The following is an email that was sent to Loyola undergraduate students on Monday, March 30, 2020.
Subject: Offering a Pass/No Credit grading option for Spring 2020 courses
Dear Undergraduate Student,
In recent days, Father Linnane and I have heard from many of you. We are grateful to you for keeping the lines of communication open to let us know how you are doing and to share your concerns. This has not been an easy transition for many of you, and I am so proud of our students and our faculty for embracing this new experience with perseverance and hope. Besides coping with COVID-19-related social distancing, quarantining, and economic uncertainty or possibly even hardship, many of you are still adjusting to the transition to virtual/online classes. As with any new experience, this adjustment will take time. Your success is our top priority, and we are leaning on our shared Jesuit values and making every effort to support each student’s learning and your well-being during this unprecedented time.
To help ease some of the anxiety that you may be experiencing, Loyola is establishing a Pass/No Credit (P/NC) option for undergraduate students for the Spring 2020 term. Because you have only just begun your virtual/online work, we urge you to take the time you may need to carefully consider, in consultation with others, the pros and cons of electing the P/NC option for one or more of your spring 2020 courses. This decision could affect progress toward your degree, financial aid, and terms of probation, among several other aspects of your academics and enrollment for the spring semester and beyond. Thus, as you do with all of your academic decisions, we encourage you to look at the situation from a variety of perspectives and to reach out to trusted advisors during this time.
You will be able to access the P/NC form and have the opportunity to elect P/NC grading for some or all of your courses starting on April 10, 2020, and continuing until April 28 at 5 p.m. (This is also the Course Withdrawal deadline). To be clear, you are not required to select the P/NC option. If you DO select this option, please understand that the decision to switch to P/NC is irreversible.
If you choose the P/NC option for one or more of your courses, grades of C or above that are submitted by your instructors will automatically convert to a “P”; grades of C-, D+, D, or F will automatically convert to “NC.” To determine your course grades, instructors will use the grading scales that are included in their syllabi. Unless you inform your instructor(s) that you have selected the P/NC option for your course(s), they may not know that you have done so.
Moving to a P/NC option does not change the obligation to complete course requirements. It does, however, give you the flexibility to focus on successful completion of the course without concern for how a grade will impact your cumulative GPA (grade point average). Courses with a grade of NC (C-, D+, D or F) will NOT fulfill prerequisite requirements or count as courses or credits completed toward your major or degree requirements. This means you may have to retake the course even though your grade would have been a C- had you not selected the P/NC option. This may also mean that you may not graduate on time. Courses with a grade of P (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, or C) will count as courses completed toward prerequisite, program, or degree requirements and will count in the calculation of credits earned for the semester. Neither the NC grade nor the P grade will have any effect on your cumulative GPA.
If you select the P/NC option, please be aware that there are circumstances that Loyola cannot control, including grades assigned by other schools, such as BSEP (Baltimore Student Exchange Program) schools or other schools from which you plan to transfer courses/credits. Those schools have their own grading policies, and whatever grade you earn cannot be changed by Loyola. Loyola also cannot control the possible impact of your selecting the P/NC option on:
- financial aid and certain scholarships
- admission requirements for graduate and professional programs
- student athlete eligibility
- international-student visa requirements
- information requested by future employers.
Please consider how electing the P/NC option might affect your future, depending on your financial situation, major, professional goals, licensure requirements, etc.
We strongly recommend that you discuss this decision with your Messina advisor, major and pre-professional advisors, athletics advisor, and staff in the Academic Advising and Support Center (AASC), Financial Aid, and International-Student Services prior to making this decision. Please also review the P/NC Student FAQ sheet, available here: https://www.loyola.edu/department/records/pass-no-credit.
Remember that P/NC is only one option that you may select to support your success in courses this semester. There is online support available to you from the Study, the Writing Center, Disability Support Services, and the Library, for example, should you decide to continue with traditional grades for some or all of your courses. If you decide that withdrawal from one or more courses is the best decision, you may choose to do so through the extended withdrawal deadline of April 28. However, we hope that the P/NC option will encourage you to remain enrolled in courses in which it is possible to earn the credits.
After consulting with your advisor(s) and carefully considering all possible implications, if you wish to choose P/NC grading, please complete, sign, and submit the form no later than 5 p.m. on April 28. The form will be available on the Records Office website.
All Spring 2020 Study Abroad students will get separate instructions, with a separate P/NC form, from the Office of International Programs. This form also must be completed, signed, and submitted by 5 p.m. on April 28.
We have confidence in our faculty and our students and are committed to delivering the highest quality academic experience that we can in a time of great challenge and uncertainty. We offer you this additional opportunity to choose grading options to help provide greater peace of mind as you continue to pursue your academic goals. Please know that Fr. Linnane and I keep you and the members of your family in our thoughts and prayers, and we sincerely hope this semester is one of intellectual growth and community building.
Amanda M. Thomas
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs