News, On Campus, Top Story, Academics, Coronavirus Updates

BC Expands Pass/Fail, Extends Course Drop Date

Boston College has amended its academic policies for this semester by expanding the option to take courses pass/fail and extending the pass/fail designation deadline in the wake of the University’s move to online classes for the remainder of the semester. BC has also extended the deadlines for dropping and withdrawing from classes.

Students can now designate a class as pass/fail as late as April 30, the last day of classes. In the past, students could only designate a class as pass/fail during the first seven class days of the semester. Typically, only courses taken as general electives can be designated pass/fail, but the new policy allows for students to take core, major, minor, and language proficiency classes pass/fail.

The one-course limit on courses that may be taken pass/fail has also been lifted, and classes taken pass/fail this semester won’t count toward the six-course limit per student.

All undergraduate students may take classes pass/fail, including freshmen, who are usually barred from taking a class pass/fail. The changes apply to all undergraduate classes with exceptions for several nursing classes, one biology class, one palliative care class, and one math class.

Carroll School of Management, Woods College of Advancing Studies, and study abroad classes may now be taken pass/fail. All classes in the BC Law School will now be graded pass/fail.

A petition with over 190 signatures calling for BC to grant a pass/fail option due to the “sizable roadblock” the move to online classes has brought to students began circulating on Wednesday. The petition said that students’ abilities to maintain good grades could be hindered due to the challenges and difficulties that may accompany the transition to online courses.

“Continuing to grade students without regard to the vast shifts in focus and circumstance due to the changes in our environment and education is not equitable or sensible,” the petition reads.

If a student passes a pass/fail class, they will receive credit toward their degree, but there is no effect on the GPA. Conversely, if a student fails a pass/fail class, it does not count toward their degree but is recorded as a .00 in the GPA calculation.

Additionally, the University is extending the course drop date from Feb. 14 to April 9, meaning that students may drop a class and have it expunged from their transcript until that point. The date for withdrawal from a course has now been pushed back from April 14 to April 30. If a student withdraws from a course, it will be recorded on their transcript as a “W” but will not count toward their GPA or graduation requirements.

Madeleine Romance and Benjamin Chieng contributed to reporting.

Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Editor

March 18, 2020