2020-21 Undergraduate Grading FAQ

2020-2021 Undergraduate Grading FAQ

Last Update: 2/17/21

Note: The FAQs below apply to all terms in the 2020-21 academic year (fall 2020, winter 2021, spring 2021, spring/summer 2021, and summer 2021).

Q1: Why are we moving to this new grading policy for 2020-21?

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 classes in academic year 2020-21 be graded? (updated 2/17/21)

For each term, 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. In addition, students who receive grades of A+ through C- will have the option to request a change to “Pass” (P or PS).

It is important that you work closely with your academic advisor before deciding to convert a letter grade to a Pass to ensure doing so does not cause any unintended consequences given degree requirements or future plans. Once you convert a course to a Pass, you cannot change your mind and revert back to the letter grade (or vice versa).

Q3: How is this policy different from the winter 2020 grading policy? (updated 2/17/21)

The primary difference is that passing grades will not convert automatically to a Pass grade; you may request a conversion to Pass for each course graded A+ through C-.

The other difference is in the deadline to request an eligible conversion. In winter 2020, the deadline was approximately two months following the term. In the 2020-21 academic year, 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 letter grade converted to a Pass or my NRC grade converted to a letter grade? (updated 12/9/20)

Students can request to have eligible grades converted on the ‘View My Grades’ page at wolverineaccess.umich.edu > View Final Grades. 

Q5: When can I request a conversion of an eligible grade? (updated 2/17/21)

You may begin to convert eligible grades when grades are posted after the end of the term. The deadlines to request grade conversions are:

  • July 1, 2021 (fall 2020 term grades)
  • Nov. 1, 2021 (winter 2021 term grades)
  • March 1, 2022 (spring/summer 2021 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. Note that it will take a minimum of 24 hours to process a grade conversion after the request is made.

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 got 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? (updated 11/16/20)

No, you can select which courses you want to convert.

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? (updated 11/16/20)

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

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 abbreviations such as CGR and COP mean when I look at my Backpack or Class Schedule? (updated 12/8/20)

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 letter grade to P, and convert any NRC grades to the underlying letter grade)
  • COP: COVID Pass/NRC (student-selected grading basis when you want your final grade to be Pass or NRC; grades can be converted to letter grades)
  • 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 Pass/NRC for a non-Graduate Business student in a Graduate Business course

Q16: How does the Pass grade work? Will I still get credit for the course? Can I use the Pass grade toward my degree? (added 11/16/20)

Pass grades award credit (CTP) and can be used to satisfy requirements as long as the letter grades earned would meet requirements. For example, if your program requires a grade of C or better to fulfill a requirement and you convert your letter grade to a Pass, the grade that was entered by the instructor must be a C or better in order to fulfill the requirement. In this example, if your instructor entered a C-, you would get credit (CTP) for the course, but it would not count toward your program requirement.

Q17: Once I convert a grade, can I change it back? (added 11/16/20)

No, once you convert any grade, you cannot reverse your decision.

Q18: How will Pass or NRC grades impact honors and awards, such as University Honors, Angell Scholar, and/or school or college honors, etc.? (added 11/16/20)

Pass and NRC grades may impact your eligibility for certain honors and other awards. University Honors and Angell Scholar criteria can be found online. Make sure to consult with your school or college’s rules for other honors and awards.

Q19: What if I already have a grade for a course? Can I convert those grades?(added 11/16/20)

Yes. You may choose to convert a letter grade to a Pass, or you may choose to convert an NRC to a letter grade.

Q20: What is the difference between a grade of P and a grade of PS? (added 12/3/20)

Undergraduate students who convert a passing grade (A+ through C-) will see their Pass grade reflected as a P on their official and unofficial transcripts. Students who convert a passing C- grade will see a grade of PS on internal documents and in Wolverine Access in order to comply with degree audit requirements and course requisites that require a grade input of C or better.

Contact Information

Q21: Who do I contact if I have further questions about the changes to grading for the 2020-21 academic year?

Please send any questions to the Office of the Registrar at [email protected].

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