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First, I want to thank you for making it through this semester. I don’t think that many of us imagined a Fall semester where we walked around with masks on or learned through a tool called a ladibug. But learning happens everywhere, and in a wide variety of forms, as you have demonstrated.

Second, the University again has decided to offer all students the choice of taking a Pass/No Credit (P/N) option in their courses. At Point Park, we have Pass / No Credit, as defined in the Student Handbook.  This is better for students because No Credit does not hurt your GPA the way a Fail would. You will still need to make up the credits, class, or classes that you took an N in, however.

You do not have to choose the P/N option until December 28th, 2020. You will see the letter grades that you earned and then make the decision between the 28th and January 6th, 2021.  Below I’ve assembled a list of considerations, and I encourage you to talk your decision over with your Student Success advisor, your faculty members, and with me.  I’ll be available through the entire process to help advise those who struggle with the decision.

Here’s how the option will work:

  • You finish the Fall semester. This point is important.
  • This policy covers online terms I and II Fall courses and on-ground Fall semester 2020 courses.
  • Once faculty post letter grades for the Fall 2020 courses, you will be able to see the letter grades you earned in your courses.
  • Then you may choose to convert grades of A, B, C, or D to Pass; you may choose to convert a grade of F to N, which means No Credit (see the Student Handbook, page 60, for the University grading policy).  Or you may choose to keep the letter grades.
  • You may opt for P/N for one or more courses, but you don’t have to opt for P/N at all.
  • You will have seven days after grades are posted, from December 28th through January 6th, 2021, to decide which if any letter grades you wish to convert to Pass / No Credit.
  • Once the decision is made and submitted, you cannot change your mind.
  • If you don’t want to change your grade, you don’t have to do anything. Only students who want to change to P/N will need to contact the Registrar.
  • We will provide all students with the appropriate form for electing the Pass / No credit option for one or more of your courses.

Here are the important considerations to weigh as you decide whether to keep the assigned letter grades or switch one or more of them to Pass / No Credit.

  • Neither Pass nor No Credit affects your GPA. While this rule seems great if you are doing poorly, it is not so great if you need to achieve a certain GPA. If you are hoping to raise your grades to get a scholarship or join Honors or remain eligible for athletics, P/N grades won’t help.
  • If you are on academic probation, Pass (P) grades do not help raise GPA.
  • It is unclear how P/N grades are going to work for graduate and professional school applications. Many graduate schools and professional schools, such as law and medical schools, might calculate applicant undergraduate GPA themselves, converting a grade of P to a 2.0. Some do not.  If you are thinking about applying to graduate or professional school, check with the graduate school where you are applying to see how they will handle P/N grades.
  • P/N grades are historically difficult to transfer. If for some reason you are planning to transfer, check with the institution where you are transferring to confirm if it will accept these credits.
  • The process for opting to take a P/N is up to you as the student. The default setting for your faculty and the Registrar is that you are accepting the letter grade. You will need to opt-in to the P/N grade.

Once grades are posted at the end of the semester, contact me if you have questions or would like additional information as you make your decision.  You’ll receive information at that time about how to take advantage of the P/N option, and this information will remain available online for you until after the deadline has passed.

I’m Jonas Prida, Assistant Provost, and you can contact me at