Office of the President

April 17, 2020 – Changes to Spring 2020 Grading Policies - Revised

The following message has been revised for clarity. Please see the highlighted sections for changes relative to general education courses.

To: Campus Community
From: President Gayle Hutchinson

Upon the strong recommendation of Chico State’s Academic Senate and with guidance from the California State University Chancellor’s Office, I am making a one-time change to University grading policies for the spring 2020 semester. The intent of this change is to provide relief to students impacted academically by the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The following grading policies will be applied to the spring 2020 semester only:

  • All “F” grades will automatically be replaced with a “no credit” grade that will NOT be calculated in students’ overall GPAs.
  • Students receiving “D” grades will be allowed to change them to “no credit” after grades are submitted. The deadline for students to submit an email request to is Friday, May 29, 2020. In rare exceptions, the University Registrar may allow extensions to this deadline. Please contact the Office of the Registrar for more information.

For students who receive “D” grades and who elect to convert such grades to “no credit,” neither the original “D” grade nor the “no credit” grade will be calculated in their overall GPAs. However, they will receive no academic credit for the courses. For students who receive “D” grades and who elect no change, the “D” grades will be calculated in their overall GPA.

Please know that a “D” is not a passing grade for general education courses in Oral Communication, Written Communication, Critical Thinking, and Mathematics/ Quantitative Reasoning, though it is passing for other GE courses, elective courses, as well as for some (though not all) majors and minors courses. Before you decide to convert any “D” grades to “no credit,” consider whether it might affect your progress toward graduation. The University strongly encourages you to reach out to your academic advisor to discuss the implications.

  • Students may retake spring 2020 courses for which they receive “no credit” for a letter grade in future semesters. Such repeated courses will not be counted toward the 16-unit maximum for grade forgiveness. In other words, they will not count toward a student’s GPA.

Students may drop courses for any reason until May 8—and they will be allowed to repeat a course taken this semester again, even if they have taken the course twice before. Any courses/units dropped in spring 2020 will not count toward the 18-unit maximum for drops or withdrawals during a student’s matriculation. 

Dropped spring 2020 courses will not be included in GPA calculations. However, dropping courses may come with academic and/or financial impacts, including a possible reduction in financial aid. The University strongly encourages students to contact the Office of the Registrar, their major or academic advisors, and, if necessary, the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office for more information.

The above changes in grading policies apply to undergraduate courses only. Given the distinct nature and requirements, graduate and credential courses are not affected and will be evaluated as usual.

To the Academic Senate Executive Committee and faculty, I want to extend my deepest gratitude for working tirelessly to adapt so quickly to the online and alternative-format teaching environment, and for modifying instruction so students can complete their coursework while achieving fundamental learning outcomes. I encourage faculty to show compassion in the way they approach the end of the semester, by understanding student challenges and ensuring that students have every opportunity to earn the grade they deserve. Also, as a reminder, I’m asking faculty to submit grades no later than May 22.

While I know this is not the semester anyone wished to have, I am impressed and proud to see our campus community come together and adjust so well to the changing educational environment under the new realities of COVID-19. When things get difficult, Chico State comes together to make important decisions. Together, we demonstrate our resilience and commitment to academic excellence.