Grading Method

What is different about grading for Summer 2020 semester courses?

Because of the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, for the Summer 2020 semester (Summer 14-Week Session, Summer May Session, Summer 10-Week Session, Summer A Session (7-Week), and Summer B Session (7-Week)), students will again have the option of selecting a Pass/Fail grading method instead of the standard letter grade method, with certain exceptions. The letter grade method remains the default grading method if a student does not select the Pass/Fail grading option.

Do I have to move ANY of my courses to a Pass/Fail grading method?

No. You have the option to move as many or as few (or none) of your classes to P/F, assuming the option is available. The default grading method will be the normal letter grade method and we encourage you to continue taking courses for a letter grade where possible. Where we can, we are providing a Pass/Fail option in case there are circumstances and/or challenges students are encountering related to the ongoing pandemic that might make a Pass/Fail option a better option. Post-baccalaureate students, for example, will most likely be better able to compete for future positions if they have letter grades. See also the guidance below for pre-health students.

Do I have to select the Pass/Fail grading method for each of my courses individually?

Yes, if students are not remaining with the default Letter Grade method for any of their courses, they must select the Pass/Fail grading method for each course individually.

Is my decision to choose a Pass/Fail grading method for a particular course reversible?

No, once a student selects the option for a Pass/Fail grading method for a particular course, that decision is not reversible regardless of their performance on remaining assignments or final exams.

When can I choose to opt out of the letter grade method and select a Pass/Fail grading method?

Students can opt out of the default letter grade method and select the Pass/Fail method during the last 14 days of a course in whichever summer session it is offered: Summer 14-Week Session, Summer May Session, Summer 10-Week Session, Summer A Session (7-Week), and Summer B Session (7-Week). This 14-day window ends on the last day of classes for that particular summer session.

How do I select the Pass/Fail grading method?

If you want the default letter grade method, you don’t have to do anything. If you want to select the Pass/Fail grading method for one or more of your courses, you can make this election directly in BlazerNet during the change period described above. To make this change, log in to BlazerNet and then select “Change Class Grading for Spring” located in the quick links list on your Student Profile. Each individual course will display with a dropdown box labeled “Grade Mode.” For each course where you would like to select the Pass/Fail grading method (if available) select “Pass-Fail” and submit. (A Pass/Fail option will not appear in the dropdown box if it is not available for a course.) A confirmation prompt will be shown to make sure you want to make the change. Once “Pass-Fail” is submitted you will not be able to change back to “Standard Letter.”

I am a student athlete. What do I have to do to opt for Pass/Fail grading?

Please check with your academic advisor.

What constitutes a Pass grade (i.e. what would end up being a Pass if I opt for the Pass/Fail grading method for a particular course)?

This will be defined by your instructor in each of your courses that are allowing the Pass/Fail option. Each of your instructors will explain how they are defining a Pass grade in their courses. The general rule for undergraduate courses, as provided in the Undergraduate Course Catalogue is that a “D” assigned by the instructor is the minimally acceptable grade. However, there are certain courses, at both the graduate and undergraduate level, that might have higher standards (for example, a grade of C might be considered the minimum equivalent letter grade for a “Pass” grade). Please check with your instructor or program director.

Are there any courses for which I can’t select a Pass/Fail grading method?

Instructors or program directors will communicate with students as quickly as possible if there are courses that may not be taken P/F, and you will not be able to make a P/F election in these courses. These decisions are made by the deans, and might occur, among other reasons, due to:

  • Requirements of licensing bodies
  • Requirements of accreditors
  • Specific requirements of later courses (which will be communicated to students)
  • There are no objective assessments such as exams
  • All student assignments are part of a program of research
  • Letter grades may be recommended for post-doctoral training grants

Will courses taken Pass/Fail count towards my Core Curriculum requirements?

Yes. For any Summer 2020 course for which a Pass/Fail option is offered, a grade of P will satisfy the relevant Core Curriculum requirement.

Will courses taken Pass/Fail count towards my major or minor?

Yes. For any Summer 2020 course for which a Pass/Fail option is offered, a grade of P will count towards completion of that course in satisfying a requirement for a major or minor.

If I’m doing well in a course, should I move it to Pass/Fail?

This is a personal decision based on how you think your performance will be affected moving forward. If you are doing well in a course, then receiving a letter grade can improve your GPA overall.

I am a pre-health student. What effect would opting for a Pass/Fail grading method have on my getting into professional and graduate school?

From the Pre-Health Advising Team:

You should continue to work hard in all your classes, and do not make any election to take a course Pass/Fail until the last day permitted to do so (last 14 days of any Summer 2020 semester session). Most professional health programs would much rather see a letter grade rather than a “P,” because there is less qualitative information about your performance from a “P” than from a letter grade. Even if students were to finish a course with a “C,” that is preferable to “P.” Admissions committees are not able to discern standards for issuing a “P.” If a student is at risk of failing a course, then a “P” would be preferable to a D or F. The Pre-Health Advisors stand ready to advise you.

Does P/F have an impact on my GPA?

Pass grades will not have an impact on your grade point average. However, a Fail grade would count as a zero for purposes of GPA calculation. You may wish to refer to this GPA calculator to determine what impact this decision may have. You can also contact an advisor to discuss this issue. We encourage students to thoroughly assess the impact of opting for a Pass/Fail option prior to making their decision, because the decision is irreversible.

Will courses taken Pass/Fail affect my ability to graduate this semester?

In order to meet the requirements for the baccalaureate degree at UAB you must have a UAB GPA of 2.00 or better. In order to meet the requirements for a degree from the Graduate School, you must have a UAB GPA of 3.00 or better. So, if you need a letter grade in order to improve your GPA in order to graduate, you may need to take one or more courses for letter grades. Please talk to your advisor.

How do I calculate my GPA?

Use a GPA calculator You can simulate how certain grades will affect your cumulative GPA.

What should I do if I am already on academic probation?

If you are already on academic probation, then electing the Pass/Fail option in one or more courses might have the effect of not improving your GPA sufficiently. If you are doing well in your course(s) then letter grades will give you the opportunity to improve your GPA and possibly come off probation.

How will my instructor know that I have made a Pass/Fail election?

An instructor is notified when a student elects the Pass/Fail grading method in their course. When instructors enter final grades in BlazerNet for students who have made the election, only Pass or Fail grades will be possible. For students who have not opted for the Pass/Fail grading scheme for that particular course, the usual letter grade choices will appear as options.

Will I be able to repeat a course in which I earn a letter grade method or P/F method grade of “F?”

UAB offers undergraduate students a forgiveness option by which courses taken at UAB may be repeated at UAB (up to four repeats), and the grade for the first course will be excluded from the calculation of his/her GPA. If a student has repeated a course more than once, the student may choose which grade should be removed from the calculation. UAB will continue to permit courses with grades of C, D, or F to be repeated under the letter grade method, as well as courses graded F under the P/F method. Courses graded Pass under the P/F method cannot be repeated. However, UAB will not count an F in a Summer 2020 course against the usual limit of four times as an undergraduate (as was the case for Spring 2020 courses).

If I withdrew from a course earlier in the semester, can I be re-instated to the course and opt for a Pass/Fail grading method?

No. Due to rules surrounding our accreditation standards and retroactively changing decisions, we are unable to approve these requests.

I am an international student with an F or J visa. Can I change the grading method to P/F?

International students with an F or J visa are able to change the grading method of their courses (where available), but must remain enrolled full‐time and continue with remote teaching until the end of the semester. International students should consult with their ISSS advisor (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for immigration advising, because rules may vary.

Can I change the grading method of a course when I am under investigation for a violation of the Academic Honor Code?

Students who are currently under investigation or are found responsible for an Honor Code violation in Summer 2020 may not change the grading status from the course involved.

I have an outstanding balance on my student account. Will I be able to make the Pass/Fail election?

Yes.

Can I opt for Pass/Fail grading for just part of the semester in a class, but regular letter grading for the other part?

No. Selecting Pass/Fail grading will apply that grading method for all of your work for the entire semester for that class.

Course Withdrawal

When can I withdraw from a course offered in a Summer 2020 session?

For all Summer 2020 semester sessions, the usual dates for Drop/Add still apply. No “W” grade appears on a student’s transcript for dropping a course during this period. See the Summer 2020 Academic Calendar. After the Drop/Add date, students will be permitted to withdraw from any course until the last day of classes, which varies according to the length of the semester session (Summer 14-Week Session, Summer May Session, Summer 10-Week Session, Summer A Session (7-Week), and Summer B Session (7-Week)). For those withdrawals, a “W” will appear on the student’s transcript.

Are there any other ways to withdraw other than on a course-by-course basis?

A student may do a full-term withdrawal, which has the effect of withdrawing from all courses in the University. See the Academic Calendar for the percentage of tuition refunds that will be made for full-term withdrawals during the Summer 2020 semester sessions. Full-term withdrawals must be made by not later than the last day of classes for the Summer 2020 semester session in question (Summer 14-Week Session, Summer May Session, Summer 10-Week Session, Summer A Session (7-Week), and Summer B Session (7-Week)). In addition, if a student qualifies, a medical withdrawal is possible. Instructions for both are available on the Add/Drop and Withdrawal Policy One-Stop page.

Does withdrawing from a course or courses result in a refund?

No. There will be no refunds given to students based on a withdrawal from any number of courses (including full withdrawal from the semester.)

What effect would a withdrawal have on my financial aid?

Students who fail to complete courses due to circumstances related to COVID-19 may be excluded from the quantitative component of SAP calculations under CARES Act provisions. Student completion rates that fall below the 67% requirement for attempted unearned courses due to COVID-19 withdrawal may not be required to complete the SAP appeal process.

Could I still be considered for Dean’s List or Presidential Honors if I withdrew from one or more courses?

To qualify for the Dean’s List, undergraduate students must register and complete at least 12 semester hours of credit and have a 3.6 to 3.9 grade point average on a 4.0 scale for the term. To qualify for the Presidential Honors List, undergraduate students must register and complete at least 12 semester hours of credit and have a 4.0 grade point average for the term.

Can I withdraw from a course while I am under investigation for a violation of the Academic Honor Code?

Withdrawal from a course while a possible violation of the Academic Honor Code is under review will not preclude the assignment of a course grade that appropriately reflects the student’s performance prior to the course withdrawal if the violation is substantiated.

I am an International Student with an F or J visa. Do I have to maintain a certain number of credit hours this semester?

International students with an F or J visa are in a unique position because of the immigration rules that the United States government places upon you. In most cases, international undergraduate students cannot enroll in fewer than 12 hours and international graduate students in fewer than 9 hours. International students should consult with their ISSS advisor (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for immigration advising, because rules may vary. Opting for a Pass/Fail grading method does not affect the number of hours for which you are registered.

Could a withdrawal impact my progress to graduation?

Any time you withdraw from a course, or group of courses, it raises the possibility that you will not have the necessary credit hours for graduation, prerequisites for other courses, or necessary courses for a major or minor. For example, some courses have a prerequisite letter grade requirement. Please consult with your academic advisor about the effects of any sort of withdrawal on your academic progress.

What if I have other questions about a withdrawal?

Please see these FAQs in OneStop, and please consult with an advisor.

Incompletes

What is a grade of “Incomplete” and when can it be used?

Incomplete grades allow students to complete the work of a course after the end of the semester. Generally speaking, students should have completed at least 50% of the work required in the course in order to request an Incomplete grade. There may be some situations involved in the move to remote learning that would allow an Incomplete without meeting these criteria. Your instructor must also agree that they are willing to work with you to complete the required work. Each school and college may have different criteria. Please consult with your instructor.

How I do I request an Incomplete?

To request an incomplete, please contact your instructor to discuss your situation. Students should communicate with their instructors about the circumstances surrounding their inability to complete the missing assignment(s) and work out a way to complete the work in the allowable time period.

When will I be able to request an Incomplete?

Incompletes may be requested through the last day of classes for the Summer 2020 semester session in question (Summer 14-Week Session, Summer May Session, Summer 10-Week Session, Summer A Session (7-Week), and Summer B Session (7-Week)) Students must communicate with their instructors before this date about the circumstances surrounding their inability to complete the missing assignment(s) and request an Incomplete. Otherwise a zero will be assigned for missing assignments and normal letter grade calculations will be made.

What is the deadline to finish the work in an incomplete course?

Given the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the current pandemic, UAB is extending the period for students to complete the work of the Summer 2020 semester if they have been assigned a grade of Incomplete. For incomplete work in the Summer 2020 semester, completed work will be due by the last day of the Spring 2021 semester classes. Please be sure that you have worked out arrangements with your instructor for exactly how they would like to communicate with you during this period.

What are the consequences of taking an Incomplete?

You will receive an “I” grade until you complete the required work and your instructor regrades you. If you fail to complete the work you will receive an “F” grade for this course and this will factor into your GPA. Additionally, you should consider the volume of work required and the pressure that this brings.