Published on March 25, 2020 at 9:30 p.m.  


As we all adapt to the challenges of this unprecedented time, we are committed to maintaining academic quality and ensuring student success.  In recognition of the extraordinary circumstances affecting our academic programs, we are implementing several changes to the pass/fail grading system and academic calendar.  These changes were recommended by a committee I appointed consisting of student government leadership, faculty senate leadership, academic deans and administration and will apply to the Spring 2020 semester only.

Below you will find the current policy from the undergraduate catalog:

Pass/Fail Basis Grading System

Any student who is enrolled in Howard College of Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts, Brock School of Business, Orlean Beeson School of Education, the School of Health Professions, or the School of Public Health, who is classified as a sophomore, junior, or senior, may elect to receive a pass/fail grade rather than a letter grade in no more than 12 credits of regular coursework. In a course elected for grading on the pass/fail basis, the student’s grade shall be designated “pass” or “fail.” A grade designation of “pass” shall not be included in the student’s grade point average; a grade of “fail” shall be included at 0.00 quality points per quality credit.

No course elected for grading on the pass/fail basis shall satisfy any part of a core, general education, major, or minor requirement for graduation. Successfully completed pass/fail courses will count toward the minimum total credits. The student can change from a grading basis to the pass/fail basis or from the pass/fail basis to the grading basis any time prior to the deadline for withdrawing from a class without academic penalty.

Academic Calendar

The academic calendar currently shows April 8 as the deadline to submit a Pass/Fail form for a course being taken in the current semester and the deadline to withdraw from a course without academic penalty.

Here are the changes to the existing policies for Spring 2020 term, effective immediately:

  • The existing pass/fail policy is extended to include freshmen.
  • The lifetime limit of 12 pass/fail credits is suspended.
  • The deadline to submit a pass/fail form for a course is extended to April 30.
  • The deadline to withdraw from a class without academic penalty is extended to April 30.

Changes to the pass/fail policy do not extend to undergraduate nursing or pre-pharmacy students; policies for graduate programs continue to be determined by each graduate school as outlined in the graduate catalog.

  • Questions about specific courses should be directed to the faculty in the course and the academic advisor for your program.
  • Students wishing to convert a class to pass/fail will not need an instructor’s signature, but advisor approval is required.

Additional details regarding academic policies will be provided in the days ahead.

We look forward to a time when we can resume on-campus instruction, but in the meantime, we remain committed to your academic success and appreciate the resilience and resourcefulness you’ve exhibited during this transition.


J. Michael Hardin, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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