Notice – Policies and resources for the campus community on the COVID-19 global pandemic, including necessary health and safety precautions and how to obtain more information from health care providers, state health authorities, and the CDC's COVID-19 web site

Changes in Policies and Procedures for Spring 2020

In light of the substantial disruptions to instruction caused by the novel coronavirus emergency, the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate has made changes to grading options for the spring 2020 semester.  Rausser College adjusted its policies and procedures for Spring 2020.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact your major advisor or email askcnr@berkeley.edu.


Academic Probation

Recognizing the challenges to teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rausser College of Natural Resources will not be penalizing any students’ academic progress for Spring 2020.  

Students in good academic standing who earn all “P” grades will remain in good standing.

Students, who are in good standing, who earn NP grades, Incompletes, or failing grades for more than 50% of units will be required to meet with their college advisor and complete an Academic Success Plan for Fall 2020 by September 11, 2020, but will not be placed on Academic Probation.

Students on Academic Probation may be removed from probationary status with sufficient letter graded course work to raise their cumulative GPA above 2.0. 

Students on Academic Probation who do not attain sufficient letter-graded coursework to be removed from AP (ie. enough grade points to raise cumulative GPA above 2.0 cumulative GPA) will remain on AP for Fall 2020 and must complete an Academic Success Plan with their college advisor by September 11, 2020.

Back to top

Admissions to the Major/College 

All passing course work taken in Spring 2020 may be used for major and college requirements regardless of the grading option selected.

Back to top

Applying to Graduate & Professional Schools

Recognizing the challenges to teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provost and Deans of the University of California, Berkeley adopted the following principle:

“UC Berkeley evaluates applicants for admission to its graduate and professional schools holistically, meaning that we consider an applicant’s combination of personal accomplishments, letters of recommendation, personal statements, academic record, and test scores in making our admissions decisions. Such a review will take into account the significant disruptions of COVID-19 when reviewing students’ transcripts and other admissions materials from Spring 2020. 

We understand that many institutions across the country instituted P/NP grading policies during that semester. Thus, we will not penalize students for the adoption of P/NP and other grading options during this unprecedented period, whether the choices were made by institutions or by individual students. Our admissions evaluation will focus primarily on a student’s academic performance prior to this period, and if applicable, following this period. What is most important is that applicants demonstrate that they pursued a challenging curriculum that was relevant to their plan for graduate or professional school.”

Pre-Health Students and those taking the MCAT and applying this cycle or in future cycles:

Medical schools are well aware of the trend of P/NP grades and online teaching for coursework from most higher institutions. We recognize that this is an issue that affects students, not just for this admissions cycle starting in June, but for the four to five years of potential student applicants. The professional schools are working to be sure we consider the students in all aspects of the process. This applies to the cancellations in the MCAT, as well. Be patient, be kind, be agile and resilient.

There is no consensus among health professions schools regarding whether P/NP grades will be accepted in place of letter grades, but most schools are being flexible and open minded in this unusual time. Please note that policies are being posted on med school sites:

UCSF: https://meded.ucsf.edu/admissions-md-program

UC Davis:  https://health.ucdavis.edu/mdprogram/admissions/

UCSD:  https://medschool.ucsd.edu/admissions/Pages/default.aspx

Most who have set policies are willing to accept P/NP grades for courses where the P/NP is mandatory. Many Medical schools are willing to accept P/NP for any course and are cognizant of the challenges that the Spring 2020 semester presented. 

If students plan to apply to medical school this cycle, the principles of a strong application will still apply. However, due to university closures and MCAT rescheduling, the road to creating a successful application may be a bit confusing.

Back to top

Cross-Campus Enrollments

UCEAP students whose program was suspended this spring due to COVID-19 can take more than one UC Online class.  UCEAP students should continue to work with their UCEAP advisor and major advisor about course enrollments for Spring quarter.  Per the usual policy, all other students are limited to one UC online class.

Back to top

Deadline to Late Drop Courses

The student deadline to submit a late drop petition to their college for Spring 2020 was May 6, 2020 at 11:59PM. Please note that drops are by petition.  Please fill out the “Spring 2020 Late Change of Curriculum Petition.”

Drops before this new deadline will not be considered "late" and therefore will not require a Late Change of Class Schedule request. Additionally, the $10 fee for dropping courses after the second Friday of instruction will be waived.

Back to top

Deadline to Change Grading Options

The student self-service grading option change deadline in CalCentral was May 8, 2020 at 11:59PM.  

Courses that were originally approved by the Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI) as P/NP only will not be changed. Students enrolled in these courses will not have the option to receive a letter grade. 

By setting the default for undergraduate courses to P/NP, we wish to convey that P/NP should be the norm, and we hope that students will change to a letter grade only if they require it for a specific purpose. In this midst of an international health crisis, when we have all been forced to change our teaching so dramatically on such a short timeline, letter grades should not have to be our central focus. We believe that P/NP grading for this semester is being adopted by many other universities.

The policy was constructed in collaboration with many partners, including COCI, the Berkeley campus Administration, and the Systemwide Academic Senate. COCI has also provided guidance to instructors.

Campus has recently posted Q&A for instructors and students about campus policies for grading.

Back to top

Dean’s Honors or Honors-to-Date

There were no Dean’s Honors or honors to date awarded in Spring 2020.

Back to top

Distinction in General Scholarship (Honors at Graduation)

Distinction in General Scholarship standards will be lowered for each form of honors by 0.05 for Spring 20 and Summer 20 graduates, resulting the following shifts:

  • General Distinction: 3.698 (Lowered from 3.748)
  • High Distinction: 3.790 (Lowered from 3.840)
  • Highest Distinction: 3.880 (Lowered from 3.930)

The total letter-graded units calculation will include any courses enrolled for letter grades at the time the Senate policy change goes into effect.  Other criteria for Academic Distinction also still apply:

  • Complete a minimum of 50 semester units at the University of California.
  • Complete at least 43 of the 50 units for a letter grade.
  • Complete at least 30 of the 50 units at Berkeley.

Back to top

GPA Minimum Requirements for Admission to the Major, College, and for Graduation

If you were less than 0.1 below the limit going into the semester and have a full load of courses graded P, we will consider the requirement met. In all other cases, student records will be evaluated individually.

Rausser College students can change majors by obtaining approval from your new undergraduate major advisor and the Office of Instruction and Student Affairs. Should you decide to declare a major in a college other than Rausser, visit the website for the other college or school to find out how to consult an advisor for that program. Rausser students must usually have a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered.  For Summer 2020 & Fall 2020, these students with a GPA of 1.9 or higher are eligible to be considered for admission to the major.

Non-Rausser College students wishing to change to a Rausser College major usually must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered.  For Summer 2020 & Fall 2020, these students with a GPA of 2.9 or higher are eligible to be considered for admission to the major.

To graduate, Rausser College students usually must have at least a 2.0 cumulative UC GPA to graduate, both overall and in the upper-division courses required for their major.  For Spring 2020, students with at least a 1.9 cumulative GPA overall and in the upper-division courses required for their major to graduate will be considered as having met the requirement

Back to top

Incompletes

Incomplete grades that must be completed before the end of Spring 2020 and will have the same grading option as was originally selected when the Incomplete grade was earned.  Incomplete grades earned in Spring 2020 will maintain the grading option selected by May 8, 2020.  

Students typically are evaluated for continuation of enrollment if they have more than 12 units of Incomplete grades on their records. Spring 2020 Incomplete grades will not be included in the 12 unit rule.

Back to top

Major and Minor Requirements

For the Spring 2020 Semester: Classes taken this semester will satisfy University, Campus, College, major and minor requirements even though they are P/NP. 

Courses taken for major/minor requirements in the Summer or Fall 2020 semesters must be taken for letter-grade. 

Back to top

P/NP Limits

At the time of graduation, P grades can account for no more than 1/3 of your total units completed at UC Berkeley. This is not assessed on a semester-by-semester basis. 

P grades earned in Spring 2020 will not be counted against this 1/3 limitation. 

Back to top

Readmission

Under the new policies, future term classes and pre-existing enrollment appointments for Fall 2020 will not be dropped/impacted by a Spring 2020 withdrawal* for undergrads and grads as of April 1, 2020. Students with Fall 2020 enrollments who withdrew from Spring 2020 will not need to submit a readmission application, however, the readmission fee for fall still applies and a process for collecting it will be outlined shortly.

Students who withdraw from Spring 2020 before they enroll in course work for Summer or Fall, will need to apply for readmission and pay the readmission fee to be activated for summer and fall enrollment. Please see Rausser College readmission information here. Students who withdraw from Spring 2020 will not be subject to the semester-out rule and will receive automatic approval for Fall 2020 readmission. The readmission deadline for Fall 2020 is June 1.
*This does not apply to students who were medically withdrawn from Spring 2020 and, as a result, have a medical hold on their account.

See “Withdrawals” for additional information.
 

Back to top

Repeats

If you repeated a course in which you previously earned a letter grade, earning a P grade in Spring 2020 would remove the previous letter grade from your GPA (if you are still within your repeat limit of 12 units and this is your second attempt at the course). 

All grades will remain on the transcript, per the standard repeat policy. 

Back to top

Satisfactory Academic Progress

For Spring 2020, units dropped on or after March 4th (the date when Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency for California as a result of COVID-19), and units with incomplete grades (“I” grades) will be exempted from the quantitative component of SAP. To maintain in good SAP standing, students must:

  • Pass 67% of the units they’ve attempted cumulatively (referred to as "pace")
  • Not exceed 150% of the published length of their program, measured in units for undergraduates and terms for graduate students based on the program length, (referred to as maximum timeframe). 
  • Maintain a minimum, cumulative GPA, set at 2.0 for Undergraduate students and 3.0 for Graduate students

Units dropped on or after March 4th and “I” grades will not count as attempted or completed in the Financial Aid SAP calculation for the pace and maximum time frame calculation. 

The relief does not apply to classes where the student earns a NP, DNP, or an F grade. Students that earn a NP, DNP, or an F grade will continue to account as attempted but not completed for the Spring 2020 term. Additionally, students are still expected to maintain the minimum GPA as outlined in the SAP policy.

Semester-Out Rule

You may withdraw from the current term anytime between the first and last day of instruction. Typically, if you withdraw from a semester after the 8th week of the semester you will not be eligible for readmission for the following semester.  However, students who withdraw from Spring 2020 after 8th week will remain eligible to be readmitted for Fall 2020.

Back to top

Term Probation

Recognizing the challenges to teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rausser College of Natural Resources will not be penalizing any students’ academic progress for Spring 2020. 

Students in good academic standing who earn all “P” grades will remain in good standing.

Students on Term Probation, but not AP, may be removed from probationary status with passing grades in at least 50% of units for Spring 2020.

Students on Term Probation at the start of Spring 2020 who earn NP, Incomplete, or failing grades for more than 50% of units must complete an Academic Success Plan with their college advisor by September 11, 2020 and will remain on Term Probation.

Back to top

Transcripts

A notation on every student’s transcript will explain the changes made this semester.  Please bear in mind that future employers and admissions committees will be seeing similar notations on transcripts from virtually every college and university in the U.S. The exact working is being determined by the Office of the Registrar.

Back to top

Transferring Credit

If you are taking coursework through another institution in Spring 2020 (i.e. through Concurrent Enrollment or instead of being enrolled in Spring 2020 at UC Berkeley) and that institution has moved to a P/NP-default or P/NP-only grading model, P grades earned will be accepted for all degree requirements.

At this time, students should be advised to request that transcripts be sent electronically (if the transfer institution needs an email address, they should use busops@berkeley.edu). We are continuing to post transfer credit via this method.

A reminder that we cannot receive transcripts from students via email, they must come directly from the transfer institution. Alternatively, if an advisor receives an official transcript, they could send a pdf to busops@berkeley.edu.

If an electronic option is not available, we suggest that students postpone the request to send until after Shelter in Place is lifted. At this time, there is no one available to scan hard copy transcripts in Sproul due to Shelter in Place. And it might not be advisable for documents to linger with mail services. My hope is that as we know more about the extent of our time away from campus, and how in person services will be handled, we'll have better guidance on when to send so that action can be taken closer to the time when documents can be accepted by mail. 

Back to top

UC EAP

Rausser College is currently examining how UCEAP credit may be used to fulfill breadth requirements.  More clarifying information will be posted here soon.

Students on Spring 2020 UCEAP programs have the choice to take their courses for P/NP or for a letter grade. Your grades from UCEAP will appear on your UC Berkeley transcript as you have chosen. 

If you are unsure of the grading options you have chosen for your courses, you may confirm your grade option selections with the UCEAP academic specialist for your program.  Rausser College will accept P grades from Spring 2020 EAP courses taken to fulfill major, minor, and college requirements.

Back to top

Withdrawals

Students are able to withdraw from the Spring 2020 semester by Fri, May 8 at 11:59pm, which means leaving the entire semester and dropping all courses. Typically, when students withdraw from a semester, all future course enrollments are cancelled (ex: if you were signed up for Summer 2020 or Fall 2020 courses, these would be dropped from your schedule and you could attempt to re-add them once you have readmitted). However, under the new policies, future term classes and pre-existing enrollment appointments for Fall 2020 will not be dropped/impacted by a Spring 2020 withdrawal* for undergrads and grads as of April 1, 2020. Students will be responsible for tuition and fees unless they cancel their future term(s) on their own through CalCentral. For Summer 2020, the $100 Cancellation Fee will be waived for any cancellations submitted by the cancellation deadline.  (See Summer Sessions website for exact date.)  Students will be reminded of this in the automated emails sent after submitting a withdrawal in CalCentral. The readmission fee for fall still applies and a process for collecting it will be outlined shortly.

*This does not apply to students who were medically withdrawn from Spring 2020 and, as a result, have a medical hold on their account.

See “Readmission” for additional information.

Back to top