Fall 2020 Academic Regulations


 

ACADEMIC REGULATIONS: Undergraduate students

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

On July 20, 2020, the University of Delaware Faculty Senate passed a resolution to use the modified pass/no credit grading option for the fall 2020 semester. The following changes pertain to undergraduate students in Fall 2020 and supersede the usual rule limiting students to only one Pass/Fail course per semester.

Grading: Professors will assign letter grades as usual.  The last date for posting grades to UDSIS is December 22, 2020.  As student grades are posted, between December 14, 2020 and January 5, 2020, undergraduate students will have the option to request a change from a letter grade to a modified pass/no credit grading option.  

Please note that changing grade options may have implications for students. Students who are considering a change to the modified pass/no credit grading option should review the Undergraduate Grade Change FAQ and consult with their assistant dean’s office before making the change. 

Students who receive federal grants (e.g., Pell awards) and students who receive scholarships that require a minimum GPA need to be aware that eligibility for federal grants and scholarships that require a minimum GPA will be based on the actual letter grades that students earn. That is, although students who receive federal grants and/or scholarships that require a minimum GPA may utilize the modified pass/no credit grading option for their UD transcript, eligibility for Pell grants and/or scholarships that require a minimum GPA will be determined by the actual letter grade earned for each course. 

Students may choose the modified pass/no credit option for Fall 2020 for electives and courses that are required for their degree. The modified pass/no credit 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- or better.

  • No Credit replaces an F. With a grade of “No Credit,” the student does not earn credit for the course.  

Students may choose the pass/no credit option for one or more courses. The Registrar’s Office will automatically change any letter grade from D+ through F to the appropriate modified pass/no credit option.

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 need to be aware that eligibility for their scholarship will be based on the actual letter grades earned during this academic year. That is, the actual letter grades earned will be considered in our review of a student’s eligibility for renewal of their scholarship.  Students may change to High Pass/Mid Pass/Low Pass/No Credit for the purpose of their transcript.  

Students who have a cumulative GPA below the required minimum GPA for their scholarship at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester need to bring their cumulative GPA up in order to keep their scholarship for the next academic year (i.e., 2021-2022). 

Students who receive federal financial aid need to be aware that eligibility for maintaining their Pell Grant depends on the actual letter grades that they earn and not on the High Pass/Mid Pass/Low Pass/No Credit equivalent grade. However, students who receive federal financial aid may choose the modified pass/no credit option for the purpose of their UD transcript.

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 some course grades to the modified pass/no credit option.  However, students in the probation process need to work on reducing their total number of quality deficit points by earning grades of C+ or better. During the probation process, students must take fewer than 15 credits per semester and must meet with their advisor before registering for the next semester’s courses.  

Students in the Special Probation process may switch some course grades to modified pass/no credit option. However, students who are in the Special Probation process must reduce their deficit points in order to maintain their academic status. To reduce deficit points, students must earn at least one grade of C+ or better.  Students in the Special Probation process who do not reduce their deficit points will be academically dismissed.  

 

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.

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 Faculty Senate voting to use the modified pass/no credit option for fall 2020 classes 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 December 22, 2020 and January 5, 2021, after final grades have been assigned.

 

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 fall 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 fall 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 Fall 2020 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 fall 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 December 22, 2020.  As student grades are posted, between December 14, 2020 and January 5, 202, graduate and undergraduate students will have the option to request a change from a letter grade to a modified pass/no credit grading option. Grading option changes for all classes (A-term, B-term, and full semester classes) will be available at the 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. 

  • 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 between December 22, 2020 and January 5, 2021, the University of Delaware will need additional time to process official transcripts for those who need transcripts in the winter.  There will be a one- to two-week delay in posting transcripts to allow for grade changes to be processed.