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Spring 2021 FAQs

Changes in policy for Spring 2021:

  • In Spring 2021, students may select up to 7 credits to be graded as Pass/Fail for any undergraduate class.

  • Students earn a mark of Pass with a grade of C- or better. Students who earned a D+, D, D-, or F will have that grade on their transcripts whether or not they opt for Pass/Fail. The default is a letter grade. Students may elect Pass/Fail by 10:59 pm ET on May 11, 2021.

  • The normal requirements for Pass/Fail Grading Option is waived for Spring 2021.


These changes will be reflected in the 2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

GPA & Grading Method Logistics

A Testudo web application is available that allows students to change up to 7 credits of Pass/Fail.

Please be mindful that there will be no changes to the grading method beyond May 11, 2021 at 10:59 P.M. ET, and there will be no exceptions. Therefore, please make your selection early enough to avoid any circumstances that would prevent you from meeting this new deadline.


If you opt for 7 credits of Pass/Fail and pass all your classes, your GPA will be calculated based on your graded credits. All letter grades and grades of D+, D, D- , and F are calculated into the GPA. Grades of Pass are not.


If a student elects for Pass/Fail and receives a grade of D+, D, D-, or F, the grade earned is listed on the transcript and calculated into the student’s grade point average.


All students will be graded based on the grading method selected during the registration process.

Please note that there is a regular provision for students to take a course as Pass/Fail. If during schedule adjustment a student elects to take a course Pass/Fail, the default grade will be Pass/Fail. Any Pass/Fail credits will count towards the maximum of 7 allowable for Spring 2021.


The minimum letter grade students need to earn in order to pass a class and receive a mark of “P” is a C-. Previously, the mark of P indicated a grade of D- or better.


Students who are taking non-standard courses who wish to select Pass/Fail grading must change their grading method by the last day of the class listed in the Schedule of Classes.


An explanation of the Spring 2021 grading will be included in the 2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog rather than on transcripts.


Yes. A mark of Pass indicates that the student has earned at least a C-. All LEP Gateways, Benchmarks, major and minor requirements will be met with a mark of Pass.

LEP gateway requirements that normally require a B- or higher (Engineering: PHYS161 & MATH141; Government and Politics: GVPT170 [or GVPT241 if AP credit is granted for GVPT170]; and Psychology; PSYC100 [or PSYC221 if AP credit is granted for PSYC100]) can be satisfied with either a grade of 'Pass' or a C- or higher only if completed in Spring 2021.


Students may opt-in for no more than 7 credits of Pass/Fail.

Note: Because UMD students are being offered an opt-in for Pass/Fail grades, the campus Health Professions Advising Office strongly recommends that all students plan to earn a letter grade for all math and science courses being taken to fulfill pre-health requirements. The same guidance holds for specific social science course requirements for nursing, PA, PT, pharmacy, and all other allied health schools. You may consider P/F for other courses, such as General Education or elective courses, although this is not encouraged.

Choosing the letter grade option is the best and safest course to ensure that your coursework can be applied in the future to professional school requirements. Individual decisions based on extenuating circumstances can be discussed in the Committee Letter or by the Pre-Allied Health Advisor to provide context for student decision-making to professional schools.


Yes. Students may select Pass/Fail grading until the last day of classes.


No. Pass/Fail credits taken in Spring 2020 and 2021 will not count toward the maximum 12 credits.

However, for the purposes of Latin Honors, Spring 2021 Pass/Fail credits will count toward the maximum credits.


If you are satisfied with the current grading method for each of your courses, you do not need to do anything.


Students may make changes in their grading method until May 11, 2021, at 10:59 pm ET. Please note: Students who are taking non-standard courses that end prior to the last day of classes who wish to select Pass/Fail grading must change their grading method before the last day of the non-standard class.


Consult your academic advisor about grading changes if you are not sure what the repercussions might be.


Normally, the deadline to drop a course or 4 credits with a “W” is the 10th week of classes. For Spring 2021, the deadline has been extended to the last day of classes, May 11, 2021, at 10:59 pm ET.


Academic Status (Probation, Dismissal)

Students on academic probation in the Spring 2021 semester who do not earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 will be academically dismissed. A mark of “P” (pass) cannot raise the GPA.


Students who do not earn a cumulative 2.0 grade point average will be placed on academic probation.


Each student’s situation is different. Please contact the Office of Student Success.


Students on academic probation who do not earn a cumulative 2.0 grade point average will be academically dismissed.


Yes.


Faculty / Student Conversations about Grades

Yes. Please check with your instructors prior to the last day of classes if you are unsure if you should change from a letter grade to Pass/Fail for a class.


Repeat Practices

The higher grade will be used in the GPA calculation and for the purpose of the repeat policy a “P” is considered higher than the following grades: D-, D, D+, or F. If you received a grade of C- or higher on your previous attempt, that course will remain in your GPA calculation.


A mark of “P” will NOT factor into the GPA, so the GPA will continue to include the previous letter grade received with its credit and quality point values.


No change to current guidelines. The higher grade is used in the GPA calculation if the first attempt was during forgiveness period (the repeated course was taken within the student's first semester at University of Maryland, College Park, or when the repeated course was taken within the student’s first 24 credit hours attempted, including transfer credits or within the semester during which the student reached the 24th credit hour attempted. Advanced Placement Exam credits do not count toward the 24 credit count). If the first attempt was after forgiveness, both grades will be used in the GPA calculation.



Latin Honors, Scholarships, Dean’s List

Academic Semester honors (often called Dean’s List) are awarded to students who complete 12 or more graded credits with a semester GPA of 3.5 or higher. This recognition is noted on the student’s academic record.


Courses that receive a mark of “P” will still count toward the limit of a total of 6-credits of “P” to be eligible to qualify for Latin Honors (please see requirements for Latin Honors).


Only courses for which a student receives a grade of A-F will be calculated into the cumulative GPA. NOTE: Grades of D+, D, D-, and F are calculated in the GPA regardless of the grading method.


These ranges were previously set and will not be impacted by the change.

Limited Enrollment Programs (LEP)

Marks of “P” indicate a grade of C- or better will meet the requirement for Limited Enrollment Program Gateway courses as well as major requirements, General Education requirements, and elective courses.

LEP gateway requirements that normally require a B- or higher (Engineering: PHYS161 & MATH141; Government and Politics: GVPT170 [or GVPT241 if AP credit is granted for GVPT170]; and Psychology; PSYC100 [or PSYC221 if AP credit is granted for PSYC100]) can be satisfied with either a grade of 'Pass' or a C- or higher only if completed in spring 2021.


Yes. Only one Gateway course may be repeated to earn the required grade, and that course may only be repeated once. Marks of “P” will meet the requirement for Limited Enrollment Program Gateway courses. Marks of D+, D, D-, Fail or F will count as a Gateway attempt, but will not meet the requirement for the LEP.


Major requirements / minimum grades

A mark of Pass will meet the minimum grade requirement for major and minor requirements, Benchmark requirements, Gateways for Limited Enrollment Programs, and Academic Writing.

LEP gateway requirements that normally require a B- or higher (Engineering: PHYS161 & MATH141; Government and Politics: GVPT170 [or GVPT241 if AP credit is granted for GVPT170]; and Psychology; PSYC100 [or PSYC221 if AP credit is granted for PSYC100]) can be satisfied with either a grade of 'Pass' or a C- or higher only if completed in Spring 2021.


Yes. A Pass signifies a grade of C- or better.


Admissions

As a result of our holistic application review process, students planning to transfer to UMD will not be harmed if they are presenting Pass/Fail grades during the pandemic. Our review process will allow us to consider not just the one semester of Pass/fail grades but grades during the semesters that preceded and may follow that semester. In some cases this may mean the review of high school records in combination with college transcripts.


The LEP Gateway requirements will be met if the mark of Pass is a C- or better at the student’s institution.

For students not currently attending the University of Maryland but who transfer in Fall 2021 or later, a grade of C- or higher, or a grade of 'pass' if equivalent to a C- or higher, is acceptable in all LEP gateway requirements if a student completes the course during the Spring 2021 semester. LEP gateway requirements that normally require a B- or higher (Engineering: PHYS161 & MATH141; Government and Politics: GVPT170 [or GVPT241 if AP credit is granted for GVPT170]; and Psychology; PSYC100 [or PSYC221 if AP credit is granted for PSYC100]) can be satisfied with either a grade of 'Pass' or a C- or higher only if completed in Spring 2021.


Undergraduates enrolled in graduate courses

Undergraduate students taking graduate classes will be under the graduate school grading policy.


Financial Aid and Merit Scholarships

No. Pass/Fail grading method will not impact the way attempted and earned credits are calculated for Satisfactory Academic Progress purposes. A grade of “P” will be calculated as attempted and earned, a grade of “F” will be calculated as attempted and unearned.


Since a course that is completed with a passing grade of “P” will count toward the student’s total credit hours but will not be computed in the grade point average, it will not impact merit scholarship GPA requirements. A course that is completed with a failing grade of “F” is counted towards the GPA calculation and will impact future merit scholarship eligibility and will be counted as unearned credits for Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations.


Athletics

Please contact your academic counselor in the Gossett Student-Athlete Center for more information.


Health professions

The campus Health Professions Advising Office strongly recommends that all students keep the regular grading method of a letter grade for all math and science courses being taken to fulfill pre-health requirements. The same guidance holds for specific social science course requirements for nursing, PA, PT, pharmacy, and all other allied health schools. You may consider Pass/Fail for other courses, such as General Education or elective courses, although this is not encouraged.

Earning a letter grade is the best and safest course to ensure that your coursework can be applied in the future to professional school requirements. Individual decisions based on extenuating circumstances can be discussed in the Committee Letter or by the Pre-Allied Health Advisor to provide context for student decision-making to professional schools.


Graduate School

Graduate schools are aware of the challenges that colleges and universities are facing with respect to grading and the completion of the Spring 2021 semester. All UMD student transcripts will include a notation explaining the default use of Pass/Fail grading for the Spring 2021 semester. Students should check with the graduate schools they are planning to apply to in order to determine how they will be reviewing Pass/fail grades when reviewing applicants.


Law School

Law schools are aware of the challenges that colleges and universities are facing with respect to grading and the completion of the Spring 2021 semester.

Since there are no prerequisite courses necessary for applying to law school, the need for letter grades is not as imperative as it is for some other graduate programs. From a law school application perspective, students should primarily choose grading options that will most benefit their cumulative GPAs. In other words, a student believing that a particular class grade would raise their GPA should strongly consider opting for a letter grade. If, however, a particular grade would hurt their GPA, the Pass/Fail option would be advisable. Earning a "Pass" in a course does not affect the student's GPA, though a grade of D+, D, D-, F or "Fail" would be included into the GPA.

Upcoming law school applications may be asking students for an explanation regarding the grading method employed by their institution, so they might be able to fairly compare applicants. In addition, students are able to include an addendum within their applications addressing any personal or academic situations that may arise during this time.


Acceptability of Transfer Coursework for Prospective Transfer Students

(Note: Transfer courses completed at public institutions of higher education in the State of Maryland are acceptable for transfer with a grade of D- or higher, but may not apply to major requirements.)

A number of schools around the country have altered their grading methods for Spring 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Please see the information below:

UMD will award transfer credit for the course, where the student earned a mark of Pass and the Pass is equal to a letter grade of C- or higher. A Pass will meet the minimum grade requirement for General Education and major/minor requirements in Spring 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021.


Acceptability of Transfer Coursework for Current Students

(Note: All current UMD Students must obtain permission from their advising college prior to taking courses away from UMD.)

A number of schools around the country have altered their grading methods for Spring 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Please see the information below:

UMD will award transfer credit for the course, where the student earned a mark of Pass and the Pass is equal to a letter grade of C- or higher. A Pass will meet the minimum grade requirement for General Education and major/minor requirements in Spring 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021.






Please note:

Campus policies apply in the online environment. See the Course Related Policies. Misconduct in violation of these policies may result in discipline regardless of whether it occurs online or in person. Please ask for support when you need it. Report breaches of conduct when you see them.






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