Ohio University

Message to Graduate Students regarding coursework

Published: April 14, 2020 Author: Staff reports

This email was sent to all Ohio University Graduate Students, Deans, Associate Deans, and Graduate Program Directors.

Dear Graduate Students,Spring semester 2020 changed suddenly and in significant ways as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and we recognize the unexpected shift to all remote learning following Spring Break may impact your coursework. We are pleased to share the news that representatives from Faculty Senate (including the Educational Policy and Student Affairs committee), the Academic Continuity Policy group, Graduate Student Senate, the office of the Dean of Graduate College and the Provost’s Office have developed a flexible, alternative grading system for Spring Semester 2020. The alternative grading system has an expanded range of grading options as described below, and applies to spring semester graduate 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 prior to the cessation of face-to-face instruction are not eligible for these grading options.

1. Alternative Grading System for Spring Semester Graduate 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 C- to 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, certificate, 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 or external scholarships, requests for conversion must be approved by the academic college leadership, typically the Associate Dean, in consultation with the director of your graduate program.  If you are in multiple programs, more than one approval may be required.

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. Deans will submit exemption requests to the Provost’s Office no later than Monday, April 13. The Provost’s Office will approve by April 16 and forward a list of exempted courses to be listed on the Registrar’s website by April 17, 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/NC grade with approvals as noted above.

3. Academic Probation 
Students whose cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0 at the end of spring semester may be exempted from academic probation if they provide plan to achieve satisfactory academic progress, as determined by their program.  This plan should be approved by their graduate chair and must show achievement of a cumulative 3.0 within 1 full-time or two part-time semesters.  Students on academic probation will not be dismissed if their cumulative GPA is above 2.0, and they provide a plan to achieve a 3.0 by the end of fall 2020.  Students below 3.0, with an approved plan to achieve a 3.0 will be eligible for graduate appointments if they meet non-GPA eligibility requirements.


Robin Muhammad
Chair, Faculty Senate

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

Dareen Tadros
Graduate Student Senate President

Joseph Shields
Vice President for Research and Creative Activity and Dean of Graduate College

Elizabeth Sayrs
Executive Vice President and Provost