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.

Pass/Fail Option

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, sschmitt@email.unc.edu.)

Please note the following points:


Temporary Grades

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).

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 (sschmitt@email.unc.edu) and Sarah Jacobson (sjacobson@unc.edu) 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