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Flexible Academic Policies – Fall 2020 and Spring 2021

To reaffirm our commitment to our students’ success, the university has approved the following temporary academic policies. These policies apply to undergraduate students only.

The official policy has been updated in the 2020-21 Undergraduate Catalog.

Course Drops with a W

Deadline Extension

The deadline to drop fall 2020 classes (full-semester and second-session only) has been extended to Tuesday, November 24, 2020. This does not apply to first-session courses.

The new deadline to withdraw from spring 2021 classes (full-semester, first-session, and second-session) is Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

All individual course withdrawals made during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 academic terms will not count towards a student’s maximum of six withdrawals.

Retroactive Individual Course Withdrawal Appeal

Beginning in mid-December and after final grades have been posted, students may appeal for a retroactive individual course withdrawal for a course in which they’ve received a letter grade of C- or below in a course with A-F grading, or an N-grade in a course with ABC/N grading. Documentation will be required to support an appeal.

Approved individual retroactive course withdrawal appeals made during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 academic terms will not count towards the retroactive withdrawal limit of one.

Student appeals will be holistically reviewed by a committee and will include a review of potential financial aid impact and degree progression.

Students will receive additional information outlining the process to request an individual retroactive course withdrawal in early December.

This policy will also apply to spring 2021 if the national emergency declaration extends through the spring semester.

If you’re considering dropping a class:

  • Contact your academic advisor or speak with your instructor.
  • Contact One Stop for potential financial aid implications, if dropping a course would leave you below full-time (12 credit hours).

If you are considering an appeal:

Instructions on how to drop classes and FAQs are available here.

Grade Mode Change Requests

Beginning in mid-December after final grades have been posted, students may request a change to their grading mode from A-F or ABC/N to S/CR/NC for one or more of their Fall 2020 courses. Students will be required to identify the extenuating circumstances due to COVID-19 that severely impacted their academic success. Documentation will be required. Please note, this is not an automatic approval process.

Student requests will be holistically reviewed for potential impact to degree progression and financial aid. S and CR grade mode change requests may require academic departmental approval when used to satisfy major/minor requirements. S and CR grades grade mode change requests may be used to satisfy General Education requirements without prior approval.

Students will receive additional information outlining the process to request a grade mode change in early December.

This policy will also apply to spring 2021 if the national emergency declaration should extend through the spring semester.

Grading Scale

S = Satisfactory (equivalent to C or higher)
CR = Credit (equivalent to C-minus, D-plus, D, or D-minus for A-F courses)
NC = No Credit (equivalent to F for A-F courses, or N-grades for ABC/N courses)

What to Consider

  • HOPE Scholarship Eligibility
    • Letter grades are required for HOPE Scholarship eligibility. Unlike Spring 2020, the State of Tennessee has not provided additional flexibility for the HOPE Scholarship program. The letter grades will be included in your HOPE GPA calculation.
  • Institutional Scholarship Renewal
    • S/CR/NC grades do not impact your UT GPA. If an approved grade mode change request improves your UT GPA, your new UT GPA will be used to evaluate your institutional scholarship eligibility.
  • Degree Progression
    • Students will receive more information concerning impact on degree progression, as part of the review process.
    • S and CR grades awarded under this process may only be used to satisfy major/minor requirements with departmental approval.
    • S and CR grades awarded under this process may be used to satisfy General Education requirements without prior approval.
  • Graduate and Professional School Admissions
    • S/CR/NC grades may not be accepted when applying for future admission to graduate or professional schools.
  • Academic Record & Transcript
    • Letter grades will be stored in support of your academic history and HOPE Scholarship GPA calculation.
    • Approved S/CR/NC grade mode change requests will appear on student transcripts. Supplemental documentation noting the letter grade will accompany transcript orders.
  • Degree Conferral for Fall 2020 Graduates

Fall 2020 Graduates

Fall 2020 graduates will have a priority window to request a grade mode change. Grade mode change requests may delay degree conferral. Graduates will receive additional information in early December outlining the process to request a grade mode change. We encourage you to work with your advisor to ensure a grade mode change doesn’t negatively impact your degree completion.

If you’re considering a grade mode change request: