2020-21 FAQ: COVID-19 impacts on student policies
Some policies were temporarily amended for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters due to challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic and remote learning.
Pass/No Pass (P/NP)
All technical courses taken to fulfill major requirements, as well as courses taken to fulfill the Reading and Composition requirements, that are completed at UC Berkeley during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters may be taken on a P/NP basis.
The issuance of a P grade signifies that the student has passed the class at minimum C- level work.
No. In most cases, a grade of D+, D or D- is sufficient to fulfill a requirement, however, under P/NP would result in a No Pass (NP), which is not sufficient to fulfill any requirements.
We expect that on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, all EPN (elective Pass/No Pass) courses will be converted to CPN. The CPN code will inform the Academic Progress Report that courses completed with grades of P will fulfill college and major requirements that normally require letter grades.
For students who were in good standing when they left UC Berkeley: Yes, all technical courses taken to fulfill major requirements, as well as courses taken to fulfill the Reading and Composition requirements, that are completed at UC Berkeley via concurrent enrollment during the fall 2020 and/or spring 2021 semesters may be taken on a P/NP basis.
For students who were dismissed or were on “subject to dismissal status” when they left UC Berkeley: No, UC Berkeley courses via concurrent enrollment must be taken for a letter grade.
No. A campus-wide Academic Senate Regulation states that students on academic probation (subject to dismissal status) cannot take any courses P/NP, unless the course is only offered P/NP.
For the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters, students will be subject to dismissal if any of the following apply:
- Overall GPA < 2.0
- Semester GPA < 2.0
- ≥ 50% of units completed during the semester are NP
Note that all grades of P for the semester will result in no GPA and will not impact a student’s status.
No. Students cannot change grading options for courses in which they have a student conduct case pending or verified, nor can students drop the course.
Changing majors/double majors/minors
Changing to, or adding, any COE major (except EECS):
Courses completed with a P grade will count toward major requirements and will remain neutral in the GPA calculation.
Changing to, or adding, EECS:
Students who want to change to, or add, the EECS major but have not yet discussed their plans with their ESS adviser should make an appointment with their ESS adviser as soon as possible, as EECS has a number of specific requirements (minimum EECS, technical and overall GPA requirements, as well as minimum prerequisite course requirements), which are referenced below.
If students choose to take any EECS courses P/NP (COMPSCI, EECS, ELENG courses), the shadow letter grade will be requested from the instructor and will be used by ESS to calculate the student’s EECS and technical GPAs.
The impact of the temporary P/NP changes on minors within the College of Engineering is under discussion by the Undergraduate Study Committee and others. Traditionally, minor requirements have been determined by the departments, not by the college as a whole.
Yes. The criteria for honors in general scholarship at graduation are determined by a campus-wide Academic Senate Regulation that has not been changed.
Note about spring 2020 grades: Any courses that were originally taken for letter grade spring 2020 and then switched to DPN and completed with a “P” grade will count towards the 43 minimum letter-graded units for honors.
Yes, due to a campus-wide Academic Senate Regulation, passed grades may account for no more than one-third of the total units completed at UC Berkeley, Fall Program for Freshmen (FPF), UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) or UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) toward the 120 overall minimum unit requirement.
Note that P grades from the spring 2020 semester do not count toward this limit, but P grades earned during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters will count toward this limit.
Transfer credit is not factored into the limit. This includes transfer units from outside of the UC system, other UC campuses, credit-bearing exams, as well as UC Berkeley Extension XB units.
We find that the easiest way to understand this rule is to calculate how many letter-graded units you need at UC Berkeley. Here is a formula you can use:
120 – # of transfer units (includes exam units) = minimum # of units you have to complete at Berkeley
Multiply that by 0.67 = the # of letter-graded units you need to complete at Berkeley
Note: All grades of P in Spring 2020 count as letter-graded units.
E.g., Student has the following transfer units: AP = 5.3, community college = 10, so total # of transfer units = 15.3
120 – 15.3 = 104.7
104.7 x 0.67 = 70
Therefore, this student must complete a total of 70 letter-graded units at UC Berkeley.
Remember, only P grades earned in Spring 2020 will count as letter-graded units.
Repetition of courses
No, due to a campus-wide Academic Senate Regulation, students repeating courses in which they originally received a grade of D+, D, D- or F must repeat the course for a letter grade.
No. At this time, COE plans to return to the normal policy that requires letter grades for Reading and Composition courses, as well as for all technical courses that can fulfill requirements for the student’s major.