Grading Options Update

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 1:45 p.m.
All KU Lawrence and Edwards Students,KU Lawrence Faculty Staff and Affiliates

Dear students,

I’ve heard from a number of you about the extreme challenges you’re facing. Our times are unique, and you have genuine concerns surrounding grades, transition to remote coursework, technology challenges, finances, relocating, general health and wellbeing and, in many cases, new responsibilities.

One of our guiding principles as we work through the challenges presented by COVID-19 is to protect KU students as much as possible by responding to your needs with decisions that do not add to your burden so you are able to continue your education.

A number of you have reached out since Friday to let me know you felt rushed to make an important decision about electing credit/no-credit (CR/NC) by the April 17th deadline, with little knowledge of how you were progressing in your courses in this new environment. I want you to feel comfortable with your decision so I’m writing today to let you know you have more time.

Extending the CR/NC Deadline

Based on your feedback, the CR/NC option has been extended for spring 2020 courses. With this new extension, students may be able to request the CR/NC option until December 18, 2020. This ensures eligible students considering the option will be able to see final letter grades for their spring 2020 courses and be able to make more informed decisions. As stated in the April 1 message to students, the CR/NC option is not available for all majors or for certain courses, such as:

  • Courses needed for licensure,
  • Students in the School of Law or the School of Architecture and Design, which are using a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory system this semester,
  • Graduate-level courses needed to fulfill hours toward satisfaction of graduate degree requirements,
  • And other cases where a school’s long-standing policy doesn’t allow the option.

At this time there are no changes to policies and deadlines for summer or fall 2020 semester courses.

CR/NC Deadlines for Graduating Students

To ensure degrees can be certified, eligible students expecting to complete their degree during the spring 2020 semester have until 11:59 p.m., May 29, to make a request for CR/NC. Eligible students expecting to graduate at the end of the summer 2020 or fall 2020 semesters would be able to request the CR/NC option for their spring 2020 courses until they are cleared for graduation.

Cautions for Choosing CR/NC Option

There are still many reasons why CR/NC may not be the best choice for your academic progress and career aspirations. This decision can affect student financial aid, scholarships, acceptance into professional and advanced-degree programs and much more. As I urged you earlier, please work with an advisor or faculty mentor to better understand the implications before finalizing your decision. Our change gives you considerably more time (until December 18, 2020) to work through the pros and cons.

We will reach out to faculty and instructors to encourage them to keep you informed of your progress in class. Similarly, if you are unsure of your standing in your courses, please contact your instructors to ask for guidance.

Finding Help During COVID-19

Students, we are finding new ways to get through these unprecedented times together. My hope is that this change eases some burden and anxiety many of you have said you are feeling. As I wrote in my message Friday, KU has many support services available to you help regardless if you are nearby or far away. The Emergency Aid Network ( has a robust website with resources and information about housing, food, and financial assistance available through KU as well as through local and regional agencies. The Student Support and Case Management team is also available to assist and can be reached at or at 785-864-4060.

Appreciating Our Staff Who Support Students

Students, please join me in thanking all the staff in academic administrative service positions who are working diligently to change long-standing processes and systems as quickly as possible to accommodate your needs. I appreciate all of these efforts and the commitment to support and promote the success of our students.

Be well and Rock Chalk!


Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor