COVID-19 April 2 update: Grading for spring term 2020

2 April 2020


  • Students may now drop courses through April 12, 2020
  • Students may select S/U grading through week 10 of the term, with academic advisor approval
  • Faculty members may request to use emergency grades, with dean approval

Dear OSU faculty and graduate teaching assistants,

On the advice of the colleges and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC), and with the FSEC’s endorsement, the university is implementing the following changes to support students and faculty during the spring 2020 term. With the exception of the emergency grading option, changes were communicated to all students and academic advisors late yesterday.


The drop deadline for courses has been extended for all students through the end of the second week of spring term 2020. The new deadline to drop a course and receive a full refund without a W appearing on the student’s transcript is Sunday, April 12, 2020.


S/U Grading for Spring Term 2020

To ensure the highest level of flexibility for student learning and academic progress during this term of fully remote instruction, the university has extended the deadline for students to select the S/U grading option for courses taught in spring term that use the normal grading mode (A-F). Students now have through week 10 to select S/U. Additionally, for undergraduate courses taken during spring term, we have lifted the restrictions on S/U for major requirements and the 36-credit hour limit. For graduate students, S/U grading may now be used for spring term courses within a student’s program of study.

There are some exceptions and considerations to this allowance for S/U grading in the spring term. Unfortunately, due to program requirements, this option is not available to students within the colleges of Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine. For graduate students, S/U grading should only be used in exceptional circumstances. Students should talk to their major professor or program director prior to requesting the S/U grading option. More details about S/U grading will be shared in the near future on the Office of the Registrar website, as technical details are still being finalized. Additional policy accommodations for graduate students may be found here.

Emergency Grades for Spring Term 2020

Use of emergency grading is available to faculty who determine in the process of remote teaching that they are unable to validly assess student performance at a more nuanced level, either because they have become ill or because the course has evolved in such a way that more detailed assessment is not possible or appropriate.

Emergency grading supersedes any grading selection by the student, applies to all students in a course section, and requires the approval of the dean of the college. They include:

  • EP – Emergency Pass (corresponding grade value= minimum required for progression)
  • EM – Emergency Minimum (corresponding grade value= minimum required to pass)
  • EN – Emergency No Pass (corresponding grade value= F/N/U)

It is our hope that the changes above will help ensure timely academic progress for all students this spring and provide additional flexibility to faculty who are adapting to remote teaching. Questions regarding S/U and emergency grading may be directed to Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Alix Gitelman.

Thank you for all you are doing for OSU as we continue to adjust and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Edward Feser
Provost and Executive Vice President