In response to the disruptions created by the COVID-19 pandemic in Spring 2020, Binghamton University adopted the following temporary changes to its academic policies to minimize the impact of the disruption on students.
Academic Policies and Procedures – Graduate Students
Policy on S/U Grades
For spring 2020, the Graduate School’s policy with respect to the S/U grade option is waived except for those academic programs where licensure or accreditation regulations would prohibit the waiver of this policy. Specifically, the S/U policy change DOES NOT apply to nursing; pharmacy; clinical psychology; and programs in Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership.
All students should consult with their graduate program director to determine whether taking a course S/U will result in adverse consequences. These changes affect only Binghamton University graduate degree programs; graduate students who plan to apply to another graduate program after completing their current program should consider how the decision to select the S/U grade option may affect future applications to such programs.
Grades will be assigned normally at the end of the spring 2020 semester. After students see their grades, they will be able to change to an S/U grading option if they would like to do so. The deadline to request a change in grade option to S/U will be June 5. With the exceptions noted above, graduate students may change to an S/U grade option for any course they are currently enrolled in during the spring 2020 semester and a grade of S will fulfill progression and degree requirements accordingly. Correspondingly, S/U courses taken in spring 2020 will count toward residency and degree completion requirements.
S/U-graded courses do not count toward GPA calculation. Students who need to raise their GPA above the threshold required for graduation (i.e., 3.0) must therefore take this into account in their decision making.
Continuous Registration Policy for Graduating Students
For summer 2020, the Graduate School’s continuous registration policy has been modified. For students who need to be enrolled for one credit hour to complete their degrees in summer of 2020, and who therefore must maintain continuous registration, the University will absorb the cost of one credit hour of tuition upon petition. To make the request, students who are planning to complete their degrees must submit a general petition form to the Graduate School requesting tuition support for the one credit hour necessary to maintain continuous registration.
Eligibility for Funding for the 2020-21 Academic Year
The Graduate School will waive the requirement that students have no incompletes or withdrawals on their transcript for the spring semester to remain eligible for funding in the 2020-21 academic year.
Policy on Grade Point Average (GPA)
Graduate students must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 to receive their graduate degree. The GPA requirement will not be adjusted and S/U courses do not count toward GPA calculation.
Degree Completion and Conferral
Degree completion deadlines and degree conferral for spring 2020 will remain unchanged. Students who have been negatively affected by COVID-19 and cannot meet spring 2020 graduation deadlines may submit a general petition form to firstname.lastname@example.org for a summer 2020 continuous registration waiver.
Academic Policies and Procedures – Undergraduate Students
For spring 2020, the following Pass/Fail policy will apply for all Binghamton University undergraduates except for those in academic programs where licensure or accreditation regulations prohibit (nursing and social work).
These changes affect only Binghamton University degree programs; a student’s decision to select the P/F grade option may affect future applications to medical school and other graduate or professional programs. Students who are considering applying to such programs should consult their advising office for guidance.
These are the basic details for those in academic programs without licensure or accreditation restrictions:
- Up to 12 credits may be taken with a P/F grade option in spring 2020 and used to satisfy degree requirements, including major/minor/General Education requirements, even if these 12 credits would cause a student to exceed their school/college’s cumulative P/F credit limit. (Students may take more than 12 credits for P/F and credit toward their degree if these additional credits do not cause them to exceed the cumulative P/F credit limit for their school/college. Refer to your college’s advising page for your specific limits.)
- Students can decide whether to choose the P/F grading option after spring 2020 grades have been assigned. To give advising offices a chance to help each student make the decision that is best for them, the grade change option will be turned on after spring 2020 grades have been assigned.
- Students will continue to have the option to receive a letter grade if they choose to do so. All undergraduate courses, except those in licensure-qualifying or accreditation-limited programs, will have the P/F grade option even if the P/F grade option was not originally offered for the course.
- A grade of “P” will satisfy progression requirements in prerequisite courses.
University Semester Withdrawal policy
For spring 2020, the University Withdrawal deadline will be June 5. This means that students will be able to see their final grades before making a decision about a University Withdrawal.
Enforcement of GPA-based probation, suspension and dismissal will be suspended for the spring 2020 semester.
Financial Aid Policies
COVID-19 and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
The following policies are applicable to spring 2020. Thereafter, SAP policies and guidelines will again apply.
If a student decides to change their grade from a letter grade to a Pass/Fail, a grade of P or F will not negatively affect eligibility for federal or state aid for the Spring 2020 semester, according to SAP guidelines.
Leniency will be provided to students for the spring 2020 semester who decide to:
- withdraw from a course (W grade), or
- withdraw for the semester due to a COVID-19 related circumstance.
If students withdrew for the semester prior to the change in course delivery method due to COVID-19, whether it will negatively affect eligibility for federal or state aid, according to SAP guidelines, depends on the student’s SAP status at the start of the spring 2020 semester. Students are asked to review the SAP guidelines. If it is determined that a student is no longer eligible at the end of the spring 2020 semester, they may be able to pursue a federal or state waiver based on extenuating circumstances.
Transfer Credit Policies
Due to COVID-19, when evaluating incoming college transfer credit for courses taken during the spring 2020 semester, Binghamton University will accept non-letter grade (Pass or Satisfactory) coursework for credit and allow these courses to fulfill General Education requirements. Please see below for specifics:
College of Community and Public Affairs
Up to 12 credits of non-letter grade coursework from the spring 2020 semester may fulfill major and minor coursework. Additional non-letter grade coursework may transfer in as elective credits.
Harpur College and School of Management
Up to 12 credits of non-letter grade coursework from the spring 2020 semester may fulfill major and minor coursework. Additional non-letter grade coursework may transfer in as elective credits. Additional non-letter grade coursework from spring 2020 may be applied to requirements on an exception basis for students attending a college or university where non-letter grades are the only grading option.
CCPA, Harpur College, School of Management transferring from quarter and trimester schools
Non-letter grade coursework completed throughout the 2019-2020 academic year may satisfy general education requirements. Up to 12 credits of non-letter grade coursework from the 2019-2020 academic year may fulfill major and minor coursework. Additional non-letter grade coursework may transfer in as electives. Exceptions noted above apply for quarter and trimester schools as well.
Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science
Non-letter grade coursework will transfer towards appropriate major and minor degree requirements.
Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Non-letter grade coursework may fulfill General Education, minor, or elective coursework (excluding the required nursing elective).
General Education Courses
General Education courses taken during the spring 2020 term will transfer if they are successfully completed with any passing grade, including