Allow UTD Students to Opt Into a Pass/Fail Grading System

This petition made change with 1,847 supporters!

With COVID-19 changing the way that classes are being held for the rest of the semester, it is important that UTD and the UT System reacts accordingly with regards to changing its grading policy. UTD and most schools are doing what they can to make the best of this continuously evolving situation. 

However, many students are concerned with how this online class format will affect our grades. Lectures are being conducted differently. Evaluations of knowledge are being done differently. The content of the classes themselves are changing. The inability to meet with professors and teaching assistants in person, the stress of traveling, and the challenges inherent in taking synchronous classes in different time zones make this semester more difficult than any other. Many of the professors in our school, while being incredible educators in their fields, have very little to no experience managing courses online. There is no way to predict how grades will look coming out of this pandemic. 

Schools like Georgetown, OU, Duke, Carnegie Mellon, MIT and many others have already extended a Pass/Fail grading system. Under the system at OU and Carnegie Mellon, professors will still keep track of letter grades during the semester. When a professor submits a student’s final letter grade at the end of the semester, students will have seven days from that date to elect to take a “pass/no-pass" grade in that class instead. There is no limit to the number of classes a student can choose to convert to “pass/no-pass."

This system allows students who's grades will be potentially harmed by the effects of COVID-19 to choose pass/fail, and students who would prefer to keep their letter grades to do that as well. 

UTD and the UT System need to adopt this option for their students whose futures will be affected by the potentially unrepresentative grades they get this semester. The world, the country, and the university will hopefully recover from this pandemic as soon as possible, but the universities need to make sure that the students' transcripts and thus, their futures, will not be permanently harmed.

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