COVID updates, Pass Fail Option

Spring 2020 COVID-19

 4/28/2020 Medical School Admission Polies regarding Pass Fail acceptance, updated daily.

4/24/2020 MCAT Coronavirus updates:

4/17/2020 Veterinary Medicine Schools Admission Policies in Response to COVID-19

4/15/2020 Osteopathic Medical Schools Adapt Admissions Processes in Response to COVID-19

4/10/2020 PharmCAS COVID-19 Udpates for applicants

4/5/2020 Joint Statement Admissions Deans of California Medical Schools Regarding Academic Work and MCAT Tests that are Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak

COVID-19 updates Resource Hubs:

Medical (MD)

Osteopahtic (DO)



Physician Assistant 

Physical Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Veterinary Medicine


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Email Brenda Kelly to Student-L (4/2/2020)

The form for requesting letter grades is found here: Pass-Fail Grade Request Form 

If you submit a form and change your mind, a student may submit a new form. The Registrar’s Office will accept (as final) the form that has the date closest to May 20. Thus, if you submit a form to take CHE-141 for a letter grade on May 1, then submit a form to take BIO-102 for a letter grade on May 20, the May 20th form will be the document that stands in the College records. If you would like CHE-141 to maintain a letter grade, then the May 20th submission should contain both the listing of CHE-141 and BIO-102. 
Grades of “Pass” are not accounted for in the calculation of GPA; however, “Fail” grades in courses graded P/F are accounted for in GPA calculations. 

Email message from Heather Banks & Heidi Selzler-Bahr to Health Profession Cluster students (sent 3/31/2020):

Good Morning-- Please read entire message about pass fail default grading policy and impact for applying to graduate programs. Question: "With the new pass fail default grading at Gustavus will that work for my prerequisite courses for graduate school?"

Accepting pass fail prerequisite course requirements may vary by some of the health profession graduate programs. It is a very common policy that graduate programs REQUIRE prerequisite courses to be taken for a letter grade; if it is not a required policy, it is typically STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

Applicants are also evaluated on Cumulative GPA and Science GPA so having pass fail grades accepted would make it difficult for many schools to use the GPA as a fair screening option. 

All that being said, we do not know if the COVID-19 situation will offer an exception to this policy or how it might influence waivers on this policy moving forward. This type of change in policy has not been communicated at this point, and so there is no way to predict what might happen.

So our advice moving forward is:

Option one: REQUEST A LETTER GRADE for all your prerequisite courses

Students will have the option of requesting a letter grade for any of their Spring 2020 courses. Students must submit the requests for letter grades to the Registrar's Office on a per-course basis. These requests are due to the Registrar's Office by the revised Withdrawal deadline, May 20. This policy does not apply to courses that were originally offered with Pass/Fail grades. 

*Students will receive more information about the process to request a letter grade for any of their Spring 2020 courses in forthcoming Student-l communications from the Provost Office and Registrar’s office.

Option two: Check the website of ALL the graduate programs you plan to apply to or contact the admission representative to check the policy of pass fail and make your decision based on that information.

We are happy to talk with you about your individual situation by email or remote appointment.

Hope you are well.

Heather Banks,
Heidi Selzler-Bahr,
Career Development Specialist- Health Professions