Published: March 26, 2020

I am grateful to all CU Boulder students, faculty and staff for your commitment to continuing and supporting the important work of teaching, learning, scholarship and creative work during this unsettling semester. I recognize that it has been far from easy, especially for our students, who have had to face tremendous upheaval in all aspects of their lives.

Provost Russell Moore

Provost Russell Moore

After consultation with the Boulder Faculty Assembly and the deans of our schools and colleges, and to ensure our students’ success during this stressful time, I am announcing that CU Boulder will lift restrictions on pass/fail credits for all majors and all undergraduate and graduate degrees (other than University of Colorado Law School degrees) for spring semester 2020. We will also allow students to declare a pass/fail option for most classes, including most of those currently limited to “letter grade only” enrollment. Colorado Law will not use the pass/fail option for its courses, but rather will change all law courses to a credit/no-credit basis for spring 2020.

To guide students, faculty and academic advisors, here are the key elements of these changes for the spring 2020 semester:

  • The deadline for students (other than law students) to declare a pass/fail (P/F) grade option has been extended to April 30, the last day of classes.
    • For classes that have a last day other than April 30, the class’s last day is the deadline for declaring the P/F option. See special session calendar.
  • Students may change the P/F option back to a letter grade option at any time up to the April 30 deadline.
  • All undergraduate and graduate students in every degree program (except for Colorado Law) may opt for a P/F grade, except for those very few classes that require a “letter grade.”
    • For example, there are some licensure agencies that do not accept a P/F grade for specific, required classes. Students should check their classes in Buff Portal, since most classes that previously did not allow for the P/F option have had that restriction lifted for spring 2020.
  • Grades of “P” earned in the spring 2020 semester will be accepted to satisfy degree requirements and will not be counted against the “P” credit limit in any degree or major, with no exceptions.
  • As in current practice, instructors will not be informed that students have chosen the P/F option for a class. At the end of the semester, the instructor submits letter grades for all students. The letter grade is converted to “P” or “F” by the Office of the Registrar for students who have chosen the P/F option. Grades of “D–” or higher convert to “P.”
  • Published prerequisite grades for classes taken in spring 2020 will still be enforced. After the end of the semester, colleges, schools, and departments/programs will have access to the letter grades that were converted to grades of “P.”
    • If a student’s letter grade satisfies the prerequisite, departments will mark the prerequisite requirement as fulfilled.
    • If the student’s letter grade is below the grading standard to satisfy a prerequisite, the grade of “P” will remain on the transcript, but the prerequisite will not be fulfilled.
    • Letter grades that are converted to grades of “P” for individual students will not be used for purposes other than prerequisite checking.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to check with their academic advisors and with the Office of Financial Aid about electing P/F grades, to make sure that this is the right choice for them.
    • Academic advisors will help guide students considering the P/F option in classes important for meeting their individual goals (for example, licensure or medical school or graduate school application).
    • Students should be aware that grades of “P” are not factored into cumulative GPA. Grades of “F,” however, are included in GPA.
    • Students with concerns about how P/F grades might impact their Satisfactory Academic Progress should review the policy and contact the Office of Financial Aid at or 303-492-5091.
    • Students with questions about how P/F grades might impact scholarship eligibility should email
  • All Colorado Law courses will be graded on a credit/no-credit (CR/NC) basis in spring 2020. The CR grade is equivalent to a grade of “pass” in Colorado Law’s current system. An NC grade will be assigned to those students not performing sufficiently, in the judgment of the instructor, to receive credit for the course. Colorado Law students who have questions about CR/NC should check with the law dean’s office.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to sort out the many key issues and processes that affect our students’ academic success and well-being. Take care of yourselves and one another, and be sure to check the CU Boulder coronavirus updates and resources page for the most current information.


Russ Moore