all courses, medical school being a good example.

Some honor societies, such as Phi Beta Kappa, and subject-area honor societies have GPA requirements.

How does this differ from the standard Pass/Fail policy?
This provisional policy is in place only for spring semester 2020. There are some noteworthy differences between this provisional policy and the standard policy. For a full treatment of the standard policy see page 53 of the current College Catalogue.

This provisional policy differs from the standard policy in that courses taken Pass/Fail this semester:

can be counted toward a major or minor
can be taken by students in their first semester
can be taken regardless of GPA or probationary status
do not require permission of instructor
are not subject to the limit of one course


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