Undergrad students may choose alternate grade system

Grad students’ options still being considered; deadline for undergraduates to opt in, opt out of pass/fail grading system is June 1


Charlie Powell, instructor for Murrow College of Communications, said he supports pass/fail grading options for students who need it. He said he will analyze the progression of each of his students.

Students now have the option to choose a pass/fail grading system.

According to the WSU’S COVID-19 website, the deadline to choose a pass/fail grading system is June 1. The choice is made on a course‑by‑course basis. 

WSU students can use the pass/fail option for UCORE and Honors courses this semester. However, students have been asked to check with each department specifically to make sure pass/fail grades qualify for that specific course, according to the website. 

WSU announced this emergency adjustment to grading deadlines and policies for undergraduate students for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. It will only apply to this semester.

Following the transition to online classes, WSU students started a petition online to have WSU administrators give students the option to transition to a pass/fail grading system.  The petition gained more than 7,000 signatures.

Bryson Pepe, a freshman majoring in sports management, signed the petition around two weeks ago. By not being able to use the facilities on campus, his grades will be hindered in the long run, he said. 

“Students who are home will have difficulty to keep their grades up since many of them may be working during class time or just have difficulties with family being around,” Pepe said.

Charlie Powell, instructor for Murrow College of Communication, said he welcomes pass/fail as a grading system considering the different situations WSU students are in.

“I will analyze each of my students’ academic progression and see if pass/fail is the right grading system,” Powell said. 

Students can send their request to choose pass/fail grading by filling out an application with WSU’s Office of the Registrar, according to the website. 

A passing grade will give students the necessary credit,  but will not contribute to a student’s overall GPA. 

Professors will assign a final grade in the final grade sheet. Any A, B,  or C grades are converted into “Pass” and C- or D grades are converted into “PP,” which also results in passing the course. Any F grades will result in failing the course, according to the website. 

WSU requires students to weigh and evaluate pass/fail options since it may affect financial aid or scholarships. Students are strongly advised to check with their adviser before changing a course to pass/fail, according to the website. 

Students are also able to revert to the letter grading system if needed, according to the website. The deadline for that option is also June 1.

Application requests can take up to 3-5 business days. Students can check their application status on their WSU account under the academic advising tab, according to the website. 

At this time, the grading scale for graduate students will not be changing for the spring 2020 semester. However, other options are being considered, according to the website.