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January 19, 2021

Dear Student,

We are emailing to provide an update regarding exceptional pass/fail grading for Spring 2021.

On December 18, 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 Spring 2021. EP/F is the version of pass/fail grading that students were able to opt into in Spring 2020 and Fall 2020. Please note that these policy changes do not apply to BFA and Combined Degree students' studio coursework, which will continue to be graded on a Credit (CR)/No Credit (NC) basis. The ASE faculty expect and intend that EP/F will not be used in subsequent semesters after Spring 2021.

  • 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 and minor requirements.
  • Students may select EP/F grading for any of their courses. There is no limit to how many courses a student may change to EP/F.
  • EP/F courses that are passed cannot later be repeated for a letter grade. Only courses in which an F is earned can later be repeated for a letter grade.
  • The student, not the professor, opts into EP/F grading.
  • Faculty will not know which students elect EP/F grading.
  • Students who elect EP/F grading will not be able to later request reversion to the letter grade.
  • Students who elect EP/F grading will not be able to later request that their letter grade be revealed.
  • Liberal Arts BA/BS and BFA students who earn a grade of A or A– in English 1 will be exempt from Part 2 of the Writing Requirement; therefore, students who earn a grade of EP in English 1 will notbe exempt from Part 2 of the Writing Requirement.
  • 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.

The deadline for students to opt into EP/F grading is the last day of classes, May 5, 2021, at 3 p.m. (Eastern Time). This is a firm deadline for which no exceptions will be granted. Students must fill out the Pass/Fail petition form by the deadline. The Pass/Fail petition form will become available on April 12, 2021.

The criteria for Dean's List and Latin Honors have not changed for Spring 2021. The minimum 2.0 term GPA criteria for Liberal Arts BA/BS and Engineering students will be reinstituted for Spring 2021. Students placed on Academic Probation or a Required Withdrawal after Fall 2020 will need to complete a minimum of 12 SHUs, earn a minimum 2.0 term GPA, and make satisfactory academic progress to return to good academic standing. Please view the full Academic Alert and Probation policies for Liberal Arts BA/BS and Engineering students.

We strongly encourage students to discuss their decisions regarding EP/F grading with their advisors. This grading method is meant to be utilized not as a GPA boost but rather for extenuating circumstances that may impact academics. The long-term consequences of choosing EP/F for the Spring 2021 semester are uncertain when it comes to plans for graduate education. In particular, Pre-Health students should not use EP/F for courses they will need for graduate programs. Please refer to the Pre-Health advising web pagefor guidance. It is recommended that students wait until after midterms to determine if this is an appropriate course of action. Once a student submits a form to change a course grading method to EP/F, it cannot be undone. Please be sure of your decision! View additional FAQs about EP/F grading.

To help you understand the impact of exceptional pass/fail grading, the Advising Deans will present a workshop and Q&A session about your Spring 2021 course load and grading policies on Thursday, January 28, 2021, at 10 a.m. (Eastern Time). A meeting link and reminder will be sent to all students closer to the date.

Sincerely,

Kendra Barber
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Advising
Liberal Arts BA/BS, Last Names A–E

Matthew Bellof
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Advising
Liberal Arts BA/BS, Last Names F–L

Stephanie Frazitta
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Advising
Liberal Arts BA/BS, Last Names M–R

Robin Olinsky
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Advising
Liberal Arts BA/BS, Last Names S–Z and BA/BFA & NEC Combined Degree Programs

Leah Gadd
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Advising
BFA, Last Names A–Z and BA/BFA Combined Degree Programs

Jennifer Stephan
Dean of Academic Advising and Undergraduate Studies
Engineering BS, Last Names A–Z