What is the new Spring 2020 grading policy?
The new policy, adopted by the University Faculty Council on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in response to student desires for a more flexible grading scale given COVID-19’s disruption to the semester, establishes an alternative to the A-F letter grades, which will have no impact on your GPA:
- Credit (CRT): for grades of C or higher. This grade satisfies General Education, major requirements, and prerequisites of C or higher.
- Pass-19 (P-19): for grades of C-, D+, or D. This grade will satisfy General Education, most major requirements and some prerequisites.
- No Credit (NCRT): for failing grades, which will award no credit.
How do I switch to the new grading scale?
Students will log into the student information system (Banner) and make the adjustment. Step-by-step instructions to switch to the new grading scale can be found at the Registrar’s webpage.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:52 pm
Is this grading scale available to graduate students?
The decision to offer the alternate grading scale to graduate students is a college decision made by the faculty of each college. It is not uniform across all graduate programs, and continuation requirements are different in each of the programs. The College of Arts and Sciences, such as Geography, will only utilize letter grades while the College of Education and the College of Business will accept a student’s choice of the new grading scale. However, only grades of Credit will count toward the degree. Pass-19 and No Credit grades could impact eligibility for continuation. Students should consult their graduate advisor for more information.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:51 pm
Must I switch to the new grading scale?
No, it is entirely up to you. You have the choice in Spring 2020 to be graded using the traditional A-F letter grade scale or the new alternate scale.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:51 pm
May I still take a class Pass/Fail?
Yes. You can make the switch to Pass/Fail by logging into the student information system. Step-by-step instructions about how to switch to Pass/Fail can be found at the Registrar’s webpage.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:50 pm
If I do nothing, what will happen?
If you do nothing, you will receive letter grades in all of your courses except for those in which Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory is the default scale or for those you have requested, by April 24, 2020, that you be graded using the traditional Pass/Fail grading scale.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:49 pm
May I switch some courses and not others?
Yes, you have the opportunity to select which courses you want to have graded according to the new grading scale. Please be aware that not all departments will accept all grades from the new grading scale – see below.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:48 pm
May I pick and choose among the options in the new grading scale?
No. When you choose the alternate grading scale, you choose the scale, not the grade. Faculty assign the grades and they will assign grades using either the A-F grading scale or the alternate grading scale with its three grade options: CRT, P-19, or NCRT.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:48 pm
What is the deadline for switching to the alternate grading scale?
You have until Friday, April 24, the last day of classes, to elect to be graded using the alternate grading scale, so you do not need to decide immediately. This choice is available through Banner Self-Service. If you switch to the alternate grading scale for a course or courses, you still have until April 24 to change back to the letter grade scale.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:47 pm
How will the alternate grading scale impact my GPA?
The grade of Credit (CRT), Pass-19 (P-19), and No Credit (NCRT) will not be factored into either your overall GPA or your major GPA, however, it will be included in attempted hours, which can have implications, such as with financial aid. Unlike an F in a Pass/Fail course, which does factor into your GPA, the grade of No Credit will not be included in the calculation of your GPA.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:46 pm
What is the difference between the new grading scale and the traditional Pass/Fail?
Courses graded under the traditional Pass/Fail scale will not count toward General Education or your major, and failing grades will factor into your GPA.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:45 pm
Will a grade of Pass-19 count in my major?
Not always, so please check with your major advisor or department chair if you are not certain. Pass-19 (P-19) denotes a C-, D+, or D. In some majors, such as Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Psychology, and in the College of Business, you must earn a C or higher in certain courses for them to count in the major. The list below provides specific information about these majors, and you should consult your major advisor or the department chair if you have questions.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:44 pm
What will show up on my transcript if I elect to use the new grading scale?
There will be a transcript notation for Spring 2020 for the alternate grading scale indicating that its use was in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:44 pm
Will graduate and professional school admissions departments view Pass/Fail unfavorably?
This is hard to predict. Schools across the country, beginning with many Ivy League institutions, have adopted approaches similar to UMW’s for Spring 2020 grading. However, graduate and professional programs such as medical schools have not been clear about how they will interpret alternate grades resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. You should consult with your academic advisor and/or your pre-professional advisor before making a final decision.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:43 pm
May I repeat courses?
Under existing UMW policy, all students are entitled to retake a course in which they have received a C- or lower. Consequently, if you receive a P-19 or a NCRT grade, you will be eligible for a second attempt. However, if you are already in your second attempt of a course and receive a P-19 or a NCRT, you will not automatically be eligible for a third attempt. You should instead consult with your advisor and/or Academic Services to explore your options. Finally, if you utilized the traditional Pass/Fail grading scale and received a grade of Pass, you will not be eligible to retake that course.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:43 pm
If I am repeating a course and using the new grading scale, how will that affect my GPA?
If you are in your second attempt of a course and receive CRT/P-19/NCRT, your grade will replace the original grade. This means that the original grade will be excluded from your GPA. Your grade of CRT/P-19/NCRT Spring 2020 will not factor into your GPA.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:42 pm
How does the new grading scale affect my eligibility for academic honors?
A move to the new grading scale will not negatively impact your GPA. However, eligibility for academic honors still requires a minimum number of credits earned upon which the GPA can be calculated. For example, to be eligible for “Academic Distinction,” you need to complete 60 credits upon which the GPA can be calculated. To be eligible for the Colgate W. Darden award, which goes to the senior with the highest GPA, you must complete 94 credits upon which the GPA can be calculated. And, to be eligible for the Dean’s List or the President’s List in Spring 2020, you must complete 12 credits upon which this semester’s GPA can be calculated.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:41 pm
How does the new grading scale impact existing College of Business admission requirements?
Traditional students must have a GPA of 2.5 among at least three of the five pre-admission courses. Credit and/or P-19 will be accepted for no more than two of the five required classes. Transfer students currently at UMW must earn a GPA of 2.5 among their first three business classes. If the average of at least two of these classes is a GPA of 2.5, the other can earn either Credit or P-19 under the Alternate Grading Scale.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:40 pm
Will students who already switched to Pass/Fail be able to switch to the new grading scale?
Yes.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:40 pm
May I opt for the new grading scale and stop participating in my classes?
UMW does not recommend this. If you believe that you will not be able to successfully complete your courses this semester, a full-semester withdrawal is preferable. Please contact the Office of Academic Services to discuss your situation.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:39 pm
What if I am in an interdisciplinary major and some majors accept P-19 and others do not?
Please consult the program director of your interdisciplinary major in this instance.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:38 pm
Should I switch to the new grading scale?
There are possible advantages to the new scale:
- Courses graded with the new scale will not impact your GPA
- Courses that receive credit with grades of either CRT or P-19 will still satisfy General Education requirements and many major requirements. There are exceptions, as listed below.
You may not want to switch to the new scale if:
- You are satisfied with the letter grade you anticipate receiving
- Letter grades will boost your GPA.
You may also want to make a course-by-course decision.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:37 pm
What about courses that use the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading criteria, may they be moved to the new grading scale?
No.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:35 pm
If I am on Academic Warning, Academic Probation, or Reinstated from Suspension, how will the alternative grading scale impact my academic recovery plan?
Grades of P-19 and CRT will not impact a student’s GPA, so students with a GPA of less than 2.0 should consult with their academic advisor to discuss whether or not a letter grade is necessary for the success of their academic recovery plan.Last updated: April 7, 2020 5:35 pm