UVA extends optional credit/no credit grading policy

The Rotunda at the University of Virginia.
The Rotunda at the University of Virginia.(WVIR)
Updated: Nov. 9, 2020 at 8:16 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia is extending its fall credit/general credit/no credit grading policy to J-Term and Spring semesters.

All students who had the option to change from standard grades to a credit/no credit grading system will have that option again. UVA announced the move to students in a letter from Provost Liz Magill.

Registration opening Monday for undergraduates. The grading selection can be made until January 4, which is the first day of J-term.

The goal of the grading option is to balance students and faculty concerns during the pandemic.

Letter to students November 9, 2020:

Dear students,

With course registration starting this month, I write to announce that I am extending the fall 2020 grading policy for both the 2021 J-Term and the spring 2021 semester. Following the fall 2020 grading announcement, we consulted with deans, associate deans, the Faculty Senate and other faculty leaders, and students, to consider how best to approach the upcoming academic terms.

After extensive discussion and thoughtful consideration, we determined that it would be best to extend the fall grading policy to both J-term and the spring. Thus, for J-Term and spring 2021, all undergraduates and those graduate students who had this option this term will have the option to change from a standard grade in a class to a Credit/General Credit/No Credit grade. As was the case with our decision about the fall grading option, there were many factors that influenced our thought process. Ultimately, we sought to balance serious concerns raised by students, faculty, and staff about the effects of this pandemic on many of our students, while at the same time honoring the views of those students and faculty who seek to give or receive standard grades.

Several details about this policy are important:

  • For J-term, undergraduate students will see the CR/GC/NC grading option when they begin enrolling in J-term classes. Registration begins today, November 9th. Student may select this grading option at any time, either when they enroll in a class or after they have enrolled, up until 11:59pm EST January 4, 2021, the first day of J-Term classes. Standard grading will remain the default grading option; students will have to change it to CR/GC/NC if they wish to opt into this grading option.
  • For the spring 2021 semester, University Registrar Laura Hawthorne will send by early December the dates by which undergraduate students will need to opt in to CR/GC/NC.
  • Courses taken for CR/GC/NC during J-term and spring 2021 will count toward curricular, major, and graduation requirements.
  • A grade of CR/GC/NC does not factor into a student’s GPA. As part of the decision to continue offering students a CR/GC/NC grading option during the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year, the undergraduate schools have agreed that grades of CR/GC/NC will not prevent a student from applying for a major, for a research-intensive program like distinguished majors, or for internal transfer between schools of the University. In all of these cases, schools and departments will not use a GPA that fails to meet the standard requirement, the total number of classes taken on a CR/GC/NC basis, or the nature of these classes as the sole determinant factors for application. Students should be mindful of other potential implications of selecting or not selecting a CR/GC/NC grade in some or all of their classes. For instance, students who need to increase their GPA for graduation purposes or to remain eligible for financial aid should factor that into their decision.
  • For undergraduates who opt into CR/GC/NC grading, a CR grade will be awarded if you meet the class requirements for credit (C or higher), GC will be awarded if you receive a passing grade below a C, and NC will be awarded if you receive a grade of F. As noted above, CR/GC/NC grades are not factored into your GPA.
  • UVA will include a notation on your transcript for J-term and spring 2021 to indicate that the CR/GC/NC option was offered during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Graduate programs that offered CR/GC/NC in fall will do so again in J-term and spring, using the same criteria. Professional schools will announce their decisions for J-term and spring terms soon.

I remain grateful to our students, faculty, and staff for their valuable insight and leadership on this important topic. I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during this most extraordinary time.


Liz Magill,


University of Virginia

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