Supports for grade issues

Amended approach to course grades for the Winter 2020 term

The approach outlined below provides you with options to choose how your grades for this term are reflected on your transcript, recognizing that each student’s situation will vary and what works for one, may not be right for someone else.

What you feel you need to be successful is important to us and we are here to support you with any final grade options that work best for you.

Final Grades

After consideration of the impact of the current pandemic crisis on students, the University’s Academic Senate has approved a process to give graduate and undergraduate students the option to request that their course grades be converted from a letter grade to a Pass (P) or No Credit (NC) option if they believe their academic performance has been affected negatively in the Winter 2020 term. The university will be managing this through a modified grade review process.  Information on the three options and processes appears below.

Grade Concerns

If you are concerned about how your final grade has been evaluated and are not satisfied after conversations with your instructor(s), you have the option to request a grade change for each course. You can request a Pass (P) or No Credit (NC).  Please submit your request to the Associate Dean of the faculty in which you are registered (Arts, SSB, Science, Graduate Studies). The request deadline is May 15, 2020.  If you have applied to graduate in May and wish to pursue this option, we encourage you to submit your request as soon as you receive your grade.
 
Option 1: Request Letter Grades to be changed to Pass (P)

  • Complete request form to change grades D or higher to a Pass (P). This form will be made available to students soon.
  • Submit form to the Associate Dean of the Faculty in which you are registered:
    • Arts (e.g. BA, BES)
    • Sobey School of Business (e.g. B.Comm)
    • Science (e.g. BSc, DipEng)
    • Graduate Studies (all Masters and PhD programs)
  • The Associate Dean or an Academic Advisor will consult with you first to ensure you understand the potential consequences of your request.
  • If you confirm your intent to proceed at this consultation, the Associate Dean will forward approved requests forms to the Registrar’s Office for processing.
  • If this option is selected, it is final and cannot be reversed.
  • A P grade will not be included in GPA calculations, but credit hours will be recognized.
  • A P grade will count as having achieved basic prerequisite requirements at Saint Mary’s. However, a P grade will not automatically be accepted as a prerequisite for courses where a minimum grade is required (e.g. a C or above in the prerequisite course).
  • The request deadline is May 15, 2020.

Option 2: Request Letter Grade F (Fail) to be changed to No Credit (NC)

  • Complete request form to change an F grade to No Credit (NC). This form will be made available to students soon.
  • Submit form to the Associate Dean of the Faculty in which you are registered:
    • Arts (e.g. BA, BES)
    • Sobey School of Business (e.g. B.Comm)
    • Science (e.g. BSc, DipEng)
    • Graduate Studies (all Masters and PhD programs)
  • The Associate Dean or an Academic Advisor will consult with you first to ensure you understand the potential consequences of your request.
  • If you confirm your intent to proceed at this consultation, the Associate Dean will forward approved requests forms to the Registrar’s Office for processing.
  • If this option is selected, it is final and cannot be reversed.
  • An NC grade will not be included in GPA calculations; credit hours will not be recognized.
  • The request deadline is May 15, 2020.

Option 3: Conventional Grade Appeal

  • Available to students who wish to appeal a final grade under the existing appeal process (this option applies in cases where circumstances related to COVID-19 are not understood to be the cause for appeal).
  • Typically used for disputes regarding grades e.g. if you and the instructor do not agree on what your final grade should be.
  • Appeal Fee will be waived for the Winter 2020 term.
  • Grades can be raised, lowered or remain unchanged.
  • The form can be found on the .

Possible Implications

Students should consider possible academic impacts before replacing their letter grades with a Pass (P) or No Credit (NC).  Implications for having a Pass (P) or No Credit (NC) on a transcript may affect:

  • Graduate school application and requirements
  • Professional school application and requirements
  • Professional designation/accreditation application and requirements
  • Prerequisite grade for specific course registration, majors, honours
  • Awards and scholarships – in cases where eligibility for these require a letter grade in a specific course.  
  • Transfer credit recognition – some institutions require a minimum grade of C/C, or better for credit recognition.

In all cases above, a Pass or No Credit mark may mean that you need to retake the course to meet requirements.

Saint Mary’s University recognizes that this is a time of change and uncertainty for everyone.  We will continue to respond responsibly to the current situation and support all of our students and community members for personal and academic success.

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