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COVID-19 Updates

Summary of Senate Educational Policy Updates since Spring 2020

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The Academic Senate authorized limited-term exceptions to the Policy on Distance Education Courses to allow for the use of remote instruction in Spring 2020, Summer 2020, and for the duration of academic year 2020-2021 in response to COVID-19.

This page provides details on the quarterly status of Senate educational policies related to Pass/Not Pass and Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading and enrollment deadlines since Spring 2020. It is updated as there are changes during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Enrollment Deadlines (Course Adds/Drops/Change of Grading Option and Quarter Withdrawals)

Status of Enrollment Deadlines from Spring 2020 through Summer Session 2021*

DeadlineSenate Regulation ReferenceStandard DeadlineSpring
2020
Summer
2020
Fall
2020
Winter
2021
Spring
2021
Summer
2021
Deadline to Change Grading Option or Units 500.D (P and NP Grades)

500.E (S and U Grades)
End of Week 4 Extended to end of Finals Week Standard deadline Standard deadline ^ Extended to end of Week 10 Extended to end of Week 10 Standard deadline
Deadline to Add a Class 501.A (Adding a Class) End of Week 2 Extended to end of Week 3 Standard deadline Standard deadline Standard deadline Standard deadline Standard deadline
Deadline to Drop a Class or Withdraw from the Quarter (without a W) 501.B (Drop a Class)

501.C (Withdraw from the Quarter)
End of Week 4 Extended to end of Week 5 Standard deadline Standard deadline Standard deadline Standard deadline Standard deadline
Deadline to Drop a Class or Withdraw from the Quarter (with a W) 501.B (Drop a Class)

501.C (Withdraw from the Quarter)
End of Week 6 (UG)

End of Week 9 (GR)
Extended to end of Week 7 (UG)

No change (GR)
Extended to 90% of the course term (equal to the end of Week 9) (UG)

No change (GR)
Standard deadline Extended to end of Week 7 (UG)

No change (GR)
Extended to end of Week 7 (UG)

No change (GR)
Standard deadline

*Last updated: 1/21/2021; this table will be updated as the status of any enrollment deadlines change during 2020-2021. 
UG: undergraduate students
GR: graduate students

^As of December 8, 2020, undergraduate students may retroactively petition to change their grading option from Letter to Pass/Not Pass for Fall 2020 courses. This option is available between January 4 - January 29, 2021.

Instructors are reminded to be mindful about providing feedback at multiple points during the quarter. It is important that students are able to make informed decisions about their course enrollments.

Pass/Not Pass (P/NP) and Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grades

Status of Pass/Not Pass (Undergraduate Students) and Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (Graduate Students) Exceptions from Spring 2020 through Summer Session 2021*

Values under the quarter columns indicate whether the exception applies in the quarter.

Pass/Not Pass or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory ExceptionSenate Regulation ReferenceSpring
2020
Summer
2020
Fall
2020
Winter
2021
Spring
2021
Summer
2021
Exclude P/NP grades earned from 25% Limit on the Number of Units that may be Completed on a P/NP Basis (UG) SD 500.D.1 Yes No No Yes Yes No
P/NP or S/U allowed if repeating courses previously taken for a letter grade (UG, GR) SD 505.B Yes No Yes, for retroactive grade change petitions (UG)

No (GR)
Yes Yes No
P/NP allowed if student not in good academic standing (UG) SD 500.D.1 Yes No No Yes Yes No
P/NP allowed for major qualification courses or major requirements
S/U allowed for graduate degree requirements
n/a At the discretion of the academic unit At the discretion of the academic unit At the discretion of the academic unit At the discretion of the academic unit At the discretion of the academic unit At the discretion of the academic unit
Instructors may require that course be taken for P/NP or S/U grade if course allows for letter grade option (UG, GR) n/a No No No No No No
P/NP or S/U grades allowed in courses approved for Letter Grade Only (UG, GR) n/a Yes No No Yes Yes No

*Last updated: 1/21/2021; this table will be updated as the status of any enrollment deadlines change during 2020-2021.
UG: undergraduate students
GR: graduate students

It is important that students are informed about the full implications of their grading options and course enrollment choices. The Senate encourages instructors and instructional assistants to make clear that students should consult with their department and college advisors and financial aid advisors about their individual circumstances prior to any final election for their grading options or course schedule.

Petitioning a Retroactive Change of Grading Option (from Letter to Pass/Not Pass) for Fall Quarter 2020 Courses

The Educational Policy Committee offered undergraduate students a one-time only option to petition to retroactively change grading options from Letter to Pass/Not Pass in Fall 2020 classes. These petitions were granted. The option was available to undergraduate students during the first four weeks of Winter 2021: January 4 - January 29, 2021. 

Graduate Education

Telepresence for Graduate Master’s and Doctoral Examinations

The Graduate Council authorized a limited-term exception to the general rules approved by the Graduate Council on October 8, 2018 for how master’s and doctoral committee members conduct master’s thesis defenses and doctoral qualifying exams and defenses. Effective through the end of Summer 2021, any and/or all members of a master’s or doctoral committee or the student being examined may be telepresent (meaning participation by live video teleconference) for a thesis defense, qualifying examination and final oral examination (the dissertation defense). 
*Last updated: 12/7/2020

Doctoral Time Limits

The Graduate Council approved extending time limits by three quarters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council noted that the extensions allow for additional time and eligibility for funding but do not per se provide additional or continued funding, as funding availability is not the purview of the Graduate Council.
*Last updated: 12/16/2020

Accepting "P" Grades from Spring 2020 and 2020-2021 Undergraduate Courses

The Graduate Council approved allowing departments and programs to accept the transfer of P grades earned by UC San Diego undergraduate students in Spring 2020 and AY2020-2021 to a UC San Diego Master’s or PhD degree program.
*Last updated: 1/21/2021

COVID-19 Updates