March 23, 2020
It is important that students are informed about the full implications of their grading option and course enrollment choices. The Senate encourages instructors and instructional assistants to make clear that students should consult with their department and college advisors and financial aid advisors about their individual circumstances prior to any final election for their grading options or course schedule.
The Academic Senate’s Educational Policy Committee (EPC) and Senate Council do not support approving any blanket exceptions that would require all undergraduate and graduate courses to be offered on a P/NP or S/U basis in Spring 2020. There is too much variation across disciplines, degrees, and student needs to advance a uniform policy. Below is a summary of actions approved by the Academic Senate as limited-term exceptions for Spring Quarter 2020, to temporarily change San Diego Senate Regulations relating to the Pass/No Pass (P/NP) and Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory (S/U) grades and temporarily extend the deadlines for adding, dropping, and withdrawing from courses and changing a course grading option.
These updates are also posted on the Academic Senate website: https://senate.ucsd.edu/COVID-19-Academic-Senate-Updates
1. Pass/No Pass (P/NP) and Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grades
The Educational Policy Committee proposed, and Senate Council approved on March 19, 2020, the following exceptions to Senate Regulations related to P/NP and S/U grades in Spring 2020. These limited-term exceptions are intended to provide more flexibility to students who prefer taking courses on a P/NP or S/U basis.
*A one-time exception to the San Diego Senate Regulation on the P/NP grade limit to exempt all P/NP courses taken during Spring 2020 from the 25% limit on the number of UCSD units that undergraduate students are allowed to complete on a P/NP basis. P/NP courses completed during Spring 2020 should be removed from both the numerator and denominator when calculating the percentage of courses taken on a pass/no pass basis. (San Diego Senate Regulation 500.D.1: https://go.ucsd.edu/2UaEoo2)
*A one-time exception to San Diego Senate Regulations on P/NP and S/U grades to extend the deadlines for undergraduate and graduate students to register on a P/NP or S/U basis to the end of Week 10 in Spring 2020. (San Diego Senate Regulation 500.D.2: https://go.ucsd.edu/2UaEoo2 and 500.E.6: https://go.ucsd.edu/39dBOla)
The Undergraduate and Graduate Councils authorized allowing departments and colleges to offer undergraduate and graduate courses approved with the grading option of “Letter Grade Only” on a P/NP or S/U basis. This is a one-time exception for Spring 2020.
Additional Information for Temporary Changes in Pass/No Pass and Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading:
*Senate Council supports allowing departments, programs, and colleges to relax letter grade requirements when possible. Many departments, programs, and colleges require courses applied to the major or general education requirements to be taken on a letter grade basis. It is up to the individual departments and colleges to decide whether to make an exception to their requirements and allow courses taken on a P/NP or S/U basis to apply towards major or degree requirements. To the extent possible, Senate Council strongly encourages departments, programs, and colleges to relax letter grade requirements for major courses, degree requirements, and prerequisites during Spring 2020 as such actions have the potential to mitigate stress and anxiety among students.
*Instructors may not require that all students enroll in their course on a P/NP or S/U basis. Senate Council’s approval to relax the current requirements for enrollment on a P/NP and S/U basis is not a license for an instructor to require that all students must register for their course on a P/NP basis in a course that allows for letter or P/NP grading. These accommodations are being made to afford flexibility to students.
2. Deadlines for Adding, Dropping, and Withdrawing from Courses
Senate Council approved on March 19, 2020 extending the following deadlines for adding and dropping courses and withdrawals as a limited-term exception for Spring 2020. These deadlines are being extended to support students and faculty adjusting to remote instruction. (San Diego Senate Regulation 501: https://go.ucsd.edu/2J5AOoK)
*Deadline to Add a Course: The deadline for both undergraduate and graduate students to add a course is extended from the end of the second week of instruction to the end of the third week of instruction.
*Deadline to Drop a Course without a W grade or Withdraw from the Quarter without W grades: The deadline for both undergraduate and graduate students to drop a course or all courses without a W grade on the transcript (i.e. a drop without a W grade) is extended from the end of the fourth week of instruction to the end of the fifth week of instruction.
*Deadline to Drop a Course with a W grade or Withdraw from the Quarter with W grades: The deadline for undergraduate students to drop a course or all courses, with the assignment of a W grade(s), is extended from the end of the sixth week of instruction to the end of the seventh week of instruction.
-The deadline for graduate students to drop a course or all courses, with the assignment of a W grade(s), is the end of the ninth week of instruction (no change).
-An undergraduate student may petition to drop a course or withdraw from the University for emergency reasons after the end of the seventh week of instruction and before the end of the tenth week of instruction. For such petitions, approval may be granted by the appropriate provost for undergraduate students.
-A graduate student may petition to drop a course or withdraw from the University for emergency reasons after the end of the ninth week of instruction and before the end of the tenth week of instruction. For such petitions, approval may be granted by the Dean of the Graduate Division.
Additional Information for Temporary Changes to Enrollment Deadlines
*As the quarter progresses, instructors are reminded to be mindful about providing feedback to students at multiple points during the quarter. It is important that students are able to make informed decisions about their course enrollments.