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Alternative Grading for 11-week graduate term

Updated April 14, 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 academic policies affecting students taking 11-week graduate courses. We recognize that grading for the spring term 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. The University is changing its grading policy for the Spring 2020 11-week term to include a Credit/No-Credit (CR/NC) option. This applies to all courses with the exception of those in Education and Psychology as leadership in these departments has determined letter grades must stand.

All faculty will submit final letter grades for all students at the end of the Spring term as they 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-C) and NC will not negatively affect a student’s GPA.  Students will earn required, core and elective graduate credits 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 the term was disrupted due to COVID-19.

We are also announcing that any future applicants to our 11-week graduate and professional programs 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 coursework 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. Please see the FAQ on the COVID-19 website for more information on these policy modifications.