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Dear VCU graduate students,

You have received a lot of information in a very short time since classes resumed after spring break. One of the most important academic updates has been the addition of the pass/fail grading option for spring 2020. Choosing this option for one or more of your classes is an important decision that should be carefully considered. The following checklist will help you prepare to decide if you will choose this grading option and ensure that you are on track for a strong finish to the spring 2020 semester.

⃞   Keep attending and/or participating in your classes

Choosing the pass/fail grading option does not mean that there’s no need to attend or participate in your classes. Even if you elect to take the pass/fail option, failure to complete all assignments, attendance requirements, or final exams will negatively impact your final grade and could result in a grade of F. It is critical that you continue to participate and complete all assignments and final exams in order to earn your grades for the semester, regardless of what grading option you choose. Faculty will be grading students based on all of the requirements outlined in their course syllabus.

⃞   Review the new pass/fail grading option for spring 2020

We know that this semester has been challenging. Because of this, VCU has established the pass/fail grading option for the spring 2020 semester. Graduate students may request that a letter grade (A-F) received in a course they are enrolled in during spring 2020 be converted to a S/U/F grade mode. Details and FAQs are online.

⃞   Make an appointment with your faculty advisor or graduate program director

Deadline: Schedule now for an appointment no later than May 12
Each graduate student considering the pass/fail grading option should make an appointment with their faculty advisor or graduate program director prior to May 12 to discuss grading decisions for spring 2020. Our goal is your continued success - and we want each of you to make informed decisions during these unique times. Please do not self-advise.

⃞   Complete and submit the Change of Grade mode form (if you choose)

Deadline: May 15, 2020
You must complete an electronic change in grade mode option form in order to select the pass/fail option for one or more of your courses. Before submitting the form, you should have a conversation with your faculty advisor and/or graduate program director to ensure you understand the benefits and cautions of exercising this choice.

⃞   Register for fall classes

Registration is open for fall 2020.

⃞   Make note of these important dates

April 28

Last day of classes – Monroe Park campus; classes beginning 4 p.m. or later continue through May 2

April 30

Last day to withdraw from a course with a mark of “W” – both campuses (except for courses not scheduled for the full semester) [This is a date change]

April 30 - May 7

Final examinations – Monroe Park campus

May 1

Last day of classes – MCV campus

May 4-8

Final examinations – MCV campus

May 12

Final grades due

May 15

Last day to submit change of grade mode form - both campuses

⃞   Let us know if you need support

We are here for you. Even if we aren’t on our campuses, we are here. We have an online form that you can submit if you need extra support. You are not alone. Let us know how we can help.

We are moving quickly toward the end of the 2020 spring semester. And although it certainly isn’t the semester any of us planned, it remains an important semester in completing your degree goals. We assure you that we are committed to your success.

Best wishes,

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

Peter Buckley, M.D.
Interim senior vice president for health sciences