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August 28, 2020

Dear Colleagues,  

We write to provide you with important academic policy exceptions for all undergraduate Arts & Sciences and Engineering students effective Fall 2020 


Exceptional Pass/Fail Grading for Fall 2020 

On August 24, 2020, the faculty of the Schools of Arts & Sciences and Engineering voted to allow undergraduate students to opt into exceptional pass/fail (EP/F) grading for Fall 2020. EP/F is the version of pass/fail grading that students were able to opt into in Spring 2020.  

  • Students may select EP/F grading for any of their Tufts courses in Fall 2020. There is no limit to how many courses a student may change to EP/F this fall. 
  • The student, not the professor, opts into EP/F grading; professors will still need to assign letter grades, which will then be converted to EP or F depending on the final letter grade assigned. 
  • Faculty will not know which students elect EP/F grading. 
  • EP encompasses all grades from A+ through D-.  
  • EP confers credit but no grade points for GPA calculation.
  • An F confers no credit and is calculated in a student’s GPA. 
  • EP fulfills all degree requirements, including major requirements.  
  • EP courses that are passed cannot later be repeated for a letter grade. 
  • Students who elect EP/F grading will not be able to later request reversion to the letter grade. 
  • Courses that were originally set up with Pass/Fail as the only grading option (e.g., Physical Education courses) will continue to be graded as Pass/Fail and will appear as such on the student’s transcript. 
  • BFA and Combined Degree students’ studio coursework will continue to be graded on a Credit (CR)/No Credit (NC) basis. 

The deadline for students to opt into EP/F grading is the last day of classes, December 11, 2020 at 11:59pm (EST). Students must fill out the online Pass/Fail petition by the deadline. The online petition form will be made available later in the semester. Students can find the form on the Registrar’s Student Forms webpage. Please encourage your advisees to wait until later in the semester before making the decision to elect EP/F grading in one or more classes because their decision to opt in to this exceptional form of pass/fail grading will be final.


Transfer Credit Exceptions  

Students on leave from Tufts in Fall 2020 may transfer in coursework from community colleges and may transfer in hybrid or online courses. Students must follow the appropriate transfer of credit process, which includes receiving prior approval from the appropriate Tufts departmental transfer of credit representative. All other transfer credit processes and policies remain in effect. For a full explanation of all transfer of credit policies, please visit the Transfer Credit website.   


Fall 2020 Online Courses at Tufts 

Online Tufts courses completed in Fall 2020 will not be counted toward the current limit of online Tufts credits for undergraduate AS&E students.  


Fall 2020 Exceptional Residency Requirement Waiver 

For any undergraduate student who enrolls full-time remotely or in-person at Tufts in Fall 2020, the eight semester residency requirement will be waived. Instead, students will be required to complete six full-time semesters, after which they may opt for early degree completion or enroll on a part-time basis. Two of the six full-time semesters can be at other approved institutions or on approved external study abroad programs. 

  • This policy does not apply to transfer students, who must complete at least four full-time semesters, or students in the Resumed Education for Adult Learners (REAL) Program, who are exempt from the residency requirement. 
  • Full-time enrollment in Fall 2020 means that a student attempted at least 12 semester-hour units (SHUs) at Tufts University (either in-person or remotely). Students that are granted a reduced course load accommodation by the StAAR Center in Fall 2020 will be able to count that as a full-time semester.  
  • Students may not combine the Fall 2020 exceptional residency waiver with pre-matriculation or Tufts summer credits to graduate in fewer than six full-time semesters. 

Please note that all of the above policies are specific to undergraduate students.

All of the exceptional policies listed above were approved by vote of the ASE faculty over the past few months. We are truly grateful for our colleagues (especially those serving on the Educational Policy Committee) for devoting so much time over the summer to enact supportive academic policy exceptions for Fall 2020.



Carmen Lowe
Dean of Academic Advising and Undergraduate Studies
School of Arts and Sciences

Jennifer Stephan
Dean of Academic Advising and Undergraduate Studies
School of Engineering