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Academic Information for Students

Last updated: December 23 at 10:45 a.m.

To help address specific questions you may have regarding the effects of COVID-19 on your academic journey as a Triton, we continue to curate the following student-centered resources and updates.

Petitioning a Retroactive Change of Grading Option (from letter grade to P/NP) - Fall Quarter 2020 only

The option will be accessible to you during the first four weeks of Winter 2021: January 4 - January 29, 2021

Important considerations include:

  1. Students will be responsible for checking with their department, program and/or college to determine if courses taken P/NP will be accepted towards their major, minor, and/or college general education (it is up to each individual department, program, and college to make that decision). Note: A letter grade of C or better in AWP 3 or 4B is required to fulfill the Entry Level Writing Requirement.
  2. Fall 2020 P/NP units will count toward the 25% maximum allowed by the university.
  3. Course work must be equivalent to C- or better to receive a P.
  4. A change from a D grade to NP will result in a loss of units.
  5. Financial Aid packages will be affected by NP grades.
  6. A change to P/NP for a Fall 2020 course will be allowed for a repeat of a class in which a D or F grade was earned in an earlier term.
  7. To be eligible for honors for any quarter, you must have a 3.5 GPA in 12 graded units.

Additional information will be provided before the January 4-29, 2021 period to help you make a decision about Fall Quarter 2020 grading options. Please plan to review that information prior to contacting your major/minor/college academic advisor(s).

Pass/ Not Pass FAQs

What is P/NP and how does it affect my GPA?

Pass/Not Pass is a grading option that allows students to complete a course without the grade impacting the cumulative UC GPA.

Your course work must be equivalent to C- or better to receive a P.

P/NP courses count for unit requirements but not toward your GPA. More information is available on TritonLink.

University policy states no more than 25% of my total UC San Diego units taken P/NP when I graduate. Do Fall 2020 grades factor into this?

Yes, this regulation is being enforced and units earned for Pass grades in Fall 2020 will be factored into the allowable percentage. 

I filed a Degree and Diploma Application for Fall 2020. Can I request grade change?

Yes, you will be able to request a change to a P/NP grade, but you will need to notify your college and department academic advisors no later than Friday, January 8, 2021 (end of Week 1 of Winter Quarter) via the VAC so they wait to process your degree (which may delay degree conferral).  Please note: Colleges cannot process urgent posting requests for students requesting grade changes.

My major and minor require courses taken for a letter grade.

Departments and programs are aware of the Fall 2020 option allowing a retroactive change of grading option, but are not required to accept P grades. Please contact your major/minor department(s)/program(s) through the VAC if you have questions about their policies for Fall 2020 courses and major/minor requirements

Can I change my letter grade in AWP 3 or 4B to P/NP?

According to the University of California’s system-wide requirement, students must receive a letter grade of C or above in order to fulfill the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). If you pass AWP 3 with a C or higher and request the P/NP grading option, the course will not fulfill ELWR and you will need to retake it, therefore only students who receive a C- or lower should consider requesting this change.

Those who receive a grade of C- or lower and opt for the P/NP grading option should note that while a C- will show up as a P on your transcript, you will still need to take AWP again in the winter, as only a letter grade of C or better will fulfill ELWR and allow enrollment in college writing.

I’m an international student on a visa. Are there any restrictions on taking courses P/NP?

F-1 or J-1 International students can take a course P/NP. The units for that course will be counted towards  your full course of study requirements to maintain your  visa status. International students are required to maintain a full course of study (12 units) or must be authorized for a reduced course load by ISPO.

I am a recipient of Veterans Benefits. Are there restrictions or effects of me taking courses P/NP in Fall 2020?

Your housing allowance/stipend may be reduced if you receive NP-Not Pass grades. The VA will not pay for units that receive a NP-Not Pass grade (non punitive), as the units do not count toward your degree progress and are not factored into your GPA. Units that are graded NP must be deducted from your certified unit load.  If this drops you below 12 units, your housing allowance/stipend will be reduced accordingly and the VA will bill you for the balance.  Please contact Lisa Linares (llinares@ucsd.edu) for further details.

I receive Financial Aid. Are there restrictions or effects of me taking courses P/NP in Fall 2020.

Potentially. All students are required to meet PACE and  Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements, which include a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). As a P/NP grading option does not affect a student’s GPA, a student’s academic performance for the rest of the year will determine if they meet the overall GPA SAP requirement for the year. To review PACE and SAP requirements please visit http://faoforms.ucsd.edu/forms/SAPstandardsUndergrad.pdf.

In addition, some individual financial aid awards (for example outside scholarships or Veteran benefits) may also require students meet certain GPA requirements to remain eligible. For more information please contact the awarding agency.

I’m an NCAA Athlete. Are there restrictions or effects of me changing the grading option to P/NP in Fall 2020?

As long as your courses can be applied towards major/college/university requirements on the P/NP basis you will be fine. Be sure your cumulative GPA meets NCAA regulations.

Will this affect my graduate or professional school applications?

Please utilize information on the Career Center website.

If I choose to retroactively change my grading options for Fall 2020 from Letter to P/NP in all of my classes, what will happen to my academic standing?

With all P or NP grades, your term GPA will be 0.0, and your academic status will continue from your last enrolled quarter. Note that your academic standing will not appear on your official transcript, and your college will not act on any academic status if you earn all P or NP grades in Fall 2020.

Academic Integrity Resources for Students

Our superb quality and reputation can only be sustained if faculty and students commit to academic integrity. For students, this means that they complete all of their exams in a way that honestly and fairly demonstrates their knowledge and abilities at that particular moment in time. For faculty, that means that they work to design and deliver final exams in ways that uphold integrity, and they check to ensure that those exams were completed with integrity. It also means that faculty report all suspected academic integrity violations to the Academic Integrity Office. Please visit https://academicintegrity.ucsd.edu/take-action/covid-19-students.html for strategies in upholding integrity and sign-up to receive timely integrity reminders and news about integrity contests at https://tinyurl.com/excelwithintegrity.

COVID-19 Prevention Downloadable Posters

Thank you for your careful attention as we continue to develop and revise policies, with the health, safety, and well-being of everyone at UC San Diego as our top priority.

- UC San Diego Division of Student Affairs