Safety and Emergency Information

Credit/No-Credit Grading Option for Spring 2020

Date: 4/8/2020
From: Provost - Vice President for Academic Affairs 
Subject: Credit/No-Credit Grading Option for Spring 2020

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

We hope this email finds you well, and that you were able to relax and take some time for self-care during this unusual spring break.  We recognize that the move to virtual instruction has required you and your students to adapt your approach to teaching and learning in a very short period of time. We appreciate your efforts and thank you for all you do to support your students.

To lessen the stress associated with the pandemic and mitigate negative impacts of transitioning to virtual instruction and remote student services, universities across the nation are allowing students to opt for Credit/No Credit grades.  Choosing this option  will not affect a student’s GPA.

After broad consultation, Cal Poly Pomona will allow students to request that a letter grade be replaced by a Credit/No Credit grade this semester. This temporary change will help our students to focus on completing the semester, given the unforeseen and challenging circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic has created.

How does CR/NC change the way you grade?

You should continue to grade student work and submit final letter grades as you normally would. PeopleSoft will automatically convert the letter grades to CR or NC, if applicable.  The grading roster will allow you to see which grading option your students have selected (more details are below). When you submit final grades, we will provide a legend to help you identify which option each of your students selected.

What options will students have?

Today, students will receive an email explaining that they can select one of the following three grading options for each course in which they are enrolled this semester. On April 16, students will receive a follow up email with instructions on how to make their selections. Their deadline is May 8.



Graduates and Post-baccalaureate

Option 1:

Letter Grades*

Graded (A, B, C, D, F)

Graded (A, B, C, D, F)

Option 2:

Letter Grades*/No Credit

A, B, C, No Credit

A, B, No Credit


Option 3:

Credit/No Credit

Credit, No Credit


Credit, No Credit

*This includes any plus or minus grades.

All three options will count toward graduation requirements. Additionally, this interim policy suspends any GPA or unit limits in the current grading policy.

How can you help students make an informed choice?

We are advising students that there may be potential impacts of the decision to take a Credit / No Credit grade. Your students will, undoubtedly, ask you for your advice and guidance.  It would be helpful for you to communicate with your students that:

  • For most courses the default grading option is ABCDF, with plus or minus.
  • A letter grade in a course may be required to meet the prerequisite for other courses in your major. The University Catalog also contains this information.
  • You will record a letter grade for each student, but their transcript and GPA will reflect the grading option they select. PeopleSoft will convert the letter grade to Credit or No Credit as appropriate for the option they select.

A FAQ with more detailed information is available on the student success website at:

Again, thank you for your support of our students and all you have done to ensure instructional continuity in these challenging circumstances.

Sylvia A. Alva, Ph.D.
Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs                  

Phyllis R. Nelson, Ph.D.
Chair, Academic Senate
Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering