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Important Update Regarding Spring 2020 Grading

Updated April 2, 2020

Dear Golden Bear Community,

We continue to be inspired by the resiliency of our students, faculty, and staff during this disruptive time. In particular, we recognize the pressures our students and faculty are experiencing in moving to an all online learning environment. As we support you, our goal is to simplify processes to allow you to focus on your learning experience.

This unprecedented moment requires that we take the following steps regarding undergraduate academic policies. We recognize that grading for the semester is of great concern to both faculty and students, and we want to ease that concern. After discussions with students, faculty leaders, and deans, and based on practices evolving in the higher education community in response to the current crisis, we are implementing a temporary grading policy for undergraduate students this semester. The University is changing its grading policy for the Spring 2020 to include a Credit/No-Credit (CR/NC) option.

All faculty will submit final letter grades for all students at the end of the spring semester as we always do.  Upon review of these grades, students may elect to have their transcripts show CR/NC for any or all of their individual courses.  CR may be elected for a passing grade (A-D) and NC will not negatively affect a student’s GPA.  Students will earn Major, Minor, General University Requirements and elective credit with a CR as well as meet prerequisite requirements. Students are encouraged to consult with their advisors for help in determining what grading options are in their best interest in the short- and long-term.

In order to provide future context, every student’s transcript will note that the semester was disrupted due to COVID-19.

Additionally, we are extending the withdrawal period through the end of classes for the spring semester, which is May 1 for all 15-week students except those in the School of Law.

We are announcing that any future applicants to our undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools will not be disadvantaged by coursework taken under Credit/No Credit or Pass/No Pass grading options offered at any school during the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize that students are working under unprecedented conditions, and we appreciate what you are going through. We are committed to evaluating all pass grades for course work without prejudice and are making this historic accommodation because we believe right now students should be able to focus on learning. 

Our deans, faculty leaders, and admissions officers all agreed these are the right steps to take, and we will continue to be as supportive as we can during this time. We will be posting an FAQ on the COVID-19 website before the end of the week on these policy modifications. Please check the site for updated information.

We also know that there are a lot of concerns and questions remaining about grading options at the graduate level. I will continue to work with the deans and faculty leadership on these issues, and guidance will be issued in the coming days.

Please stay safe and well,

Linda E. Jones, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs