Do students have a Pass/Fail option in fall 2020?
Updated December 14, 2020: L grade guidance, clarifications about Pass/Fail and Helpful hints have been added below:
Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in University of Maine classes have the option to convert their fall 2020 class(es) from graded to Pass/Fail, or to withdraw from one or more classes without academic penalty (equivalent to a grade of W).
The university’s goal in making these changes is to be as student-centric as possible by offering choices that promote academic integrity and positive learning outcomes.
The Pass/Fail and course withdrawal policy and procedure for fall 2020 are:
- Students will have one week after grades are posted to select the P/F option. The deadline for posting grades in MaineStreet is December 26, so the deadline for selecting the P/F option is January 2, 2021. You can select P/F for one or more fall courses by completing an online form that will be made available through the Office of Student Records on December 14, 2020. Do not submit the form until final grades have been posted. Students are encouraged to discuss their grading choices with their academic advisor.
- Pass/Fail grades will follow the definitions in the Faculty Handbook, which are:
- LP, Low Pass, for a course passed on the pass/fail grading option equivalent to a D+, D, or D-. Credit is earned, but the grade point average (GPA) is not affected.
- P, Pass, for a course passed on the pass/fail grading option equivalent to a C- or above. Credit is earned, but the grade point average (GPA) is not affected. Students will need to consult with Faculty about requirements
necessary to earn a Pass.
- F, Failed means that no credit is earned and the GPA is not affected.
- With this policy and procedure, the university will allow students to take multiple courses P/F. A P/F course will be treated as a graded course for the purpose of degree completion and coded by Student Records to allow the course to meet requirements within allowable limits (e.g., a P may be required as opposed to a LP).
- P/F courses will not count in the GPA. A grade of P will not meet a “C+ or higher” prerequisite requirement. For fall 2020, a grade of P will be counted as a C rather than a C-.
- Once you have chosen a P/F for a course, there is no-opt out. From that point the course will remain P/F.
- Please note: in some majors, a P will not satisfy licensure or accreditation requirements.
Also, the transfer of a P or LP grade to another academic institution will depend on that institution’s transfer policies. If you have questions, please contact a faculty member, professional advisor, department chair, associate dean, or dean. They are all here to assist you in making this choice.
- Faculty members and professional advisors will communicate with students to ensure that each is aware of the opportunity to select P/F in one or more courses by January 2, 2021.
Clarifications about Pass/Fail:
- Courses that are graded “F”:
An “F” grade calculates into your GPA. If you subsequently select P/F for that course, the grade will be changed to “F*”. The P/F grade of “F*” does not calculate into your GPA. Please be mindful of this distinction if you earn a graded “F” this semester.
- Courses that are graded “L”:
- If a student selects the P/F option for a class where a grade of L has been assigned, the L will remain on the transcript; however, the GPA impact will be removed. (Please note: Unlike the F – F* distinction, there is no change of designation on the transcript when P/F is selected for an L grade. An L is always an L.)
- For financial aid purposes, students who receive all L grades are considered unofficial withdrawals. Charges and financial aid will be recalculated based on the last date of attendance. Please be aware that as a result of this action, financial aid funds may be adjusted and money may be owed to the University.
- Courses that are graded “D+” to “A”:
- The “LP” and “P” grades will automatically meet prerequisites and graduation requirements where there is no specific grade required.
- The “P” grade will automatically meet prerequisites and graduation requirements where the grade required is a “C-” or higher. The “P” grade will also be used to meet prerequisites and graduation requirements where the grade required is a “C” or higher for the fall semester.
- The “LP” and “P” grades will not meet prerequisites and graduation requirements where the grade required is a “C+” or higher for the fall semester.
- The P/F option is not available to students enrolled in HON 498. If you have questions, please contact the Honors College at 207.581.3263.
- In some majors, a P may not be the best option with respect to degree progress, and/or may not satisfy licensure or accreditation requirements. Also, the transfer of a P or LP grade to another academic institution will depend on that institution’s transfer policies. For these and related reasons, we strongly encourage you to consult with a faculty member, professional advisor, department chair, associate dean, or dean regarding your P/F decisions. They are all here to assist you in making these choices.
- The Office of Student Records will be sending a communication to your maine.edu address on Monday, December 14. Please review it carefully and follow all instructions, which are also available here: Fall 2020 Grading and Academic Policy Changes
- Students may choose to drop a course and receive a W grade (withdrawal) without academic penalty. The deadline for dropping is 4 p.m. on December 11, 2020. To drop a course, contact the associate dean or director of your department or college to get an official course add/drop request form and the required signatures. Check with your academic department for its procedure. Please note: Courses dropped will show on the student’s academic record with a grade of W. The grade will not be computed into the semester average as a failing grade. (Bottom line: It is costly to pay for courses and drop them, but sometimes you may need to drop a course to reduce stress. Please see your academic advisor if you have questions.)
- Please note: students need to maintain 6 or more credit hours to keep their student loans deferred. Because each situation varies, students who receive financial aid should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid in person (Wingate Hall) by phone (207-581-1324), or at the Student Financial Aid website. If you have a scholarship, check with the provider about any special stipulations. Special conditions may apply to international students and student athletes. They are encouraged to contact staff in the Office of International Programs (Stodder Hall, 207-581-3437) and Academic Support Services for Student Athletes (207-581-1833), respectively, with any questions.
- Dropping a course may affect your academic standing or eligibility to live on campus. You are encouraged to talk with an academic advisor and a representative of Residence Life or the Director of Housing at 207-581-4580 to determine your status if you drop a course.
Graduate School Policy
There are some nuances that vary depending on whether you are a graduate student or undergraduate student in a course. If an undergraduate student intends to use the course for graduate degree credit—for example, in a 4+1 program— then Graduate School policies (below) will apply. If you are using the course to complete an undergraduate degree, then a C- is still considered a P, whereas a minimum grade of B- is required if the credits were used towards a graduate degree.
- Graduate students may declare a pass/fail grading option in any fall 2020 graduate (500/600) course, recognizing that a minimum grade of B- is required to receive a pass.
- Undergraduate students may declare a pass/fail grading option in any fall 2020 graduate (500/600) course. A minimum grade of C- is required for a pass at the undergrad level and a minimum grade of B- is required for a pass if the student intends to use the credit in partial fulfillment of a graduate degree (e.g., 4+1 programs).
- Graduate and undergraduate students may use the credits from a fall 2020 graduate course listed with a pass/fail grading option in partial fulfillment of the requirements of a graduate degree.
- Graduate students may use the credits from a 400-level course with a pass/fail grading option in partial fulfillment of the requirements of a graduate degree as long as the course is approved by the program and the Graduate School to count for the degree.
If you have questions, please contact the graduate program coordinator in your academic department or the Graduate School at 207-581-3291 or email@example.com.