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A guide to S/F grading policies at IU's various undergraduate schools



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This story was updated at 3:20 p.m. April 7 to include the policy for the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design.

Editor's note: The Indiana Daily Student was not able to obtain S/F policies for School of Nursing nor the School of Social Work at the time of publication. If you have records of these schools' policies, send them to us at news@idsnews.com.

The changing COVID-19 situation has influenced each school at IU to adapt its policy for grading this semester. All schools have adopted a satisfactory/fail grading policy option in place of letter grades due to challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.

S grades will be issued for students who are passing the course, which is defined as earning a D- or above. F grades will be issued for students who have a grade below a D-. An S grade does not factor into a student’s GPA, but an F grade does. An S grade will be accepted as fulfilling all requirements for majors, minors, etc.

Individual students need to reach out to their class instructor to request a S/F grade and confirm expectations for earning a grade of S. The email with the request should include the department and course number for the class and indicate that the request is due to challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

S/F grades can affect current or future academic or professional endeavors such as scholarship and graduate school applications, which sometimes require letter grades in certain classes. It is recommended that students check with the appropriate university office that oversees an area of concern and an academic advisor before requesting a S/F grade.

College of Arts and Sciences

Students have the option to request S/F grading in any letter graded course, but faculty has the discretion to honor or deny these requests.

The Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design courses will continue to use regular letter grading because the school says students often need a letter grade for scholarships, graduation and other reasons. Instructors may allow for S/F grading in exceptional cases for individual students. Students should contact their instructor if internet access or other issues present them with challenges in the online class format.

Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies students are encouraged to speak with their instructors about the S/F grading option.

The Media School is issuing letter grades as usual, unless a student requests the course be graded on an S/F basis. Students’ requests must be submitted in writing to their instructor by May 8.

Hutton Honors College

Students taking honors classes should consult with their professor about the best grading option for them. Any honors course taken for an S/F grade this semester is approved by the Hutton Honors College to count toward completion of the Hutton Honors Notation, HHC membership and HHC scholarship renewal.

Jacobs School of Music

Instructors who feel it is necessary to convert their entire class to S/F should discuss this with their department chair and must get approval from the associate dean for instruction, Lissa May.

Some Jacobs School of Music courses require a minimum grade. For these courses, the grade S should only be awarded if the student has completed the course at or above that minimum grade level.

Students may request to be graded on an S/F basis in any course prior to final exam week. Requests must be submitted by email to their instructor and the undergraduate office at msug@indiana.edu.

If the work is passing but less than satisfactory, the instructor can revert to assigning a letter grade.

Kelley School of Business

Students can request an S/F grade if there are "extenuating circumstances" due to the coronavirus pandemic. First, students need to complete a separate request form for each of the courses in which they wish to receive a S/F grade. This request form is only for business courses.

The form will be sent to the student’s instructor and then the appropriate program office. The instructor will announce the deadline for submission, which will vary across courses and instructors. All deadlines are on or after May 2.

Students taking business classes can only choose the S/F grade once for each course, and they cannot switch back and forth between a letter grade and this option.

Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering

The dean of the school has authorized faculty teaching courses in the school the option to assign S/F grades rather than letter grades. Requests should be sent no later than the last day of classes, May 1.

Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Regular letter grades are preferred, but an S grade can be assigned if approved by the instructor.

Students can contact their instructor if they want to request an S/F grade prior to finals week. If an S/F grade is requested, the instructor will assign the grade of S when the student completes the course and would normally receive a passing grade.

School of Education

Faculty in the School of Education is not required to grant individual requests for an S/F grade but students can make the request. Requests must be made no later than the last day the classes on May 1.

School of Public Health

Faculty are encouraged to continue to use letter grades if possible but should announce if they would like to discuss an alternate plan. The request should be made no later than the last day of classes, May 1.

If students request S/F, instructors are strongly encouraged to meet this request.

If an instructor wants to switch their entire course to S/F, approval must be granted by the dean’s office. If the switch is granted, the faculty must be willing to deliver a letter grade if a student makes that request.

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