Undergraduate Grading Policy for Spring 2020
Original: 29 March 2020
Revised: 14 May 2020
- All undergraduate courses will be converted to S-D-R grading after midterm grades are posted. Assuming a student does not opt back into traditional grading:
- If a student receives a letter grade of C- or above, the mark of S (satisfactory) and credit will be given.
- If the grade of D, D+, or D- is received, the student has the option of: (i) accepting a mark of R with no effect on the GPA and no credit earned, or (ii) earning the credit, with the grade of D, D+, or D- becoming the grade of record (though it will not be used in computing the GPA).
- If the student receives a letter grade of F, an R will be recorded, and no credit will be given (unless the student receives an F due to academic dishonesty, in which case the F will be recorded).
- Students can opt back into traditional grading (A, B, C, D, F) for each of their classes. In other words, students will have the option of requesting a traditional grade for one class only, or several of their classes, or all of their classes.
- Students who wish to opt back into traditional grading for one or more of their classes will need to make the switch officially (following a procedure to be announced) by 11:59pm on June 3rd, 2020.
- Once a student has opted back into traditional grading for a class this spring, the student may revert back to S-D-R grading.
- This grading policy applies to all undergraduate classes, whether students are taking the classes here or abroad. If students are taking classes abroad and a grading system is used in the university abroad that does not perfectly align with St. Thomas’s system, the Office of Global Learning and Strategy will make any necessary decisions about how to align St. Thomas’s spring 2020 undergraduate grading policy with the grading system used by the university abroad.
- This grading policy applies to all undergraduate classes, including all two-credit courses that were completed during the first seven weeks of Spring 2020.
- No S-D-R grades will be calculated in grade point averages (GPAs).
- Students who are repeating classes to improve their GPA and/or progress in course sequences should opt for a traditional letter grade in those classes. An S-D-R grade will not replace a previous grade for these purposes.
- St. Thomas’s standard policy for determining Latin honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) will remain in place: according to that policy, grades of S do not figure into the GPA.
- St. Thomas’s standard policy for determining the Dean’s Honor List will remain in place:
- A student “who attains a grade point average of 3.50 or more at the end of a semester in which they have taken at least twelve credits for regular grades (A, B, C) will be placed on the Dean’s Honor List if there are no grades of D or F or marks of I or R. (Evening program students must have taken at least eight credits in a semester and meet the same requirements.)” Thus (for example), a student who is registered this spring for four 4-credit classes may opt into S-D-R grading for one of the four classes and still be on the Dean’s Honor List, but may not opt for S-D-R grading for two of the four classes and still be on the Dean’s Honor List.
- In order not to disadvantage students who do not opt for traditional grading, some provisions in the Undergraduate Catalog are being waived or revised for this spring. In particular:
- Courses used to fulfill a requirement in the core curriculum may be taken (this spring) using S-D-R grading.
- Courses taken this spring using S-D-R grading will not count in calculating the total number of credits that may be taken on the S-D-R option. More precisely, rule #2 in the 2019-20 Undergraduate Catalog regarding S-D-R grading is revised to read: “One-eighth of the credits taken through the undergraduate program, plus any S-D-R credits taken in spring 2020, may be taken on the S-D-R grading option; but no more than this number of credits may be taken on the S-D-R grading option.” So, if a student takes 132 credits as part of the undergraduate program, 16.5 (17) of those credits, plus all the credits the student takes S-D-R in spring 2020, may be taken S-D-R.
- Courses taken as part of a major or minor program may be taken S-D-R this spring without the signature of the department chair or program director.
- As always, courses “that are routinely graded on the S-R system are not counted among the one-eighth of a student’s courses for which the S-D-R grading system may be selected” (2019-20 Undergraduate Catalog, S-R Grades). Thus (for example), if a student takes 132 credits as part of the undergraduate program, 16.5 (17) of those credits, plus all the credits the student takes S-D-R in spring 2020, plus any credits in courses routinely graded on the S-R system, may be taken using non-traditional grading.
- There will be no academic suspensions or dismissals following the spring 2020 semester, and students will not be placed on academic probation unless they were already on probation prior to the semester.
- Students currently on probation who do not raise their cumulative St. Thomas GPA above a 2.0 will remain on probation for fall 2020. Students on academic probation should consult with Academic Counseling (firstname.lastname@example.org) about how to proceed with their grade decisions for spring 2020 based on their individual situations.
All transfer classes taken at other colleges or universities during spring 2020 will be accepted for credit with a grade of “pass” (or “satisfactory”, or a similar designation).