Spring 2020 Academic Policy Changes
Satisfactory - Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grading
As we address the extraordinary conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Undergraduate Associate Deans, the Academic Advising Leadership Council, the Graduate Associate Deans, the Graduate Faculty Senate, and the Graduate School recommended to MU's Faculty Council that the deadline for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading be changed. This option is made available for all undergraduate and graduate courses. This recommendation was approved by Faculty Council on March 26, 2020. Professional degrees (i.e., DPT, MOT, JD, DVM, MD) do not require approval from Faculty Council for grading and certain policy matters. Any changes within those Professional degree programs will be made and communicated separately by their College/School leadership.
All undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in courses (including online and self-paced) in Spring 2020 will be able to choose the S/U grade option for all courses that have an A-F grade option. Students have the option to retain letter grade earned or select S/U after final grades have been posted. (NOTE: Classes that ended prior to March 16, 2020, are not eligible to be changed to S/U grading.)
IMPORTANT: Students will be able to select the S/U option from Monday May 18, 2020 at 8:00 AM through Friday June 5, 2020 at 5:00 PM (Central Daylight Time (CDT)).
This change provides a compassionate and student-centered response to the challenges now facing our students and their families. These actions are also in line with actions being taken by many of our peer institutions (AAU, SEC, and other 4-year public institutions), a growing list of which can be found here. We believe that now, more than ever, we need to support our learners with flexible options that uphold our high academic standards but also acknowledge the significant disruption to their lives as students at this time.
All students are encouraged to discuss implications of selecting the S/U option for any course with their academic advisor and other applicable units (e.g., Financial Aid, MU Student Veteran's Center, International Center, Athletics, ROTC). Additionally, programs with competency-based outcomes and/or licensure/accreditation expectations related to S/U grading will need to take additional steps to ensure that students receive specific advising about this option.
This is a living document. We will be making necessary updates or additions as needed.
Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Basics
- S/U grades are NOT included in semester or cumulative GPA calculations
- Any grade C- or higher becomes an "S"
- Any grade D+ or lower becomes a "U"
- "S" receives course credit
- "U" does not receive course credit
- The course instructor does know whether students have chosen the S/U option at the at the time of posting grades on myZou.
- The course instructor will enter the appropriate letter grade (A-/+; B-/+, etc.) in the grade roster on myZou at the end of the semester.
- Once the course letter grade is submitted and the student chooses the S/U option, the grade will be converted to S/U on myZou.
S/U Grading for Spring 2020
- All undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in courses (including online and self-paced) will be able to choose the S/U grade option for all courses that have an A-F grade option. (NOTE: Classes that ended prior to March 16, 2020, are not eligible to be changed to S/U grading.)
- IMPORTANT: Students will be able to select the S/U option from Monday May 18, 2020 at 8:00 AM through Friday June 5, 2020 at 5:00 PM (Central Daylight Time (CDT)).
- Students should consult with their academic advisor or program faculty to determine the impact of choosing the S/U option. There are a variety of situations where a letter grade is required for accreditation, licensure, clinical work, to be removed from probation, to move to the next level in a course sequence, etc.
- Students can choose the S/U grade in one or multiple courses. Because S and U grades do not factor into their GPA, students may be required to retake a course for a letter grade at a later date (e.g., if a B- or better is needed in research methods courses, and students opt for a S, they will need to retake the course, if they do not meet the requirements of a policy that requires a B range grade or higher).
- Students do not need to take any action if they choose to keep the A-F grading option.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
WHAT, WHEN, & HOW
How do the letter grades convert?
- A, B, and C (plus or minus) become "S"
- D (plus or minus) and F grades become "U"
Do I get course credit?
- "S" receives full course credit
- "U" receives no course credit
Does an S grade meet general education requirements?
- Yes, this has not changed.
Do S/U grades impact my grade point average (GPA)?
- S/U grades do not impact GPA calculations and are not included in semester or cumulative GPA calculations
What happens when I choose S/U grading?
- The course instructor submits the usual letter grade (A-/+; B-/+, etc.) at the end of the semester.
- The course instructor does not know whether students have chosen the S/U option at the time of grade submission.
- Once the course letter grade has been submitted and the student chooses the S/U option, the grade will be converted to S/U in myZou.
What should I consider before making the change to the S/U Grading option?
- Consider if you need a specific grade for prerequisites, licensure, admission to specific programs, etc.
- If you need a specific grade or GPA for scholarships or for satisfactory academic progress for financial aid.
- Consider implications if you are on academic probation.
- For international students, seek additional guidance from the International Center.
- For student veterans, service members, and dependents using GI Bill benefits, seek additional guidance from the MU Student Veterans Resource & Support Center.
- For student athletes, seek additional guidance from the Athletic Department.
When will the S/U grading option be available?
- Students will have from Monday, May 18, 2020 at 8:00 AM until June 5, 2020, at 5 PM (CDT), to complete the request for the change in the grading option.
Do I have to choose the S/U grading option?
- No. For each course you will have the option to keep your letter grade or change to the S/U grading option.
How do I choose the S/U grading option?
- Students will fill out an electronic request for the change in grading option. More details on the process will be forthcoming.
What if I want to keep my letter grades?
- You need no further action.
May I wait to change my grading option until after I see my grade?
- Yes. Faculty will submit grades no later than May 22, 2020, and students may change their grading option until June 5, 2020.
Do I have to talk to my advisor or get official approval?
- While you do not need anyone's official approval or signature to choose S/U for Spring 2020, we strongly advise that you consult with your advisor before making this decision.
How do I know who my advisor is?
- You can find your advisor in MU Connect or in myZou. If for some reason your academic advisor is not listed, contact your academic unit to have one assigned. Undergraduates can also visit https://advising.missouri.edu/contact/ to find their academic units contact information.
If I want to take the S/U option for one course, do I have to change all my classes to S/U grading?
- No, you can change a single course and it will not affect your grading option choices for your other courses.
How quickly will my grade be changed in myZou?
- It will be updated as quickly as possible.
Will my instructor be notified that I changed my grade to S/U?
- No, they will not be notified.
If I take a course as S/U now, can I retake it for an A-F grade later?
- Yes. Because neither an S nor a U grade impact the GPA, students may retake the course for a letter grade in a future semester. If you retake the course you will need to pay for the course again.
If I am taking a course for the second time, can I take it as S/U and use the Course Repeat policy?
- If you are taking a course for the second time during Spring 2020, you may select the S/U grading option. If you get an "S" it will replace the GPA impact of the letter grade. This is only for courses taken a second time as S/U during Spring 2020.
If I choose S/U grading, how will this impact my GPA?
- S/U grades will not impact your term or cumulative GPA. Your GPA will always be calculated on only the courses you have taken for a course grade.
How will taking the S/U option impact my Financial Aid and/or scholarships?
Check with your Financial Aid advisor.
- Current Spring 2020 Term Financial Aid Eligibility:
- As long as the courses continue to count toward the student's degree completion requirements there would be no effect on the current financial aid they received for the spring 2020 term.
- Future Financial Aid Eligibility:
- S/U grading may affect the overall GPA calculation for a student and, as a result, they may not be meeting the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. In this case, the student may have to complete a SAP appeal to retain their financial aid eligibility. Consideration of this grading change, and circumstances related to the COVID-19 outbreak, can be the basis for a student's SAP appeal to which the Office of Student Financial Aid will give considerable weight when evaluating the appeal.
What happens if I have a University fellowship or scholarship that requires that I maintain a certain GPA, and I opt for all S/U grades?
- Your GPA will be calculated based upon the existing letter grades on your transcript. If you have been advised that your fellowship or scholarship may be in jeopardy due to your GPA, you may decide to take a letter grade instead, particularly if it will raise your GPA. However, if you do not, your scholarship or fellowship will remain in place throughout the fall semester and reassessed based upon your GPA at that time.
What if I am receiving other fellowship or scholarships from a specific college or outside of the University?
- Please contact your college, the Office of Financial Aid, or external funding agency.
I am an Honors College student. If I choose S/U grading, will this impact my honors eligibility?
- The Honors College will accept an S grade from a completed Spring 2020 course towards fulfilling all Honors requirements. Your GPA for Honors-eligibility will be calculated based upon the existing letter grades on your transcript. No Honors College-related academic actions will be taken until Fall 2020. Students should check with their departments regarding departmental honors requirements.
I am currently enrolled in a professional program (i.e., DPT, MOT, JD, DVM, MD). Will S/U grades impact my progression in the program?
- Please contact your program directly for this information.
What happens if I must have a certain grade in order to be able to enroll in a more advanced course or meet a requirement for my degree?
- You should speak with your advisor and make a thoughtful decision about whether you choose a S/U grade for that course.
If I apply to a graduate program, will they understand why I received "Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory" grades?
- These grading policies are consistent with many actions taken by colleges and universities throughout the U.S. A growing list of these institutions can be found here. However, you may want to consult the programs to which you are applying for more guidance.
For additional questions contact your program, academic advisors, the Graduate School, or other specific University divisions. Examples of questions may include:
- I will be applying for a degree area that has specific grade/GPA requirements (e.g., Education, Nursing, Engineering). If I choose S/U grading, will this impact my eligibility to apply?
- I'm a student-athlete. Does this option affect my eligibility?
- Will taking the S/U option impact my VA benefits? What about GI bill?
- How will taking the S/U option factor into meeting prerequisites that have minimum grading requirements?
- How will taking the S/U option impact Latin and Departmental Honors?
- How will taking the S/U option impact the dean's list?
I withdrew from my course already. May I re-enroll to take advantage of the new S/U policy?
- Determination for adding a course will be made on a case-by-case basis. The faculty member teaching the course and the chair for the subject area must provide approval, via MU-issued email to the Office of the University Registrar.
Can I still withdraw from a course?
- Yes, students who want to withdraw from a course may do so until May 4, 2020, by 5 PM (CDT) (this is unchanged).
- Students who withdraw on or before Friday. April 10, 2020. at 5 PM (CDT) will receive a 25% reassessment credit for required tuition and fees.
Has the withdrawal date changed?
- No, the final withdrawal date of May 4, 2020 has not changed. What has changed is that students who withdraw between March 17 and April 10, 2020 will receive a 25% reassessment credit for required tuition and fees related to the hours withdrawn. (The original date for the end of the 25% reassessment was March 16, 2020). Students who have already withdrawn will receive financial credit retroactively.