FAQ for Students

Student Frequently Asked Questions

What grading options are available for me for Spring 2020?

 

Before changing your grading scheme, please talk to your advisors and faculty!

 

Traditional (Letter) Grades: The default grading scheme for students remains the same, e.g., traditional letter grades as outlined in your course syllabus.  If you’d like to continue on with your course and feel the letter grade best represents your learning in the course (not adversity you may have faced due to the COVID-19 epidemic) you don’t need to change anything about your grade.

 

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory: For Spring Semester 2020 only, you may also opt to change your grading scheme to Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory (S/U) through May 6th, 2020.  Opting-in to S/U is an option if you’d like to protect your GPA from potential adversity as a result of COVID-19 changes in your life and you can do this in my.nmsu.edu.  Your faculty member will still measure your progress in the course at the end of the semester to see if you earned “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory” points in the course.

 

Withdrawal: You may Withdraw (“W”) by April 17th, 2020.  Please note that W-grades do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (letter grades and S/U do) and can adversely impact Financial Aid eligibility.

 

Incomplete: Incomplete (I) grades remain an option.  Talk to your faculty member to see if an “Incomplete” grade is a good option for you. Please note that I-grades do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (while letter grades and S/U do) and can adversely impact your Financial Aid eligibility.

 

Do I still need to go to class, if I select a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory grade?
Yes, keep attending class.  S/U is not like a “Withdrawal.”  To earn a “Satisfactory” grade, you must have earned 70% or greater in the course overall.  Please continue working in your class, and decide on if S/U would be an option for you if closer to the end of the semester, in case you get sick or your circumstances change.

 

How is an S/U different from a letter grade?

The key difference for students who opt for S/U is the grade is not used to calculate your GPA (for better or worse.)

 

For undergraduates, a grade of S is equivalent to a C- or better, for graduates it can vary by department so you should check first.

 

What does an S/U mean for courses that are prerequisites for subsequent NMSU courses and graduation?   “S” grades fulfill the prerequisite requirements for NMSU courses; “U” grades will not.

 

How will this effect admission to XXX (school, program, etc.)?

Programmatic and college admissions procedures vary widely. If you are on a trajectory toward a competitive admission program (graduate or professional school, limited admission health program, etc.) please go to your program/college’s guidance on grade requirements.  Some programs/schools may not accept S/U grades for prerequisites or admission.
4.6.12

 

NMSU System Spring Semester 2020 Emergency Grading Accommodations

Faculty Frequently Asked Questions

 

To accommodate the extraordinary academic, social and economic conditions created by COVID-19 in Spring 2020, the NMSU system eased deadlines for opting in to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading for all undergraduate and graduate courses.  Students may now choose to opt-in to S/U grading through May 6th, 2020, and normal limitations (see below) will be suspended, allowing students to opt for S/U in any number of enrolled courses.  The deadline for students to Withdraw from a course has been extended to April 17th, 2020.

 

What grading options are available for students for Spring 2020?

The default grading scheme for students remains the same, e.g., traditional letter grades.  For Spring Semester 2020 only, students may also opt to change their grading scheme to Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory (S/U) through May 5th, 2020.  Students may also Withdraw (“W”) by April 17th, 2020.

 

How is an S/U different from a letter grade?

S-Satisfactory grades represent a student learned enough to satisfy the learning outcomes of your course. For undergraduates, this means a C- or better, for graduates it can vary by department so they should check first.  The key difference for students who opt for S/U is the grade is not used to calculate their GPA (for better or worse.)

 

How will this be communicated to students?
NMSU shared this news via system-wide messages (via email, my.nmsu.edu) with students on March 30th, 2020.  Given the extenuating circumstances of the Spring 2020 semester, faculty are asked to modify their syllabi to account for compressed schedules, switching to online, various grading options, etc.   All faculty should be communicating closely with students, and sharing word of this option with students who may be facing extenuating circumstances like illness, childcare, technology and employment challenges. 

 

What does an S/U mean for courses that are prerequisites for subsequent NMSU courses and graduation?  “S” grades fulfill the prerequisite requirements for NMSU courses; “U” grades will not.

 

How will this effect admission to XXX (school, program, etc.)?

Programmatic and college admissions procedures vary widely. If a student mentions they are on a trajectory toward a competitive admission program (graduate or professional school, limited admission health program, etc.) please direct them to that program/college’s guidance on grade requirements.

 

Can I give my whole class S/U grades?  

No, students opt-in to S/U grading on a course-by-course, student-by-student basis.  S/U grades may not work for some students, so the default scheme for grading will remain letter grades.

 

Should I give a student an I Grade instead?   Incomplete (I) grades remain an option, but please note that I-grades do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress for students (while letter grades and S/U do) and can adversely impact their Financial Aid eligibility.

4.6.20

 

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