Students have pass/not pass option after receiving final grades

Final grades to be posted on Wednesday afternoon, wrapping up the fall 2020 semester.

Jill Even

Students will now have the option to begin the summer 2020 or fall 2020 semester with the same academic standing they had at the beginning of the spring 2020 semester due to the pass/not pass grading system.

A circumstantial pass/not pass grading system has been put into place at Iowa State, allowing students to convert letter grades into a pass/not pass for classes affected by virtual transition.

If a class was originally online, pass/not pass will now be an option.

Courses excluded from pass/not pass are those taught on a satisfactory/fail basis, courses that concluded prior to March 16, dropped courses, test out or transfer courses, incomplete courses or INTED, EXPRO, REQR and L TM placeholder courses.

Incomplete courses may be resolved through an instructor request and followed with an advisor request, and then pass/not pass will become effective.

There are no limits to how many classes can be designated pass/not pass and will not count toward the total number of pass/not pass classes available to students.

This policy also applies to students on academic probation, however it is encouraged by Iowa State for these students to discuss the pass/not pass option with their adviser. No undergraduate students will be placed on academic dismissal following the spring 2020 semester.

Students will be able to choose the pass/not pass option after final grades are given, between May 13 at noon and May 19 at 5 p.m. CST. This can be done by clicking on a link on AccessPlus. If the form is not submitted, the student’s final letter grade will stand.

Iowa State will include a designation on transcripts highlighting extenuating circumstances encountered in spring 2020. Courses a student elects as pass/not pass may be retaken.

The dean’s list for spring 2020 now only requires nine credit hours of graded work, as opposed to the usual 12 credit hours. The rest of the policy remains the same.

Graduate students may change grading to P/NP by obtaining written approval, such as an email message, of their major professors or academic advisers for students without POSCs, then contact Sebastian Speer ([email protected]) in the Graduate College between May 13 and May 19 at 5 p.m. 

For graduate students, regular letter grades of C and higher will convert to P, while regular grades of C- and below will convert to NP.  Graduate students may use spring 2020 courses with P grades on their POSCs after consulting with and receiving approval of their major professors. 

Graduate students who experience difficulty with acting on this policy may seek assistance from DOGEs, departments, academic colleges or the Graduate College.

A GPA calculator on the Office of the Registrar’s website may help students make decisions.

Consider the downsides of the pass/not pass policy.