Undergraduate Grading Policy for Spring 2021 Semester

In response to the ongoing challenges students are experiencing related to COVID-19 and the recent network outages, Arcadia University is once again adopting an expanded pass/fail grading option for undergraduate students for the spring 2021 semester – one that is similar but not identical to what was adopted for the fall 2020 semester.

The following opt-in policy applies to all undergraduate students without exception:

  • All undergraduate students may opt in to a pass/fail grading rubric for any or all of the Spring 2021 courses from now through Thursday, May 27. Students’ opt-in decisions are reversible and will not be considered final until the end of the day (11:59 pm) on May 27.
  • Please note that students must actively choose to opt-in to the pass/fail grading rubric.
  • Students who choose to retain the standard letter grading rubric can do so and need not take any action.
  • Undergraduate students can opt in to a pass/fail grading rubric for any or all of their Spring 2021 courses by following these instructions:
    1. Log into Self Service
    2. Navigate to Grades tab and click on Pass/Fail option (Spring 2021)
    3. You will be shown a list of your current courses. Read instructions and click on those courses you wish to receive a pass/fail grade. Your selections will save automatically; click the close button when done.
  • Undergraduate students may elect to opt-in to a pass/fail grading rubric for any undergraduate course without exception, including courses that fulfill major/minor and Arcadia Undergraduate Curriculum (AUC) requirements.
  • Faculty will not be notified of students’ grade system choices and will continue recording regular grades throughout the semester, including final grades.
  • For undergraduate students, grades from A through D- will be considered “Pass” for those opting in.

Although no academic advisor or instructor approval is necessary for eligible students to opt-in to a pass/fail grading rubric, students are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisors, instructors, faculty in their major/minor departments, and/or a graduate program advisor before making these decisions.

  • This decision is particularly important for undergraduate students who are planning to enter graduate programs that have prerequisites for grades in specific courses, or those who are seeking certification or other credentialing.
  • Individual departments and colleges are also encouraged to offer guidance to students in their programs as they consider opting-in to a pass/fail rubric for their courses.  However, the final decision will be the student’s. 
  • As students weigh their options, they’re encouraged to consult these guidelines and reach out to relevant advisers and offices with any questions.

 

FAQs About the Spring 2021 Pass/Fail Policy

How is GPA calculated if someone opts in to the pass/fail option?

P (pass) grades do not calculate into the GPA. However, F (Fail) grades do calculate into the GPA. This is the GPA-pass/fail system that has always existed, just applied more widely for this Spring 2021 semester.

If a student withdraws from a class will the class be deleted from the transcript or show up as W?

The class will show up as a W. 

If a student earns a grade of “Fail” as part of the pass/fail option, do they get credit for the course?

Students do not receive credits if they fail a course either with our standard grading system or with the pass/fail option.

Will a student satisfy undergraduate major/minor and AUC requirements for courses taken pass/fail?

Pass grades will satisfy undergraduate major/minor and AUC requirements for Spring 2021.  Fail grades will not satisfy any requirements.

If I opt-in to the pass/fail option for a particular course, do I still have to complete the course’s requirements?

Yes. To pass a course even in a pass/fail grading system the student must still complete all course requirements.

Will graduate programs accept a course as a prerequisite if it is graded “Pass” instead of having a letter grade?

It depends on each university and each graduate program so it is particularly important for students to work with their faculty advisors when addressing questions about prerequisites for graduate programs, licensure, or other credentialing. 

How do students opt in to the pass/fail option?

Undergraduate students can opt in to a pass/fail grading rubric for any or all of their Spring 2021 courses by following these instructions:

  1. Log into Self Service
  2. Navigate to Grades tab and click on Pass/Fail option (Spring 2021)
  3. You will be shown a list of your current courses. Read instructions and click on those courses you wish to receive a pass/fail grade. Your selections will save automatically; click the close button when done.

Will my scholarship be affected by taking pass/fail grades?

Choosing to take pass/fail grades will not affect your scholarships. Arcadia institutional scholarships will not be affected in any circumstances. However, achieving Fail grades could affect federal grants and loans, which are currently following usual guidelines: first-year students must achieve a 1.75 GPA; returning students must achieve a 2.00 GPA; and 70% of attempted credits must be completed. Please note that all federal policies may be appealed to Arcadia, and Arcadia anticipates assessing our students’ circumstances flexibly. Please see www.arcadia.edu/sapug for more details.

When final grades are posted, will I see a letter grade, or will I see a P or an F?

Instructors will submit regular, end-of-semester letter grades as they typically do. Students will be able to see these grades on Self Service. If a Pass/Fail option is selected, then P or F will replace the submitted regular letter grade after the May 27 pass/fail opt-in deadline has passed.

How will pass/fail grades affect my academic standing (probation, etc.)?

Students currently on warning or probation who earn traditional letter grades of high enough quality to be removed from probation will be so removed.

How will pass/fail grades affect academic honors (Spring 2021 Dean’s list, graduation Latin Honors, etc.)?

Pass/Fail courses are not included when calculating semester honors. Full-time undergraduate students must complete at least 12 credits of letter-graded (non-pass/fail) work for Dean's List consideration for Spring 2021. Graduation Latin Honors are calculated using GPA, and Pass grades to not affect a student’s GPA, though Fail grades do.