COLLEGE PARK, Md. — As many schools and universities around the DMV switch to online learning this semester out of health concerns for coronavirus, many students and faculty members have also had to adjust grading expectations for the remainder of the year.
All undergraduate courses at the University of Maryland for spring 2020 will be now be graded as pass/ fail, the university announced Thursday. On top of being pass/fail, the university also said that the C-minus or better requirements for majors will be waived for the semester.
A passing grade includes "any grade above an F," a statement from UMD officials sent to students said. Those passing grades won't contribute to a student's GPA, but a failing grade will -- and a passing grade also won't count towards GPA-based recognition awards, like Latin Honors at graduations or deans' list.
While the requirements for classes have changed, school officials warned students to take learning seriously.
"Students who barely pass a class should be aware that they may not be adequately prepared for subsequent courses that rely on prior knowledge of a subject," the statement said.
If a student wants to still receive a letter grade for a course, they have the option to make that choice until the last day of spring semester classes, on May 12. A special website is being set up where students can go to make that decision, with further details to be sent out shortly.
Despite the changes to the online-only curriculum, UMD officials also said the pass/fail grading structure will not jeopardize a student's financial aid eligibility.
"Students should consult with their academic advisors about any possible consequences for graduate school admission, employment, scholarships, athletic eligibility, or other opportunities that might be affected by a decision to choose pass/fail vs a letter grade," the statement read.
The last day to drop a course for the semester is May 12, 2020. The University of Maryland said there will also be a "special notice" for this semester on all student transcripts, detailing the circumstances.