Delaware Public Media

UD students get option to take classes pass/fail as learning moves online

Mar 26, 2020

University of Delaware students can now opt to take classes pass/fail this semester due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Letter grades will be posted June 1 and students will have until June 9 to decide to keep their letter grades or opt for pass/fail.

Students across the country are petitioning their colleges to do the same as learning moves online in response to the coronavirus pandemic. UD students begin online classes Monday.

Senior Caleb Owens started the pass/fail petition at UD.

“Everything you do and everything on this campus is designed to support students and help them achieve in an intense learning environment," said Owens. "All those conditions disappear, for some more than others.”

Owens said the university could have done better by implementing universal pass/fail.  He argues making it optional still benefits students who go home to safe and stress-free learning environments. 

“You’ll still have some students placed at an arbitrary advantage over others because some might find themselves at the end of the semester unscathed, maybe they’ve got a bunch of A’s, that’s great. Others, not so,” Owens said.

Students also have the option to withdraw from classes altogether without financial penalty. All transcripts will note that spring semester was “significantly disrupted” by coronavirus.

A Delaware State University spokesman says DSU is still considering whether to make pass/fail an option.