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Pass/Fail Grading Policy


Deadline TO REQUEST PASS/FAIL: May 22, 2020

During this unusual semester, all of us have been required to adopt new methods of learning, teaching, and communicating. Recognizing that these challenges have had varying degrees of impact on students’ personal lives, Milligan will implement a one-semester-only option allowing undergraduate students to choose Pass/Fail grading for a maximum of two courses.

  • The window for selecting Pass/Fail grading will open on Monday, May 4, and will close on Friday, May 22. Students should not wait until the May 22 deadline to begin the process, which requires communication with their academic advisors as a key component. Instructions for submitting a Pass/Fail Authorization form are below »
  • Pass/Fail grading is not available for all courses (see exceptions below) and will not be the best option for most students. Students are expected to complete all course work, to perform at their highest potential in all classes, and to seek guidance from instructors and advisors, who are working hard to help students succeed.

Spring 2020 Undergraduate Grading Policy: Pass/Fail

Given the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the move to online instruction for all spring 2020 classes, Milligan will offer students the option to take up to two of their spring 2020 courses for a “Pass/Fail” grade rather than a regular letter grade. Most students will want to continue on the regular letter grading system. However, some students may have a compelling need to change one or two courses to Pass/Fail grading.

Pass/Fail grading means that a student will receive a grade of “P” (pass) for final earned grades of “A” through “D-.” Grades of “F” will not differ from “F” grades earned under Milligan’s usual grading policy.

The University would not recommend changing to P/F grading in most cases. Students who think that they have an exceptional circumstance that warrants consideration of P/F grading should read carefully the provisions below and contact their academic advisors before exercising this option.

  • Faculty will submit earned letter grades by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12. After consulting their academic advisors, students may choose the Pass/Fail option for up to two spring 2020 courses and submit an authorization request form (read instructions first) to the Registrar’s Office. Students may submit a request between Monday, May 4, and 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22. All requests will require advisor approval.
  • The student’s decision to change a grade to Pass/Fail is irreversible after Friday, May 22. After that date, Pass/Fail grades will not be changed back to letter grades.
  • A grade of “P” is neutral and has no positive or negative effect on the GPA. Students opting for “P” grades will see no increase in their GPA. Students who are attempting to maintain or raise their GPA for various purposes (honors, athletic eligibility, satisfactory academic progress, etc.) might be adversely affected by converting a letter grade to a “P.”
  • Based on licensure, accreditation, and/or progression restrictions in programs such as nursing, teacher education, engineering, and social work, students may not be allowed to choose the Pass/Fail option for certain courses. The directors of these programs have full discretion to allow or prohibit pass/fail grading to the extent that licensure, accreditation, or progression would be affected.
  • Students selecting “P” grades should be aware that some graduate programs will not accept prerequisite course work with a grade of “P.” Even students who do not intend to enter a graduate program at this time should consider this potential ramification, as their plans may change in future years.
  • Scholarship eligibility will be based on the semester grades for which a regular letter grade has been issued. Federal financial aid eligibility will be determined by reviewing the total number of attempted and earned hours for the semester along with the cumulative GPA for which a regular letter grade has been issued.
  • Pass/Fail grading is not available for COMP 111. Students must earn a grade of “C-“ or higher to progress to COMP 211.
  • Pass/Fail grading is not available for MATH 090. Students must earn a grade of “C-“ or higher to progress to a university-level math course.
  • Students who are enrolled in the following math and science courses should not choose Pass/Fail grading if they plan to enroll in upper-division math or science courses: BIOL 112, BIOL 251, CHEM 171, CHEM 271, MATH 212, MATH 307, and MATH 309. Some upper-division courses require a “C-“ or higher in one or more of these courses. (See Catalog course descriptions.)
  • Eligibility for Dean’s List will be based on semester grades for which a regular letter grade has been issued.
  • Academic probation and dismissal will be based on semester grades for which a regular letter grade has been issued.

Please note: The policy outlined above is for undergraduate students. Graduate program faculty will determine the applicability of the Pass/Fail grading option for their programs. If students in a graduate program will be eligible for Pass/Fail grading, the program director will communicate this decision to students.

INSTRUCTIONS »     AUTHORIZATION FORM »