Given the unusual nature of the Spring 2020 semester as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IUPUI Faculty Council Executive Committee has approved a grade exception to the existing policy for S and P grades. These exceptions will be invoked for Spring 2020 only via an approval process after final grades have been submitted.
Spring 2020 flexibility on S and P grades
Request a grade change
The Registrar needs approval from both your instructor and advisor by May 29!
- Contact your instructor to discuss grade options. If best to use the S or P option, instructor will submit request to Registrar.
- Talk to your advisor….the advisor is needed for final approval.
Following are related questions and interpretations/answers. We will continue to add to the list as we receive more questions.
Explore a topic related to S and P grades
In order for a student to be approved for an S grade, their faculty-submitted grade in the class should have been a C or above. S grades will count toward degree requirements and pre-requisites. Credit hours are earned for the class but are not factored into GPA. See more details below about the potential advantages of the S grade.
Grades of C- through D- may be appealed for a P grade. P grades are not guaranteed to count toward specified degree requirements or pre-requisites but will count toward elective credit requirements. The credit hours are earned but are not factored into GPA. See more details below about the potential advantages of the P grade.
Yes; S grades in courses taken during the Spring 2020 term will count as meeting course-based prerequisites that require a grade of C or higher.
Yes; S grades in courses completed in Spring 2020 only will meet admissions criteria.
It is not. S grades calculate into hours completed but are not calculated into GPA.
No; the S grade will not impact the limits for the number of elective courses that can be taken pass/fail.
No; P grades are not guaranteed to count toward specified degree requirements or pre-requisites.
However, if existing degree requirements or prerequisites already accept grades of D- or higher or grade of P, the P option will still meet those grade requirements.
No; P grades will not be considered as meeting admissions criteria for internal programs.
Yes and no; P grades will count toward elective requirements but NOT for General Education Core requirements.
While general education requirements can be satisfied with a passing grade (D-), many schools or majors specify a grade of C for at least some of their gen ed requirements. For this reason, faculty governance decided to only guarantee that S grades would count for gen ed requirements. If a student earns a D- in a gen ed requirement that only requires a passing grade, they might still benefit from the P grade option because it protects their GPA from the D- grade and the course will count toward any elective requirements in the student’s major (assuming there is a different course the student can take in the future to satisfy that gen ed requirement*).*in the case of the ENG-W 131/COMM-R 110 requirements, a student can only satisfy the requirements with those specified courses, meaning if the student takes a P grade for sp20 enrollment in these courses, the student will need to repeat these in the future and will only earn the credit hours once.
Students in any of the scenarios described here should consult their academic advisor.
It is not. P grades calculate into hours completed but are not calculated into GPA.
No; the P grade will not impact the limits for the number of elective courses that can be taken pass/fail.
Some programs use cumulative GPA for admission which will not be accurate with S or P grades and some programs use a group of courses such as Math and Science to make decisions. There may be concern about selecting a class where the student may not be academically ready to be successful in the programs.
S grades in courses taken during the spring 2020 term must count toward program admission requirements. The original letter grades will not be available. Advisors should plan to have conversations with students about their level of preparedness for more advanced level courses, particularly if the student earned a P.
Absolutely. Earning a letter grade will likely be the best option for the student. If the instructor and student are able to work out an arrangement where the student has the opportunity to end up with a reasonable earned grade, that is an excellent option and good use of the existing Incomplete grade policy.
Only courses taken during the spring 2020 term which were not completed by March 10, 2020 are eligible.
Academic Dismissal: No student will be dismissed from IUPUI, IUPUC or IU Fort Wayne programs as a result of their academic or course-based performance in Spring 2020. Normal regulations will be applied based on Fall 2020 grades.
Academic Probation: No student will be placed on academic probation as a result of their academic or course-based performance in Spring 2020, though students will continue to have access to academic support resources. Normal regulations will be applied based on Fall 2020 grades.
While the guidance from IUPUI faculty governance does not address “Academic Warning” or other school-based standing that is separate from the campus-wide undergraduate Probation and Dismissal policy, schools are encouraged to adopt the same pause on academic-based standing that has been adopted in the campus policy.
All IUPUI, IUPUC and IU Fort Wayne programs are suspending dismissals based on course performance for Spring 2020. The P will not count toward the GPA and the student would need to repeat courses for which a satisfactory grade has not been earned and is needed.
Each academic unit will determine how to evaluate S and P grades into their Dean’s List and other academic honors/awards.
How will the S grade be used for graduate and professional students?
The University Graduate School is advocating for flexibility in grading for graduate students by way of a special project or research or other creative academic activity that results in a standard letter grade. Those accommodations will be the best for the students. Professional schools are using some latitude with the S grade; it is available if determined best for the student and compliant with their academic program. Use of the S grade may impact future transfer of the course toward a more advanced graduate degree. Any conversations about these grades for graduate or professional students need to take into consideration the specific, potential risk for this population of student. As with any of the S and P grade options, students should consult their academic advisor to discuss their individual situation.
IUPUI SAP rules require students to 1) maintain a 2.0 program GPA; 2) successfully complete at least two-thirds of attempted coursework, and 3) complete planned degree program within 150% of program length.
- S or P grades are not factored into GPA so will have no effect on the requirement to maintain a 2.0 program GPA
- S or P grades are considered successful completion, so they will increase credit completion rate
- S or P grades result in earned credit hours and apply toward maximum timeframe program length
The IUPUI Office of Student Financial Assistance (SFS) also approves SAP appeals on “contract” with students, expecting them to successfully complete all courses and/or graduate as planned. In their review of Spring 2020 SAP contracts, SFS will provide latitude and/or appeal options to students that have had academic progress negatively impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
S and P grades are not factored into so should not have an impact on merit scholarship renewal. S and P grades do result in earned credit hours, which is considered for merit scholarship renewal. If students are unable to meet merit scholarship renewal standards, an appeal process with wider parameters will be planned.
Students will need to contact any external donor or scholarship provider directly to determine the impact of S and P grades.
An S grade in courses taken during Spring 2020 should fulfill degree program requirements. A P grade may not fulfill those same requirements. Programs may require a course with a P grade (as with an F grade) be repeated to fulfill degree program requirements.
Individual departments associated with these programs will need to investigate. This information will be important to those in the advising community. If departments discover that certification- or licensing-specific concerns will exist they should notify advisors via the advising listserv: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The P grade will stand but the affected departments should provide a class permission for future semesters, allowing the student to register for subsequent courses. In the example above, Chemistry would provide class permission to those who completed the affected Math classes with a C-. The Registrar will work directly with these departments.
If the academic advisement report (AAR) was initially built to allow grades of D- OR P to count as satisfying a requirement, no updates are necessary as the grade will automatically apply. If D- grades were allowable, but P grades were excluded in the AAR, the department will need to apply an exception to satisfy the requirement.
There is no need to “replace” the S since it has no GPA value and program repeat rules will apply.
For Spring 2020 grade replacement, the originally assigned Spring 2020 faculty grade will be used as the basis for whether grade replacement may be applied. The grade replacement policy specifies that on the second attempt, the student grade must be the same or higher before proceeding with grade replacement. Registrar would verify the faculty-assigned grade on spring 2020 grade roster was equal to or greater than original grade and process accordingly. If applicable, the earlier grade will be “X’d” are removed from GPA calculation while the new S or P will remain on the record, also with no GPA value.
Repeated course 4202 (faculty-assigned grade)
Eligible for grade replacement?
No. B- is not higher than B.
No. D is not higher than C-
No. D- is not higher than D.
This approach is compliant with the current grade replacement policy.
As part of the flexibility options, Spring 2020 courses will not count toward the 15 credit hour maximum of the grade replacement policy. This includes both of the following scenarios:
- a student using any Spring 2020 course to replace a course from a prior term and
- a student repeating a course in a future term in order to replace a Spring 2020 graded (A through F) course.
S grades will not negatively impact student athlete eligibility. P grades might negatively impact. It will depend on whether the P grade can count toward an elective requirement in the student’s degree. For students who are in majors with no electives or who have already completed all their electives, the P grade might negatively impact eligibility and the student should consult the athletics advising office.
If a student is receiving the GI Bill™ or Federal Tuition Assistance, receiving an S-Satisfactory grade does not negatively affect their benefits because it will apply toward that particular course in their degree program. However, receiving a P (Passing) grade could translate to that student being required to return money to the Veterans Administration or Dept of Defense. In short, there could be serious financial implications. Because of this, if a student receiving these benefits (based on the military student groups below) is discussing P grades with an advisor, the advisor should refer that student to the Office for Veterans and Military Personnel (OVMP) for guidance. The OVMP will verify with the advisor if the grade change is best for the student in question. The advisor is then asked to add a note to the advising system (AdRx) certifying that there was discussion with OVMP about this decision.
Student Groups affected by this include:
National Guard/Reserve Members using Tuition Assistance
Veterans using Montgomery GI Bill
Disabled veterans using benefits
Children of 100% Disabled Veterans using GI Bill
National Guard/Reserves Members using GI Bill
Children using transferred Post 9/11
Spouses using transferred Post 9/11
Veterans using Post 9/11
If a student’s tuition is being paid by an employer or other source outside of IU (outside sponsorship) and the student is required to submit grades, then receiving the S (Satisfactory) or P (Passing) grade option could have a negative impact. The student may be required to return money to the payer or may not be eligible for reimbursement. The student must work with their individual sponsor to determine if a grade of S or P is allowable before moving forward with an S/P petition.
Yes, S and P grades still result in a student earning credit hours for a course and will count toward the annual credit totals required to maintain 21C scholarship. Note that ICHE has provided some COVID-19 related relief: “the Commission will waive up to 15 credit hours for students who use either the 21st Century Scholarship, Frank O’Bannon Grant, or Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship during Spring 2020. These waived hours will be added to the Credit Bank once Spring 2020 credit completion data is reported. Students will not need to submit an appeal to receive the waived hours.”
Courses graded as S or P have no impact on an international student’s immigration status. However, some international student sponsors may restrict the option of S or P grades. Sponsored students should verify grade policy directly with their sponsoring agency. The Office of International Affairs will be happy to assist with any questions.
Students, faculty, and advisors are cautioned that grades of S or P may not be accepted as transfer credit by other institutions or graduate programs. Having said that, countless colleges and universities are making similar exceptions for Spring 2020 so there is hope across the academy that schools will be lenient.
This is under discussion with Admissions Offices at IU and across the country. More details will be shared here as they become available.
All IU campuses are providing some version of an S exception. IUPUI and the regional campuses are following the same process and providing an exception for both S and P grades. IUB is following a different process for S grades only. In any case, S grades in Spring 2020 should be considered as satisfactory across IU campuses. If a P grade has been satisfactory for a particular degree program that would not change.
After faculty have submitted Spring final grades, the student should contact their faculty member to discuss course grade options. A student has until Friday, May 29, 2020 to have both the faculty member and their advisor complete a request to petition for an S or P grade. Each party (instructor and advisor) are included in the approval process to assure this grade change will be in the student‘s best interest based on their individual situation and program.
For students in the University Graduate School, the Dean’s signature will be required as well.
If a student is unable to get in contact with their faculty of record, they should contact the department chair. The department chair or Dean may sign for the instructor.
Technically, yes, but denial of the S or P grade should occur only in one of three situations. Faculty are being encouraged to be understanding and creative and flexible, doing all they can to assist the student with some creative academic means/papers/projects to help these students get to a letter grade. In addition, faculty are being encouraged to entertain flexible use of the “I” (Incomplete) grade so that a student may use some time over the summer or beyond to complete the requirements of the course. An earned grade based on academic dishonesty may also be denied. Aside from these situations, it would be difficult to come up with a scenario as to why the S or P exception would be denied if it is in the best interest of the student. No one is suggesting sacrificing program integrity but everyone is advocating for flexibility and creativity. Flat out denying the S or P without offering other alternatives is not where we hope to be.
Courses offered during the Spring 2020 quarter (March 3 – May 24) are eligible. No exceptions have been approved for Summer 2020 whether in semester or quarter calendar.