University returns to standard ‘pass/fail’ guidelines for winter quarter


Eric Henry

A student walks along the Quad, located in Lincoln Park.

DePaul has returned to standard procedures regarding its ‘pass/fail’ grading system for the winter quarter, according to a university-wide email sent Tuesday by the Office of the University Registrar. 

A temporary policy that allowed students to opt into a pass/fail grading system for any of their classes was unanimously passed by DePaul’s Faculty Council last April as courses shifted online. 

University spokesperson Carol Hughes said the policy was the result of an Illinois Board of Higher Education mandate that required institutions to “accept pass/fail grades in transfer credit for all general education courses.” 

We wanted to ensure that students who started at DePaul had the same benefit that those with transfer credit did, so, we recommended to Faculty Council that they pass the Temporary Pass/D/Fail policy last spring,” Hughes said. “Faculty Council passed it, and the Provost signed it into effect last spring.”

The policy extended into fall quarter and December intersession classes alongside IBHE. 

When the state extended their policy through December of 2020, we followed suit,” Hughes said. “The state has not extended the policy beyond December of 2020; hence DePaul is not extending it either.”

Under standard university guidelines, students that have at least sophomore standing and are not on academic probation are allowed to opt into a pass/fail grade for one course per term. 

Students must request to obtain the pass/fail option from their academic advisor or college office by Jan. 19, according to the email. Permission must be obtained by the second course meeting for courses that are four weeks or shorter. Should circumstances around the pandemic change such that the state revisits the policy again, we will as well,” Hughes said. “Our approach is to align with the state on this matter.”