Academic Policy Exceptions for Undergraduate Students: Spring and Summer 2020

Given the extraordinary pedagogical changes made in the middle of the Spring 2020 semester at Tufts and around the world, the following exceptional measures for undergraduate students have been established for Spring 2020 (with an extension to Summer 2020 in some cases) via faculty vote in Arts and Sciences (including SMFA) and Engineering.

Please note that the items below are the only exceptions established to regular academic policies and deadlines, and that they are only in effect for Spring 2020 (with an extension to Summer 2020 in some cases). All other policies remain in full effect. Undergraduate students may direct specific academic questions to their Advising Dean (Liberal Arts BA/BS, Liberal Arts BFA, or Engineering).

Please note that these policy changes do not apply to BFA and Combined Degree students’ studio coursework, which will continue to be graded on a Credit (CR)/No Credit (NC) basis. Additional information about Review Boards for Spring 2020 will be provided to SMFA students shortly.

These policy changes also do not apply to graduate and professional students, who should consult their advisors and program directors for specific academic questions.

Extend Academic Deadlines

Pass/Fail Grading Option

Waivers to Transfer Credit Policies

Fall 2020 Registration Procedures

Academic Standing and Honors

Extend Academic Deadlines

  • The deadline for undergraduates to Withdraw from a course is now April 27 at 11:59 p.m. EST, the last day of classes. (Previously, this deadline was April 1.)
  • The deadline for undergraduates to select Pass/Fail grading is now April 27 at 11:59 p.m. EST. (Previously, this deadline was April 1.) All grades of P (Pass) will be changed to EP (Exceptional Pass) for Spring 2020 (see below).

These deadlines have been extended to provide students more time to experience the online learning environment, and for faculty to provide assessment and feedback.

Pass/Fail Grading Option

  • A new grade of EP (Exceptional Pass) has been established, encompassing all grades from A+ through D-. The grade of F will remain, and an F and will be factored into a student’s GPA. EP will confer credit but no grade points for GPA calculation and will fulfill all degree requirements, including those for concentration or major. Undergraduate students may elect EP for any or all of their courses for Spring 2020. The default option for all students will remain letter grading or the grading system in which the course was set up (e.g., P/F. CR/NC, S/U, etc). Students who have already selected the Pass/Fail option will automatically have a P grade changed to EP. The deadline to opt in for EP/F grading is April 27 (see above).

Additional Information: EP Grades

  • The EP grading process will work almost exactly as the current process by which undergraduates elect Pass/Fail grading: a student must fill out the usual online Pass/Fail Petition by the deadline, identifying the specific course; the professor does not know which students have selected this option; when the professor enters the letter grade, SIS converts passing grades to EP, while F stays F. The original letter grade is viewable in SIS by staff; the grade of EP will appear on the unofficial and official transcript.
  • Courses that were originally set up with Pass/Fail as the only grading option (e.g., Physical Education courses) will continue to be graded as P/F and will appear as such on the student’s transcript. For all students who have already selected the P/F option in lieu of letter grades, the P will automatically be changed to EP
  • Students who elect EP/F grading will not be able to later request reversion to the letter grade.
  • Academic standing for the Spring 2020 will be determined by grades and credits posted on the transcript, not the underlying grade that may be obscured by EP; however, in the case of an appeal of an academic standing decision, the assigned grades may be viewed and brought into consideration, especially if it is to the benefit of the student.
  • Students who have elected EP grading cannot request letter grades to be revealed for purposes of Latin Honors.

Waivers to Transfer Credit Policies

  • Online Tufts courses completed in Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 will not be counted toward the current limit of online Tufts credits that may be applied toward graduation.
  • For courses taken elsewhere (including approved external programs abroad) in Spring and Summer 2020, the policy which prohibits transfer of credit for online courses will be waived. Tufts will accept transfer of credit for courses taken by undergraduates at other approved institutions that were suddenly switched to online or remote modalities or otherwise conducted or completed online in Spring and Summer 2020. We extend this waiver to courses completed by admitted transfer students during the Spring and Summer 2020. All the other transfer of credit policies will remain in effect.
  • The deans and Registrar will be granted discretion in accepting for transfer of credit coursework completed with a “Pass” or equivalent by Tufts students at other institutions that in Spring 2020 adopted a mandatory Pass/Fail grading scheme.
  • Tufts will allow matriculated students to transfer credit from community college courses completed in Spring and Summer 2020.

Fall 2020 Registration Procedures

  • No advising holds will be implemented for any student prior to the registration time. Students are encouraged to consult with their Advisor about Fall course selection, but will not need to have their Advisor lift the hold in order to register.
  • The registration period for Fall 2020 will remain open into late August. (Previously, registration  closed on April 17 and re-opened in June.)

Academic Standing*

  • Academic Alert: The criteria for being placed on Academic Alert have not changed for Spring 2020. Any student who earns fewer than 12 SHUs but more than 4 SHUs and/or fails one course of any SHU value will receive an Academic Alert.
  • Academic Probation: Any student who earns 4 SHUs or fewer and/or who fails to make satisfactory academic progress as defined by the number of SHUs earned at the end of any semester beyond their first semester as defined in this table will be eligible for Academic Probation for Spring 2020, as determined by the appropriate faculty committee for academic standing. For Spring 2020 only, there will be no minimum 2.0 term GPA criteria.
  • Students currently on Academic Probation or returning from a Required Withdrawal semester: Any student currently already placed on Academic Probation is required to complete a minimum of 12 SHUs and pass all of their classes for Spring 2020, as well as make satisfactory academic progress as defined in this table. For Spring 2020 only, there will be no minimum 2.0 term GPA criteria.

Academic Honors*

*This information applies to Liberal Arts BA/BS and Engineering students only, Liberal Arts BFA students should consult the Liberal Arts BFA Advising website.