COVID-19 Fall 2020-Winter 2021 Undergraduate Grading FAQ

Fall 2020-Winter 2021 Undergraduate Grading FAQ

Last Update: 9/26/20

Q1: Why are we moving to this new grading policy for Fall 2020 and Winter 2021?

We are making these changes with the understanding that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating inequitable circumstances for students to pursue their coursework and demonstrate their learning. We know that many students are managing very challenging personal situations as they work toward earning their degree.

Our hope is that these changes will help to support the well-being and success of learners and faculty members alike while meeting the university's mission, maintaining the academic integrity of our programs, and staying true to our values.


Q2: How will Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 classes be graded?

For the fall and winter semesters, undergraduate enrollments will use a modified version of traditional grading in which the regular letter grading system is maintained. Faculty will record letter grades, but students who receive D+, D, D-, or E grades will receive a "No Record Covid” (NRC) grade. Students who are interested will be able to request that an NRC grade be converted to the earned letter grade.


Q3: How is this policy different from the Winter 2020 grading policy?

The primary difference is that passing grades will not convert to a P grade, so there will be fewer opportunities to convert grades as only the NRC grade can be converted.

Another difference is how courses elected as Optional Pass/Fail will be handled. In Winter 2020, you could convert a P or NRC grade to a letter grade. Consistent with the traditional Optional Pass/Fail grading basis, you will not be able to view your letter grade or convert the P or NRC to a letter grade in Fall 2020 and Winter 2021. You will have the ability to convert the NRC to an F if desired.

The final difference is in the deadline to request an eligible conversion from the NRC grade. In Winter 2020, the deadline was approximately two months following the term. In Fall 2020 and Winter 2021, the deadline to request a grade conversion has been extended to approximately six months following each term.


Q4: How do I request to have my NRC grade converted to a letter grade?

Students can request to have NRC grades converted on the ‘View My Grades’ page at -->View Final Grades.


Q5: Is there a deadline to request conversion of an NRC grade?

The deadlines to request grade conversions are July 1, 2021 (Fall 2020 term grades) and November 1, 2021 (Winter 2021 term grades). There may be limited and specific academic reasons where grade conversions can be requested after the deadlines, such as late grades and meeting certain degree requirements. Check with your school or college, as each school or college will have its own protocols for requesting changes to your grading basis. If an exception is granted and your grade is converted, updates are made to your grade and academic statistics, including grade point average.


Q6: How does the NRC grade work? Do I still get credit for the course?

Students who receive an NRC will receive no course credit, and their grade point average will not be affected.


Q7: I would normally get credit for a course if I get a D grade. Under this new grading policy, a D will be an NRC and I won’t get credit. What should I do if I need the credit for this course?

In this case, you have the option to convert to a letter grade. If you have questions, you should work with your academic advisor.


Q8: If I choose to convert to a grade, do I have to convert all of my courses that have an NRC grade?

No, you can select which courses you want to convert, and you can leave some with the NRC.


Q9: What if I am taking a course that is only Credit/Not For Credit or another type of special grading basis?

Courses that have a special grading basis like mandatory Credit/No Credit, Degree Credit Only, mandatory Pass/Fail, or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory will not use the NRC grade. They will continue to use the originally specified grading basis.


Q10: What if I had elected Optional Pass/Fail for a course at the beginning of the semester? What will my grade be?

If you originally selected Optional Pass/Fail, you will receive either a P grade for passing or an NRC grade for not passing. You cannot convert a P grade to a letter grade. If you choose to convert an NRC grade, it will convert to an F.


Q11: I am an undergraduate student but I am taking a graduate-level class. What happens to my grade?

This grading policy also applies to undergraduates enrolled in graduate courses.


Q12: I took a study abroad course and did not pass. What will my grade be?

This will depend on your study abroad program. If you would have normally received GPA credit for your course, then you will receive an NRC grade. If your course is Degree Credit Only, then it will continue to follow that grading pattern.


Q13: What happens if I withdraw from a course?

We have instituted a more flexible withdrawal policy, allowing students to withdraw from a course at any time up through the last day of class and not have the course appear on their official transcript. The W grade will appear on your unofficial transcript.

Courses that have already ended or have been graded cannot be dropped.


Q14: Will my tuition be adjusted if I withdraw from a course?

No, tuition adjustments are not made after the drop/add deadline.


Q15: What do the abbreviations such as CGR and COP mean when I look at my Backpack or Class Schedule? (added 9/25/20)

When you view Backpack or Registration in some places in Wolverine Access, you may encounter the following abbreviations, which are the codes used to determine which grading pattern your enrollment is using for a particular class:

  • CGR: COVID Graded (letter-graded courses; you have the option to convert any NRC grades to the underlying letter grade)
  • COP: COVID Optional Pass/Fail (student-selected grading basis when you want your final grade to be P or NRC; NRC grades can be converted to F)
  • CML: COVID Multiple Grading Patterns (used only for certain Study Abroad courses)
  • CB5: COVID non-Graduate Business Student in a Graduate Business course
  • COB: COVID Optional Pass/Fail for a non-Graduate Business student in a Graduate Business course

Contact Information

Q16: Who do I contact if I have further questions about the changes to grading for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 semesters?

Please send any questions to the Office of Registrar at

We will continue to update this page as new questions come in.