In light of the global pandemic, the guidelines for the pass/fail option for undergraduates at the University of Massachusetts Boston has been re-arranged. The undergrads haven’t been the only ones given ‘Hail Mary’ protocols.
On April 14, 2020, Emily McDermott, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, forwarded a letter from Valerie Corrente, Registrar, and Bala Sundaram, Dean.
There were three major statements in the letter: “To mitigate the disruptions in the normal progress towards their degrees, all graduate students have been pre-approved for a one year extension (through May of 2021) of the statute of limitations. As not everyone would need this, students may access this deferral on an opt-in basis by completing the SPRING 2020 Statute of Limitations extension form at https://www.umb.edu/registrar/forms. Please note that this form does not need the usual approval from the Graduate Program Director. The form should be sent directly to the Registrar’s Office at email@example.com.”
The second statement is, “For the Spring 2020 semester only, graduate students can opt for a SAT (Satisfactory) grade in up to 2 courses (up to a maximum of 8 credits) for Ph.D./Masters’ degrees and 1 course (up to 4 credits) if enrolled in a Certificate program. The usual graduate academic standard, which requires a minimum passing grade of 70%, will be used when deciding “satisfactory” performance. Note that this option may be unavailable in some programs and/or in certain courses due to program constraints so students should confer with their program advisors before submitting the request. The College of Nursing & Health Sciences (CNHS) and the Clinical Psychology program in CLA have already determined that their students are not eligible for the SAT option. Similarly, other programs have specific courses for which the SAT option will not work, so students must consult with their programs. Please see attachment to check your college or program. Students requesting the SAT grade should submit the form at https://www.umb.edu/registrar/forms to their Graduate Program Director for approval and submission to firstname.lastname@example.org for processing. The deadline for submitting SAT requests is May 13, 2020.”
Their last point was, “Finally, the Registrar’s Office will not be noting any Academic Standing calculations or notations to student records for the spring 2020 semester. As a result, except in particular cases where programs or colleges exert continuation standards that exceed those for good academic standing, all active students whose continuation is contingent upon university standing will be permitted to enroll in classes in the upcoming terms. Students with questions in this area should consult their advisors.”
This is all similar to the undergraduate’s new rules of pass/fail. In an email sent by Valerie Corrente on April 3, 2020, she said, “You can file for the pass/fail option through WISER at any time after your initial registration until the deadline. The deadline for pass/fail and withdrawal has been changed to May 13, 2020. In addition, restrictions on the number of pass/fail classes a student may select have changed. We want to make sure you have the time and information you need to make decisions about your grades. We encourage you to use the next weeks to talk with your advisors before deciding what the right option is for you.”
The administration running the graduate and undergraduate student bodies are always open to questions.