Dear CUNY SPS Students:
As we reach the final stretch of the Fall 2020 semester, it is important to note that CUNY has just authorized colleges to use the Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) option for Fall term courses. This memo addresses some of the questions that you might have and help you decide if applying for the policy is a good option for you.
WHAT IS THE FALL 2020 FLEXIBLE GRADING POLICY?
The Fall 2020 flexible grading policy applies to students (undergraduate, graduate, and non-degree) enrolled in most classes at CUNY SPS. Under the new flexible grading policy, after final grades are posted by faculty, you can choose to convert the traditional letter grade you earned in most courses (any grade from B+ to D-), into a grade of Credit (“CR”) or F to No Credit (“NC”). Unlike traditional letter grades, which affect your grade point average (“GPA”), grades of Credit or No Credit will not factor into your GPA.
WHICH CLASSES ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE FALL 2020 FLEXIBLE GRADING POLICY?
The Fall 2020 flexible grading policy excludes:
BIO 310 AND all classes that begin with the prefix of NURS
- Accreditation regulations require letter grades to progress through the program
PSY 301, PSY 302, and PSY 499
- These courses are excluded because a grade below C is not be considered successful completion for these critical courses in the major
DO I HAVE TO USE THE NEW FLEXIBLE GRADING POLICY?
No. It is important you understand that using the Fall 2020 flexible grading policy is not mandatory. You can select this option for one or more courses, even for all courses. You can also choose to keep whatever traditional letter grades you earn.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO RIGHT NOW?
Aside from speaking with your academic and financial aid advisors, there is not much to do right now. We will inform you of the date to select the Fall 2020 Flexible Grading Policy and the process to do so once this has been determined.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO CONSIDER WHEN MAKING THIS DECISION?
To help you “think through it,” you may want to reach out to your academic advisor or program director and your financial aid counselor to ask questions about how this may affect your degree plan and/or your financial aid awards. Keep in mind that while all CUNY colleges received instructions to accept your credit for transfer to any other CUNY institution, we cannot guarantee that all colleges and universities, graduate programs, scholarships, and other third parties will accept the grade of “CR” for credit.
WHEN SHOULD YOU CONSIDER NOT DECLARING A CR/NC GRADE OPTION?
In any of the following scenarios or a combination of these, you should speak with your advisor and strongly consider not declaring the option:
Graduating undergraduate students with GPA below 2.0: If your major GPA and/or cumulative GPA is currently below a 2.0 and you are graduating this Spring, this may not be a good option for you. This is because earning a high passing letter grade may allow you to raise your GPA over 2.0. If you opt for a “CR” grade, your GPA will stay the same. You will not be able to graduate or receive a degree from the College with a GPA below 2.0.
Graduating graduate students with GPA below 3.0: The same consideration applies to graduate students. If the reported grade raises your GPA you should keep it. If the grade does not you should consult with the academic advisor before exercising the CR/NC option.
Considering post-graduate programs: If you intend on applying to a graduate program, scholarship, or third-party entity outside of CUNY that has requirements for minimum passing grades, you may want to think carefully about the CR/NC option. An entity outside of CUNY, such as a professional licensing body, a private scholarship organization, or a graduate program outside of CUNY, may not accept a grade of “CR.”
Veteran students using the GI Bill® are strongly advised to contact the campus VA School Certifying Official prior to declaring the CR/NC option to discuss the implications for your benefits. Dr. Christopher Leydon at firstname.lastname@example.org can help you.
Generally, when in doubt, it is best to speak with your academic advisor or graduate program director and financial aid counselor. You can also email any additional questions you may have to email@example.com and we will do our best to help provide you with clear answers.
Thomas J. Jennings
Assistant Dean and Registrar
CUNY School of Professional Studies