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New Undergraduate Grading Policies during COVID-19

During the Spring 2020 quarter, the Academic Senate has approved letter grades as well as Pass/No Pass (P/NP) grades to be taken in undergraduate courses. In an effort to provide students with flexibility during this time, the Communication Department has agreed to comply with this policy for its majors and minors. 

However we wish to bring to your attention, that not all students should choose this option. 

What should I consider before taking a course Pass/No Pass instead of a letter grade?

  • Students should carefully consider taking additional units under the assumption they will need to devote less time to each course if it is graded P/NP. The expectation is students will apply the same amount of time and energy towards each enrolled course regardless of how the course is graded. If adequate time is not planned for each course, a student could easily find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of work required for the quarter.
  • Students who plan to retake a course to replace a previously earned grade, must retake the course using the same grading method. If the previously earned grade was a letter grade (“D”, “F”), the course must be retaken using the same grading format. For example, a student who took FA19 COMM 102C  and earned an “F,” would have to retake SP20 COMM 102C as letter-graded (P/NP is not an option).
  • Students who plan to apply for postgraduate study. Graduate, medical, and other professional schools may not accept a grading option of P/NP for some courses. Students will need to check with the specific graduate/professional school they are applying to and inquire what courses are required to apply and if those courses can be graded as P/NP. 
  • Students who are veterans and receive financial assistance need to check with their campus Veterans Affairs liaisons to determine how taking a course as P/NP will impact their financial support.
  • Students trying to raise their GPA, especially in an effort to return to good academic standing. Students who need to raise their GPA above a 2.0 to be in good standing or for purposes of financial aid may be harmed in taking P/NP grades.
  • Students maintaining satisfactory academic progress for financial aid. In addition to GPA, a student must maintain “Satisfactory Academic Progress” (SAP). Students should always check with the UCSD Financial Aid Office to verify how taking courses as P/NP would impact their aid.
  • Students should consider the grading scale for Pass (“A”-”C-”) and No Pass (“D”-”F”) courses. The Communication Department accepts grades of “D” or better for our major and minor requirements. Therefore, a student who takes SP20 COMM 101 as letter-graded and earns a “D” will be able to use this course towards their COMM major or minor requirements. However, if the same student takes SP20 COMM 101 as P/NP, they will earn an “NP” and will not be able to use the course towards their major or minor requirements. S 

Note: This is not an exhaustive list of potential unintended consequences. Students who are uncertain of the effects of this decision are encouraged to seek guidance from their academic advisors to understand the full implications of their choices.

Sample Quarter By Quarter Plans

Major Requirements (PDF)

Quarter by Quarter Plan - New Frosh (4 Year Plan, PDF)

Quarter by Quarter Plan - New Frosh (3 Year Plan, PDF)

Quarter by Quarter Plan - Transfers (Transfers taking COMM 10 in FALL, PDF)

Quarter by Quarter Plan - Transfers (Transfers taking COMM 10 in WINTER, PDF)

More about the Communication Major

What is UCSD Communication major? (PDF)

COMM Elective Course Subway Map (PDF)

COMM Careers Flyer (PDF)

COMM New Student Orientation 2017 Prezi

Looking for proposed courses?

We provide a PDF of proposed courses for the 2020-2021 academic year including both undergraduate and graduate courses.

Download this PDF