Ohio University

Alternative grading system update

Published: March 30, 2020 Author: Staff reports

The following message was sent to Ohio University's faculty and staff by Faculty Senate, Student Senate, and the Provost's Office.

Dear Colleagues,

The following information was sent to all students on all campuses today.

We know that this semester may be disrupted for some of you due to circumstances beyond your control, and that grades this semester may not reflect your actual learning the way they normally would. We want to do all we can to equitably respond to the diverse impacts the pandemic is having on all of us as we adjust to new ways of teaching and learning during these extraordinary circumstances. One way we have already done this is to extend the date to withdraw from (drop) a full-semester class from March 27 to April 24, 2020, the day before the last day of classes.

Today we are pleased to share the additional news that representatives from Student Senate, Faculty Senate (including the Educational Policy and Student Affairs committee), and the Provost’s Office have developed a flexible, alternative grading system as well as additional adjustments to key academic policies for Spring Semester 2020. The alternative grading system has an expanded range of grading options as described below, and applies to spring semester undergraduate courses, regardless of their original modality — online, hybrid, or face-to-face — unless a course is exempted from this option (see Course Exemption section below). Courses that were completed earlier in the semester are not eligible for these grading options.

An alternative grading system for graduate students is being developed and will be announced soon.

1. Alternative Grading System for Undergraduate Courses (unless exempt)

  • Students earning a letter grade of A to C- in any course that is not exempt may choose either to opt in to receive an S (Satisfactory) grade for that course, or, by default, to keep their letter grade. Students will have until May 13, 2020 to choose the S option for any of their courses that are not exempt and in which they earned an A to C-.
  • Any D+ to D- grade will be converted automatically to an S (Satisfactory) grade for any course that is not exempt.
  • Any F grade will be converted automatically to an NC (No Credit) grade for any course that is not exempt.
  • FN and FS grades will remain unchanged.
  • S and NC grades will have no impact on a student’s GPA.
  • The S grade will meet all requisite, major, and degree requirements.
  • Satisfactory/no credit is slightly different than pass/fail. If OHIO were to go with a pass/fail option, the "fail" would still affect a student's GPA unlike the NC no credit option. 

In order to ensure that selecting this option would not have unanticipated consequences for your future plans, we strongly encourage you to discuss the S grading option with your advisor during your advising period for the fall semester, which begins today. More information about the process for selecting the S grading option will be available on the www.ohio.edu/coronavirus website.

Course Exemptions 

Departments or schools may exempt some courses from the S/NC system if traditional A to F grades are essential for programmatic accreditation, licensure, or similar reasons. Exempted courses will be listed on the Registrar’s website by April 8, 2020.

2. Extension of Incomplete Deadline

In order to give students more flexibility if they need to take an incomplete (I) for a course or courses, the deadline for completing an incomplete will be extended until the last day of class of the Fall 2020 semester. When the final grade of the incomplete is posted, students will have 5 business days to opt into an S grade if they earn an A to C- and the course is not exempt. Similar to the above, unless the course is exempt, grades of D+ to D- will be automatically converted to an S, and F grades will convert to a NC grade. If the incomplete is not resolved prior to the last day of the Fall 2020 semester, the I grade will be converted to a NC grade.

3. No New Students Placed on Academic Probation

No students will be placed on academic probation if their cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 at the end of spring semester. However, students who are currently on probation may move off probation at the end of spring semester if their cumulative GPA reaches a 2.0 or above.

We hope that these flexible options will support your progress toward your educational goals as we continue to come together as a community of learning in these extraordinary times. Additional support and resources are available at Ohio University’s Keep Learning website.


Robin Muhammad
Chair, Faculty Senate

Betty Sindelar
Chair of Educational Policies and Student Affairs Committee, Faculty Senate

Lydia Ramlo
Student Senate President

Elizabeth Sayrs
Executive Vice President and Provost

Grade Changes May Be Submitted Online

To submit a grade change, please go to the Office of the University Registrar's webpage and click on the Forms link. Scroll down to Faculty/Staff Forms and click on the Change of Grade link to access the online form. The system will require you to authenticate with your Ohio ID and password. Once you complete the form you will receive a confirmation email that lists the information included in the online form. Please save this for your records as you would normally do when processing the paper form.

If you have questions, please call 740-593-4199 or email grades@ohio.edu.