Emergency Grading Policy

Pfeiffer University
Adapted from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
April 17, 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, Pfeiffer University moved all instruction on-line. Given this new mode of instruction, in addition to the potential limitations that may have been imposed upon students, faculty, and staff. Pfeiffer University faculty and staff have determined that it is necessary and prudent to adopt this temporary, special grading policy. This emergency grading accommodation goes into effect on April 22, 2020, and will remain active for the Spring 2020 semester only. This grading option is designed to address the global health pandemic.

Pass/Fail Grading

  • Beginning April 22, 2020, Pfeiffer University will offer the pass/fail option for students. Students can choose the pass/fail option for undergraduate courses in which they are registered in Spring 2020 semester. Students enrolled in professional programs in either undergraduate (Nursing) or the graduate programs will follow the decisions of their professional programs about which courses, if any, are eligible for pass/fail declaration.
  • Deans/Program Directors in #professional programs will have full discretion and oversight of courses in their divisions and programs to make decisions regarding pass/fail. This discretion is necessary due to the more individualized learning experiences and discipline-specific nature of professional programs. Programs with separate accreditation and licensure must have the authority to make decisions concerning pass/fail grading that comply with the standards and requirements of accreditors and external boards.

Undergraduate Students

  • All courses will be graded as normal (letter grades). Undergraduates can choose to change their courses pass/fail for the spring 2020 semester with the exception of undergraduate or graduate professional track courses, as noted below under “professional programs. ”
  • A grade of pass/fail will not be factored into the GPA; however, the course credit will count towards earned semester hours required for graduation, if “pass” was issued as the grade.
  • Courses graded as pass/fail under this exception during Spring 2020 will count towards applicable curricular, major, continuation, and graduation requirements.
  • Letter grades of A- D would be converted into a pass. F grades will be converted to a fail. Grades will be entered in the format for which the course was approved (letter grades).


  • ENGL 100, 101, 102W – minimum “pass” equivalent to C- or better
  • UNIV 275, 375 – minimum “pass” equivalent to C- or better
  • All remaining general education courses – minimum “pass” equivalent to D or better
  • All required courses in major fields of study – minimum “pass” equivalent to C- or better

Note: Course Prerequisites/Program Requirements: Some courses require a minimum letter grade (e.g. C-) in a prior course before being allowed to enroll in the advanced course or continue in the program. A “P” (pass) grade may NOT meet minimum grade requirements. You may be required to repeat any course for which you receive a grade of “P” to satisfy prerequisites, requirements for advanced courses, or continuation in your program.

  • For the Spring 2020 semester, undergraduate students can elect to place a course on pass/fail no later than Friday, August 31, 2020,*. The decision made to opt pass/fail, once past the August 31, 2020,* deadline, is irreversible.
  • For the Spring 2020 semester, students who elect to place a course on a pass/fail grading will do so through the Registrar’s Office. A form will be available on the Registrar website for the student to confirm what courses to place on or pass/fail through Friday, August 31, 2020,*.
  • Given this shift, the Dean’s List for the Spring 2020 semester will be suspended.
  • Pfeiffer University will include a transcript note on all academic records, regardless of the grading basis, indicating the unprecedented circumstances of the global health crisis during Spring 2020.


  • Regardless of the grading basis used, reasonable adherence to the federal definition of a credit hour specifying time and effort expectations is required for each course whether offered remotely or face to face.
  • The student learning outcomes established for the course must be met and will not be altered based on the change in grading basis.

How this will apply

  • With an IP grade, the student could pass the course; however, the student may require more time to complete particular assignments after the course has ended. Once coursework is completed and submitted to the faculty member of record, the grade will convert to a letter grade, or pass/fail, if the student opted for said change.
  • ‘IP’ grades address the mid-semester change in the instructional experience of a student, accessibility and equity issues with students who are unable to move to remote learning and reflect that delayed coursework is due to the global health crisis.
  • ‘IP’ grades will not be included in GPA calculation, will not count towards credits earned, will not satisfy graduation requirements, and will not be calculated as a 0.00 GPA for eligibility and financial aid (SAP) processing.
  • The deadline to replace ‘IP’ for a permanent grade will extend until October 12, 2020. All ‘IP’ grades must be completed no later than 10/12/20.

Graduating Students

  • May 2020 graduating seniors must complete the pass/fail grade option no later than June 4, 2020.
  • July 2020 graduates must complete the pass/fail grade option no later than August 4, 2020.

Veteran Affairs (VA) Students

  • Please consult with the VA certifying official before making a final decision.

Academic Honors

  • Since P grades do not factor into the GPA, courses changed to pass/fail will not be used in calculating degree honors if the course is passed. Failing grades earned in pass/fail courses will negatively affect degree honors.


  • As the pass/fail grading option is not reversible, students must consider the pass/fail option in consultation with their academic advisor and/or seek additional advisement from discipline-specific faculty. This process ensures that students understand all the potential consequences of electing a pass/fail option.
  • Academic advisors within the student's major will need to approve the transition to pass/fail grading in the courses selected before the changes can be applied.
  • Understand that choosing the pass/fail option cannot be reversed to a letter grade.
  • The student signature and academic advisor signature is required on the pass/fail form.