VCU announces pass/fail grading option following move to online classes amid COVID-19 outbreak

Students can choose to keep letter grades or opt for a pass/fail option by May 15. Photo by Georgia Geen

Hannah Eason, News Editor

VCU will offer students a pass/fail option and extend the withdrawal deadline for courses moved online for the remainder of the semester, according to an email sent to students on Thursday.

Students can choose between receiving a standard letter grade or a pass/fail option. The deadline for the decision is May 15 on a course-by-course basis.

“There is no rush to make this decision now,” the release stated.

Students are encouraged to schedule a “flexible grading option” appointment with their academic advisors before making a decision. Appointments can be made through Navigate.

A passing grade does not influence a student’s grade point average. Letter grades will carry the same weight; an A is 4.0, a B is 3.0, etc. 

The pass/fail grading option has three options:

  • “P,” or passing, equivalates to grades A through C and allows the student to advance to a higher course and is not included in GPA
  • “PS,” or pass-satisfactory, equivalates to a D and is not included in GPA
  • “F,” or fail, is not considered passing and is counted in GPA

Passing and pass-satisfactory grades are considered satisfactory completion of requirements for undergraduate students.

The release states that tools and resources to help students decide which option to choose will be made available soon.

“We hope that these changes will help you successfully complete this semester and alleviate some of the uncertainty brought on by this unprecedented moment in our history,” said the statement signed by Gail Hackett, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and Peter Buckley, interim senior vice president for health sciences.

There is no limit on the number of courses a student chooses to have evaluated pass/fail, and students will still receive credit for courses. A passing grade satisfies prerequisites that require a minimum grade of a C. Students who do not opt for the pass/fail option will receive a letter grade.

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