FAQ Pass/Withdraw Grading Conversion in Fall 2020
Pass/Withdraw Form in myCMU
- Who is eligible to elect to convert assigned grades to Pass or Withdraw once grades are submitted by instructors?
Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in courses for the Fall semester, some divisional exclusions apply.
- Must a student's decision to convert assigned grades to a Pass or Withdraw apply to either all or none of the student's classes for Fall 2020?
No. A student may decide with each class individually whether to convert assigned grades a Pass or Withdraw based on the final grade earned.
- What letter grades will qualify for a "Pass"?
Assigned grades of A, B, and C will be eligible for conversion to a "Pass.”
- What letter grades will qualify for a "Withdraw"?
Assigned grades of D and F will all be eligible for conversion to a "Withdraw."
- What will be the impact on a student's GPA by choosing to convert an assigned grade to a Pass or Withdraw?
"Pass" or "Withdraw" will not be calculated in the student's GPA.
- What will be the impact of converting an A, B, or C to a "Pass"?
The earned credit will be retained, and the assigned grade will not be factored into the calculation of the GPA.
- What will be the impact of converting a D grade to a "Withdraw"?
The earned credit will be forfeited, and the assigned grade, “W,” will not be factored into the calculation of the GPA. If the course is a degree requirement, the student will need to repeat the course at a future time in order to complete their degree with CMU.
- What will be the impact of converting an F grade to a "Withdraw"?
The F grade will not be factored into the calculation of the GPA.
- What process will students use to elect to convert an assigned grade to a Pass or Withdraw?
The student will complete a digital form through myCMU identifying which course(s) they elect to have the grade converted to Pass or Withdraw.
- Once a student decides to convert an assigned grade to Pass or Withdraw, will there be a further opportunity to reverse that decision?
No. Once a student decides to elect to convert an assigned grade to a Pass or Withdraw, it will be irrevocable with no appeal.
- What resources will be available to help a student decide whether to convert their assigned grade to a Pass or Withdraw?
Students should consult an academic advisor, Provost's office, financial aid office, or any other campus resource with whom they regularly work on decisions related to registration, add/drop, repeating coursework, or academic forgiveness. Students are responsible for completing their own due diligence to be fully aware of the implications of their decision to convert an assigned grade to Pass or Withdraw. Taking this step will be especially significant as students consider the impact of converting a course (or courses) to Pass or Withdraw and its impact on scholarships (athletics or other), other forms of financial aid, veterans' benefits, licensure, graduate/professional school admission, and/or other professional goals.
- If a student elects to convert an assigned grade of C or better to a "Pass," will that "Pass" be eligible to meet the prerequisites for subsequent courses?
Yes. The "Pass" will be eligible to satisfy prerequisites. However, if there is any doubt about a student's preparedness for a subsequent course, the student should seek advice from his/her academic advisor and/or the department offering the course. The exception is those programs that are exempt from this policy such as OTA, PTA, Nursing, and certain graduate degrees, etc.
- How will a “Pass” grade impact a student's ability to utilize academic forgiveness toward a course being repeated in the future?
Assuming the repeated course is otherwise eligible for academic forgiveness, the previous earned grade will be excluded from the GPA calculation without a new grade being included.
- During what period of time may students elect to convert assigned grades to a Pass or Withdraw?
Students will have from December 16, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. until December 23, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
- If a student elects to convert an assigned grade of D or F to a Withdraw or fails a course how will that affect a student’s degree completion?
If a student fails a course, or elects to change an awarded D or F to a Withdraw for a course that is a degree requirement, the student will need to repeat the course at a future time in order to complete their degree with CMU.
- I am a graduating senior. How does the Pass or Withdraw option affect me?
Graduating seniors who need the credit to graduate are almost always better off accepting the grade of D in order to earn the credit, rather than extending their graduation date to retake classes, unless a grade of C or higher is absolutely required for the student’s major or minor program. If unsure, students should check with their academic advisor, the Registrar or the Office of the Provost.
- Will undergraduate students who are assigned an incomplete grade at the end of the Fall 2020 semester be eligible to later choose to convert their assigned grade to a Pass or Withdraw basis?
No. Incomplete grades assigned at the end of the Fall 2020 semester will not be eligible to be converted to a Pass or Withdraw basis unless the final grade is assigned and the election made during the available window.
- How will a student's decision to convert an assigned grade to a Pass or Withdraw impact academic sanctions (i.e. academic probation, suspension, and dismissal)?
Decisions about academic sanctions are based upon a student’s semester and cumulative grade point average in relation to the number of hours attempted. The Pass and Withdraw grading option are not figured into a student’s GPA but are calculated into hours attempted. While the GPA is not affected if P/W grading is selected, a student should refer to the academic catalog or confer with their academic advisor or the Provost’s Office is they are concerned about their academic standing.
- How will a student's decision to convert an assigned grade to a Pass or Withdraw impact the determination of qualifications for Dean's List recognition for Fall 2020?
Decisions regarding any recognition of Dean's List for Fall 2020 are based upon a student’s semester grade point average. The Pass and Withdraw grading option are not figured into a student’s GPA. The rules for the Dean’s List are listed in the catalog: Students must complete at least 12 hours for the semester; earn a 3.5 GPA; must have nor grade lover than a “C” for the semester; and have not reports of academic misconduct on file.
- How will a student's decision to convert an assigned grade to a Pass or Withdraw impact the student's opportunity to be recognized with Latin Honors when s/he graduates?
The minimum cumulative GPA for graduating with honors is 3.7. Given that threshold, if a student chooses to elect the Pass/Fail grading basis wisely, the opportunity to elect this option should only be advantageous to students. Selecting the P/W option will not eliminate a student from qualifying for the honors if the cumulative GPA is at the appropriate level. Students should consult the rules for graduation with honors in the academic catalog for further details, Graduation Honors.
- Will the Pass or Withdraw options for Fall 2020 become permanent options for students?
No. These Pass or Withdraw options and exceptions will apply for only Spring and Fall 2020.
- Will this Pass or Withdraw conversion opportunity impact the grades instructors submit at the end of the semester or how they are submitted?
No. At the end of the Fall 2020 semester, instructors will submit course grades based upon the grading scale in their syllabi as they would do at the end of any other semester.
- Will a student electing to convert their assigned grade to a "Pass" be eligible to repeat that course in the future under the Undergraduate Course Repeat Policy?
Yes. A student will be able to repeat the course as the policy states in the academic catalog.
- If an undergraduate student chooses to convert an assigned grade to a Pass or Withdraw at the end of Fall 2020 semester, will the assigned grade continue to appear on the student's transcript?
No. Once a student elects to convert an assigned grade to a Pass or Withdraw, then the assigned grade will not appear on the student's transcript.
- How might a student's VA education benefit be impacted by electing to convert an assigned grade to the Pass or Withdraw grading basis that results in a "W"?
A "W" on a Pass or Withdraw grading basis may negatively impact VA Education Benefits and those implications vary by benefit chapter.
- If a student elects to convert an assigned grade to a Pass or Withdraw, will potential employers view this negatively when reviewing the transcript of a student?
Employers typically do not closely analyze each semester's grades. Most often, the transcript may be used to verify that a degree was earned or verify a student's GPA. We anticipate that organizations around the world will view the Spring and Fall 2020 as a time of unique circumstances that resulted in many universities offering similar opportunities to their students. Please also see FAQ's #11. Students should consult their employer if they have specific questions.