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Due to the disruption caused by COVID-19 pandemic this semester academic policies have been changed for the Spring 2020 semester to provide students with greater flexibility during this difficult period. As a result, most courses in the Spring 2020 schedule will be eligible for Pass/No Credit (P/NC) grading, and all completed courses with passing grades under P/NC will be available for use towards academic requirements, including University Studies, major, minor, program of study, and certificates.

Faculty are required to issue course letter grades for all students. Students who elect P/NC option for a course will have their letter grade converted to a “P” grade or “NC” grade on their transcript, but the university will maintain a record of the actual letter grade earned. The P/NC option provides the following:

  • A grade of “P” on the transcript: undergraduate courses: grade of D- or better graduate courses: grade of C or better
  • A grade of “NC” on the transcript: undergraduate courses: grade of F graduate courses: grade of C- or worse

No, students must elect the P/NC grading option for their individual spring 2020 course in COIN beginning on May 1st.  If students do not elect P/NC in COIN, they will receive letter grades. Please consult with your academic and/or professional advisor, as well as mentors, prospective employers or graduate schools before choosing this option.

Students can select or revoke the P/NC option in COIN from April 30, 2020 until May 15th, 2020. The P/NC decision cannot be reversed after May 15th.

For the spring 2020 semester only, the requirement limiting the total number of P/NC courses that can be used in each semester has been suspended, and students can elect P/NC for as many eligible courses as they wish. Note:  In cases where prevailing accreditation, professional licensing or certification requirements or other legal or regulatory obligations explicitly prohibit a course to be taken P/NC; the option to elect the course as Pass/No Credit will not be available in COIN and will be grayed out.

Courses with a P or NC grade do not impact your GPA. In other words, P and NC grades will neither raise nor lower your semester or cumulative GPA.

For the Spring 2020 semester only, University Studies and most required major/minor/program courses may be elected as P/NC and count toward those requirements.  Note:  In cases where prevailing accreditation, professional licensing or certification requirements or other legal or regulatory obligations explicitly prohibit a course to be taken P/NC; the option will not be available for students to select in COIN.

You may request an Incomplete (I) grade in a course by submitting the Incomplete Grade Request Form at Registrar/Student Forms to your instructor and the signed form must be received by the Registrar’s Office by May 9, 2020. You may select a P/NC grading option on all eligible courses, including incomplete courses, in COIN until May 15, 2020. If no P/NC grading selection is made by May 15, 2020 and the required work is not completed after one calendar year, an FI (failing grade) will be issued. You do not have until you complete the coursework to select the P/NC grading option.

You can choose to elect the P/NC option and will be allowed to move on to the next course with a P, however, students should understand that the P grade includes any grade of D- or better for undergraduate courses and any grade of C or better for graduate courses. Undergraduate students who pass a class with a grade lower than a C may not be adequately prepared for subsequent classes that rely on prior knowledge of a subject and should consult with their instructors or advisors before they attempt a subsequent class. If you receive an NC grade, you will not have met the prerequisite requirement and will need to repeat the course prior to moving on.

The decision to convert a letter grade to a P/NC grade should not be made lightly. Students are strongly urged not to make decisions to switch to P/NC in any course(s) without consulting with their college’s professional advisor and/or their faculty or program advisor, to ensure that selection of P/NC will not present unintended obstacles toward their degree progression, or for those desiring to attend graduate school (including law, medical, dental, or veterinary school) who may be required to or wish to provide letter grades for certain courses.  

For the spring 2020 semester only, for students who elect to switch to P/NC in a course that they are repeating to replace a previously earned grade, the original grade will be removed from your GPA calculation and, as with all P/NC grades, the P or NC will not impact your GPA. Students should evaluate whether to elect the P/NC option as the GPA calculation with a letter grade may raise cumulative GPA more than a P or NC grade.

No, all undergraduate students must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA and the total number of required credits for their major to graduate.  In addition, you must meet your major GPA requirement as specified by your department.

For undergraduate courses, a passing grade “P” is recorded on your transcript if you receive a D- or better grade.

For graduate courses, a passing grade “P” is recorded on your transcript if you receive a C or better grade.

P/NC could have several impacts on financial aid. Students on probation for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) who opt to receive a P will not have the opportunity to improve their GPA as required by their academic plan. Students in this situation would need to submit a subsequent appeal. These students will still earn the credits attempted.  There is no guarantee that an appeal will be approved.

NC is considered a grade and is viewed as attempted but not earned credits. Students are required to earn 67% of the credits they attempt which will be affected by receiving a NC grade. NC will also affect student’s requirements to complete their program within a time frame of 150% of the defined academic length for the student’s program. Students who receive NC grades will continue to have the credits accounted for within their financial aid credit load. For example, if you are taking 12 credits this spring semester and choose to take NC grades in two of your classes you would not be dropped to half-time and your financial aid would not be re-evaluated. Students will continue to be reviewed for Satisfactory Academic Progress and will need to appeal if their completion percentage would be less than the required 67%. Our standard policies apply if you choose to have your class graded in the traditional format.

NC grades may also have an impact on scholarships. A student who receives institutional merit scholarships will have the opportunity to appeal if they find they are not meeting the guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic by completing the Reevaluation Request Form. Students who find they are not meeting requirements for scholarships not administered or controlled by UMassD (private scholarships, John and Abigail Adams, etc.) are encouraged to reach out to their aid provider to request additional consideration.

We strongly encourage students who are considering the P/NC option to contact their dedicated financial aid counselor for assistance.

Due to the extenuating circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, students will not be placed on academic warning, probation, suspension or dismissal at the end of the spring 2020 semester.

Yes, Dean’s and Chancellor’s List designations will be made for undergraduate students for spring 2020, provided students are receiving letter grades for at least 12 credits of work.  Please note credits for any courses selected for the P/NC option will not apply toward those 12 credits.

The P/NC credit option may be selected and changed in COIN for individual courses through May 15th. The P/NC decision cannot be reversed in COIN after May 15th.  Please consult with your academic and/or professional advisor, as well as mentors, prospective employers or graduate schools before choosing this option.

Yes, the student may request an official letter from the Registrar’s Office indicating the letter grade that was submitted by the faculty member prior to the P/NC conversion.

The Athletic Department will maintain the current policy for athletic eligibility which requires a minimum GPA of 2.00 after two full-time semesters and a minimum GPA of 1.70 after the first full-time semester. 

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