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U.Va. to extend fall grading policy to J-Term, spring semester

Students can opt-in to a credit/general credit/no credit grading system for J-Term by Jan. 4

Taking classes with the credit/general credit/no credit grading system will not factor into a student’s GPA and will count towards major and graduation requirements.
Taking classes with the credit/general credit/no credit grading system will not factor into a student’s GPA and will count towards major and graduation requirements.

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The University plans to continue the opt-in credit/general credit/no credit grading policy it adopted halfway through the fall semester for J-Term classes and the spring 2021 semester, Provost Liz Magill announced in a University-wide email Monday afternoon. The decision comes after consultation with students, deans and faculty members, Magill said.

The fall grading policy — which was precipitated by student activism and a petition that garnered more than 1,400 signatures — allowed students to opt into a credit/general credit/no credit grading system between Nov. 2 and Nov. 6. The standard letter-grade scale will remain the default option this semester.

The University also adopted a credit/general credit/no credit grading system last spring — however, this system was the default and students were required to opt-in to letter grades. Students had until the last day of classes to make their decision. 

“Ultimately, we sought to balance serious concerns raised by students, faculty and staff about the effects of this pandemic on many of our students, while at the same time honoring the views of those students and faculty who seek to give or receive standard grades,” Magill wrote.

Students enrolled in J-Term classes will have the opportunity to switch to the credit-based system from their enrollment date until 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 4 — the first day of J-Term classes. All J-Term classes will take place virtually and are included in tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The date by which students can opt-in to the credit-based system for the spring semester has not yet been determined. Magill said that University Registrar Laura Hawthorne will send students additional information on this timeframe in early December.

Classes taken for credit will not count towards a student’s GPA but will count for curricular, major and graduation requirements.

“As part of the decision to continue offering students a credit/general credit/no credit grading option during the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year, the undergraduate schools have agreed that grades of credit/general credit/no credit will not prevent a student from applying for a major, for a research-intensive program like distinguished majors, or for internal transfer between schools of the University,” Magill wrote.

According to Magill, the University will continue to add a notation on student transcripts that the credit-based grading system was offered during the COVID-19 crisis.

In addition, Magill announced that graduate programs that chose to offer the credit/general credit/no credit grading system have committed to doing so again in the J-Term and spring semesters using the same criteria adopted in the fall.

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