College of Arts & Sciences

Modified Policies for Students due to COVID-19:

These adjustments, as outlined below, will offer increased flexibility for many students, who will still be required to work closely with faculty and advisors when evaluating their options for what remains of the semester and going forward.

Pass/Fail Option:

In light of the current emergency and the sudden alteration in delivery mode across the curriculum, Faculty Senate approved the modified policy:

  1. Pass/Fail Process.  All courses will be graded normally, but students may choose to make ANY ELIGIBLE course grade Pass/Fail AFTER grades are submitted. Students have until Tuesday, June 30 2020, to make this choice.

  2. Pass/Fail Definitions. A “P” grade for Spring ’20 requires a D- or better final grade. 

  3. Pass/Fail Credit Application and Exemptions.

    1. “Pass” hours earned in any Spring 2020 course will be counted towards credit hours required for graduation. P/F credits can also be applied to University Studies and major/minor. Deans, in consultation with departments and programs, can exempt certain courses and/or programs from the P/F option when accreditation or other considerations require letter grading. A list of exempted courses will be centrally available.

    2. A grade of Pass will not be factored into GPA; however, eligible courses taken for a Pass WILL count towards earned semester hours, hours in residence, and prerequisite requirements (for courses or major admission) except where the catalog requires a specific minimum grade.

    3. Fail grades will be included in GPA calculations as an F. 

  1. Honors.  The Dean’s List and other university-level, semester-based honors will not be calculated for Spring 2020.

  2. Transcripts from UNCW will bear a note indicating the semester was disrupted by the global COVID-19 emergency.

The university anticipates that students and advisors will have questions regarding this new policy. Please visit the FAQ here for more information.

Undergraduate Retention and Dismissal Policies:

For the Spring 2020 semester only, the following modifications to our undergraduate retention and dismissal policies are in place:

  1. Spring 2020 will not count towards the enrolled terms students on probation have to regain academic eligibility. This means that if Spring was your first term on probation, as long as your spring grades allow continued enrollment, you will still have three terms (if needed) that will count towards the Probation Policy. For more information about the regular probation policy, see Academic Probation below. 

  2. Students currently on probation can appeal to be retained after the semester if their spring term GPA is between 1.0 and 2.33.

  3. Students in good academic standing whose Spring 2020 term GPA falls below 1.0 will NOT be subject to term dismissal.

Academic Standing

A student's academic standing is determined at the end of each semester based on their term and cumulative grade point average (GPA) and is reflected on their academic transcript. 

Academic Standing categories:

  • Dean's List

    A student can make the Dean's List if they meet one of the following criteria: 

    • Complete 12-14 hours and earn a term GPA of 3.50 or better with no grade less than “B” (3.00).
    • Complete 15 hours or more and earn a term GPA of 3.20 or better with no grade less than “B” (3.00).
    • Students participating in the Honors Scholars College who are carrying 12-14 total hours but are not receiving a grade for the current semester of honors work shall be eligible for the Dean’s List if their GPA on the remaining 9-11 hours otherwise meets current standards for the Dean’s List.

    Students carrying 11 hours or fewer are not eligible for the Dean’s List. Pass/fail hours will not be used in the calculation of Dean’s List.

  • Good Academic Standing

    A student is in good academic standing if their cumulative GPA is at least a 2.0 and their term GPA is at least a 1.0.  

  • Insufficient Academic Progress

    A student is placed on Insufficient Progress when they are completing less that 67% of all attempted hours.  It is important to note that students on Insufficient Academic Progress may not be making timely progress towards degree completion. Students should contact their academic advisor to discuss these issues and strategies to improve progress. 

  • Must Be Reviewed

    A student's status will say must be reviewed if they have been placed on an academic contract.  An academic contract is an agreement between the student and their college with specific terms a student must satisfy to be allowed to continue enrollment.  

  • Academic Probation

    A student is automatically placed on academic probation when their cumulative GPA drops below 2.00 at the end of either Fall or Spring semester (not Summer). Students on probation are limited to a 14-hour course load during the Fall and Spring semesters and no more than 4 hours per Summer session. When a student is placed on academic probation, it is the responsibility of the student to arrange regular meetings with their academic advisor or department chair/director to discuss academic strategies and the following semester's course selections to improve academic status.   

    Terms of Probation:

    • A student will have the following three terms (summer sessions, if attended, count as a term) to bring their cumulative GPA back to good standing (2.00 or higher).  
    • During the probationary period, students are expected to earn a term GPA of at least 2.33 each semester. Failure to do so will result in their immediate dismissal.
    • If the student’s cumulative GPA does not reach a 2.00 by the end of the third term on probation, the student will be dismissed.
    • Under no circumstances will a student dismissed for failure to reach the prescribed term GPA or cumulative GPA be approved to enroll at UNCW for the following three terms.  
    • Students are removed from probation at the end of any term (Fall, Spring, or Summer) where the cumulative GPA reaches 2.00.


    Suggestions While on Probation:

    • Consider the Repeat Policy to retake up to three different courses that you earned a C- or lower in.  The grade earned the second time will replace the previous grade earned in calculating your cumulative GPA and hours toward graduation. The policy automatically goes into place the first time you repeat a course.     
    • Before the next semester begins, talk with your academic advisor about the balance of academic rigor in your schedule; keeping in mind your academic strengths and weaknesses as well as other time commitments you will have during the semester.     
    • Take advantage of the academic resources available to you.  Some of these include:
    • If you are enrolled in school full time (12 hours or more) and have a job, limit the hours you work.  Keep in mind that for every credit hour you are in classes, it is recommended that you study at least 2 hours outside of class each week to be successful.  
    • Set goals for improving your academics and write them down.  Review them throughout the semester to stay focused.  
    • Read your course syllabi to be aware of how the final grade is factored and keep a good estimate of where you stand throughout the semester to assess the effectiveness of your study strategies and make adjustments if needed.  
  • Academic Dismissal