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Faculty FAQ's for Spring 2020 Grading

What is the PDF option?

The PDF option allows students who anticipate a “C” or higher in a course to choose a “P” instead of the standard letter grade of A, B, or C.  A “P” does not count toward GPA requirements; however, it does earn credit hours toward graduation requirements.

How will this change impact faculty grading?

Nothing changes for faculty. Instructors will enter grades as they normally would. The change to "P" will take place after grades are entered. 

How do I know if a student has elected the PDF option in my course?

Following the trend at other institutions, faculty will not know which students have selected the PDF option. Students will be sent a communication from the Office of the Registrar which will give instructions on how to make their choice. Faculty will continue to grade the course with standard letter grades. If a student has made the choice to switch to a “P” grade in your course, the Office of the Registrar will oversee the conversion of A, B, or C grades to a “P” grade. “D” and “F” grades will not be converted.

Why do I not see a “P” grade when I am entering final grades? 

You will only see the “P” grade, if your course was approved as a PDF course at the time students registered for the course. The Office of the Registrar will oversee the switch to the “P” grade for those students who have elected that option. 

How many classes may be taken for PDF?

For Spring 2020, students can select to earn a Pass for each eligible course. More information will be forthcoming on eligible courses. Students should work with their advisor before selecting this grade mode. Keep in mind if a student elects all "P" grades, he or she will not have a Spring 2020 semester GPA.

What is the deadline to select the PDF option?

May 8 is the deadline for students to switch to PDF grading in eligible courses. After May 8, a standard letter grade will appear on the transcript. Students may not switch to a “P” grade after the deadline.

What if the student missed the deadline to select Pass/D/Fail?

A student may appeal to change from a letter grade to the Pass/D/Fail option for extenuating circumstances by June 30, 2020. For more information, please contact the Office of the Registar at registrar@wku.edu

What if a student missed the deadline to revert back to a traditional letter grade?

The student should contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar@wku.edu to discuss options.



How does this affect a student’s GPA?

A grade of "P" is not used in calculating grade point average (GPA). A “D” or “F” in the PDF system, affects your GPA the same as in the A-F system.  Overall, your Spring 2020 GPA will depend upon the A, B, C, D, or F grades you may receive. You should consult with your advisor to deteremine if switching to PDF grading mode will be beneficial to your academic standing.

A student contacted me about changing his or her grade to a “P.” What do I do?

May 8 is the deadline for students to elect the “P” option. Therefore, faculty members should not change standard letter grades to “P” through the Change of Grade Process. You can refer the student to the Office of the Registrar for information on the Committee on Credits and Graduation Process. You may be asked to write a letter of support for the student if the student chooses to appeal to the committee.

Some students are telling me that my course was not eligible for the PDF option. Why?

Because of accreditation, licensure, endorsement, or certification requirements, “P” grades are not acceptable in certain programs. Consult your department head if you have additional questions.  Students (excluding Gatton Academy students) who are taking courses at WKU to complete high school requirements must receive a letter grade for their coursework. In addition, students in On Demand courses will not have the PDF option.

Courses available in the first bi-term or first 5-week session are not eligible for the PDF option.

What courses are excluded from the PDF option?

To view a list of courses excluded from the PDF option, click here.

Will a Pass count towards degree requirements?

A “P” grade does count toward degree requirements. Some majors require a “C” or higher in all coursework. In addition, some courses have prerequisites that require a “C” or higher. A “P” will fulfill “C” or higher grade requirement in select majors or prerequisites.

A student wishes to change his major into a program in my department. We require a letter grade for accreditation, licensure, or certification. How should I advise the student?

A “P” grade will apply toward most majors or minors. However, if a student moves into a program that requires a letter grade for accreditation, licensure, or endorsement, the student should contact the Office of the Registrar to discuss options.

Will this affect a student’s athletic eligibility?

Athletes should contact their athletic advisor before using this option. A “P” grade could impact eligibility.

Do PDF grades factor into Recognition of Academic Achievement, Scholar of the College recognition, President’s List, or Dean’s List?

“P” grades do not apply toward a student’s grade point averages. When making the decision to switch to a “P” grade, students should take into consideration if a letter grade is needed to boost GPA requirements to meet any desired recognition. Consult your advisor for help in calculating GPAs.

A student has expressed interest in transferring to another institution, attending a graduate program, or attending a professional program. What happens if a student transfers a “P” grade to another institution?

Students who plan to transfer to another college or university are advised to check with that institution to determine if courses in which “P” grades are earned are accepted as transfer credits. WKU has no control over transfer policies at other institutions.

What if faculty assign a grade of X (incomplete) for a student?

If a student chooses the PDF option before the May 8 deadline and the faculty member issues the student an incomplete grade (X), the PDF option will be applied when the faculty member assigns the letter grade upon the completion of the course.

Is there a tool to help students calculate their GPA?

Yes. Visit https://www.wku.edu/bep/gpacalculator.php for more information. 

Who should I contact if I have addition questions?

Contact the Office of the Registrar or the Provost’s Office, if you have additional questions.

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 6/11/20