Q&A from COVID-19 Response Student Town Hall

Last update: April 10, 2020

Student Emergency Assistance Fund

Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students may apply for funds when they experience a financial barrier based on an emergency situation and when they have exhausted all other available resources.

S/NC Grading Policy

Students are advised to visit the S/NC Grading Policy Information for Students page for more information, as well as have a thorough discussion with an Academic Advisor before making a decision about changing from a letter grade to S/NC.

Will classes that are made pass/fail be able to count towards a minor requirement?
Remember, this is not a “pass/fail” grading system. All courses that are awarded S grades will count toward graduation/degree requirements and satisfy future course prerequisites. We suggest you reach out to your academic advisor if you have a specific question.

If a student chooses to convert all of their courses to S/NC, will their cumulative GPA be affected, or will their GPA be the same as the cumulative GPA as of the previous term?
Neither S nor NC grades will impact a student's GPA. That is, a term-based GPA (and cumulative GPA) is calculated solely based on those credits that maintain a letter grade.  Don’t forget to talk with your advisor!

I am a University of Pittsburgh Greensburg student. Does this apply to the regional campuses?
Yes, the S/NC grading policy applies to all University of Pittsburgh campuses.

Will remote Summer courses follow this same S/NC grading policy?
No. Pitt's grading policy will revert back to normal for the summer 2020 semester.

How long will students have to decide to select S/NC? one term, one year? Is there a deadline?
We are asking students to make a decision within one week of the grade-posting deadline. We will entertain later requests, but ideally they would all come in within that week.  This will be especially important for graduating students to adhere to this deadline.

Will students be provided with tools to calculate their grades with the regular grading system vs. S/NC system to see which one works best for our final GPA?
This is an excellent question / idea.  We will look into it.

If I want to change the grade option to S/NS after getting my final grades, who should I ask and how can I reach out to him/her?
We are finalizing the process, but it is always best to work with your academic advisor as they will know what the process will be and how to best help you after your grades are posted at the end of the semester.

Will study abroad classes have the same S/NC grading option?
The S/NC grading policy is for all courses taken in the spring 2020 semester.  We encourage you to discuss your options with your academic advisors and mentors, and in this case, UCIS.

Can S/NC be changed at a later date back to a letter grade?  What is the benefit of changing from a passing letter grade to a grade of 'S'?
In an extenuating circumstance, on a case by case basis, we will review student requests to change S/NC grades from this semester (spring 2020) back to letter grades.  Possible scenarios may be if the student changes their major and were unaware of the benefits for those letter grades. There are many situations in which a student may or may not wish to request a change to S/NC. Please review the informational page for students and discuss it with your academic advisor.

Is there any implication for University merit scholarships if we take an S grade, as long as we still maintain the necessary GPA? What about need based financial aid?
The policy does not impact merit or need based financial aid. However, it may impact external or federal aid. If a student has a question, they should be referred to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

Will an S/NC grade override a previous failing grade in course?
S grades are eligible to replace previous attempts of a course but will not contribute to the new GPA (the replaced grade will simply be omitted from the calculation).

Final Exams and Student Support

Will there be an option for professors to move final exams until we can meet back on campus or are they all expected to give us our final exams during this semester? If final exams are being pushed back, when and how will they be administered?
Final exams for the spring 2020 semester (if applicable to your course) will be administered this semester in order for the timely processing of grades.  Your instructors are providing information about how they are administering final exams and all assessments on a course by course basis. It is very important for students to be in contact with your instructors about all course requirements.

Future Courses

While summer courses will be delivered online, there is a possibility that limited clinicals, field work, etc. will be offered in person (later in the term). We will reassess the situation and adjust to make the best decision for the health and safety of our students. We also plan to expand summer offerings, as needed, to support students.

How will summer classes be affected by University lockdown?
Summer classes will operate remotely.

If 'G' grades will not expire this semester that would have expired in spring 2020, when will they expire?
We are working with the Registrar to develop a specific timeline for this process. We will keep you updated when we know, but always remember to work with your faculty member on what is best for your course completion.

Graduation and Commencement

Degrees will be conferred on time for spring term. Diplomas will be mailed and transcripts will be available with approximately 1-2 weeks delay due to extra time needed for processing the S/NC grade option.

Any update on the undergraduate commencement date? What is the timeline of rescheduling? Could it still be in the summer?
The in-person Commencement ceremony has been postponed indefinitely.  The announcement of a new date will be made once circumstances allow, and at least one month ahead to allow time for graduates and their families to return. The University is committed to celebrating our graduating students when it is safe to do so.

Are we able to have a virtual graduation ceremony?
On Sunday, April 26, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. ET, the University will host a virtual celebration of the Class of 2020 on commencement.pitt.edu. More information about the event will be sent to student Pitt email accounts. In-person commencement ceremonies will still take place in the future.

Fees and Tuition

When will off-campus residents be refunded for unused dining dollars and meal swipes?
Housing and meal plan reductions have begun posting to student accounts.  You can reach out to Panther Central to discuss your refund for unused dining dollars and meal swipes.

Will we be receiving tuition reimbursement?
There will be no changes in tuition or mandatory fees for the spring term.

Will we get any money back for printing services, wellness fees, lab fees when we may not have been able to use these services?
Lab fees are determined by a student’s individual school; contact departments for this information.

Mandatory fees for the spring term will not be changed. The Wellness Fee and the Computing and Network Services Fee (which covers the printing quota* allotted to students) are mandatory fees. Additional details about fees are available on the University’s COVID-19 Response web page.

*There are no refunds for unused print quota; however, graduating students who have purchased printing funds and have a balance of $5 or more can request a refund within 60 days of graduation. Contact the 24/7 IT Help Desk at 412-624-HELP (4357) to start a refund request.

Is there a possibility of parking charges being reimbursed for staff?
As of 4/7/20, the Parking Office (412-624-4034, Parking@bc.pitt.edu) anticipates a decision regarding any changes to faculty/staff parking permits in the near future.

Student Workers

Can you please address whether all student workers with on-campus jobs will be paid for the rest of the semester? Will Pitt enforce this?
If you are a student worker and not getting paid, please reach out to deanofstudents@pitt.edu.

Graduate and Professional Students

Will graduate student researchers be able to access the lab over summer even if classes are still online?
We continue to monitor the current pandemic carefully. When it is safe to do so, we will start to allow non-essential research operations to resume.

Undergraduates Applying to Graduate School

Is Pitt's medical school going to accept S/NC grades for this term?
Yes, Pitt’s medical school is accepting S/NC grades for this term for all applicants except those in the guaranteed admit program.

I am applying for graduate school. I am wondering if all other universities in the U.S. have given S/NS option to students this semester. I am also wondering if the school that I will be attending Fall2020 declines the offer if I changed all courses to S/NS?
Many US universities have implemented various versions of a S/NS option. We cannot comment on another school's process. Please contact any school that you are applying to in order to confirm your admission status.  We also suggest you work with your academic advisor. If you are considering a health career, the Interprofessional Center for Health Careers (PIC Health Careers) is another great resource.