Office of the Provost
Update on Pass-Fail and Withdraw Deadlines
Dear UConn Community,
I am writing to share an important decision that was approved by the University Senate to change the by-laws regarding Pass-Fail and Withdraw deadlines.
At the Sept. 13 meeting of the University Senate, the Senate Scholastic Standards Committee (SSC) brought forth a proposal to extend, align, and standardize the Pass-Fail and Withdraw deadlines. Their proposal sought to permanently change the deadlines for both Pass-Fail and Withdraw to occur at the same time and later in the semester, to the end of the 11th week of the semester. This proposal was approved by the University Senate, and takes effect immediately.
This means that starting in the Fall 2021 semester and going forward, Pass-Fail and Withdraw deadlines are at the end of the 11th week of the semester. The Pass-Fail policy applies to undergraduate students only; the Withdraw policy applies to undergraduate and graduate students.
In making this proposal, the SSC reviewed the three semesters in which the University extended deadlines in response to the pandemic (Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021). They consulted with numerous administrative and student service offices, as well as student partners to review how the extended deadlines affected students and processes related to these extended deadlines.
The SSC acknowledged in its proposal that moving back the Pass-Fail deadline from the 2nd to the 11th week is a change from the original intent of this grading option, which was primarily to allow students to take risks and explore topics without worry about low-grade impacts on GPA. The extended deadline allows for not only this original intent, but also for students to monitor their progress within a course and convert to Pass-Fail based on their changing circumstances.
The end of the 11th week deadline was determined as the most appropriate timing to allow for students to have sufficient graded assessments to make an informed decision about whether a Withdraw or Pass-Fail is appropriate for the course, for advisors to meet with and counsel students about such decisions, and for the Registrar’s Office to process these designations by students.
Consistent with past practice, SSC’s proposal limited the number of times that a student can make a Pass-Fail grade change. Specifically, students who convert a Pass-Fail and then revert the course back to a graded basis cannot again convert the course back to Pass-Fail. The proposal does not in any way change the limitations on which Pass-Fall can be applied, nor the number of courses to which Pass-Fail can be applied.
The new by-law language is copied below for reference:
II.B.10 Academic Advising and Registration. Adding, Dropping, or Withdrawing from a Course
Students may Drop courses before the end of the tenth day of classes without transcript notations. After the tenth day of classes and through the eleventh week of the semester, a student may Withdraw from one course (for any reason) with permission from the student’s advisor. Students seeking to Withdraw from more than one course after the tenth day of classes or seeking to Withdraw from a course after the eleventh week of the semester must get approval from the student’s advisor and from the Dean or designee of the school or college in which the student is enrolled. Approvals are given only for extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control; poor academic performance is not an extenuating circumstance. Any course Withdrawn from after the first ten days of classes will receive a ‘W’ on the transcript. Exceptions to transcript notations can be made only by the Provost or designee. For courses taught outside of the fall and spring semesters, these deadlines will be adjusted in a pro-rated fashion by the Registrar.
II.E.3.b Pass-Fail Option.
A student who has earned at least 26 credits and is not on scholastic probation may elect a maximum of 12 credits (not including credits on P/F recorded in spring 2020) to be distributed over not more than three courses, to be recorded as ‘P’ for Pass or ‘F’ for Fail on his or her permanent record. Courses taken Pass-Fail may only be used as electives; they may not be used to satisfy general education, school/college, major or minor requirements. Students who are selecting a course for the Pass-Fail option or want to convert a Pass-Fail back to a graded basis must do so by the eleventh week of the semester. Students who convert to a Pass-Fail and then revert the course back to a graded basis cannot again convert the course back to a Pass-Fail. Students seeking to put a course on Pass-Fail after the eleventh week of the semester must get approval from the student’s advisor and from the Dean or designee of the school or college in which the student is enrolled. Approvals are given only for extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control; poor academic performance is not an extenuating circumstance. For courses taught outside of the fall and spring semesters, these deadlines will be adjusted in a pro-rated fashion by the Registrar.
I am grateful to the thoughtful and hard-working members of the Senate Scholastic Standards Committee who pulled together this proposal, the leadership of USG who provided a strong voice for students throughout the process, and of course our senators who considered these issues from the perspectives of faculty, students, and staff.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs