Pass/No Pass Policy for Undergraduate Students

April 9, 2020

The transition to remote learning is going very well, and you have been doing a terrific job at thoughtfully and creatively managing this transition. However, as you know, many of our students have found themselves in unexpected and often very difficult circumstances because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To respond appropriately to these challenges, I have approved an expansion of existing Pass/No Pass policies for grading undergraduate courses for Spring 2020 as follows:

  • Undergraduate students will have until Friday, May 29, 2020 to switch any Spring 2020 undergraduate course from a letter grade to Pass/No Pass.
  • This policy applies to all Spring 2020 undergraduate courses, including those normally ineligible for P/N grading. All courses taken on a Pass/No Pass basis that are completed with a Pass will meet requirements for majors and will count toward all degree and prerequisite requirements.
  • In keeping with established university policy, courses taken on a Pass/No Pass basis in the Spring 2020 semester will not be factored into a student's grade point average.
  • To make this switch, students are required to consult with an academic advisor.

If students have already chosen to switch to Pass/No Pass or if they do so in the near future, they will have until May 29, 2020 to switch back to a letter grade. For this reason, it is important that instructors continue to grade work as usual for all students.

This expansion of the current Pass/No Pass policy reflects a recommendation from the Academic Planning Subgroup of the COVID-19 Task Force. I reviewed their recommendation with a great deal of care and also consulted with deans, student leaders, and academic administrators. These proposed changes, which involve modifications to the curriculum and degree requirements, have been reviewed and unanimously approved by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee on behalf of the full Faculty Senate.

I very much appreciate the judicious thought and care that members of the Academic Planning Subgroup, the deans, and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee brought to this important topic. I would like to particularly thank Judy Walker, Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty and Academic Affairs and Chair of the Academic Planning Subgroup, and Amy Goodburn, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Education, for their work in developing this policy.

This modification to our grading policy, which will align us more fully with our Big 10 and national peers, recognizes the disruption and stresses that this unprecedented situation has placed on both our students and instructors, while ensuring that we also maintain academic integrity and are attentive to student success. We are announcing the policy change to students today.

As always, thank you for all you do. Stay safe and be well.

All best,

Elizabeth Spiller

Professor and Executive Vice Chancellor
Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer
208 Canfield Administration Building
University of Nebraska-Lincoln