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Students | Undergraduate Pass/Fail

What is the Spring 2020 Extended Access to Pass Fail Option Policy for Undergraduates?

In light of Loyola’s decision to transition temporarily to an online delivery model and in recognition of the challenges this may pose to students and the gravity of the national situation, the University Courses and Curriculum Committee and university leadership have decided to provide students with expanded access to the Pass/Fail grading option for the Spring 2020 semester.

In early April, undergraduate students, with the exception of RN-BSN students, may elect to switch some or all of their Spring 2020 courses to P/F. This includes students in programs that were fully online before the COVID-19-related move to online instruction. The deadline to switch is April 26th. We strongly recommend students consult the frequently asked questions below and talk over their options with an advisor.

Moving to Pass/Fail does not change the course requirements but a Pass/Fail grade allows a student to focus on successfully completing a class without worrying about how a grade of A-D would impact GPA (grades of F impact GPA regardless of whether a student chooses to remain in standard grading or P/F grading) . Expanded access to the P/F grade mode aims to fulfill our mission of cura personalis “care for the whole person”, while still providing a pathway to fulfill program and degree requirements. Students may decide to continue to pursue a letter grade (A-F) as we continue to offer a high quality online experience and work to ensure students have the resources they need to be successful. In addition, there are circumstances that Loyola cannot control including the future admissions requirements of graduate and professional programs, the information requested by employers, and the documentation needed to maintain good academic standing for certain scholarships. 

What factors should I consider when deciding to switch a course to Pass/Fail?

  • Switching courses to P/F may not be in all students’ best interest. Students should consult with their academic advisor as part of making an informed choice.
  • The decision to switch to P/F is irreversible. A student cannot opt back into an A-F letter grade after grades are posted.
  • Some courses in your declared major may not qualify for a Pass/Fail grade. You should speak with your major advisor about whether there are special considerations in your program of study.
  • If the P/F option is selected, students earning the equivalent of a “D” or better will be awarded a grade of “P” (pass). The “P” carries no grade points and is NOT computed into a student’s semester or cumulative grade point averages (GPAs.) It does, however, confer earned hours.
  • A grade of “F” (failing) is recorded normally and computed into a student’s GPAs.
  • Students currently on probation hoping to improve their GPA should note that courses in P/F grading mode do not count positively toward GPA. A student earning Ps may appeal and use grades of P to highlight successful progress. Students should consult with a financial aid counsellor and your academic advisor to ensure you are making good choices.
  • Students who started Spring 2020 and do not yet have a GPA will need to have some letter grades to ensure they remain eligible for programs like TOPS. You should consult with a financial aid counsellor before you make this decision if this situation applies to you.
  • The grading scale set forth by an individual faculty member as detailed in the course syllabus remains the basis for grading and the determination of the passing grade.
  • This policy does not apply to consortium courses offered by other institutions.

What is the deadline to decide whether to take my course P/F?

The deadline is April 26th.

Is this an automatic change?

No. You must opt in on LORA starting in April. Watch this video for detailed instructions on how to request a change to Pass/Fail.

Can I change my mind about taking my classes P/F?

You should not complete the form indicating your preferences until you are sure of what you want to do. You have until April 26th to make this decision.  

Is there a limit to the number of courses I can take Pass/Fail this semester?

There is no limit on the numbers of Spring 2020 courses/credits allowed to be taken Pass/Fail but a limited number of courses may be ineligible for grades of P/F.

Can I change to P/F for a completed first session class?

No. A posted grade cannot be changed. This expanded access to P/F is meant as a time-limited option that recognizes the new challenges that have emerged since the move to full online instruction.

Do any course requirements change if I switch to P/F?

No. Your professor will determine whether your work in a class merits a pass and this includes making a good-faith effort to complete all required components of the course.

Are graduate and law students eligible?

These programs are governed by more complex accreditation and licensure considerations but are weighing whether this might be possible. Please talk to your Dean if you have questions about your program and review the Graduate Pass/Fail FAQs.

Are online program students eligible?

Online undergraduates except for those in the RN-BSN program are eligible.

Should I switch to P/F if I’m already doing well in a class?

If you are likely to do well you would be best served by having that grade appear in your GPA. 

What happens to my GPA if I elect to take all of my courses Pass/Fail?

If you pass all your courses your cumulative GPA will remain what it had been at the end of the Fall 2019 semester. If you fail one or more courses the F grades will calculate into your cumulative GPA. 

Can I still graduate with Honors if I choose P/F?

As long as your cumulative GPA stays at 3.5 or above the latin distinction will stand.

Can I use a course graded Pass/Fail to apply for Academic Amnesty?

You may use a P in a P/F course to replace a previous F but this P will not improve your GPA and you may still be subject to minimum requirements set forth by your major.

I’m on Academic Probation and need to earn a certain GPA to continue at Loyola. Will taking my courses Pass/Fail help or hinder my progress?

As long as you pass every course, electing to take your classes Pass/Fail will grant you, in effect, another semester to improve your GPA and return to good academic standing. Failing some courses will impact your GPA negatively as it would in A-F grading. Earning grades of A or B could pull up your GPA.

My major requires a minimum grade in certain courses (and/or overall); does a P grade satisfy these requirements?

There are certain major courses that are not included in this P/F policy, please contact your advisors.

I think it is unfair that my major courses are excluded from this policy. Why aren’t all courses included?

All Loyola faculty and administrators want students to succeed and work with this as their core objective. There are, in some cases, external accreditation and licensure requirements set by other entities that require us to have letter grades. This is particularly true in professional fields.

Will taking some or all of my classes Pass/Fail affect my eligibility for Financial Aid?

Grades of F will continue to impact Satisfactory Academic Progress. Grades of P will not hurt your GPA or your ability to get financial aid unless you currently have a Loyola GPA of 0. If you are on financial aid probation and opt in to P/F courses you may need to appeal because your GPA will look low in spite of successful “P”s.

What does an F in P/F mean?

An F is the same in regular grading and P/F grading. Fs count as 0.0 in your GPA in both systems.

Can I take an incomplete if I have selected Pass/Fail?

Yes, if you are approved for an incomplete when your coursework is submitted you will be awarded a grade of P. If you fail to submit the coursework or the coursework does not meet appropriate standards the grade will be F.

Can I qualify for Dean's List if I select the Pass/Fail grading option?

In order to qualify for the distinction of Dean's List this semester, the Associate Dean's Council has determined that a student must still earn a term GPA of 3.5 or higher on a minimum of 12 conventionally graded (A-F) credits.  

Are graduate health programs (e.g., medical schools, dental schools, PA programs, etc. ) accepting P/F coursework?

  • Many schools have indicated that they will accept P/F grading for prerequisite courses taken in the spring of 2020, however, many have expressed a preference for letter grades. 

  • A few schools have indicated they will not accept P/F grading for prerequisites. You should always check with individual programs to ask about their particular policies. 

  • We recommend that you take your courses, especially required science courses, for a letter grade. 

  • Pre-health students should contact Dr. Anderson (raanders@loyno.edu), Dr. Stephenson (cjs@loyno.edu), or Mr. Crago (edcrago@loyno.edu) with any questions related to pass/fail.