In response to student concerns regarding how their grades might be impacted by the recent changes in the modality of learning as necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Marietta College faculty and administration have collaborated to modify existing grading policies and to provide more flexibility for students for the current semester.

All undergraduate students will have the option to select a Satisfactory/ Low Pass/No Credit grading option for a maximum of 8 credit hours of Spring 2020 coursework, within the following guidelines:

  • Letter grading will remain the default option for all courses not limited to S/U grading.
  • Faculty will continue to grade all students under standard grading policies outlined in the course syllabus and will submit a letter grade for each enrolled student at the end of the term. (Courses currently offered exclusively under the S/U grading option excluded.)
  • For students who select the alternative grading option: Grades of C- or higher will be converted to Satisfactory and D- to D+ will be converted Low Pass. In the case of S and LP grades, credit will be awarded. Grades of F will be converted to No Credit with no credit earned. Neither grade will be included in cumulative or program grade point average calculations.
  • Spring 2020 courses completed with a grade of Satisfactory or Low Pass WILL BE APPLIED to applicable general education, major, minor, and/or certificate requirements.
  • A grade of Satisfactory/ Low Pass/ No Credit may not be used to replace a previous grade in the same course.
  • WRIT 101, WRIT 102, COMM 203, and capstone courses are excluded from the alternative grading option.
  • EDUC Education courses are excluded due to national accreditation restrictions.
  • MUSC, MUED, and MUTH courses are excluded for music-related majors due to national accreditation issues.

This policy is designed to allow a student to focus on successfully completing a class without worrying about how a letter grade would impact grade point average calculations. However, opting for Pass/No Credit grades does not change the course requirements and students are expected to remain engaged in the course and to complete all requirements. Please see the Administrative Withdrawal policy in the College Catalog.

Students are advised that Satisfactory/Low Pass grades might not be accepted for professional licensure programs, graduate school admission, or transfer. Additionally, students should consider potential implications for academic standing, Dean’s List and other honors, and Satisfactory Academic Progress per Title IV financial aid standards. Students must consult with their academic advisor or the department chair of the major. However, it is the student's responsibility to ensure understanding of the implications of the alternative grading option.

  • Any student opting into the alternate grading option must notify the Records Office no later than April 24 of the specific course(s) selected for the Pass/Unsatisfactory option.
  • As a reminder, the deadline to drop a course with a grade of “W” has also been extended through April 24.


Procedure for Requesting Alternate Grade Option:

After consulting with their academic advisor, students who wish to change from standard letter grading to the Spring 2020 Alternate Grading Option for one or more courses (maximum of 8 credit hours) should email the Records Office to make the request.

It is the student’s responsibility to follow each of these steps

  • An email should be sent to with their advisor copied
  • The subject line should read: Alternate Grading Option
  • The email must include the course subject/Prefix, the course number, the course section number, and the title (for example ART 101-02 Drawing 1).
  • The email must also include the student’s major(s)
Still have questions about using this option as you pursue your major?

Email your advisor, before you request using it.


  • All requests will be handled by Tina Hickman, our Registrar, who will verify that the request meets the stated policy and process eligible requests.
  • No matter what the grading preference chosen by the student, faculty will calculate standard letter grades and submit them for everyone. Faculty will not assign the alternate grades themselves.
  • No alternative grade—S/LP/or U—will have impact upon GPA, positive or negative.
Still have questions about process?

Tina Hickman

Honor Societies and Extracurricular Activities:

  • We are asking individual academic departments to determine how they will handle the requirements of their honor societies, and the Provost’s office will support your choice.
  • Dean’s List and High Dean’s Honors will be given, as usual, based upon semester grades. Use of alternative grading will not exclude any student from consideration.
  • Phi Beta Kappa has already been determined, before spring break.
  • Valedictorian and Salutatorian were already selected and notified based on all grades through Fall 2019.
  • Students who are working to raise their grade point for eligibility for extracurricular activities must take into account that GPA is impacted by the combination of GPA and the number of credits attempted.

Questions About Financial Aid?

Students with questions about scholarships or financial aid awards that require maintaining a certain GPA should consult with Financial Aid to know how this will impact their funding, if at all.

Students concerned about Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid:

The Department of Education is still requiring the use of Fall and Spring semester grades for the cumulative GPA calculation and maximum time frame calculation.

Regulatory relief only allows for the removal of attempted credits in the completion rate calculation for the Spring 2020 semester only.

Still have questions about financial aid?

Emily Schuck
Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management Director of Student Financial Services