A message from Provost Donald Nieman on Undergraduate Pass/Fail and other policies for spring 2020

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

This semester's academic disruption and the current public health crisis have had a significant impact on our courses and on students' ability to do their best in coursework this semester. We have heard from faculty, students and deans' offices about examples of the challenges you are facing: students taking on the role of primary caregiver for siblings, students without internet access, students dealing with sudden economic stress due to family job losses and more. We know this is a very difficult time for students and we want to support their efforts to continue making progress toward their Binghamton University degrees, so we have implemented the following policies for the spring 2020 semester.

1. Pass/Fail policy

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; your 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:

Many students will benefit most by electing to take only a few or even no courses with the P/F option. This policy allows students to wait until after grades have been assigned before deciding whether to choose the P/F grade option.

Follow the links below to find your school’s specific advice:

2. 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.

3. Class Schedule Policy

Students and faculty have reported that some instructors or discussion section leaders have rescheduled "live" (synchronous) meetings at times that conflict with another course. Instructors who are continuing with synchronous class meetings are required to use their originally scheduled meeting schedule. To report concerns about changed class meeting times, contact Donald Loewen (djloewen@binghamton.edu).

4. Academic Standing

Enforcement of GPA-based probation, suspension and dismissal will be suspended for the spring 2020 semester.

5. Syllabus modification policy

For spring 2020, instructors have been encouraged to modify their syllabi to account for the academic disruption and the shift to remote instruction. Quizzes, assignments and tests completed before the shift to remote instruction should not be re-weighted to change their percentage of the final grade unless students opt in to the changes. For students who opt out, alternatives will need to be offered.

6. Fall 2020 registration

The fall 2020 registration period will begin April 13. Time tickets will be issued this week.


Donald Nieman
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

For more information and updates, continue to visit the University's COVID-19 website.