Spring 2020 Academic Regulations


 

ACADEMIC REGULATIONS: Undergraduate students

The following changes pertain to undergraduate students in Spring 2020 only and supersede the usual rule limiting students to only one Pass/Fail course per semester.

These regulations reflect thoughtful consideration for the special circumstances pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the UD spring semester, as collaboratively determined by the University President, Provost, Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs, the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, the Registrar, the Deans of the colleges, Faculty Senate representatives, Student Financial Services, the Vice President for Strategic Planning and Analysis, and the Budget Office. 

Grading: Professors will assign letter grades as usual.  The last date for posting grades to UDSIS is Monday, June 1, 2020.  Between that date and Tuesday, June 9, 2020, undergraduate students will have the option to request a change from a letter grade to a modified Pass/Fail grading option.  

Please note that changing grade options may have implications for students. Students who are considering a change to the modified Pass/Fail grading option should review the Undergraduate Grade Change FAQ and consult with their assistant dean’s office before making the change. Students may choose the modified Pass/Fail option for Spring 2020 for electives and courses that are required for their degree. The modified Pass/Fail option consists of four grade possibilities - none of which impact the student’s GPA:

  • High Pass equals grades from A through B-. A grade of “High Pass” will satisfy the minimum grade requirement for all courses taken to meet graduation requirements and will satisfy the prerequisite grade for subsequent courses (regardless of the minimum grade required).
  • Mid Pass equals grades from C+ through C-. A grade of “Mid Pass” will satisfy the minimum grade needed for courses that require a C- or higher for graduation and will satisfy the prerequisite grade for subsequent courses that require a minimum grade of C- or better.
  • Low Pass equals grades from D+ through D-. A grade of “Low Pass” will satisfy the minimum grade needed for courses that require a D- or higher for graduation and will be satisfy the prerequisite grade for subsequent courses that have a minimum requirement of D+ through D-.
  • No Credit replaces an F. With a grade of “No Credit,” the student does not earn credit for the course.  

In order to permit students to change to these modified grading options, there will be a one- to two-week delay in posting spring 2020 course information to official transcripts. 

Transcripts will have a notation in the legend indicating that the Spring 2020 semester was significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Withdrawal from courses: Should students wish to withdraw from a course rather than selecting the modified Pass/Fail option at the end of the term, the University of Delaware is extending the period during which students may withdraw from courses with no academic penalty to Friday, May 1. Students will not be charged the usual $25 fee for withdrawing from a course.  Withdrawn courses will appear with the normal grade of “W” on the transcript.

Please note that if withdrawing from courses results in the student being enrolled in fewer than 12 credits (i.e., moving from full-time to part-time status) there are implications for student financial aid, as has always been the case.  Consequently, students should read the Undergraduate Withdrawal from Course FAQ and consult with Student Financial Services to inform their decision.

Undergraduate Grade Change FAQ

Students who want to change the grading option for one or more courses should contact their assistant dean’s office to discuss the implications of the grade change options.  Students should contact their assistant dean’s office before the last day of classes even though the period for changing grade options begins after grades are posted.  

o   College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Undergraduate Student Services, anr-academics@udel.edu

o   College of Arts & Sciences, Undergraduate Academic Services, as-advise@udel.edu

o   Lerner College of Business & Economics, Undergraduate Advising & Academic Services, lerner-advise@udel.edu

o   College of Earth, Ocean & Environment, Student Services, ceoe-academics@udel.edu

o   College of Education & Human Development, Student Services, kritz@udel.edu

o   College of Engineering, Undergraduate Advisement, eg-advisement@udel.edu

o   College of Health Sciences, Undergraduate Student Services, chs-advise@udel.edu

o   University Studies, ust-advise@udel.edu

o   Associate in Arts Program, Advisement, aap-advise@udel.edu

o  Division of Professional & Continuing Studies ACCESS Center, Student Services, access-advise@udel.edu

Note: Students are not required to change the grading option for their courses if they are pleased with the grades they have earned.  However, grades of D+ through F will automatically be changed.

o   If a student earns a D+, D or D-, the Registrar’s Office will automatically convert the grade to Low Pass; students do not need to do anything to convert the grade to Low Pass.

o   If a student earns an F, the Registrar’s Office will automatically convert this grade to No Credit; students do not need to do anything to switch a course grade from F to No Credit.

Students who receive UD scholarships that require them to successfully complete 12 credits per term with a specific minimum GPA may change to High Pass/Mid Pass/Low Pass/No Credit without penalty.  This semester’s GPA will not be considered in our review of a student’s eligibility for renewal of their scholarship.  Students who had a cumulative GPA below 3.0 at the beginning of the Spring 2020 semester and had hoped to use this semester to bring their GPA up to meet the required minimum GPA will not lose their scholarship if their cumulative GPA at the end of the Spring 2020 semester remains below the required minimum.  However, students who begin the 2020-2021 academic year with a GPA below the required minimum GPA for their scholarship will need to bring their GPA up to meet the GPA requirement by the end of Spring 2021 in order to keep their scholarship for the following year.

Students who receive federal financial aid (e.g., Pell Grants) must be enrolled in at least six credits.  Students may change to High Pass/Mid Pass/Low Pass/No Credit.  However, they must earn credit (i.e., receive a passing grade) for at least one course.  Students who do not earn credit for any courses are considered as having unofficially withdrawn from college.  If students who receive federal aid do not earn credit for at least one course, the University may be required to return a percentage of the aid received to the federal government

We encourage students who are planning to apply to a graduate program, medical or other health professions program (e.g., dental, physician’s assistant), veterinary school, law school, and other postbaccalaureate programs to contact their advisor before the end of the semester to discuss the implications of changing from letter grades to High Pass/Mid Pass/Low Pass/No Credit.  We have been advised by medical schools that they will not accept Pass/Fail grades for required science courses.

Students who are in the probation process may switch to High Pass/Mid Pass/Low Pass/No Credit.  If students in the probation process do not reduce their total number of quality deficit points this semester, they will remain in the probation process, and they will not be considered for academic dismissal.  This includes students who are in the Special Probation process.

International students holding F-1 or J-1 visa status at UD must consult with an Immigration Services Advisor at the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) before withdrawing from a class or requesting the High Pass/Mid Pass/Low Pass option.

Students who are sponsored by foreign governments or other entities must check with their sponsor before changing to High Pass/Mid Pass/Low Pass/No Credit grading to ensure that the High Pass/Mid Pass/Low Pass course grades will be recognized by their sponsor.

Student athletes must consult with their Student Services for Athletes advisor before making a change to their grading option.

Students in pre-professional programs (e.g., teaching, engineering, business) should speak with their advisors to make sure that changing to the High Pass/Mid Pass/Low Pass grading system will not affect their ability to meet certification or licensing requirements.  Many health professional schools (e.g., medical, dental, veterinary) will not accept Pass/No Credit grades for key courses.

NOTE: The nursing program is seeking advice from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and from the Delaware State Board of Nursing before allowing the High Pass/Mid Pass/Low Pass grading option for the didactic nursing courses.

As long as the student is an undergraduate student (i.e., the baccalaureate degree has not been conferred), the student may choose the High Pass/Mid Pass/Low Pass grading option for graduate-level courses in which they are currently enrolled.

Students who may in the future transfer to another institution need to be aware that most institutions will only accept transfer credits for courses earning a grade of C or better.    

Students who elected to change their grading option to pass/fail prior to the university moving spring 2020 classes online will be returned to the standard grading option. This will allow the student to see the course letter grade and decide whether or not to opt into the modified pass/no credit option. Students will have an opportunity to opt in between June 1, 2020 and June 9, 2020, after final grades have been assigned.

Normally, the total number of credits earned on a pass/fail basis may not exceed 24 in the baccalaureate degree program, excluding those courses that are graded pass/fail only.  Any classes taken in Spring 2020 under the modified pass/no credit grading option will not count toward this 24 credit maximum.

In courses for which Pass/Fail is the only grading option, if students earn a “Pass” that grade will remain “Pass.”  However, if a student earns a “Fail,” the “Fail” will automatically be converted into “No Credit.”

Normally when students stop attending or participating in class without officially withdrawing a grade of Z is posted at the end of the term, computing in the GPA the same as a grade of F does.  For spring 2020, if a student earns a Z, that grade will convert to No Credit.

A grade of X indicates class failure due to academic dishonesty.  For spring 2020, there will be no change; a grade of X will remain an X.

Undergraduate Withdrawal from Course FAQ

Students who receive UD scholarships that require them to successfully complete 12 credits per term need to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits to receive their full scholarship at the time of disbursement.  If the scholarship has not disbursed, and by withdrawing from a course, such students fall below 12 credits, their scholarship will be prorated based on the total number of credits the student is enrolled in.

The amount a student receives for a federal Pell Grant will be determined by the number of credits the student is enrolled for at the time of disbursement.  If a student is enrolled for less than 12 credits at the time of disbursement, the Pell Grant will be prorated based on the total number of credits the student is enrolled in. 

Student athletes must consult with their Student Services for Athletes advisor before withdrawing from a class.


 

ACADEMIC REGULATIONS: GRADUATE STUDENTS

The following changes pertain to graduate students in Spring 2020 only and supersede the usual rule that courses must be taken for a grade to count toward a graduate degree. 

These regulations reflect consideration for the special circumstances pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the UD spring semester. They are modeled on the policy developed for undergraduate students, though they are different in significant ways. 

Grading: Professors will assign letter grades as usual. The last date for posting grades to UDSIS is Monday, June 1, 2020. Between that date and Tuesday, June 9, 2020, graduate students will have the option to request that their Spring 2020 course grades be changed to the modified Pass/No Credit scale outlined below. Grading option changes for all classes (A-term, B-term, and full semester classes) will be available atthe end of the semester after the final grade deadline for all classes. If the modified Pass/No Credit option is chosen, the course will not be included in the GPA. Courses will appear on the student’s transcript regardless of the option chosen.

  • High Pass corresponds to grades from A through B-. Courses completed with a High Pass will be allowed to count toward a course requirement for any graduate degree program. 

  • Mid Pass corresponds to grades from C+ through C-. Courses completed with a Mid Pass can only be counted toward a degree in programs that do not require a minimum grade of B- or higher.

  • No Credit corresponds to grades from D+ through F. Courses completed with a grade of No Credit cannot be counted toward a course requirement for a graduate degree. 

EXCEPTIONS: The modified Pass/No Credit option will not be available for 868/968 (research), 869 (master’s thesis) or 969 (dissertation) courses. 

Withdrawal from courses:  The University of Delaware is extending the period during which students may withdraw from courses or change to Listener status, with no academic penalty, to Friday, May 1. While standard tuition charges apply, students will not be charged the usual $25 fee for withdrawing from a course. 

Please note that choosing the Pass/No Credit grade option may have additional consequences for some students. For example, 

  • Students must still have an overall GPA of 3.0 for graduation, though courses taken with the Pass/No Credit option will not be included in the GPA calculation.

  • Students on Academic Probation will not be able to use courses taken with the Pass/No Credit option to increase their GPA.

  • Students in accredited programs and in programs involving external licensing/certification regulations may need to have grades for their courses. 


Students who are considering a change to the modified Pass/No Credit grading option should consult with their program directors or advisers before making the change. 

Note: To allow students to change grading options up to one week past the date when grades are posted in UDSIS, the University of Delaware will need additional time to process official transcripts for those who need transcripts in the summer.  There will be a one- to two-week delay in posting transcripts to allow for grade changes to be processed.