Academic and Advising FAQs for Students: Spring 2020 - Summer 2021

General Information

How can I connect with a member of my Advising Team during the Spring semester?

Advising staff will continue to offer virtual appointments by phone, Zoom, WebEx, or other platforms during the Spring semester. Please confirm directly with your advisor how they intend to speak with you. If you have a quick question or a general concern that can be addressed via email, please consider reaching out to your advisor with an email instead of scheduling an advising meeting and allow 48 business hours for a response.

Whom should I contact if I am struggling with my academics?

If you are struggling with your coursework, please contact your Advising Dean directly.

What happens if I am not able to meet course deadlines due to illness, family emergency, or other extenuating circumstances?

Please refer to your course syllabus for course policies on deadlines. We encourage you to communicate directly with your professor about your circumstances to see what arrangements can be made with them. If your instructor requires medical documentation, please submit that to your Advising Dean, who will communicate with your instructor to protect your privacy.

Exceptional Pass/Fail Information Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021

If I choose EP/F grading, can I use that course to fulfill a requirement?

Yes, any course graded under the EP/F option can be used to satisfy any degree requirement, including any Foundation, Distribution, major, or minor requirement.

For School of Engineering students, courses graded under the EP/F option satisfy all ABET degree requirements.

Will courses graded under EP/F count toward my total Pass/Fail grades allowed?

No, any courses in Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 taken under the EP/F grading structure will not count toward the maximum P/F grades allowed.

Will courses graded under EP/F contribute toward my cumulative or term GPA?

EP/F courses will not contribute toward the cumulative or term GPA if passed; any course with a grade of F will contribute toward both your cumulative and term GPA.

If I take a course under EP/F, can I repeat the course another semester for a letter grade?

If you earn a grade of EP, which means you passed the course, you would not be permitted to repeat the course for credit/a letter grade at a later time. If you earn a grade of F, you are permitted to repeat the course for credit and a letter grade.

If I submit the EP/F Petition Form, can I change my mind and take the class for a letter grade?

No, by clicking submit on the form, you have acknowledged that this is a final decision and the grading methods for the course cannot be changed.

What happens with my courses that are required P/F, like some Ex College courses or PE courses?

Any courses that are required to ordinarily be Pass/Fail will remain Pass/Fail.

If I decide to take English 1 as EP/F, can I be exempt from English 2 with a final grade of EP?

No, the only opportunity for an exemption from English 2 is to take English 1 for a letter grade and earn a final grade of A or A-.

*If you opt to take English 1 as EP/F, you can’t later decide to undo the EP/F for a letter grade.

I am a student in the BFA or BA/BFA program, can I take my Studio Art courses EP/F?

No, Studio Art courses will remain graded on a Credit/No Credit system.

I am a student in the School of Engineering, am I allowed to take more than one course as EP/F?

Yes, all students in all SoE degree programs may take more than one course as EP/F. There is no limit to how many of your Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 courses you can take EP/F.

I am a student in the School of Arts & Sciences, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, or a student in a related combined degree program, am I allowed to take more than one course as EP/F?

Yes, all students may take more than one course as EP/F. There is no limit to how many of your Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 courses you can take EP/F.

I'm doing okay in a course, but I want to keep my GPA as high as possible. Should I change the course to EP/F?

EP/F is meant for extenuating circumstances that impact a student's academics. It is not meant for students to manage their GPA to make it as high as possible. For many post-graduate opportunities, including jobs and graduate school, students should be prepared to explain their rationale for selecting EP/F. Students should avoid taking courses EP/F that will be required for graduate programs or courses that teach knowledge and skills that may be expected for a future job. As a reminder, once EP/F is selected for a course the original grade cannot be revealed on the transcript. You also cannot repeat a course at Tufts that you passed under EP/F for a letter grade.

I am a pre-health student. Should I take courses EP/F?

The EP/F policy was first instituted during the beginning of the pandemic when there was a great deal of uncertainty. However, in this third semester of online learning, schools will expect students to have made some adjustments and adapted to this new format. EP/F is to be used for those exceptional circumstances (i.e. personal or family illness, extreme hardship) where the ability to do well academically is extremely challenged. There are many health professions schools that will not accept EP/F grades, particularly if there is an option to get a letter grade. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that Pre-Health students do not use EP/F after the spring 2020 semester.

If I am averaging a D or D- in one of my courses, should I choose the EP/F option?

Depending on the nature of the course and the requirement it might be fulfilling, you may be best served by withdrawing instead of choosing the EP/F option. For any courses that act as prerequisites for other courses, where the knowledge and skills you are currently learning is later utilized, withdrawing from the course and taking it again another semester may be the better option. If you are averaging a grade of D or D- in one of your courses and are uncertain which is a more appropriate option, please contact your Advising Dean.

If I take a course under EP/F, will this change the SHU value of the course?

No, the SHU value will not change, regardless of grading structure.

Can I elect EP/F grading for courses I am taking through a non-Tufts study abroad program or at another college for transfer of credit to Tufts?

No, this grading option is for Tufts courses only. You must adhere to the grading scale offered by the outside university or your non-Tufts program provider. Pass/Fail transfer courses will only be accepted if your university or non-Tufts program provider adopts a mandatory Pass/Fail grading scheme for Spring 2020.

Can I elect EP/F grading for Summer 2020 Tufts Summer Session or transfer courses?

No, the Exceptional Pass/Fail option was not extended to Tufts courses for Summer 2020. Tufts Summer Session courses can be taken for a letter grade or declared regular pass/fail. If you plan to use the course towards a specific foundation, distribution, major, or minor requirement, the course must be taken for a letter grade. Elective courses counting toward overall SHUs can be taken pass/fail. Courses taken at other institutions must be taken for a letter grade. Only courses where a student has earned a C- or better will be eligible for transfer into Tufts, if other criteria are met.

Transfer Credit Policies

Can I transfer in an online course?

Students will be allowed to transfer in approved courses that were taught in an online format during Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021 only. These courses can be from an accredited two- or four-year college or university. Students planning to take 1-11 SHUs at another university during a fall or spring semester should plan to take a personal leave of absence for the semester. Students planning to take 12 or more SHUs at another university during a fall or spring semester should take a study in home country leave of absence for the semester.

Am I allowed to receive transfer credit for a MOOC?

We strongly urge students to avoid MOOCs ("massive open online courses") because many of the courses offered as MOOCs (e.g., Coursera or EdX) do not confer college credit and do not provide an official transcript from an accredited college or university. Some MOOCs will provide an “online certificate” or “badge” to indicate completion, but these are not acceptable for college credit. Some MOOCs advertise their courses as “eligible for college credit,” but we urge students to read the fine print to ensure that there will be an official transcript bearing credit and a letter grade from a regionally-accredited college or university.

If I took a course pass/fail at another institution, can I transfer it in?

Coursework completed with a "pass" or equivalent will only be accepted for transfer credit if the institution adopted a mandatory pass/fail grading scheme during Spring 2020. All other transfer coursework must be completed with a C- or better to be eligible for transfer credit.

Can I take a course at a community college?

Matriculated Tufts students will be allowed to receive transfer credit for approved courses taken for credit at an accredited two-year college or community college that bestows associate degrees for courses taken during Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021 only. Students planning to take 1-11 SHUs at another university during a fall or spring semester should plan to take a personal leave of absence for the semester. Students planning to take 12 or more SHUs at another university during a fall or spring semester should take a study in home country leave of absence for the semester.

Can a course I take this summer through a community college or another four-year university count toward fulfillment of the academic residence requirement?

Only Tufts summer courses, taken online or in person, count toward fulfillment of the academic residence requirement. Approved summer courses from other institutions may be used to fulfill various degree requirements, with the exception of the academic residence requirement.