The University of Windsor has moved to an “essential service only” model. Learn More.

FAQs about the Revised Grading Regulations for Winter 2020 Courses

In response to the difficulties that many students are facing because of COVID-19, the University announced Revised Grading Regulations to provide students with new flexibility in deciding how their academic performance is recorded for the Winter 2020 semester. 

These Revised Grading Regulations apply to all students except pre-service students in the Faculty of Education and students in the Faculty of Law JD and Dual JD programs. 

Once final grades have been posted to UWinsite Student, eligible students will have three options. For each Winter 2020 course taken, they can choose:

  • To accept the final course grade assigned by the professor;
  • To request a Pass/Non-Pass grade based on the minimum required passing grade in their program or course;
  • To voluntarily withdraw from the course without academic penalty.

The deadline to indicate a Pass/Non-Pass grade or VWC for Winter 2020 courses is May 13 at 11:59 p.m. PNP and VWC decisions must be indicated by the student in UWinsite Student. This ask.UWindsor article outlines the process.

Pass/Non-Pass grades and late Voluntary Withdrawals have to be manually entered on your student record. These will appear on your student record by May 21, 2020.

Pathways for Completing Winter 2020

Other Considerations

Students are facing a variety of difficulties – due to the stress related to what the world is going through, their own health or the health of family and friends, the need to look after family members, or a variety of other factors. Your mental health, well-being and success are of the highest priority to us, which is why we have established these options regarding your final grades.

Providing choice through the Revised Grading Regulations allows those who need grades for advanced placements or applications for further studies to still receive a final grade, while not penalizing those whose performance is affected by difficult circumstances. As it is difficult for all of us to predict how things will evolve right now, we have extended the timeline to enable students to make these decisions once they have a clearer picture of their situation.

This is a difficult period for everyone, and we know that you are facing challenges in tackling your final assessments this semester.  In recognition of these challenges, the University has identified flexible grading options that enable students to make choices that continue to reflect the value of their learning at the University while also taking into account the unexpected factors that have impacted the ending of this semester.  

The University’s academic leadership, including the President, Provost, and Deans, worked together to explore solutions that would balance responsiveness to the challenges students are facing this semester with the importance of protecting students’ long-term success by helping them to complete this semester’s learning and to have that learning fairly reflected in their eventual transcripts.

Completing final assessments based on instructors’ judgment of what is necessary to ensure your readiness for future study and work is important to your long-term success. 

  • Making sure that you complete your courses as fully as possible helps to ensure that employers and graduate programs will understand the value of your education in the future. 
  • It also safeguards student success in future courses, where materials learned in previous courses are critical to success. 
  • For many students, the final period of study is an important part of integrating and solidifying what you have learned over the term, and final assessments are important to that learning. 
  • As always, the University will support students experiencing severe difficulties on an individual basis.  Reach out to your professor, your department, or your Faculty if you need help. 

The University’s decisions about how to proceed involved consultation with universities across the country.

  • The expectations established for students at the University of Windsor are consistent with, and often more flexible than, the options at other universities.  In Ontario, the following universities have adopted revised grade choice options parallel to Windsor’s:  Brock, Lakehead, McMaster, Queen’s, Laurier, Toronto, Western, Guelph, Ryerson, York. 
  • All other institutions have models with fewer options or an approach where decision making varies across the institution either at the Faculty or the instructor level. 
  • Contrary to some misinformation circulating on campus, there are no universities in Ontario that have provided a so-called “grade freeze” or examination opt-out to students at the institutional level. 

No. Any final assessment (final exam, take home paper, etc.) established by your instructor via the revised course requirements will still take place. Your decision to accept your assigned final grade, choose a Pass/Not-Pass grade or complete a late voluntary withdrawal will be made after you’ve completed your course and your grade has been posted in UWinsite Student. 

If you are happy with the grade you have received in your course, no action is required on your part. The revised grading regulations assume you are keeping your final grade. If, after receiving your final grade, you would like to change it to a Pass/Non-Pass grade based on the minimum passing grade for a course in your program, or you would like to voluntarily withdraw late from the class, you will indicate your decision in UWinsite Student. This ask.UWindsor article explains how to do so.

If, after receiving your final grade, you would like to change it to a Pass/Non-Pass grade based on the minimum passing grade for a course in your program, or you would like to voluntarily withdraw late from the class, you will indicate your decision in UWinsite Student. This ask.UWindsor article explains how to do so.

Yes. The Revised Grading Regulations apply to all students except pre-service students in the Faculty of Education and students in the Faculty of Law JD and Dual JD programs. 

If you are in the Bachelor of Education consecutive program, or the Education portion of your Concurrent Education program, the Revised Grading Regulations do not apply to you.  If you are a graduate student in the Faculty of Education, however, the Revised Grading Regulations do apply to you.

If you are completing a course at another University under a “Letter of Permission” and you receive a “pass/satisfactory” grade during the COVID-19 situation, the University of Windsor will award the approved transfer credit.

You still must request the visited institution to submit an official transcript for any course(s) attempted to the Office of the Registrar. Grade(s) received will neither be recorded or used in the calculation of averages.

We recommend you speak with your home institution to see what options are available regarding course work completed at another university. 

Grades usually start to become available within days of the final exam or assessment. In most cases instructors let students know grades are available through Blackboard. We encourage you to go into UWinsite Student, however, on a regular basis to watch for your final grades as grades must be posted in UWinsite Student before the option to select a Pass/Non-pass grade or complete a late voluntary withdrawal is activated. In addition, the decision to select a Pass/Non-pass grade OR voluntarily withdraw late from a class, can only be indicated through UWinsite Student. For information on how to indicate a Pass/Non-Pass grade or late voluntary withdrawal in UWinsite Student, please read this ask.UWindsor article.

This means that you elect to keep the grade you have received in your course and have it appear on your academic transcript. If that is the case, then no action is required on your part.

A Pass/Non-Pass grade will change the grading on your course so that you would see only a ‘P’ or a ‘NP’ beside the course on your transcript.

If you select this option and receive a Pass, no value will be associated with that course – so it will not be included in your average calculation.  The course will count as a valid credit towards completion of your degree. 

If you select this option and receive a Non-Pass, no value will be associated with that course. The course will not be included in your average calculation, nor will it count as a valid credit towards the completion of your degree. 

The minimum grade to receive a P in most undergraduate courses is 50%. The minimum grade to receive a P in all graduate courses is 70%. These are general guidelines, however, so we strongly encourage you to review your program and course requirements for the minimum grade required to receive a P.

Yes. If you receive a Pass in the course, it will be treated as completing the prerequisite.

You can choose course by course. You can choose to accept your final grades for some courses and P/NP or VW for others.

If the mark is considered a pass for your program and you elect to move to the ‘Pass/Non-Pass’ grading scheme, the mark of 75 will be removed from the course and will be replaced with a ‘P’.  With the grade of ‘P’, the mark would not be included in your major or cumulative average calculation.

A grade of ‘Pass’ has no grade value associated with it and will not impact your average.  So, the course will not impact academic standing, from an overall average perspective.

The choice to accept your final grades or opt for P/NP grade is made after you complete your courses and receive your final grades. We encourage you to continue to work hard to get the most out of your courses so that you are well-prepared for future coursework, as well. 

Accepting a Pass will mean the grades for that course will not be factored into your major or cumulative averages.  During an interview with Co-op/Internship employers, should they ask about your grade in a course, you would simply explain that due to COVID-19, a pass/non-pass was given. We anticipate that most employers will be understanding as this is a global pandemic.     

No. The grade of ‘P’ would replace the original attempt and grade for the course, and the original grade will not be included in the GPA calculation.  As no value is associated with a “P” it will not be included in your average calculations.  The repeated course will count as a valid credit towards completion of your degree.  

The last day to voluntarily withdraw by simply dropping the course is April 3, 2020. There will be no academic penalty.  A notation of VW, however, will show beside the course on your transcript. VW notations that took place beginning on March 13, when the Emergency Academic Plan went into place, and the final day to make decisions about grade choice options, will be marked as VWC on your transcripts.

A late VW is the same as a regular VW except it will be granted outside of the normal voluntary withdrawal period. ALL VW notations that took place beginning on March 13, when the Emergency Academic Plan went into place, and the final day to make decisions about grade choice options, will be marked as VWC on your transcripts.

Yes. You will want to be mindful of the number of courses for which you choose a P/NP grade or VW and weigh your decisions carefully. For example, some professional schools and graduate programs take the number of Pass/Non-Pass courses or voluntary withdrawals into account when evaluating candidates. Current and future scholarship opportunities and financial aid may also be impacted; these determinations are still being made. VW notations that took place beginning on March 13, when the Emergency Academic Plan went into place, and the final day to make decisions about grade choice options, will be marked as VWC on your transcripts, but the University of Windsor has no control over how other institutions will treat these choices.

Current Students – Renewable Scholarships

  • Minimum cumulative average required to maintain scholarship = 85%
  • Must have maintained a full course load in their past two semesters
  • Must be enrolled in continuous study according to their regular program/plan sequence

1) How will a pass/fail grade impact my renewable entrance scholarship eligibility specific to the minimum cumulative average requirement of 85%?

A grade assignment of Pass or No-Pass indicates whether you will receive credit for the course.  it also means that the course will not be used in the calculation of your GPA. When it comes to the renewal of the Dean's (or other UWindsor) scholarship(s), only the courses for which you have been assigned numerical grades will be used in the calculation of your average. In some cases, students might select a grade of P to prevent the course from counting toward the grade point average calculation. In other cases, students will opt to take the numerical grade since it may increase their average and make them eligible for renewal.

2) How will a VW impact my renewable entrance scholarship specific to the requirement of maintaining a full course load and being enrolled in continuous study?

Students who withdrew from courses on or after March 13 will not be penalized and will be considered to be in continuous study for the purposes of scholarship renewal.  The minimum average requirement of 85% will still be a requirement.  For example, if a student has an 85% at the end of the Fall 2019 term and elects to take 3 ‘pass’ grades and a VW, the student will be eligible for renewal into the next academic year.

3) At the end of the fall term, my average was slightly below the 85% cumulative average requirement with the intent on raising my average above 85% in the Winter 2020 term.  Due to COVID-19, I am electing to take one or more ‘Pass’ grades restricting my ability to raise my average.

Students in this situation will have the ability to raise their cumulative grade point average in their next semester of full-time study, either in Summer 2020 or Fall 2020.  If after Summer 2020 or Fall 2020, a student has attained the minimum cumulative average required to renew their scholarship, they will receive the value of one term scholarship retroactive to the Fall 2020 term.  For example, if a student after Winter term has an 84.99% average, they will not be eligible for renewal after Winter 2020.  If the student takes courses in Summer 2020 and raises their cumulative average, they will be eligible for renewal in Fall 2020 and Winter 2021.  If not, and the student enrolls full-time in Fall 2020 and raises their cumulative average to 85% after Fall 2020, the student will be eligible for their Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 scholarship payment.

The various provincial student aid programs, specifically OSAP, are working to ensure that financial aid recipients are not negatively impacted due to events related to COVID-19. A COVID-19 related event is defined as being ill, self-isolating, quarantined, caring for an immediate family member or suffering from mental health issues related to COVID-19.

If a student withdraws from all courses, we ask that the student submit a letter of explanation via email to award1@uwindsor.ca outlining the rationale for the withdrawal. Please include your full name and student ID number in your email.  The financial aid file will be adjusted according to the current financial aid rules in effect however, if the adjustment results in grants being converted to loans (for OSAP recipients), this may be prevented if the student submits a letter outlining the reason for the withdrawal to the Financial aid office.

Students will not be financially penalized if they elect to complete their courses with either a pass, no pass or combination of the gradings however, students who fail to successfully complete at least 60% of their course load (40% for students with a permanent disability) will be placed on a financial aid academic progress warning or restriction. If a student fails to complete 60% of their course load (40% for students with a permanent disability) due to COVID-19 related reasons, the student must send an email to award1@uwindsor.ca outlining the reason for failing to complete the required course load and the warning or restriction may be waived. 

Yes. The formal appeal process through UWinsite Student will be available once grades have been deemed official by the Office of the Registrar. At that point, the options available under the Revised Grading Regulations will be closed at 11:59 p.m. May 13, 2020 and the formal appeal process will be opened to eligible students. Learn more here

The deadline for changing your course grade to a P/NP or VWC is May 13. If for an approved reason, however, you have not yet received your course grade by that date (for example, if you received an "Incomplete" (IN) in a course and complete the course after May 13 but within the allotted time period) then you can submit a request through ask.UWindsor.ca for a change of grade (P/NP or VWC) after the May 13 deadline. The Office of the Registrar will verify the situation and assist you. If you plan to appeal a grade, do not change it to a P/NP or a VWC: there will be an opportunity after the appeal to request a P/NP or a VWC through the Office of the Registrar. That procedure will be communicated directly to students who submit a request to appeal.

During the COVID-19 academic emergency, the University is launching an interface that will enable students to directly communicate that an illness with symptoms related to the COVID-19 virus has prevented them from completing an assessment by the relevant deadline. This will not require a medical note, and the information will be communicated to your professor. For all other concerns, the processes outlined in Bylaw 54, section 2.18.1 or Bylaw 55, section 1.11 continue to apply. For information on how to self-report an illness, please read this ask.UWindsor.ca article.

If you still have questions about the Revised Grading Regulations, please email vpacademic@uwindsor.ca. Also, please note we will be updating these FAQs as more information becomes available or new questions arise.