COVID Academic Policies

A list of academic policy changes enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters. 

Writing Skills Test (WST)

The in-person Writing Skills Test (WST) has been suspended, please review Online WST Directed Self-Placement (WST-DSP) for additional information on the replacement exercise students should complete in place of the WST.

Fall 2020 & Spring 2021 Academic Policy Changes

In light of the ongoing challenges for students and their families during the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, on Monday December 7 the Academic Senate passed and President Papazian approved the following grading changes for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters (F20-2, F20-2A [pdf] University Policy, Grading Changes to Support Maximum Flexibility During the Prolonged COVID-19 Pandemic). These changes are intended to minimize the impact of negative grades on students’ long-term academic success, in the context of disruptions to daily life and high levels of stress and anxiety during the pandemic.

Withdrawal Unauthorized

All WU (Withdrawal Unauthorized) grades will be converted by the Registrar’s Office to NC (No Credit) in Spring 2021. Faculty should assign WU grades when students have missed a significant portion of the course (stopped attending and submitting assignments). Instructors can enter 5/17/21 for the last date of attendance for WU grades on the grading roster.

F Grades Converted to No Credit (NC)

All F grades will be converted by the Registrar’s Office to NC (No Credit) grades. NC grades are not included in the GPA calculation. Students repeating a course for the first time after earning NC will be able to enroll in the course three weeks before the start of the semester (F08-2). In the case of academic integrity violations, NC grades will revert to F.

Academic Disqualification

Students eligible for disqualification will not be disqualified at the end of the Fall 2020 semester (see Amendment D to University Policy S16-16, Probation and Disqualification, Temporary Amendment due to the COVID-19 Pandemic). Instead they will continue on probation and be connected with advising staff to help them access critical academic resources and make plans to successfully progress toward their degree objectives.

Spring 2020 Academic Policy Changes

Listed below are academic policy changes enacted for Spring 2020 ONLY due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All academic messages are also available on the Academic Affairs COVID-19 Messages on the Provost's website.

Incomplete grades

Students who were not able to complete incomplete coursework by the end of Spring 2020 or Summer 2020, will receive an extension until the end of the Fall 2020 semester (Monday, December 7, 2020) to complete all work. This extension means that no Incomplete (I) grades will be converted to an Incomplete Charge (IC) or a No Credit (NC) for non-traditionally graded courses. Read the Provost’s message on Spring/Summer 2019 Incomplete Grade for full details.

Grading option change to Credit/No Credit (CR/NC)

In response to COVID-19, students had the choice to change their individual course grades from an A,B,C,D,F grading scheme to a Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) grading scheme for Spring 2020 courses only. Read the Provost's important message regarding Spring 2020 Grading and Faculty FAQ [pdf].

Academic disqualifications suspended

Students were placed on continued probation for Spring 2020 only. Read the Provost’s message on the Temporary Changes to Academic Disqualification for full details.

Temporary Modifications to Withdrawals & Course Repeats

Temporary policy changes below are a result of the Chancellor’s Office Memo - “Temporary Suspension of Sections of Executive Order 1037” (April 15, 2020).


Policy change: Course withdrawals in Spring 2020 only will not count against the course withdrawal maximum of 18 units.

Previously, undergraduate students may withdraw from no more than 18 semester units.

Repetition of Courses

Policy change: Students who earned a CR grade for courses taken in Spring 2020 only may repeat the course(s) for a letter grade. 

Previously, undergraduate students may repeat courses only if they earned grades lower than a C.

Grade Forgiveness

"Grade Forgiveness" is when a new grade replaces the former grade for a repeated course. 

Policy change: Grade forgiveness units earned in Spring 2020 only will not count towards the grade forgiveness maximum of 16 units.

Previously, undergraduate students may only repeat up to 16 semester units of courses with grade forgiveness.