Emergency Grading Accommodation Policy
March, 24, 2020
The Graduate School is writing to provide further guidance about the Chancellor and Provost’s Emergency Grading Accommodation policy issued Friday, 3/20. This guidance addresses graduate, professional and undergraduate students enrolled in courses in programs that are managed by The Graduate School.
Spring 2020 graduate and professional courses in graduate programs that are administratively supported by The Graduate School can be converted to a pass/fail grading basis. Course directors should work with their Chairs and/or deans to identify courses that are eligible for pass/fail grading. Please be mindful of unique circumstances, such as discipline-specific accreditation standards, when considering whether to allow a course to be graded on a pass/fail basis.
Deans should notify The Graduate School of pass/ fail eligible courses by April 3, 2020** and also indicate whether all students will be graded on the pass/fail scale or if students will be allowed to request pass/ fail grading individually. (Please submit these requests to Stephanie Schmitt, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Please note the following points:
- Courses graded as pass/fail under this exception will count towards applicable curricular, major, continuation, and graduation requirements (i.e., they will earn hours toward a graduate degree).
- Students should discuss with their faculty instructors and advisors if the pass/fail option is beneficial compared with the traditional HPLF grading scale. The accommodation is intended to help alleviate any concerns with the mid-semester shift to virtual instruction, but it may not be necessary in all cases given UNC-Chapel Hill’s existing graduate grading scale.
- A note will be added to all academic transcripts indicating the major disruption this pandemic has caused to the academic experience.
The special CV temporary grade that was described in the Chancellor’s memo will be available for graduate students and faculty to use when submitting grades for this spring term. Graduate students normally receive a full year to complete temporary grades with the option to request extensions of time. Refer to the Graduate Handbook for additional detail. The use of the CV grade is also appropriate for spring 2020 courses and will provide an additional three months beyond the year (15 months total).
- Temporary grades will continue to be allowed for spring 2020 sections of 992/993/994 on a special request basis. If a student has a particular impact to these thesis/dissertation/research courses that is time-limited and will not continue into the upcoming fall semester, please document the situation for a temporary grade petition. The Graduate School will review and work with the Registrar’s office to update the grade. (Please submit these requests to Stephanie Schmitt, email@example.com.)
- Any temporary grade must be completed and assigned a permanent grade before a student can be cleared to graduate.
- Deadlines remain the same for any temporary grades from prior terms. If extensions are needed, please refer to the Graduate Handbook section linked above.
Other Academic Milestones
The Graduate School encourages flexibility for students who have extenuating circumstances during this period, including but not limited to more extensive use of temporary grades as well as rescheduled/remote milestones such as comprehensive exams, proposals, and defenses. If programs have upcoming events where groups would normally be expected to gather, such as common comprehensive exams or defenses with committees or public presentations, they should be conducted virtually or postponed.
The Graduate School can assist programs and faculty in tracking milestones and temporary grades to ensure students remain on track in the coming months.
Current deadlines for thesis/dissertation submission for May graduation remain in place. Discussions about extending these deadlines involve broader University offices and policies, including the May degree award date. Updated information will be shared if any changes or extensions occur.
The Graduate School can continue to accept multiple individually signed copies of the same milestone document, including physical or digital signatures. Our preference is to receive actual exam report forms with signatures for archival in student records; however, if a committee member is unable to sign/scan then an email vote, not forwarded from the student, can be used.
* Please reach out to our office with specific questions. Primary points of contact for academic and grading issues should be Stephanie Schmitt (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Sarah Jacobson (email@example.com) or your graduate program’s enrolled students specialist.
**Note: this date is different than the deadline for undergraduates that was established in the Chancellor and Provost’s Emergency Grading Accommodation policy issued Friday, 3/20