Grading Policy for Spring 2021

Grading policy for spring 2021 and summer 2021

In light of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Ohio State has implemented a special grading system for undergraduate and graduate students for Spring Semester and Summer Term 2021. This grading system was approved by University Senate on Jan. 28 and by the Board of Trustees on Feb. 25. As of April 15, the provost, Council on Enrollment and Student Progress and Senate Steering voted to extend this system to Summer Term 2021 as well. (The expanded use of Pass/No Pass grading system in Spring 2020 and Autumn 2020 are no longer in effect.)

Read the news story about the emergency grading system for Spring 2021

Undergraduate Students

Faculty teaching undergraduates in courses that are graded A-E will enter their grades normally. Undergraduate students assigned grades of A through C- will have those posted to their transcripts. D+ and D grades will convert to a mark of “PE” (emergency pass), E grades will convert to a mark of “NP” (no pass), and EN grades will convert to a mark of "NEN" (no pass, non-attendance).

Graduate courses

Faculty teaching graduate students in courses that are graded A-E will enter their grades normally. Graduate students assigned grades of A through B- will have those posted to their transcripts.  Grades of C+ through D will convert to a mark of “PE” (emergency pass), E grades will convert to a mark of "NP" (no pass), and EN grades will convert to a mark of "NEN" (no pass, non-attendance).

Other important notes 

  • Courses that are graded other than A-E will have no changes to their grading scheme. 

  • This Emergency Pass system applies to all undergraduate and graduate courses for Spring 2021 and Summer 2021. Unlike Spring 2020 and Autumn 2020, students do not need to opt in and there is therefore no deadline. 

  • PE, NP and NEN grades do not count in the calculation of GPA. Students assigned a PE will receive academic credit that counts toward graduation. 

  • These changes will not apply to subsequent terms unless the university decides to invoke the Emergency Pass measure again for a future term. 

  • Upon request by the student, the Registrar will convert PE, NP, and NEN grades back to the underlying letter grade. Requests for Spring 2021 must be made before the end of the Autumn 2021 semester, but prior to graduation. Requests for Summer 2021 must be made before the end of Spring 2022, but prior to graduation. Such reversions are irrevocable. 

Additional grading policy changes for Spring 2021

In addition to the Emergency Pass policy changes spelled out above, Ohio State is extending several other grading options for undergraduate students in the Spring and Summer 2021 terms:

Extended duration to complete an Incomplete (I) 

The university is extending the amount of time undergraduate and graduate students have to complete course work for Spring 2021 classes in which they received an Incomplete grade. For Incompletes granted in Spring 2021, students will have 10 weeks from the start of the following term (instead of the standard 6 weeks from the start of the following term). Students remain able to request an extension for any Incompletes they may take, should they not be able to complete the course work within 10 weeks. A student must request an incomplete from the instructor of the course. 

Extended opportunity to Withdraw from a class 

This option is available for undergraduate and graduate students for the Spring 2021 term until April 9, 2021, and can be enacted by an academic advisor. Below are the extended deadlines for Summer 2021:

  • 4-week Session 1: June 2, 2021
  • 6-week Session 1: June 15, 2021
  • 8-week Session 1: June 24, 2021
  • 4-week Session 2: June 29, 2021
  • Full summer term: July 20, 2021
  • 8-week Session 2: July 22, 2021 
  • 6-week Session 2: July 26, 2021
  • 4-week Session 3: July 27, 2021

Withdrawing from a class leaves this class on a student’s transcript, marking it with a W. Courses marked as W do not count toward a student’s GPA. Students interested in withdrawing from a class should consult their advisor to discuss how this option might impact their academic progress, and talk with Student Financial Aid to understand potential impacts to aid eligibility. 

Undergraduate Student FAQs


Emergency Pass/No Pass (PE/NP)

Undergraduate and graduate students do not need to take any action. The Emergency Pass grading scheme will be applied automatically. This option is not available for professional students. 

Yes. Upon request by the student, the Registrar will convert PE or NP grades back to the underlying letter grade. Requests for Spring 2021 must be made before the end of the Autumn 2021 semester, but prior to graduation. Requests for Summer 2021 must be made before the end of Spring 2022, but prior to graduation. Such reversions are irrevocable.

No. The assignment of PE and NP marks is dependent on student performance. Marks of PE and NP will not count toward the university’s cap of 20 credits taken (Pass/No Pass) PA/NP for undergraduates. 

PA/NP is available for use for undergraduate elective coursework consistent with the grade scheme restrictions for using PA/NP. PA/NP is not available for other classes in Spring 2021 or Summer 2021

Undergraduate students will earn course credit when they receive a PE mark, which can be used toward graduation. However, in many cases, courses with these PE grades cannot be used to meet the requirements of a required major or minor.

PE and NP grades do not contribute to the calculation of GPA. When Emergency Pass grading is in effect, a student who earns a C- or higher in their first attempt of a course can choose to retake the course for Grade Forgiveness. Repeat of a course initially taken during Emergency Pass grading does not count towards students limit of three Grade Forgiveness attempts. 

PE and NP grades do not impact your GPA. However, PE and NP courses count toward attempted and successfully/unsuccessfully completed courses. Receiving a grade of PE is considered making progress. 

If you do not meet SAP standards, options include appealing based on impacts arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, contact your academic advisor or Buckeye Link (614-292-0300 or 


  • Students who are registered for 12 or more credits with at least 9 regular, graded hours and a 3.5 term GPA will be eligible for the Dean’s List 

  • Courses in which a student earns an Emergency Pass (PE) will not be counted towards the 60 Ohio State hours required to earn Latin Honors (cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude) 

  • Receiving a grade of NP or U disqualifies a student from the Dean's List for that term 

The Emergency Pass system does not affect instances where certain grades are required to progress in a sequence or to gain admission to a program. Nor does it affect policies that determine academic standing. Accommodations to allow use of PE grades in these cases will remain at the discretion of the individual program or college. 

Withdrawals and Incompletes

You should talk with your advisor and the instructor of your courses about which of these options will help you succeed in your classes and academic program. It will be important to know your grade, the number of assignments remaining, and how those assignments will be met, so that you can make informed choices about the relative merits of withdrawing, requesting an incomplete or utilizing other options. Your advisor will help you request a W, and the instructor can help you take an I.  

Students are still able to request an extension for a grade of Incomplete. If you need more than 10 weeks to complete work for an Incomplete course, you can submit a request for an extension of an Incomplete to the course instructor for review and approval. 

If you withdraw from a required course, you will need to enroll and complete that course at some other time. If this course is a prerequisite for other courses, you will not be able to complete those courses until you have successfully completed that prerequisite. This may impact your time to degree and could affect financial aid. 

It depends on when you withdraw from a course. Please refer to the University Registrar’s website for a list of related deadlines. Additionally, if you receive financial aid, withdrawing may have consequences for your eligibility. Please talk with your advisor and with Buckeye Link (614-292-0300 or to understand how this might impact you. 

All course work attempted is factored into meeting SAP and can affect financial aid eligibility. If you do not meet SAP, appeal options exist, including appealing based on impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please contact Buckeye Link (614-292-0300 or