COVID-19 Spring 2021 Grading Policy

PS/NS Grade Option

Q: How will the PS/NS grade option work for Spring 2021 courses?

A:  After final grades have been posted for the semester, students will be able to choose between the standard grade type (A-F) or the new PS/NS grade type for one (1) eligible course completed in Spring 2021. 

  • Undergraduate (PS/NS): If the PS/NS grade type is selected, a PS will replace standard grade A through D-. An NS will replace the standard grade F.  A PS grade will earn credit hours but will not count in GPA calculations. An NS grade will earn zero credit hours and will not count in GPA calculations.
  • Graduate (PS/NS): If the PS/NS grade type is selected, a PS will replace standard grade A-C. An NS will replace the standard grade F.  A PS grade will earn credit hours but will not count in GPA calculations. An NS grade will earn zero credit hours and will not count in GPA calculations.

Q: Are all courses eligible for the PS/NS grade mode option?

A: No. Some courses are not eligible for the PS/NS option.  

  • The PS/NS grade type is only available for completed courses. An Incomplete (I) is not eligible for the PS/NS grade type.
  • The PS/NS grade type is not available for audit, repeat, and courses designated P/NP (pass/no pass), S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) or IP (in-progress).
  • EDLS 100 Learning Strategies is not eligible for the PS/NS grade type.
  • Students may not request the “PS/NS” grade type for courses that are under review for academic dishonesty.

Q: Will courses graded with the PS grade type still fulfill curriculum requirements?

A:  Credit earned in courses graded PS can be used to fulfill major, minor, certificate, general education, and degree requirements. A standard letter grade is required for courses or programs that have a minimum grade requirement.

Q: Is the PS/NS grade mode the same as Pass/Not-Pass (P/NP)?

A:  No. The Pass-Not Pass Option is provided to encourage students to enrich their educational experience and to venture outside their major areas of concentration or competence. Pass-Not Pass is not a Pass-Fail option and it is available under limited circumstances. See the catalog: Academic Regulations Pass-Not Pass. PS/NS (disruption grade mode) was created in spring 2020 in light of the disruption caused by the global pandemic. It is only available when the president and provost determine it is needed. In spring 2021, students will be allowed to choose PS/NS for one eligible course.

Making Your Decision

Q: If I want to select the PS/NS grade type, when will I need to decide?

A: The opportunity to select the PS/NS option will open for students in Banner Self-Service starting at 8:00 am (EST) May 4, 2021. The decision deadline is 5:00 pm (EST) on May 5, 2021. Students may change their selection during this time period (May 4th and 5th, 2021). All decisions are final as of 5:00 pm (EST) on May 5, 2021.

Q: Who should I talk to about making my decision?

A: In making the decision to retain a standard grade or choose the PS/NS grade type, it is critical for students to talk with their faculty, advisors, financial aid, and family.  The Center for Academic Performance and Persistence is a valuable resource for students making these decisions. Students should keep the following in mind:

  • A PS grade will earn credit hours but will not count in GPA calculations.
  • A NS grade will earn zero credit hours and will not count in GPA calculations.

Q: What factors should I consider when making this decision?

A:  Most students will choose to take the letter grade of C or better.  For a C- grade, students should check their program requirements.  Students who receive a D+, D, or D- grade may want to consider the PS grade.  Students who receive an F grade will want to carefully consider the NS option.

Q: What if I am taking a class that requires a C or C- grade for my major or as a pre-requisite for another course, should I select PS?

A:  Several majors (e.g. Communication) and courses (e.g. MATH 111) have grade-based requirements or pre-requisites, and these can only be satisfied by a standard letter grade. If you earn a letter grade that satisfies the program requirement or course pre-requisite, you do not need to do anything. Students with questions should consult with the Department or their advisor.

Q: What if my letter grade does not satisfy the C or C- program requirement or course pre-requisite?

A:  If you earn a passing grade, but do not meet the minimum grade requirement, you may select PS for Spring 2021. You will need to repeat the course in a future semester in order to meet the minimum grade requirement.

Q: How will selecting the new PS/NS grade type affect my GPA?

A:  A PS grade will earn credit hours but will not count in GPA calculations.  An NS grade will earn zero credit hours and will not count in GPA calculations.

Q: Will PS/NS grades count toward my State scholarship?

A: Students will need to meet the same continuing eligibility for state scholarships.  For South Carolina state scholarships (Palmetto Fellows, LIFE or SC HOPE), credit hours for the PS grade do count towards scholarship eligibility, but not the GPA criterion since the GPA is not impacted by the PS grade.  For questions regarding how the PS/NS grade type will impact scholarship eligibility, please email meritscholarships@cofc.edu.

Q: What if I am intending to transfer or need letter grades to appear on my transcript for review by a graduate school?

A:  If students anticipate needing their transcript to show a standard letter grade for transferability or future graduate school applications, the PS/NS grade type should not be selected.

Q: If I choose the PS/NS grade mode for a course, can I change my mind and go back to a letter grade at a later date?

A:  No.  Once you select the PS/NS grade type, it replaces the standard grade.  The decision is permanent and cannot be changed.  

Q: How will selecting the PS/NS grade type affect my Academic Probation, STEP or First Year Impact Learning Contract?

A:  Students who are on any type of learning contact should contact the Center for Academic Performance and Persistence for guidance regarding their contract requirements and grade type selections.

Q: Can I repeat a course graded PS?

A:  Yes, a course may be repeated in a future term in accordance with academic policy. 

Dean's List, President's List, Latin Honors

Q: Will the PS/NS grade type have an affect on the Dean’s List, President’s List, and Latin Honors (graduation)?

A:  Criteria for Dean’s List, President’s List, and Latin Honors remain unchanged.

The Process

Q: How will I view my grades?

A: At 8:00 am (EST) on May 4, 2021, students will have access to their letter grades via the Significant Disruption (PS/NS) Grade Mode page in Banner Self-Service. Grades will not be located in the normal Student Grades channel in MyCharleston until they are finalized on May 7, 2021. Instructions on accessing grades in Banner-Self Service can be found on the Office of the Registrar webpage: https://registrar.cofc.edu/grades/ps-ns-guide-spring-2021.pdf 

Q: How can I select the PS/NS grading option for one of my courses?

A: The opportunity to select the PS/NS option will open for students in Banner Self-Service starting at 8:00 am (EST) on May 4, 2021.  All decisions are final as of 5:00 pm (EST) on May 5, 2021. Look for the Significant Disruption (PS/NS) Grade Mode channel on the Academic Services tab in MyCharleston.  Students should review the Spring 2021 PS/NS Student Guide (PDF) for step-by-step instructions on the PS/NS process for Spring 2021. 

Official Transcripts

Q: Will anything appear on my transcript noting the Spring 2021 semester disruption?

A:  Yes. A notation will appear on all undergraduate and graduate official transcripts indicating the Spring 2021 term was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Q: How will Spring 2021 grades appear on my transcript?

A:  Each course will show a standard grade type (A-F) or a PS or NS depending on the grade type selected.  Both grade types will not appear on the transcript.

  • Undergraduate (PS/NS): If the PS/NS grade type is selected, a PS will replace standard grade A through D-. An NS will replace the standard grade F. 
  • Graduate (PS/NS): If the PS/NS grade type is selected, a PS will replace standard grade A through C. An NS will replace the standard grade F.