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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.

Grade mode change requests nor retroactive course withdrawal appeals will change a student’s academic standing or change an academic dismissal status. Students who have been academically dismissed seeking reinstatement for Spring 2021 should follow the directions outlined in the December 2020 dismissal notification sent by the Office of University Registrar.

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 Wednesday, April 28, 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 May 12, 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. Your instructor will also have an opportunity to provide feedback on your personal statement, but will not be provided access to your supporting documentation.

Retroactive Individual Course Withdrawal Deadlines
Spring 2021 Graduates: May 14, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EST
All other undergraduate students: June 15, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EST

Retroactive Individual Course Withdrawal Process

  • Complete the Retroactive Individual Course Withdrawal Appeal form (available May 12) and provide supporting documentation at the time you submit the form. Examples of common documentation include
    • Police Reports
    • Letters from healthcare professionals (e.g., physicians, mental health counselors)
    • Death notices
  • The Appeals Committee will inform you of the decision to approve or deny your appeal, based on the holistic review.  The Appeals Committee will notify you of one of the following:
    • The appeal is denied.
    • The appeal is approved, and there are financial aid impacts. You must confirm your understanding of the impacts prior to the withdrawal being applied to your academic record.
    • The appeal is approved and there are no financial aid impacts.  The withdrawal will be applied to your academic record.

This policy may apply to spring 2021 if the declared national emergency 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 May 12 (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 Spring 2021 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.

Grade Mode Change Request Deadlines
Spring 2021 Graduates: May 14, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EST
All other undergraduate students: June 15, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EST

Grade Mode Change Process

  • Complete the Grade Mode Change Request form (available December 16) and provide supporting documentation at the time you submit the form.
  • Upon submission, your request will be initially reviewed by a committee to determine if your request meets the COVID-related extenuating circumstances criteria required for a grade mode change.
  • If the committee approves your request, they will forward it to your academic advisor for review.
  • After your advisor has reviewed and provided comments and recommendations for your request, you will have 48 hours to review and take action on the comments and recommendations provided.
  • After you determine which courses to proceed with, your request will be submitted to Financial Aid & Scholarships for their review.
  • After Financial Aid reviews the request, you will have 48 hours to make your final selection of courses to proceed with a grade mode change––which will result in officially updating your academic record.

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 may 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 maintained 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 Spring 2021 Graduates
  • College of Nursing
    • Nursing courses that satisfy major and minor degree requirements are not eligible for a grade mode change request. S/CR grades will not satisfy requirements.

 

Spring 2021 Graduates

Spring 2021 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 May 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: