WPI faculty approved a special policy to allow students to choose a Pass/NR or no credit grading option instead of traditional letter grading for D-Term 2020 and Spring 2020 semester courses. Please read the information below to find out more about this option and how to select it.
Who can choose this option?
This option is open to all students. WPI undergraduates and Mass Academy seniors may choose to be graded with a Pass (P)/NR. Graduate students and non-WPI undergraduate students may choose to be graded with a Pass (P)/No Credit (NC).
What courses are eligible for the Pass/NR or NC option?
D-term courses and full semester Spring 2020 courses are eligible, as well as IQP, MQP, and PQP credits. Directed research, thesis, and dissertation credits are not eligible for this option. You can choose this option for all your eligible courses, none, or some mix – it is your choice.
What does the Pass grade do?
The pass grade will replace grades of A, B, or C. It will count as earned credit, but will not factor into your GPA. Please note that Incomplete (I) is not an available grade in the Pass/NR or NC option.
What if I earn less than a C?
If you earn less than a C, your grade will be either NR or NC, depending on which applies to you.
What does the NC grade do?
This is a new grade for graduate students and non-WPI undergraduates only. The NC grade will NOT count as earned credit, but, unlike a failing grade, will NOT count in the GPA. It will print on your transcript.
How does this affect my academic standing?
For undergraduates, the pass grade counts as earned credit, and therefore counts toward the 4/3 units students need to earn each semester to be considered in good standing. NR, as usual, does not count as earned. For graduate students, because the Pass/NC does not factor into your GPA, it will not raise or lower your current GPA. For any graduate student who is already on academic warning or probation and must raise their GPA, you will be allowed another semester to raise your GPA should you choose this option.
Will Pass/NR or NC affect my financial aid?
If you “pass” a class or earn an A, B, or C in a class, it is counted in the number of credits earned for the year, but if you earn an NR, it is not counted in the number of credits earned for the year. In both cases, all registered classes count toward “attempted” credits when determining satisfactory academic progress. Policies about institutional aid retention and Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress are found here. In recognition of the unusual circumstances and added pressures of a changed learning environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WPI will be exceptionally altering the requirements for the minimum number of credits to be earned for the year before WPI funding will be reduced. Typically, an undergraduate student must pass a minimum of 33 academic credits per year to retain their aid. However, as a one-time exception for the 2019-20 academic year, we are reducing that number to a minimum of 30 academic credits that must be passed from A19 to E20 to retain aid for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year. Students who have funding reduced after D20 for not meeting academic standards and who have mitigating circumstances will be able to submit a 2020-2021 Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form that will be available here to submit by August 1, 2020.
To be eligible for Direct Loans, graduate students must meet federal criteria and maintain good academic standing. Graduate students who have federal Direct Loan eligibility rescinded after D20 for not meeting academic standards and who have mitigating circumstances will be able to submit a 2020-2021 Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form that will be available here to submit by August 1, 2020.
What are some other considerations I should think about before making this choice?
Some considerations might include:
- Specific program requirements, such as minimum grades to count toward a certain requirement, or ROTC program requirements where a pass grade may not be acceptable
- Employer benefits that require a letter grade before reimbursing the student
- Undergraduate graduation honors (pass grades do not count towards honors)
- Dean’s List (pass grades do not count towards honors)
- Graduate or professional school admissions processes may or may not accept a pass grade
- Other outside-WPI agencies that might be providing funding or support that will not accept pass grades
- Non-WPI students should make sure their home institutions will accept a pass grade
How long do I have to make a selection?
You may make your choice before the course is over or you may wait until your final grade is posted, but all final selections must be made by 5 PM on Thursday, May 21, 2020. Forms will not be available after this deadline.
What if I decide later that I really should have selected a different option?
After May 21, you may not change your selection for courses and term project credits. CDRs must be turned in by posted deadlines with student's final choices. Faculty may not use the grade change process to change your grade back to a letter grade or vice versa.
How do I select this option for my eligible courses or project credits?
Please click the button below to access the form. You must log in with your WPI credentials to use it. You will receive a confirmation when your request has been processed. Review these instructions for using the form. You will also be able to track your request by logging in to the WPI Hub.
If you do not wish to elect the Pass/NR or Pass/NC option, do nothing. You will be assigned a grade using the standard scale for your course.