March 30, 2020
Dear Trojan 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 all students are experiencing, and we want to do everything we can to alleviate distress.
After discussions with students, faculty leaders, and deans, we are modifying our policy on undergraduate pass/no pass grades for this semester to give students the flexibility to decide what is best for them given the varying environments and individual challenges each student is facing. We know this has been an area of great concern.
Under the new terms, undergraduate students will have the freedom to opt for a letter grade, a Pass or a No Record up to a week after official class grades are posted. The deadline is May 27 to select these options. All other communicated dates no longer apply. The No Record option will work like a withdrawal except that there will be no transcript notation that the student took the course. Every student’s transcript will note that the semester was disrupted due to COVID-19.
In addition, we are announcing that any future applicants to our undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools will not be disadvantaged by course work taken under Pass/No Pass grading options offered at any school during the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand students are working under unprecedented conditions, and we appreciate what they are going through. We are committed to evaluating all pass grades for course work 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. We will be posting an FAQ on the COVID-19 website before the end of the week on these policy modifications. Please check the site for updated information.
We also know there are a lot of concerns and questions remaining about grading options at the graduate level. The provost is working with the deans on this, and we will issue FAQs in the coming days.
Stay safe and well.
Carol L. Folt Charles F. Zukoski
President’s Senior Leadership Team
Provost’s Leadership Team