Spring 2020 Special Grading Option During Disruption

Smart Restart

The University of Wisconsin­–Madison plans to begin fall classes as scheduled on September 2 and offer in-person instruction in many courses until the Thanksgiving recess, at which time the last nine days of instructions will occur virtually. To safeguard the health of the community, the university will enact the “Smart Restart” plan, which outlines the university’s approach to dealing with major issues such as instruction, health and safety, housing and dining and more.

After conferring with a wide range of stakeholders including the deans of all of the schools/colleges, Provost Scholz informed the University community on March 26 that UW-Madison is introducing a special grading option for students in response to the COVID-19 events. This policy applies to all students enrolled in courses that award A-F grades, with the exception of students within the Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs and students in the Law School. The new Spring 2020 disruption grades and their distinct rules are described in the FAQs below.

At the end of the Spring 2020 term, eligible students may choose to convert their letter grade in any course to one of two new grades that have been created:

SD (Satisfactory-Disruption) and UD (Unsatisfactory-Disruption). When students choose this option, their letter grade will be converted to one of the two new grades as described below. The SD grade will count for all University General Education, degree/major, certificate, and PhD minor requirements and will satisfy future course prerequisites. The UD will not count for any credit. Neither of the new grades will be included in GPA calculations.

If you can’t find what you need on this webpage, please email Instructional Continuity.

 

Please be sure to refresh this page (hold down your Shift key and click Refresh) to view the most up-to-date information.

Added May 11, 2020

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Will students be allowed to elect disruptive grading for Summer 2020 courses?

Disruptive grading will not be an option for Summer 2020 courses.
Added April 28, 2020

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(Undergraduates only) How will SD/UD grades be considered in my application to UW-Madison undergraduate majors or programs?

Programs are planning to be accommodating of SD grades and will not disadvantage students with SD/UD grades. Check with the program you are applying to for more detailed information on how the grade will be considered.

How will the SD/UD grades be explained on my transcript?

The transcript legend, which appears on every transcript, will describe the SD/UD grades.

What if there is a grade change in a Spring 2020 class?

During the SD/UD Election window (May 9th – May 22nd)

If an approved grade change is processed and you already elected an SD/UD grade, when the grade change is posted to your student record, it will override the SD/UD grade and the button to “Convert to SD/UD” is once again active. You can choose to keep your new letter grade or once again convert it to SD/UD.

After the SD/UD Election window closes (May 22nd)

If an approved grade change is processed and you already elected an SD/UD grade, when the grade change is posted to your student record, it will remove the SD/UD grade and the letter grade will be displayed on your student record.  If ANY Spring 2020 grade change is processed, and you are eligible for SD/UD grade conversion, you will receive an email from the Office of the Registrar (RO), informing you that a grade has changed in the specified class(es) and that you have eight-days (your deadline will be included in the email) to inform the RO that you wish to convert that new grade to an SD/UD, based on the conversion table.  All you have to do is click on the link included in the email to notify the RO.  If you fail to notify the RO within that eight-day window, you will have to appeal to your academic dean’s office to have the grade converted to the SD/UD grade.

Added April 13, 2020

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Can I still earn retroactive credits for the foreign language class I am taking with a grade of SD?

A student can earn retroactive credits with a grade of SD, if both the student and the course meet the conditions required to qualify for retroactive credits (https://kb.wisc.edu/ls/page.php?id=23736)

Can students who receive an incomplete (I) grade from a Spring 2020 course choose a SD/UD grade when they complete the course?

For Undergraduate and University Special Students:

Students will have the opportunity to convert to the new SD/UD grades only after there is a final grade recorded for the course. The Office of the Registrar will email students once a final grade is received and students will have 8 days from receipt of that email to convert the grade to a SD/UD grade.

All Other Students:

All students eligible for SD/UD grade conversion will have the opportunity to convert to the new SD/UD grades if they complete the work and receive a letter grade before December 31, 2020. The Office of the Registrar will email students once a final grade is received and students will have 8 days from receipt of that email to convert the grade to a SD/UD grade.

What if my Spring 2020 class ended before the COVID 19 disruption (March 15th)?

Any student, in any graded A-F course in Spring 2020 can elect a SD/UD grade, regardless of what session the course was offered in and when it ended.

I am a transfer student. Will UW-Madison accept my COVID-19 related grades from my current school?

Current policies regarding what coursework is eligible to transfer into UW-Madison still apply. If you have earned credit for a transfer eligible course, UW-Madison will transfer the course.

Added April 7, 2020

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(Undergraduates Only): Will there be any changes to the academic standing rules (e.g. probation, strict probation, warning) for the Spring 2020 semester?

Students will not be dropped from the university for reasons of academic standing at the end of the Spring 2020 semester, regardless of semester GPA.

If you are currently in good academic standing you will not have a negative academic standing action (e.g. probation, strict probation, warning) placed regardless of your semester or cumulative GPA.

If you are currently on some kind of probation (e.g. probation, strict probation, warning), your academic performance in Spring 2020 will be evaluated against your school/college policies and you will either be cleared of the previous action and returned to good academic standing, if eligible, or your Fall 2019 probation status will continue following the Spring 2020 term.  If you are returned to good academic standing, your transcript and ‘View Grades’ page in the Student Center will show “Cleared of Previous Action,” which is UW-Madison’s practice once a student returns to good standing.

(Undergraduates Only): If I choose to have my grade changed to a SD/UD grade, how will this impact my honors requirements?

The SD grade will count for honors program requirements.  The UD grade will not count for honors program requirements.

(Undergraduates Only): Will there still be a Dean’s List this semester?

Yes. The requirements to be eligible for a Dean’s List will remain the same as previous semesters. To be eligible for a Dean’s List, students must complete a minimum of 12 graded (A-F) degree credits this semester. SD/UD grades do not count towards the minimum of 12 credits. See https://registrar.wisc.edu/deanslist/ for information about school/college dean’s list rules.

How does the SD/UD option work for courses from UW Study Abroad?

See https://studyabroad.wisc.edu/covid-19-faq/ for information about grading for UW Study Abroad this semester.

Added March 30, 2020

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If I choose to have my grade changed to SD, will these courses still fulfill my requirements?

For Undergraduate, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, Master of Genetic Counselor Studies (MGCS), Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS), Master of Public Health (MPH) and University Special Students: 

The SD will count for all University General Education, degree/major, and certificate requirements.

Updated April 8, 2020

For Graduate and Capstone Students: 

The SD will count for all degree requirements. Courses taken on this basis will also count toward the Graduate School’s minimum graduate residence and graduate coursework (50%) credit requirements, as well as certificate and doctoral minor course credit and the minimum or maximum credit load per term requirements.

For students in the Law School and Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs within the School of Medicine and Public Health:

Student grading will be managed within those programs.  Law, MD or DPT students should consult their Dean’s office with questions.

How does a SD/UD grade impact my GPA?

The new SD/UD grades will not impact your GPA in any way, positively or negatively.

How does the UD grade work?

The UD grade does not satisfy any requirements, it does not count for credit, it does not impact a GPA, and it cannot be used to fulfill a prerequisite on a course.  Students may retake a course with a UD grade in a subsequent semester and receive credit in that semester. Both courses will remain on the record.

If I choose to convert my grades to SD/UD, how will standard letter grades convert to SD/UD?

For Undergraduate, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, Master of Genetic Counselor Studies (MGCS), Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS), Master of Public Health (MPH) and University Special Students:

If an undergraduate or university special student earns a C or higher, and opts into the COVID-19 grading option, their grade will be converted to a SD; if a student earns a D or F in a course, and opts into the COVID-19 grading option, their grade will be converted to a UD. Spring 2020 grades can only be converted between May 9 and May 22, after course grades have been posted in the Student Center. 

For Graduate Students:

If a graduate student earns a B or higher, and opts into the COVID-19 grading option, their grade will be converted to a SD; if a student earns a BC or lower, and opts into the COVID-19 grading option, their grade will be converted to a UD. Spring 2020 grades can only be converted between May 9 and May 22, after course grades have been posted in the Student Center.

For students in the Law School and Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs within the School of Medicine and Public Health:

Student grading will be managed within those programs.  Law, MD or DPT students should consult their Dean’s office with questions.

How does a SD/UD grade impact enrollment for future courses? How does a SD/UD grade affect prerequisite courses?

A SD grade in a prerequisite course will allow a student to enroll in the next course. A UD grade in a prerequisite course will not allow a student to enroll in the next course, since the UD grade does not grant credit for the course.

Why aren’t all classes automatically being changed to the new SD/UD grades?

We know our students are still working diligently on their coursework and our faculty and instructors are still delivering a rigorous learning experience. We expect that most of our students will still want their transcript to reflect the caliber of performance and maintain the letter grade they’ve worked hard to earn.

How will I indicate I want a SD/UD grade for my course?

The window to elect the COVID-19 grading option will begin on May 9th and will conclude on May 22nd, giving you the benefit of seeing the official grade in your Student Center before you decide.  Once final grades are posted to your Student Center, all eligible students can follow the step-by-step guide to convert their grades to SD/UD.  Please consult with your advisor if you have questions about whether or not you should convert to SD/UD.

Is there a limit on how many courses I can convert to the SD/UD grades this semester?

No.

(Undergraduates Only): If I take classes SD/UD, will they count towards the 16 credits I can take pass/fail during my undergraduate career?

No.

Do I need to be in good academic standing to be eligible to convert my grades to a SD/UD grade?

No. Any student may convert their grades. Students not in good academic standing are particularly encouraged to consult their academic advisors.

(Undergraduates Only): I normally get credit for a course if I have a “D” grade, if I convert to a UD I will not get credit. What should I do if I need credit for the course?

If you need credit for the course, you should retain the “D” grade. If you choose to repeat a course after converting to the UD grade, only the second attempt of the course will carry credit and count for your GPA. Speaking to your advisor is highly encouraged in this situation.

How will the SD or UD grades appear on my transcript?

If the new COVID-19 grading option is elected, only the new grades (SD or UD) will appear on the transcript. These grades will be explained on the transcript.

What if I am taking a class that is graded Credit/No Credit?

Credit/No Credit courses are not eligible to be converted to SD/UD.

Will the SD/UD grading option be available in other semesters?

There is no current plan for this to be offered in future semesters.

I am an undergraduate student but I am taking a graduate-level class. What happens to my grade?

As an undergraduate student you will follow the same rules for all undergraduate classes. If you choose to elect a SD or UD grade, you will need a grade of C or higher to earn a SD.

I am a graduate student but I am taking an undergraduate-level class. What happens to my grade?

As a graduate student, you will follow the same rules that currently apply to your enrollment in undergraduate classes numbered 299 and below and you likely do not need to elect to convert to the SD or UD grade. Courses numbered 299 or below are already excluded from your graduate-level GPA and total earned credits. If you are enrolled in a course numbered 300 or above, you can elect to convert to the SD or UD grade. If you choose to elect a SD or UD grade, you will need a grade of B or higher to earn a SD.

How will employers, graduate schools, and professional schools evaluate SD/UD grades? Will I be at a disadvantage if I select to convert my grades to SD or UD?

Almost every university in the country is changing the grading basis for this semester.  While we can’t predict exactly what will happen in the future, most students nationwide will have COVID related grades on their transcript in 2020.  If you are concerned about these issues please work with your advisor.

What if I elected to take a class Pass/Fail at the beginning of the semester?

For Undergraduate, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, Master of Genetic Counselor Studies (MGCS), Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS), Master of Public Health (MPH)  and University Special Students:

Any undergraduate student who previously requested a pass/fail grading basis will have that pass/fail option reverted to the original grading basis for the course (most likely A-F). Students will be able to choose to convert the grade they receive to COVID-19 grades during the conversion window. All students who previously elected for pass/fail will receive a separate communication notifying them of this change.  This allows all students, including those who opted for pass/fail at the beginning of the term, to benefit from the unique, spring 2020 policy and adjusted rules.

For Graduate Students:

Graduate students who elected to take a class pass/fail at the beginning of the semester do not have the option to switch back to a graded (A-F) course and do not have the option of electing a SD/UD grade. Students who elected pass/fail at the beginning of the semester will follow the same rules as previous semesters and will have a recorded grade of S or U.

For students in the Law School and Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs within the School of Medicine and Public Health:

Student grading will be managed within those programs.  Law, MD or DPT students should consult their Dean’s office with questions.

What if I don’t have my final grade for my class by May 15th?

If you have an “NR” (No Record) grade because an instructor did not submit their grades by the May 14th grading deadline, you will be able to work with your academic dean’s office for an extension to the May 22nd deadline to elect SD or UD.