Pass/Fail Policy for Fall 2020 Semester

By Daniel DiPrinzio | November 19, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,


In response to the pandemic-created challenges that students are experiencing, Arcadia University is adopting an expanded pass/fail grading option for undergraduate students for the fall 2020 semester—one that is similar but not identical to what was adopted for the spring 2020 semester.


All undergraduate students may opt-in to a pass/fail grading rubric for any or all of their fall 2020 courses. The opt-in period will begin later this month and will close on Monday, December 14, the last day of classes; more details about when students may begin opting in and how to opt in will be provided in forthcoming communications.


Undergraduate students may elect to opt-in to a pass/fail grading rubric for any undergraduate course without exception, including courses that fulfill major/minor and Arcadia Undergraduate Curriculum (AUC) requirements.


Please note that

students must actively choose to opt-in to the pass/fail grading rubric

. It is also important to note one significant difference between this fall 2020 policy compared to the policy adopted for the spring 2020 semester: fall 2020 students must make their decision no later than Monday, December 14 (the last day of regularly scheduled classes and before the beginning of the examination period, rather than after final semester grades are posted, as was the case last spring).
  • Students who choose to retain the standard letter grading rubric can do so and need not take any action.
  • Faculty will not be notified of students’ grade system choices and will continue recording regular grades throughout the semester, including final grades. 
  • For undergraduate students, grades from A through D- will be considered “Pass” for those opting in. 
  • Although no academic adviser or instructor approval is necessary for eligible students to opt-in to a pass/fail grading rubric, students are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisers, instructors, faculty in their major/minor departments, and / or a graduate program advisor before making these decisions.  
  • This decision is particularly important for undergraduate students who are planning to enter graduate programs that have prerequisites for grades in specific courses, or those who are seeking certification or other credentialing. 
  • Individual departments and colleges are also encouraged to offer guidance to students in their programs as they consider opting-in to a pass/fail rubric for their courses.  However, the final decision will be the student’s. 
  • As students weigh their options, they’re encouraged to consult these guidelines and reach out to relevant advisers and offices with any questions. 

At this time, the University has elected not to extend this pass/fail policy to next term. We are committed to continuing to assess how best to support students during the upheaval of the COVID-19 public health crisis, and we will review all student support policies in the coming semester to decide if other courses of action are more appropriate.