Understanding SDSU’s credit/no credit option, course withdrawal extension

A+credit%2Fno+credit+flowchart%2C+produced+by+the+College+of+Professional+Studies+and+Fine+Arts%2C+to+help+guide+students.+This+guide+is+specific+to+PSFA+students.

Photo courtesy of College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts

A credit/no credit flowchart, produced by the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, to help guide students. This guide is specific to PSFA students.

by Jeanette Giovanniello, Staff Writer

San Diego State has expanded the credit/no credit option for all spring 2020 courses, according to a campus-wide email sent on April 20. This revision is an extension of a previous campus policy, which only qualified some courses to use this grading method.

This option changes a student’s final grade to a pass or fail mark, rather than the standard letter grade. Students are able to request to change in their grading format by May 1, according to the email. This requires students to submit a Late Schedule Adjustment petition with the registrar’s office. 

For undergraduate students to receive credit for their course, they must earn 2.0 or more grade points, which is equivalent to an A through C, according to the Office of Registrar’s website

Graduate students have higher stakes if they choose the grading alternative with courses requiring 3.0 or more grade points, which is a B or above, to earn credit.

If a student chooses not to receive credit, their GPA will not be impacted.

Students must seek consultation from academic advisers and a financial aid officer for the petition to be approved. The university’s email encouraged students who are considering these options to seek guidance from these advisers before making a decision, especially because some departments may have different rules regarding this policy.

The grade alterations could potentially affect students’ financial aid, employability and academic goals, such as graduate admissions potentially calculating a no credit mark as an “F.”

Students are also permitted to withdraw from one or more courses until May 7. Those who want to drop a class must submit the same petition form used for the credit/no credit request. The withdrawal submission requires the approval from the dean of the college in which the course is offered. 

Petitions previously required a personal statement, documentation of proof and instructor’s signature, all of which have been temporarily disregarded for the spring semester. Students were also required to pay a $20 fee to the registrar’s office, which is also temporarily waived. The form will be updated to reflect these changes.

Undergraduate students can turn in the completed petition submission and documentation to the Office of the Registrar, located in SSW 1641. Graduate students can turn in their paperwork to Graduate Affairs, located in SSE 1410.

If the student’s petition gets approved, a confirmation email will be sent to the students’ SDSU email address. 

The university’s decision offers students greater academic flexibility and course relief due to the online adjustments made during the coronavirus pandemic. SDSU’s policy follows several other California State University schools’ decisions to offer alternative grading options. 

The policy was also heavily advocated by Associated Students, which made a Change.org petition supporting the expansion for all courses to be eligible for the pass/fail option before the campus expanded upon its previous policy.

The university’s email also offered support for students in critical need of resources as a response to the coronavirus. Students in need of housing, food, technology, counseling and other aid can fill out the university’s Economic Crisis Response Team form for donation-funded support.

Graduate students are advised to review the Graduate Affairs Coronavirus Policy Updates page which has information about thesis packets, employment and affected graduation requirements.

Undergraduates can attend a Virtual Academic Advising Session or call (619) 594-6668 if they have any questions about these options or seek advising. Students with other concerns about course choices and majors are encouraged to speak to their major adviser.

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