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Student FAQ's for Spring 2020 Grading

Effective for the Spring 2020 Semester only, WKU will allow students to opt in to Pass/D/Fail grading for certain courses.  Students should consult with their academic advisors before electing to complete courses on a Pass/D/Fail basis.

  • Students may elect Pass/D/Fail grading, for any or all of their courses, at any time prior to May 8, 2020. Some courses are exempt from the Pass/D/Fail grading option because of licensure and certification issues. 
  • In the event that students select Pass/D/Fail grading,
    • The course is graded in the usual way by the instructor and the instructor submits a letter grade. This letter grade is translated by the registrar into a “P” (pass with a “C” or above) or remains a “D” or “F”.
    • The course assigned a “P” will NOT be included in the computation of semester and/or cumulative grade point average (GPA).
    • The course assigned a “P” and “D” will count as academic credit.
    • Grades of “D” and “F” ARE included in the computation of semester and/or cumulative grade point average (GPA).

 More information about the Pass/D/Fail policy can be found on the following web page: https://www.wku.edu/academicaffairs/spring-2020-grading.php.  We encourage you to read the policy and the FAQs (on this page) carefully and consult your academic advisor before you select the Pass/D/Fail option for any or all eligible courses.

Instructions for Selecting Pass/D/Fail

If you want the default letter grade option, you do not have to do anything.  

If you intend to select the Pass/D/Fail option, you must do so by May 8, 2020.  You can make this selection at the following link:  https://app.wku.edu/grade/. You will login with your netid and password, you will be prompted to select the term (Spring 2020), and then you will be presented with a list of Pass/D/Fail eligible courses for which you have registered.  Select the radio button under the Grade Option column for each course that you wish to select the Pass/D/Fail option, the default is Letter grade.  Once you are finished with your selection, check the box indicating that you understand the grade options you’ve selected and then click the Submit Grade Option button to submit your chosen options.  You can return to this page and change/review your selection until the deadline date of May 8, 2020. 


Frequently Asked Questions for Students


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 do I take a course with the PDF option?

The Office of the Registrar will provide additional communication on how students can switch to PDF grading. High school students taking college courses are not eligible for this grading mode. In addition, some programs have accreditation requirements that prevent the PDF option. More information will be forthcoming.

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 I missed the deadline to select Pass/D/Fail?

You 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 I missed the deadline to revert back to a traditional letter grade?

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

Do I still have to do all the required work in the course to earn a Pass?

Refer to the syllabus for each course. Students who earn a “C” or higher are eligible to switch to a “P” grade. Therefore, you must meet the course expectations to earn a “C” in the course.

How does this affect my 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.

What if I change my mind?

Once the May 8 deadline has passed, a student may not change the grade mode for a course. Work with advisors to ensure the PDF option is the best choice prior to May 8.

Why was I not given the PDF option?

Because of accreditation, licensure, endorsement, or certification requirements, “P” grades are not acceptable in certain programs. Consult your department 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 receive 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?

The list of excluded courses is available 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.

What if I change my major?

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 my athletic eligibility?

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

Can I meet with a Financial Aid Counselor to discuss issues pertaining to Pass/D/Fail options and aid eligibility?

While we are still currently accepting walk in students without an appointment, in keeping with social distancing practices, you may use one of the following methods to contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance:

Email: fa.help@wku.edu (response in 24 hours or less)
Telephone: (270) 745-2755  (M-F, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CST)
Zoom: Currently scheduled by calling (270) 745-2755, a Zoom Waiting Room is being developed

I’m on Financial Aid SAP Warning or Probation.  Are there any special accommodations being made for students in my situation at this time?

The Office of Student Financial Assistance continues to review all guidance as it is released from the Department of Education, to identify any updates or changes to current SAP requirements due to the disruption caused by COVID-19.  You will be notified directly when information is available that pertains to your specific SAP status.   

If I drop or withdraw from a course as a result of change in instruction methods in response to COVID-19 accommodations, will my aid be affected?

Always contact Student Financial Assistance before making any change to your course schedule if you are receiving Title IV aid.  Changes to enrollment can affect your eligibility and may result in a required return of funds.      

Do PDF courses 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.

What if I plan to transfer to another school?

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 I plan to apply to graduate school?

Students planning to pursue advanced degrees should be aware that some institutions might not be willing to consider those students with “P” grades on their official transcript.

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 need assistance?

Students are encouraged to contact their academic advisor, athletic advisor, or the Academic and Career Development Center for assistance. 


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 Last Modified 6/11/20