Winter 2020 Rackham Grading FAQ
Last Update: 7/6/2020
Q1: Why are we moving to this new grading policy for Winter 2020?
COVID-19 has disrupted the regular conduct of graduate courses and the lives of graduate students and faculty during the winter 2020 semester. The transition to remote teaching—both in graduate courses and for graduate student instructors—has made this a challenging time. The closure of research facilities and libraries has compounded these difficulties. Because of the impact that COVID-19 is having on graduate education and graduate students, Rackham Graduate School is making its grading policy more flexible for the winter 2020 semester. For many students, moving to S/NRC grading relieves pressure. For others, having a letter grade is important. We hope this new policy can accommodate the different needs of our students while helping to ease anxieties they may be feeling.
Q2: How will Winter 2020 classes be graded?
Faculty will continue to record letter grades, but students will receive either an “S” (Satisfactory) or “NRC” (No Record Covid) grade for A-E graded courses. The grade cut-off for an “S” will be B-.
Language will be added to transcripts explaining Rackham’s policy for the winter 2020 term.
Students who are interested will be able to request that their grade for a course be converted to a letter grade. Such requests must be made by July 1, 2020.
Q3: How do I request to have my grade converted to a letter grade? (Updated 7/6/20)
The deadline to request grade conversions was July 1, 2020. There may be limited and specific academic reasons where grade conversions can be requested after the July 1 deadline, 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.
Q4: How does the NRC grade work? Do I still get credit for the course?
Students who receive “NRC” will receive no course credit, and their grade point average will not be affected.
Q5: I would normally get credit for a course if I get a C+, C, or C- grade. Under this new grading policy, these grades 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.
Q6: How will the new S/NRC grades impact eligibility for grants, fellowships, and awards?
Students may want to choose to convert to a letter grade to be eligible for grants and fellowships. Make sure to consult with your advisor or graduate chair or director.
Q7: If I choose to convert to a grade, do I have to convert all of my courses?
No, you can select which courses you want to convert, and you can leave some as “S” or “NRC.”
Q8: What if I am taking a course that has a special grading basis, such as mandatory Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory?
Courses that have a special grading basis, such as mandatory Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, will not use the S/NRC grading basis. They will continue to use the originally specified grading basis.
Q9: What if I had elected Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory for a course at the beginning of the semester? Do I still get the option to convert to grades?
Yes, if you originally selected Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, you will be allowed to convert to a grade if you want. This is a special exception to this policy for this semester only. You cannot convert to grades for courses you took Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory in other terms.
Q10: What if I already have a grade for a course? Will this grade change to an “S” or “NRC”?
No. There will be no changes to courses that were completed prior to March 10, 2020.
Q11: I am a graduate student in a non-Rackham program who is taking a course in a Rackham program. What happens to my grade?
This new grading policy applies only to graduate students enrolled in Rackham programs. Please consult your school or college about their policy which may or may not be equivalent to Rackham’s policy.
Q12: I am in a dual Rackham/non-Rackham degree program. What happens to my grade?
This new grading policy applies only to grades for courses in your Rackham degree program. How grades are counted by non-Rackham schools and colleges may depend on the grading policies that these academic units adopt, which may or may not be equivalent to Rackham’s policy.
Q13: I am an undergraduate student (registered under my undergraduate career) in a Rackham graduate class, and I may want to transfer these credits to a Rackham master’s program. What happens to my grade?
Undergraduates registered under an undergraduate career are subject to the grading policy for undergraduates. If you have received a “P” in a Rackham graduate class and intend to transfer it to meet the requirements for a Rackham master’s degree program, you should convert the “P” to a letter grade by July 1, 2020. Grades below a B may not be transferred to a Rackham master’s degree.
Q14: I am an undergraduate student (registered under my graduate career) in a Rackham graduate class. What happens to my grade?
Undergraduates registered under a graduate career are subject to the Rackham policy. You will receive an “S” or “NRC” grade for your course. You may choose to convert to a letter grade by July 1, 2020.
Q15: I am an undergraduate who has been admitted to an accelerated master’s or a sequential undergraduate-graduate master’s program and want to double-count the credits toward both degrees. What happens to my grades for my Rackham graduate classes?(Updated 4/1/20)
If you have received a “P” (for a letter grade of C- or better) in a Rackham graduate class, you will not need to convert the “P” to a letter grade to double-count the credits toward the undergraduate and the graduate requirements.
Q16: What happens if I withdraw from a course?
If you dropped or drop a course from March 10, 2020 through the last day of classes, the “W” grade will not appear on your official transcript, but it will appear on your unofficial transcript.
Q17: Will my tuition be adjusted if I withdraw from a course?
No, tuition adjustments are not made after the drop/add deadline.
Q18: I am a master’s student whose GPA is close to a 3.00, which is required for good academic standing so I can graduate in May. Can I convert S/NRC grades to letter grades so I can graduate?
Yes. You can select which courses you want to convert to letter grades to assure that your GPA is 3.00 or higher, while choosing to leave others as “S” or “NRC.” If you intend to graduate in May 2020, you must ask to convert these courses to letter grades no later than May 15, 2020.
Q19: I am registered for the 2020 winter term and plan to defend my dissertation during the extended winter term grace period ending on August 18, 2020. What will happen if I don’t file my dissertation by that date?
If you file your dissertation after August 18, you will need to register for either the spring/summer term or the fall term. The grace periods for the 2020 spring/summer and fall terms remain unchanged. If you register for the spring/summer, the grace period by which you must file will end on September 21, 2020. If you register for the fall term, the grace period will end on January 26, 2021.
Q20: I plan on registering for the 2020 spring/summer term to defend and file my dissertation. What is the grace period for filing my dissertation and completing final requirements?
The grace period for students who register for the 2020 spring/summer term remains unchanged. Students who register for spring/summer will have until September 21, 2020 to file the dissertation and complete all requirements without being required to register for an additional term.
Q21: Who do I contact if I have further questions about the changes to grading for the Winter 2020 semester?
Please send any questions to the Office of Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to update this page as new questions come in.