Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$root.page}}

Winter 2020 Grading Conversion Considerations

At the end of the Winter 2020 term, LSA students will have the option to convert their P/NRC grades to letter grades through July 1st. Whether or not to do this is an individual decision:  there isn't a "one size fits all" answer for students. We encourage you to think through the following considerations as you make your decision; if you have any questions or would like to talk this over, we’d be happy to help.  Please schedule an advising appointment with your assigned academic advisor or contact your advising office.

Should I convert a “P” grade?

Is the letter grade beneath the P grade consistent with the grades on the rest of my transcript?  

  • If the grade beneath a P aligns with the grades you have received previously, then you will likely benefit from uncovering it. 

  • If it is lower than most of your other grades, then you will likely benefit from leaving it masked as a P grade. 

  • If you choose to keep P grades on your transcript, then your grades from other semesters will hold more weight for anyone reviewing your transcript; transcript reviewers will assume that your other semesters demonstrate the work you are capable of doing.  

A “P” grade will…

  • keep  your GPA (term, cumulative, major, minor) the exact same as it currently is 

  • meet all major and minor coursework requirements and prerequisites (regardless of minimum grade requirement)

  • meet all college requirements (i.e. distribution, FYWR/ULWR, 4th term language, QR, R+E)

  • meet the minimum grade requirement for any future course that has a grade prerequisite of C- or higher

  • count toward the 90 credits of graded coursework requirement

 

Converting a “P” grade to a C- grade will...

  • be included in your GPA calculation. Use caution if the converted grade brings your term/cumulative/major/minor GPA below 2.0.

  • in some cases prevent you from meeting requirements. If the class is fulfilling a specific graduation requirement that ordinarily requires a C or higher, then converting a P to a C- grade won’t meet that requirement. The P grade (covering a C-) would, on the other hand, allow you to meet that requirement.

Should I convert an “NRC” grade?

An “NRC” grade will...

  • protect your GPA.

  • not allow you to earn credit for the class.

Converting an “NRC” grade to a D+, D, or D- grade will...  

  • allow you to earn credit for the class, so this could be a good decision if you need to earn credit and did not earn a C- or higher to get a P. 

  • include the D+, D, or D- grade in your GPA calculation. Use caution if the converted grade brings your term/cumulative/major/ minor GPA below 2.0.

Considerations For Future Plans (Graduate School/Professional School/Employers)

  • Anyone reviewing transcripts will remember that a pandemic occurred during this semester and will recognize the unique and challenging situation it created. Everyone’s life was impacted. You’ll likely have an opportunity to explain your situation and resulting transcript grades, whichever decision you make. 

  • Many colleges and universities around the world used alternate grading policies this past term. As a result, anyone reviewing your transcript will not be surprised if there are no letter grades for this term.

  • While other colleges and universities used alternate grading systems like UM, not all schools gave students an option to show letter grades. It will be nearly impossible for anyone to solely use the Winter 2020 grades to compare students from different schools. Given this, your previous and subsequent coursework will count even more. 

  • It’s impossible to know how each and every school/employer will treat the semester. Ultimately, you have to make decisions that help your transcript reflect the semester that you had, being compassionate and fair to yourself. Remember, that your entire record will be seen: not just this semester. 

  • It will be easier to explain P/NRC grades as being a result of a pandemic than to explain why you think your GPA should be higher than it is. If your letter grades don’t reflect what you think you learned, then you may want to keep the P/NRC grades.

Pre-Law Students should feel comfortable keeping classes P/NRC, bearing in mind the following:

  • Law schools do not require the unveiling of pass/fail classes; UM students applying to law school already average 12 credits of pass/fail coursework. 

  • Carefully consider unveiling grades that will reinforce or improve your GPA.

  • If you’re a junior and are applying to go directly into law school after UM, you would ordinarily have 6 terms of graded coursework to show by now. If you keep the P/NRC grades for all of your courses this term, you will only have 5 graded terms to show (out of the average 8 terms of undergrad). Those 5 terms should be very strong, or you should consider a gap year.

  • You may want to take advantage of converting grades if you’ve done well, especially in research/writing/social science subjects.

Pre-Health Students

  • Many health professions schools (i.e. medical, dental, etc.) have developed guidelines for handling pass/fail grades issued during this semester. If you have target schools, check their websites (and contact admissions representatives) to see what they are saying about alternate grading this term.

  • The Newnan Pre-health Advisors have compiled some resources that will help with this process.

Additional Considerations

If you’re a graduating senior:

  • You have until May 28th to uncover your Winter 2020 grades if you would like to include them in determining your eligibility for Distinction. Eligibility for this award will be determined by your cumulative GPA as of the end of that day. If you uncover a grade anytime after May 28 through July 1, your transcript and cumulative GPA will be updated accordingly but the newly revealed letter grade(s) will not impact your distinction level.  

  • If you are short on credit, whether for the 120 you need to graduate or for a major, minor or college requirement, you should carefully consider whether or not to uncover grades. If you convert an NRC grade to a D+, D, or D-, you will earn credit for that class. However you should also bear in mind the impact of that letter grade on your GPA. A 2.0 is required for your cumulative GPA, as well as for any major and minor you have declared.  

If you’re on probation:

  • No students will be suspended or put on probation as a result of their Winter 2020 grades. After the July 1 deadline for students to convert grades, the Academic Standards Board will review students who were on any form of probation going into Winter 2020. They will take students off probation if their Winter Term and cumulative GPAs are both > 2.0 after grades were uncovered. Everyone else will have their academic status carry forward and will be reviewed again at the end of their next regularly-graded term.

If you’re an LSA Computer Science (EECS) Major:

  1. Each grade of P will be treated as an A for the purpose of fulfilling course prerequisites for EECS 281

  2. No attempts in Winter 2020 will count against the two-take limit for EECS 203, EECS 280, or EECS 281

  3. LSA students declaring into CS have a GPA requirement. Each grade of P received in will be treated as an A for the purpose of declaring into CS-LSA

If you're an LSA Honors student:

  • LSA Honors students should view this document which addresses questions regarding the Sophomore Honors Award and other questions that may be specific to Honors students. For additional questions, please contact ask.honors@umich.edu.

If you are a member of one of the following groups, please see these campus offices for additional information and help: