The University of Colorado Boulder is allowing undergraduate and graduate students to pursue a “pass/fail” option in lieu of a letter grade for most classes. The university is also lifting restrictions on pass/fail credits for all undergraduate and graduate students of any major or college other than the Law School, which will change its courses to a credit/no-credit basis for spring 2020.
The decision comes after discussion between the Boulder Faculty Assembly and college deans, according to Provost Russell Moore, who announced in an email Thursday that due to campus-wide disruption presented by COVID-19, the university would try to ease the stress on students and faculty.
“I recognize that it has been far from easy, especially for our students, who have had to face tremendous upheaval in all aspects of their lives,” Moore said.
On March 11, the university made the decision to move all in-person classes online by the end of that week. Several online petitions were already demanding CU Boulder make all classes pass/fail and other schools such as Colorado State University allowed the option for its students earlier this week.
The deadline for students (other than law students) to declare a pass/fail grade option has been extended to April 30, the last day of classes. Students may reverse their decision back to a letter grade option at any time up to the April 30 deadline.
There are still some classes that remain restricted to a letter grade only, according to Moore, who said that some of these classes have lifted that restriction, but not all. Students are advised to check their classes on Buff Portal.
Grades of D- or higher convert to a pass and instructors will not be informed that students have chosen the P/F option for a class. Passing grades will be accepted to satisfy degree requirements and will not be counted against the pass credit limit in any degree or major.
However, Moore said that published prerequisite grades for classes taken in spring 2020 will still be enforced. This means if a student’s letter grade is below the grading standard to satisfy a prerequisite, the grade of “P” will remain on the transcript, but the prerequisite will not be fulfilled. Letter grades converted to pass/fail will only be used for checking prerequisite standards.
CU Boulder Sophomore Lindsey Jamison said the university’s decision to not automatically move all students to a pass/fail basis puts pressure on students to resist the option.
“Additionally, many advisors are now booked out for a week or more, making it difficult for anxious students to get help or questions answered,” Jamison said.
You can read Moore’s full statement here.
Contact CU Independent Editor-in-Chief Robert Tann at email@example.com.