Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Addendum

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the university made several academic policy and process changes during the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. This addendum documents those changes. Each section below contains the standard policy and where it is located in the catalog, as well as all Fall 2020 and/or Spring 2021 related policy and process change(s).

Absences

Standard Policy

Under Absences 

Absences from courses in which in-class participation forms a significant part of the work of the course (such as lab or discussion courses) shall be handled by instructors in accordance with the general policies of their academic units.

An excused absence is an absence for which the student has the right to receive, and the instructor has the responsibility to provide, academic accommodation.

Excused absences must be requested promptly and must be supported by appropriate documentation. Excused absences do not alter the academic requirements for the course. Students are responsible for information and material missed on the day of absence. Students are within reason entitled to receive any materials provided to the class during the absence. Students are responsible for determining what course material they have missed and for completing required exercises in a timely manner.

Spring 2021 Change

Students are not obligated to provide documentation from the University Health Center, from their physician, or from another source to verify their inability to perform course activities as per expectations, or missed due dates for assignments.

The student should contact the course instructor (using the communication method specified in the course syllabus), explaining the absence or due dates missed, and a statement that the information is accurate and that they recognize the expectations in the University of Maryland Code of Student Conduct (V-1.00[B]). Instructors may prefer that students use this template to certify their absence or missed due dates. Upon presenting the self-certified note for documentation, students should coordinate with their instructor on the best path to keeping pace with the course, making up work and completing alternate assignments.

If absences or missed work impact a student’s ability to complete coursework according to the defined course schedule, the instructor and student are encouraged to develop alternative plans for the student to complete the course within the semester. If that is not feasible, after a conversion with the course instructor, the student should consult with an academic advisor to discuss administrative options: dropping the course, withdrawing from the course, and resulting changes in the student’s path to a degree. If the student has already registered for the next semester courses, they may need to reconsider this plan with the help of their advisor.

Drop Period

Standard Policy

Under Schedule Adjustment and Drop Period 

The drop period for undergraduate students will begin at the close of the schedule adjustment period and terminate at the end of the tenth week of classes for the fall and spring semesters. Consult the academic calendar at http://registrar.umd.edu/deadlines.html for dates.

Fall 2020 Change

The deadline to drop a course with a W was extended to November 30, 2020.

Spring 2021 Change

The deadline to drop a course with a W was extended to May 11, 2021, the last day of classes.

Final Exams

Standard Policy

Under Assessment 

There shall be a final examination and/or assessment in every undergraduate course. Exceptions may be made with the written approval of the department chair or other appropriate unit administrator.

Fall 2020 Change

The expectation that every undergraduate course will have a final exam is waived.

Spring 2021 Change

The expectation that every undergraduate course will have a final exam is waived.

Marking System

Standard Policy

Under Marking System 

The mark of P is a student option mark, equivalent to a grade of D- or better. This grade is not used in any computation of quality points or cumulative average totals at the end of the semester. The student must inform the Office of the Registrar of the selection of this option by the end of the schedule adjustment period.

Spring 2021 Change

Students earn a mark of Pass with a grade of C- or better. The deadline to switch the grading method for a course to Pass/Fail was also changed from the end of the schedule adjustment period to 10:59 pm EST on May 11, 2021. The deadline to switch grading method for non-standard courses was the last day of the non-standard course listed in the schedule of classes.

Pass-Fail Grading

Standard Policy

Under Pass-Fail Grading

The following Pass-Fail policy was approved by the Board of Regents for implementation beginning with the Spring 1989 semester:

  1. To register for a course under the pass-fail option, an undergraduate must have completed 30 or more credit hours of college credit with a GPA of at least 2.0. At least 15 of these credit hours must have been completed at the University of Maryland, College Park with a University of Maryland GPA of at least 2.0.

  2. Courses for which this option applies must be electives in the student's program. The courses may not be college, major, field of concentration, or general education program requirements.

  3. Only one course per semester may be registered for under the pass-fail option.

  4. No more than 12 semester hours of credit may be taken under the pass-fail option during a student's college career.

  5. Students may not choose this option when re-registering for a course.

  6. When registering under the pass-fail option, a course that is passed will count as hours in the student's record but will not be computed in the grade point average. A course that is failed will appear on the student's record and will be computed both in the overall average and the semester average.

  7. Students registering for a course under the pass-fail option are required to complete all regular course requirements. Their work will be evaluated by the instructor by the normal procedure for letter grades. The instructor will submit the normal grade. The grades A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D or D- will automatically be converted by the Office of the Registrar to the grade P on the student's permanent record. The grade F will remain as given. The choice of grading option may be changed only during the schedule adjustment period for courses in which the student is currently registered.

Spring 2021 Change

In Spring 2021, students were able to select up to 7 credits to be graded as Pass/Fail for any undergraduate class as opposed to just one course for the semester. Students earn a mark of Pass with a grade of C- or better. Students who earned a D+, D, D-, or F will have that grade on their transcripts whether or not they opt for Pass/Fail. Previously, the mark of P indicated a grade of D- or better.

The deadline to switch the grading method for a course to Pass/Fail was also changed from the end of the schedule adjustment period to 10:59 pm EST on May 11, 2021. The deadline to switch grading method for non-standard courses was the last day of the non-standard course listed in the schedule of classes.

Additionally, the requirement that pass/fail courses not be college, major, field of concentration, or general education program requirements was also waived for Spring 2021. All LEP gateway courses, benchmarks, major and minor requirements will be met with a mark of Pass. LEP gateway requirements that normally require a B- or higher (Engineering: PHYS161 & MATH141; Government and Politics: GVPT170 [or GVPT241 if AP credit is granted for GVPT170]; and Psychology; PSYC100 [or PSYC221 if AP credit is granted for PSYC100]) can also be satisfied with either a grade of 'Pass' or a C- or higher only if completed in Spring 2021.

Repeat Course Guidelines

Standard Policy

Under Repeat Course Guidelines 

Students may not choose the Pass-Fail option when re-registering for a course or re-register for a course in which a grade of "I" has been noted.

Spring 2021 Change

Students who repeated a course in Spring 2021 and used the pass/fail grading method as a result of the university's switch to pass/fail grading can still receive credit for that course.

For repeated courses that are considered for forgiveness, the higher grade will be used in the GPA calculation. For the purpose of the repeat policy, a P is considered higher than the following grades: D-, D, D+ or F. If a student received a grade of C- or higher on their previous attempt, that course would remained in their GPA calculation. If the P grade is the higher grade, the P grade itself did not factor into the student's GPA; the previous grade just would no longer be included in the GPA calculation.

For repeated courses that are not considered for forgiveness, the P grade does NOT factor into the GPA as per established university pass/fail policy and the GPA continued to include the previous letter grade received with its credit and quality point values.

Transfer Credit

Standard Policy

Under Transfer Credit 

Generally, college-level courses completed at regionally-accredited institutions will be acceptable and awarded transfer credit, provided the course is similar in level, scope, content and expected learning outcomes to courses offered at the University of Maryland and a grade of "C-" or higher is earned.

Spring 2021 Change

UMD will award transfer credit for a course where the student earned a mark of Pass and the Pass is equal to a letter grade of "C-" or higher. Once verified, the Pass will meet the minimum grade requirement for General Education and major/minor requirements.
 
If a transfer course is completed at a public institution of higher education in the State of Maryland, where the mark of Pass is equal to a D- or higher, the pass will meet the minimum grade requirement for General Education. Verification that the passing grade was a C- or higher will be required before a course can fulfill a major/minor requirement.