Notice: UNCW Announces Pass/Fail Policy Modifications for Spring Semester 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

In recognition of the unprecedented challenges students and faculty face in finishing the current semester, UNCW has announced a new policy allowing students in many courses to opt into Pass/Fail grading for many courses after the semester ends and grades are reported. 

"This extraordinary policy, developed collaboratively by the chancellor, deans, faculty leadership and my office, acknowledges that many students are in very unfamiliar teaching and learning territory while navigating all of the personal difficulties related to caring for loved ones and adjusting to new living and working circumstances," Provost Marilyn Sheerer said. 

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.

In light of the current emergency and the sudden alteration in delivery mode across the curriculum, Academic Affairs proposed the following modifications to these policies for Spring ’20 undergraduate courses only, and, a short time ago, 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.

A. “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.

B. 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.

C. 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. Information about the graduate school’s amended Pass/Fail policy for spring 2020 will be available here.

"We appreciate the patience and flexibility so many faculty, staff, students and their families have had to put forth as we approached the challenges of the present with an eye toward protecting the future of our students," the provost added. "As always, the university remains committed to continuing to listen and act judiciously and appropriately to support all of our students as we move forward together."