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Update: Undergraduate grading policies for spring 2020

March 18, 2020
University Community
Liz Magill, Provost

Dear UVA faculty, students, and staff:

We are facing extraordinary challenges as a result of COVID-19.  As the letter President Ryan and I shared yesterday made clear, this has required rapid and consequential decision making.  In seeking to fulfill our academic mission, our guiding principles are clear: We will work to protect our University community and our neighbors, and we will do all we can to continue educating our students and pursuing our research.  The effort to sustain our educational mission has required enormous effort and creativity by thousands of faculty and staff.  As we launch tomorrow into our rapid transition from in-person to online instruction for the remainder of this semester, I am writing to provide direction on how we will handle grading for undergraduate students.

For this semester, for our undergraduate schools, credit/no credit (CR/NC) will be the default grading system for all classes where the work is not yet completed; students will also, however, have the option to receive a letter grade.  Students must decide whether to receive a letter grade by the last day of spring semester classes, Tuesday, April 28th.  We will be in touch about the process for making that choice as soon as possible.

Several other details are important:

  • Courses taken for CR/NC during Spring 2020 will count toward curricular, major, and graduation requirements.  Such grades are not factored into a student’s GPA.  Students who remain in the CR/NC option must complete the class with a grade of C or better to receive credit. 
  • This policy applies only to undergraduate level courses.  The deans of the graduate and professional programs are considering how they will approach this question, and they will soon announce their decisions to their schools.

  • UVA will include a designation on students’ transcripts to indicate that the CR/NC option was created in the midst of an extraordinary crisis and as part of the University’s effort to manage the transition to online instruction.

These are not ordinary times.  Every day, I am struck anew by the enormity of the challenges and the enormity of the effort being brought to bear to meet those challenges.  As we resume the semester with online courses tomorrow, I want to thank all of you for your ingenuity, understanding, and patience.  I remain confident in our collective ability to navigate this difficult time.
Liz Magill, Provost