Updated P/NP Grading Policy in Spring 2020

We are writing with an important update to the policy for P/NP Grading in Spring 2020.

Policy for P/NP Grading in Spring 2020

First, the deadline to switch between letter graded and P/NP has been pushed back to the end of the tenth week (i.e. the last day of instruction), instead of the usual end of the seventh week.

Second, the Academic Senate has given pre-approval for department requests for a temporary waiver of the unit limitations on P/NP grading stated in Senate Regulation 35. This waiver includes the current stipulation that a maximum of 8 units can be applied towards a student’s major. This means that if your department opts in (and only if they opt in):

  • If your major currently allows 8 units of P/NP grading, then units taken P/NP spring 2020 would not count towards the limit.
  • If your major does not allow 8 units of P/NP, units taken P/NP for spring 2020 would still count towards the major/premajor.

This pre-approval applies to all courses the department offers, whether they are currently optional grading (letter or P/NP) or letter grade only.

For classes counting toward your major offered by a different department:

  • If the class is already coded optional grading, whether it counts for the major is up to the department that owns the major.
  • If the class is coded letter grade only, whether it can be taken P/NP depends on whether the department offering the course opts in. If it does opt in, it counts towards the major only if the department that owns the major opts in.

Departments have until 5PM on Friday, April 17 to decide to opt in. Check your department's website after that date, or look for a follow up email from me.

By Academic Senate regulation, students on academic probation may not take classes P/NP, and that has not changed for Spring 2020. Please do not interpret this as punitive. In spring we will give students on probation every consideration (in particular reinstating all those ‘subject to disqualification’). But we need to know how well students are doing. P/NP hides the distinction between C- and F, just as it does the distinction between A+ and C. We need to have full information so we can give good advice.

FAQ: Should I take courses P/NP?

If you are considering graduate school in your major, or a health professions school (medical, dental, etc.), or law school, you might think twice about taking courses P/NP. In particular, law schools will recalculate your GPA, with any NP replaced by F.

If you are thinking of possibly changing majors, or adding a second major you will want to be sure that department has opted in before taking their classes P/NP. The same advice applies if you are Undeclared, for any major you might be considering.

If you are receiving GI Bill Veterans benefits, check with your VA certifying official about policies. In some situations, grades of NP may require you to repay money.

If you are unsure, ask your departmental advisor, or contact a College advisor via https://www.duels.ucsb.edu/advising

Letters & Science Academic Advising

News Date: 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020