Spring Quarter Grading

A message from John W. Boyer, Dean of the College, and Jay Ellison, Dean of Students in the College

In light of the impact of COVID-19 on Spring Quarter, the University of Chicago is increasing the flexibility of current grading practices to support students in the College. This includes expanding the availability of pass / fail grading options.

The College’s curriculum consists of the courses taken in fulfillment of the general-education Core requirements, courses taken as Free Electives, and courses taken in fulfillment of the requirements of a Major or a Minor.

For the spring quarter of 2020, the following grading options are available to students. These adjustments satisfy diverse needs for the current academic term only, and imply no precedent for future Departmental, School or College policies.

  • While the College will maintain its traditional policy requiring that general-education Core courses be taken for a quality grade, students may apply to take Core courses with a pass / fail option. All applications must be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students in College by Friday of Week 9. Students should contact their College adviser for additional details.
  • In keeping with the College’s traditional policy, students may request a pass / fail grade in all courses taken as Free Electives with the consent of the instructor.
  • For courses taken to fulfill the requirements of a Major or Minor, the College has requested that Departments, Schools, and Programs implement a pass/ fail option, in force only for the spring of 2020. Students who wish to receive quality grades in their Majors and Minors may continue to do so. Students should inquire with their Departmental or Program offices about the details of these arrangements, and confirm all requests to take the pass/ fail option by Friday of Week 9.  

The College knows the unique circumstances of Spring Quarter present challenges for many students. While formal grades remain important to many students as they pursue academic and personal goals, the College recognizes that other students have compelling reasons to select a pass / fail option. These grading practices aim to address a variety of student needs.

Additional detail on these grading options will be available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, students should contact their academic adviser with questions.