Quinnipiac releases pass/fail policy

The Faculty Senate approved pass/fail courses after students called for change

Stephen MacLeod and Kalleen Rose Ozanic

Quinnipiac University released its new pass/fail policy following a Faculty Senate vote.

The Faculty Senate voted on Tuesday, March 31 to approve a pass/fail policy in a 16-0 vote. Students have been advocating for pass/fail courses for weeks, with one petition gaining over 2,200 signatures at the time of this writing. 

“In recognition of the unprecedented challenges imposed by the coronavirus crisis, Quinnipiac University is adopting an optional pass/fail grade policy for eligible courses,” the FAQ section said. 

The new policy allows students to select whether to take a course for a letter grade or for a pass/fail grade after final grades have been posted at the end of the semester. A minimum of a C- is required for a “pass” grade, although there are some exceptions. 

Required courses for pre-medical and pre-dental students may not be taken as pass/fail. Courses that are not eligible for pass/fail are due to accreditation requirements. 

Courses ineligible for the pass/fail option include those in the MAT program, per Connecticut State department of Education grade requirements for general education courses.

All undergraduate courses in the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and School of Communications will be pass/fail. The policy varies for the School of Education, School of Engineering and School of Health Sciences. 

The policy does not apply to the School of Nursing, School of Law and School of Medicine. The letter says faculty for the School of Law and School of Medicine will be administering independent grading systems. There is no additional word on the School of Nursing in the letter or the FAQ. 

In addition, undergraduate students in certain programs are not eligible to take specific courses pass/fail, even if the course itself is eligible for pass/fail according to the FAQ page. 

Students are encouraged to talk to their advisors before making a decision to make sure they are meeting all of their requirements. For further guidance, students may obtain a decision-making checklist found on the Registrar’s Office page on MyQ when they open the Pass Grade Request Form.

Students will have until May 18, 2020 at 5 p.m. to decide whether or not a class should be pass/fail. Final grades will be released by this point. Designating a pass grade for a class, if approved, is permanent. A student must request it through the registrar’s office.

This will not affect students’ abilities to graduate and there is no limit to the amount of pass/fail courses a student may designate.

However, students with scholarships will need to make sure that they take enough letter grades to maintain the grade-point-average (GPA) requirements. The GPA requirement for an undergraduate student is a 3.0 and the requirement for a graduate student varies by program and can be found in the scholarship continuation letter sent to students. Students are also advised to carefully consider choosing pass/fail as outside loans can possibly be affected. 

“Students are strongly advised to check carefully the eligibility requirements for all forms of external, non-QU aid to determine whether grades of ‘pass’ would affect eligibility for that aid,” Quinnipiac said in its FAQ section. 

Student’s potential for Dean’s list may be limited by their designation of pass grades for their courses. The grade requirements for Dean’s list for full-time and part-time students remain the same, with some stipulations regarding the amount of letter grades students must retain to be eligible. Students’ standing to graduate with honors will not be affected.

People with more questions can read the letter here or can visit the FAQ section here