Individualized Majors and COVID-19

Pass/Fail Grading for Spring 2020

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has instituted temporary rule changes regarding Pass/Fail for courses taken in Spring 2020.  Information on these changes as well as the form needed to put a course on Pass/Fail can be found at the Registrar’s website

What does this mean for  Individualized Major students who wish to place Spring 2020 major courses on Pass Fail?

Students may place Spring 2020 courses that will contribute to their Individualized Major on Pass/Fail.  Note that the Individualized Major Advisory and Admissions Committee has chosen not to place any restrictions on which major courses may be put on Pass/Fail.

Before deciding to place a major course or courses on Pass/Fail:

  • Students should first familiarize themselves with any restrictions their College may have placed on the number of major courses that may be placed on Pass/Fail. See below.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their faculty advisors and/or the Individualized Major Program advisors before making the decision to place a course on Pass/Fail.
  • Students should remember that they have until May 1 to decide whether or not to place a course on Pass/Fail.
  • Honors students should read the Honors guidance on Pass/Fail in Honors courses. See below.


From the CLAS Academic Services COVID-19 page

Pass/Fail Grading & Minor/Major Requirements

In recognition of the challenges associated COVID-19 and moving all classes to an online format in the middle of the spring 2020 semester, CLAS has altered its restrictions on pass/fail courses to provide flexibility for students who want to use this option for some of the courses in their majors/minors.

For courses taken in the spring 2020 semester, CLAS students can count:

    • maximum of 3 courses (up to 4 credits each) taken as Pass/Fail toward their majors including related courses
    • A maximum of 3 courses (up to 4 credits each) toward their minors
    • Over the full period in which degrees are completed, minimums of 5 courses (15 credits) within each major and 3 courses (9 credits) within each minor must be taken for a grade

Departments determine whether key/core courses within each of their degree programs may be included within the 3 allowable pass/fail classes. (As noted above, the Individualized Major Program has no restrictions on which courses may be included.)

CLAS individualized majors, who are including transfer courses in their major, should be aware that transfer courses are not counted toward the minimum 5 courses which must be completed for a grade. See the FAQs on the CLAS COVID-19 page.


For guidance, please see CAHNR’s Pass/Fail web page

Honors Courses and Pass/Fail

Extract from the Honors COVID-19 page

For the Spring 2020 semester only, Honors credit may be earned for a class placed on Pass/Fail. As always, students must earn a B- or better in the class for Honors credit to be applied. This policy change is intended to give students more flexibility in terms of which classes count toward their GPA and toward their Honors awards.

Students should consult with their departmental Honors advisors and/or the advising center in their schools or colleges for additional guidance about Pass/Fail courses. Students who are considering applying for medical or dental school should subscribe to the Pre-Med and Pre-Dental ListSERV and watch for updates on how Pass/Fail courses might affect their applications.

Withdrawing from courses in Spring 2020

Due to the COVID-19 situation, students are permitted to drop courses up until the last day of classes (May 1) for spring 2020. If you are a CLAS student and wish to drop a course, please see the guidance under the FAQs on the CLAS Academic Services COVID-19 page.  If you are a CAHNR student, please see the guidance on the CAHNR COVID-19 Resources page.

You’ll need to confer with an advisor before withdrawing from a course.

Thesis Research in Spring 2020

Remote learning may require you to make adjustments to your research, whether it be ongoing research or thesis research. There is excellent and detailed advice on how to handle this on the Office of Undergraduate Research website.

Good general advice is: Stay in close contact with your research supervisor and discuss whether any changes need to be made to your research goals and projected outcomes as a result of online learning. It’s important that you and your supervisor are in agreement regarding expectations for your research/thesis.