March 22, 2020

Final grades for the Winter 2020 term

Message to the campus community from Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dru Marshall
University of Calgary downtown campus
University of Calgary downtown campus

To all members of the University of Calgary community:

Thank you for all the work you have done to date to ensure the successful completion of this term as we go through this very challenging time. The situation with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the operation of the University of Calgary remains fluid, and our response evolves based on the situation itself and the feedback we are getting from our community. We have heard from many students and staff about final grades in credit courses for this term. Based on the volume of requests — to ensure academic quality and student success as well as help alleviate the stress that both staff and students are experiencing — we are implementing the following final grades guidelines, effective immediately:

We have made the decision to offer our students the choice to accept their final course grade or opt for Credit Received (CR) / Fail (F) for each of their courses in the Winter 2020 term. The decision to allow this flexibility is a direct acknowledgement of this unprecedented situation. While students will have the choice to accept their final letter grade or opt for CR/F, this decision does not affect the revised learning and assessment plans that academic staff have developed for their courses. We know how hard our academic staff have worked to redesign their courses to maintain high-quality learning experiences and to develop alternative assessments that contribute to student learning and ensure strong academic standards in their courses.

Once students receive their final grades, which are expected to be released to students by May 12, they can exercise their choice: to accept their grade or choose CR/F, for each course. Courses with ‘Credit Received’ or ‘Fail’ will not be included in GPA calculations. CR grades will still count towards their degree completion requirements. A grade of ‘D’ and better will qualify for the ‘Credit Received’ notation for undergraduate courses. For graduate courses, a grade of ‘B-‘ or better will qualify for the ‘Credit Received’ notation. Students will have until May 22 to indicate their choice to the Registrar’s Office through an online submission process. More details on this process will be made available shortly. This decision will apply to grades for the Winter 2020 term only.

This nuanced approach will help students who need their grades for advanced placements or applications for further studies, while not penalizing those whose performance is affected by difficult circumstances. We trust our students will continue to apply themselves academically and seek the most from their courses and will act with integrity as they complete their course work and assessments in a remote learning environment.

We realize that in spite of these accommodations, some students will simply not be in a position to complete their course work and may wish to withdraw from their course(s). The deadline to withdraw is April 15. While there will be no refund for withdrawals, we encourage students who are considering this option to first speak to their instructors or academic advisers to seek solutions that might best support them.

I would like to recognize the tremendous work our academic staff have done to transition to remote teaching and learning in such a short period of time. I want to thank them for all their work and for the resilience they have shown in this challenging situation. I am very grateful to our academic community for the remarkable role they are playing to ensure student success.

As a follow-up to President Ed McCauley’s email to our community yesterday, I want to further communicate the following:

  • Computer labs: All computer labs on campus will shut down starting Monday, March 23 at 8:30 a.m.
  • Student Wellness Services and Student Accessibility Services: Services will only be available online going forward.
  • Coursework: I would like to encourage students who might have difficulty completing coursework due to the closure of the Taylor Family Digital Library and computer labs to discuss options with their course instructors.

I want to reinforce the need for all of us to continue to support the fight against COVID-19. Practice social distancing. Wash your hands regularly. Avoiding touching your face. Please self-isolate if you are feeling ill. If you have travelled outside of Canada, you must be in self-isolation. Take aggressive action to protect yourself and the most vulnerable among us.

Please be healthy. Thank you for your continued patience and support. We will continue to provide updates as this situation unfolds.


Dru Marshall
Provost and Vice-President, Academic


UCalgary resources on COVID-19

For the most up-to-date information about the University of Calgary's response to the spread of COVID-19, visit the UCalgary COVID-19 Response website.