Pass/Fail Option Extended to Students Due to Coronavirus

By Nancy Sanchez-Diaz
Staff Writer

In light of the transition to remote learning this semester in response to the coronavirus pandemic, FDU is extending a pass/fail grading option to its students. 

Students can stay with the traditional A to F grading system, or they can opt to change to a pass/fail grading system for any of their classes by writing to their respective professors before April 10. 

President Christopher Capuano made the announcement on March 20 in an email. 

Interim Dean of University College Vicki Cohen told The Equinox in an email that it is understandable that some students might feel anxiety or confusion if they don’t have “appropriate technology or connection.”

“For those students who feel anxious about their grades and feel that the pass/fail would alleviate fear and frustration, they should use this option for those courses which do not require a grade to move on,” she said. 

“I am definitely considering it,” junior communications major Gabriella Squitieri said. “I can protect my GPA, especially with classes that are still changing with the transition.” 

Freshman criminal justice major Annalisa Pontecorvo says the transition has been tough on her from the start. 

“I’ve always been a visual learner,” Ponecorvo said. “So this option makes things easier.” 

Students are able to apply to this option to some, all or none of their classes. However, students in the doctor of nursing practice, master’s of science in nursing, PhD in clinical psychology and PsyD in school psychology do not have the option to opt for a pass/fail grading system.

For those who need a C or higher to move on in their program, school officials highly advise against the pass/fail option. 

The pass/fail option will not factor into the student’s GPA unless the student fails the course, the school says. 

Transcripts will only document a pass or fail for the class, without including a letter grade. 

The pass/fail option will not replace Fs for any students taking repeat courses, as per the graduate academic integrity policy. As a result, school officials highly advise against the pass/fail option in this instance as well.

passfail graphic Graphic by The Equinox staff

Update 4/3/20 2:37 p.m.

Students now have until April 24 to switch some or all of their spring courses to a Pass/Fail grading system or remain with the traditional grading system according to an email sent by University Provost Gillian Small.