We understand that you probably have a lot of questions about how the rest of your semester will be impacted, and we want to do everything we can to help.
Please refer to this website for answers to general questions or go directly to the University’s main COVID page, which is being continually updated, sometimes several times a day.
Frequently Asked Questions
What options are available for grading accommodations in response to the pandemic?
As of Thursday August 27, the University expanded the pass/fail option for undergraduate courses in the College of Arts & Sciences, Kenan-Flagler Business School, School of Information and Library Science, Hussman School of Journalism and Media, School of Education, Adams School of Dentistry and the Gillings School of Global Public Health. This option was amended in October 2020 to include undergraduate courses in the School of Medicine and further updated on January 4, 2021 to include the Spring 2021 semester.
Undergraduate students will be able to declare any undergraduate course (numbered below 700) pass/fail. Please click here for the specific accommodations: https://registrar.unc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2021/01/Fall-20-Spring-21-Undergraduate-Grading-Accommodations-.pdf
The University will continue to use the ‘CV’ grade as an alternative to the Incomplete (‘IN’) grade for any undergraduate student adversely affected by the public health emergency.
Courses dropped after August 31, 2020,for Fall 2020, and February 1, 2021, for Spring 2021, will have the withdrawal notation ‘WCV’ on student transcripts.
This accommodation applies only to undergraduate courses in the schools listed above.
Students, including undergraduates, enrolled in other professional schools or programs in The Graduate School will follow the decisions of their professional school or of The Graduate School.
Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 accommodation:
How does this apply to an undergraduate student in a professional program or in a graduate level course for the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semester?
Undergraduate students in a professional program or registered in graduate level courses will have to seek approval from their dean prior to requesting their official class grade be recorded on a pass/fail basis unless enrolled as an undergraduate in one of the professional schools listed above. If you need additional information, please refer to your school website, or contact your dean’s office for additional information.
How does this apply to professional programs and graduate students for the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semester?
The deans of the professional schools and The Graduate School will determine which courses, if any, are eligible for pass/fail declaration. If courses are approved for pass/fail grading, students in those classes have the option to declare it pass/fail. Further information will be forthcoming from your dean’s offices. The discretion of the professional and Graduate School deans is necessary due to compliance with accreditation and external boards.
What is the pass/fail option?
The expanded pass/fail option for undergraduate students means the deadline to declare a class pass/fail is extended and that classes that earn a grade of pass meet graduation requirements previously excluding these classes. Undergraduate students can switch any enrolled class, that is not in a professional school program or graduate course, to pass/fail for the Fall 2020 semester through November 17, 2020 or May 5, 2021 for Spring 2021.
How do I place a course on or remove a course from pass/fail for the Fall 2020 or
Spring 2021 semester? (undergraduates)
For the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semester, undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences and professional programs listed above may elect to place a course on or remove a course from pass/fail by submitting the designated form to the Office of the University Registrar (see link below). Students must request this by Tuesday, November 17, 2020 or May 5th, 2021 for Spring 2021.
To submit a request:
- Login at http://connectcarolina.unc.edu.
- Click on the Login to ConnectCarolina Student Center link.
- Locate ‘Other Academic…’ dropdown box on the left.
- Select the Pass/Fail Request and click to go button next to the dropdown box.
- Follow the directions on form to process.
- Click Submit
- You will receive a confirmation in ConnectCarolina that the form has been submitted as well as an email confirmation.
If I am a student in an undergraduate or graduate level professional program (not listed above), how do I place a course on pass/fail for Fall 2020 or Spring 2021?
The deans of the professional programs and Graduate School will communicate any grading accommodation to professional and graduate students for the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semester. Please refer to your school website or contact your graduate program or dean’s office for additional information.
If I declare a course pass/fail, how is my grade determined?
The instructor of your class will assign a final letter grade at the end of the semester.
- For classes opted as pass/fail, the letter grades of A-C:
- Convert to a grade of PS (pass) on your transcript and official record
- Count as earned credit
- Are not included in the GPA calculation
- Courses that receive a C-/D will receive a Low Pass.
- A Low Pass will count towards earned semester hours and are not included in the GPA calculation.
- Courses that receive a Low Pass cannot be used for graduation requirements or prerequisites that require a grade of C or higher.
Example: courses that receive a Low Pass will not be able to be used for course prerequisites that require a grade of C or higher. Additionally, courses of Low Pass will not contribute to the required number of hours of C or higher for a major/minor.
- For classes opted as pass/fail, the letter grade of F:
- Remain on the record
- Will not earn credit but are included in the GPA calculation
- For classes using other final grade scales, such as H, P, L, F, grades of H, P or L will convert to a pass (PS). F grades will remain a fail.
- For classes opted as pass/fail, the letter grades of A-C:
Are my faculty aware that my course has been put on pass/fail?
Consistent with the current criteria for students who opt for pass/fail grading, faculty members will not be aware of students who elect the pass/fail grading option when entering final grades.
Will pass/fail courses count toward my earned semester hours for eligibility purposes?
Yes, classes with grades of Pass and Low Pass count towards earned semester credit hours.
Will the Tar Heel Tracker accept PS grades for requirements for Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 courses? (undergraduates)
Yes, the Tar Heel Tracker will accept grades of Pass and reflect the expanded criteria allowing classes to count towards applicable requirements.
Will the adjusted pass/fail policy have any impact on conferring May degrees, if students have until May 5 for Spring 2021 to declare or reverse a pass/fail declaration?
There is no impact on conferring May degrees as long as coursework and requirements are completed by May 16th. That said, graduating students are able to exercise the pass/fail option on Spring 2021 enrollments until May 5th..
What does a grade of CV mean?
A grade of CV is a temporary grade option to reflect incomplete classwork as a result of the COVID pandemic. This option is in lieu of an IN grade, does not factor into the GPA, does not count towards earned credit hours, and the deadline to replace the temporary grade with a permanent grade is extended 3 months beyond the typical IN deadline. If the temporary CV grade is not replaced with a permanent grade by the extended deadline, it will lapse to a F*. Instructors and students should be in agreement on requirements to complete the class before the CV grade is assigned.
What date will the temporary CV grade be replaced with a F* if work isn’t completed for the Fall 2020 semester? (undergraduates)
Undergraduates receiving a CV grade, in lieu of the IN, would receive 8 weeks plus 3 months-time to complete the work of a course with a CV grade prior to converting to an F*. For the Fall 2020 semester, lapsing of the CV grade will occur around June 1, 2021 or February 2, 2022 for Spring 2021 CV grades. Instructors and students should be in agreement on requirements and timeline to complete the class before the CV grade is assigned.
What will appear on my transcript?
For all undergraduate students enrolled in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021, regardless of grading basis, a transcript note will be added to the academic records indicating extraordinary circumstances of the global public health emergency during the Fall 2020 semester.
I am taking interinstitutional courses; what grading accommodations apply for these courses?
Students taking courses through Interinstitutional Registration will be graded in the course in accordance with the grading system of the institution where the course is taken. For more information please visit the special enrollments page.
Since all of our classes are online, how will that affect University limits on distance learning?
All Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 courses converted to an online format will not count toward limits on online courses in majors and minor and overall graduation requirements.
If I have additional questions about declaring a course pass/fail, where should I go?
It is strongly recommended that you to speak with an academic advisor about your choice and any impact your choices might have for success in future courses or admissions to future programs. Professional program students and graduate students should contact their program or Deans office with questions.
Can August 2021 graduates attend the May 2021 Commencement ceremony?
August 2021 students that apply to graduate before March 26 will be invited to participate in the in-person ceremonies. All August 2021 graduates who do not apply before that deadline will be invited to celebrate at the December 2021 ceremony. A registration form will be sent out, on March 27, to those who applied to graduate before March 26. The graduates will have until March 31 to register to attend an in-person ceremony.
If I request to have a course graded as pass/fail, and this is processed after my degree has been conferred, will the University use my recalculated GPA to award distinctions?
December 2020 graduates whose degrees are conferred after December 14th, will have their final distinctions calculated on December 21, 2020. Any academic adjustments made to a graduates’ account after the final distinctions have been calculated will not change the distinctions awarded.
May 2020 graduates whose degrees are conferred after May 14th, will have their final distinctions calculated on May 21, 2020. Any academic adjustments made to a graduates’ account after the final distinctions have been calculated will not change the distinctions awarded.
I have applied and plan to complete all the requirements for my degree in Spring 2021. What will happen with Commencement?
Students completing all degree requirements will graduate in Spring 2021 and the degree award date will remain May 16, 2021. Spring Commencement is currently scheduled for May 16th. Updates on the Spring Commencement ceremony are posted on the following webpage: https://commencement.unc.edu/spring-commencement/. We strongly encourage graduates to check this web page regularly for the latest information regarding Spring Commencement.
May I still purchase my cap and gown online?
Students may still buy a cap and gown online.
How long do I have to apply for graduation in order to be a candidate for Fall 2020 graduation?
The deadline to apply for graduation has been extended. Students who intend to graduate for Spring 2021 must apply by February 26, 2021
I have applied for Spring 2021 graduation. How long do I have to complete work in order to qualify for graduation?
Students who have applied for Spring 2021 graduation will have until May 16, 2021, to complete work required to earn their degree, including completing coursework, exams or other required milestones, such as a master’s comprehensive exam, internship/clinical requirement or capstone project/presentation.
I did not complete my work from the Spring 2021 semester by May 16th. What do I do?
Spring 2021-degree candidates who do not complete all work required to earn their degree by May 16th, will not be eligible for Spring 2021 graduation and must apply for graduation in a future term.
I want to change the name that appears on my diploma. How do I change my diploma name now that the Registrar’s Office is working remotely?
When will I receive my Spring 2021 diploma?
Graduates who are approved by May 16th, will have the diplomas ordered by the Office of the University Registrar during the first week of August 2021. More information on diploma distribution.
Spring 2021 graduates approved for late graduation checkout, due to administrative delays, will have their diplomas ordered the first week of each month, beginning in August.
I normally receive my diploma at my departmental Special Ceremony. If there is uncertainty around Special Ceremonies this year, how would I get my diploma?
Diplomas will be mailed directly to graduates’ home addresses in ConnectCarolina if special ceremonies are unable to take place.
How do I avoid diploma delivery delays?
Graduates are encouraged to update their names and/or home addresses prior to the close of ConnectCarolina Graduation Tracker on November 24th