U-M adopts alternative grading for graduate, professional courses


Graduate and most professional degree programs at the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus are adopting an alternative grading policy for the remainder of the semester as administrators continue to address challenges that COVID-19 has created for the university community.

Interim Provost Susan Collins outlined the changes, which also include a more flexible course withdrawal policy, in an all-campus email March 27.

Under the revised policy, students in the Rackham Graduate School will receive either “Satisfactory” or “No Record Covid” grading on their transcripts. Students who receive “Satisfactory,” or “S,” will receive full course credit. The minimum grade for S will be a B-, which aligns with the Rackham’s usual grading practices.

Students who receive “No Record Covid,” or “NRC,” will receive no course credit, but their grade point average will not be affected.

Rackham students will also be allowed to withdraw from a course until April 21 and not have the course appear on their transcript.

The announcement comes a week after similar policies were instituted at the undergraduate level. Faculty will enter traditional letter grades, but undergraduate students will receive either “Pass,” or “No Record Covid” on their permanent transcripts.

At both the graduate and undergraduate level, students who are interested will be able to request that their grade for a course be converted to a traditional letter grade through Wolverine Access. Students will be able to see their letter grade prior to deciding whether to reveal the grade and have it included in their GPA calculation. Such requests must be made by July 1.

Non-Rackham graduate degree programs are also adopting alternative grading policies that will be announced in the coming days, according to the announcement. Certain professional doctoral programs will continue to use standard grading because of clinical, professional or accreditation requirements.

“We know this transition to remote teaching and learning has been a challenge for everyone,” Collins said. “The policy changes I’ve shared in this message have been implemented to acknowledge the pressures students are facing and to offer as much flexibility as possible as they continue contributing to the teaching, research and patient care missions of the university.”

Further details of the Rackham alternative grading are available on the Rackham website. The Registrar’s Office is also updating a set of frequently asked questions about alternative grading for all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.


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