Saturday, April 18, 2020

A Message about Pass/Fail Grading for BSOS Terps

Dear BSOS Undergraduate Students,

Some of you may be unsure about whether to accept passing grades in your spring 2020 classes. That is understandable. In this unprecedented global pandemic, there is no consensus among experts in higher education regarding best practices in grading.

The University of Maryland has designated pass/fail grading as the default grading method for all undergraduate courses in spring 2020. Each student’s transcript also will include a note indicating the unusual circumstances in spring 2020. 

There may be individual instances where a student will choose to request a letter grade prior to the May 12, 2020 deadline. The details about pass/fail grading can be found here, and FAQs continue to be added. 
If you take no action and accept the “P” in your spring 2020 courses, I will support your decision by offering you a letter that you may include in future applications to graduate schools or employers, stating that: "The University of Maryland’s default grading method was pass/fail in spring 2020; the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences supported your decision to accept the default pass/fail grading given the significant and unexpected disruptions to teaching and learning caused by the  COVID-19 pandemic."
If you experience such significant disruptions to your learning this semester that you think you might fail a class, please talk with your advisor about withdrawing from the class (with a grade of W) prior to May 12, 2020. 
Whatever you decide, please know that the BSOS team and I will do whatever we can to support your academic and professional development through this challenging time.
With kind regards,