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Dear VCU graduate students,

We are so glad that you are continuing to pursue your educational goals this semester. We have heard your concerns about the need for flexibility in grading due to our unique circumstances this spring and, in consultation with faculty, we have initiated a more flexible grading option that will give you the maximum opportunity for success.

During the spring 2020 semester you will have the option to choose between receiving standard letter grades or receiving the Pass/Fail grade option. Click here for details on the new Pass/Fail grade option. You will have until Friday, May 15, 2020 to make your decision.

Key information that you need to know about this change:

  • There is no rush to make this decision now. The deadline is Friday, May 15, 2020, and you may decide based on your progress and circumstances up until that date.
  • Choosing between receiving standard letter grades or receiving the Pass/Fail option is a course-by-course decision. If you choose to take no action for a course, you will receive the standard letter grade.
  • Prior to making a decision you should consult with your faculty advisor and/or program director. Be sure to do that in a timely manner and do not wait until the last minute.
  • Letter grades will continue to carry the same points used to calculate your GPA as outlined in the Bulletin (A=4.0, B=3.0, etc.).  F grades denote unsatisfactory completion of course requirements and are included in the calculation of your GPA.
  • The Satisfactory (S) grade and Unsatisfactory (U) grade denote satisfactory completion of course requirements and has no impact on your GPA.
  • Additional questions can be answered by viewing the frequently asked questions.
  • More details about tools and processes that we are creating to help you make those choices will be available soon.

You will also find that many faculty members have revised their syllabi and grading rubrics, understanding that this semester is not typical for anyone.

We hope that these changes will help you successfully complete this semester and alleviate some of the uncertainty brought on by this unprecedented moment in our history. As more updates become available we will share them with you. Check our COVID-19 website frequently for news and updates.

Best regards,

Gail Hackett, Ph.D.
Provost and senior vice president for academic affairs
Professor of psychology

Peter Buckley, M.D.
Interim senior vice president for health sciences
Interim CEO, VCU Health
Dean, School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System