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Graduate School To Offer Modified Grading System For Spring Semester

The Graduate School at Penn State is allowing students to modify their grades to mitigate the impacts to their GPAs and transcripts due to unprecedented circumstances relating to the coronavirus pandemic, the university announced in a release.

The system is similar to the modified grading system that was introduced for undergraduates last week. The new policy will also include World Campus graduate-level students.

At the end of the semester, professors will post grades and give students approximately one week to decide if they’d like to switch any earned letter grades to one of three alternative grades:

  • P — Available if a student earns a C or better in a course. This grade will appear as earned credits on transcripts.
  • V — Available if a student earns a D or better in a course. Vs will count for attempted credit on transcripts and not count toward earned credits.
  • Z — Available if a student earns an F in a course. These will also count for attempted credit and not earned credit.

None of the three alternative grades will have an impact on students’ GPAs if selected. According to Penn State, every student is “strongly encouraged to continue striving for the highest possible grades in each class.”

Students are encouraged to weigh the potential impacts with their adviser, as it could affect academic requirements associated with professional licensure organizations.

More information will be shared in the coming weeks. In the meantime, additional details surrounding the new system, including answers to frequently asked questions, can be found here.

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About the Author

Colleen Nersten

Colleen is a washed-up biology grad and former associate editor. Her legacy will live on through stories like “10 Questions With State College Sensation ‘Hot UPS Bae’”. If you’re a STEM girlie, this is your sign to take the leap of faith and learn to write. It’s pretty fun. Colleen misses the hate mail and can be reached at [email protected] or via LinkedIn.

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