COVID-19 Emergency Z and P Grading Options
The COVID-19 pandemic has required fundamental shifts to our classroom procedures in order to keep our community safe. To ensure that our students do not lose the academic progress that they have made this semester, we have shifted our courses online and to alternative formats.
We also recognize that these changes, along with the financial and health concerns that some students may face, necessitate changes to our grading policy in order to allow faculty and students the maximum flexibility to carry on with teaching and learning in the face of unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 crisis. While it is impossible to predict the full impact of these changes, our established grading policies were written for fundamental assumptions that are likely to now be different.
Following our process for course approval, and in keeping with our accreditation standards, the Undergraduate and Graduate Councils passed COVID-19 Emergency grade proposals that were drafted by members of our Keep Teaching group. (The School of Pharmacy opted out of the original proposal for its professional students, but School of Pharmacy Scholastic Standards Committee approved the changes with additional advice for Pharmacy students.)
The Undergraduate Council and Council of Academic Administrators approved the proposals to make available to students an Emergency COVID-19 Z Grade and P Grade, that can be invoked by students during the week after grades are assigned in the course.
The procedure will be as follows:
- A faculty member will assign the grade in the course in accordance with the original grading scale approved when the course was approved.
- Once grades are made viewable, the student will have seven days to decide whether to keep the assigned grade or to convert that grade according to the chart below:
|Faculty Assigned Grade||New Option:
Grade That Can Be Chosen by Student
(ZF Grade Scale)
Explanation of COVID-19 Emergency Z and P Grades
Generally speaking, a grade of Z indicates that the student passed the course with a C or better. A grade of P also indicates that the student passed the course, but with a C- or less.
- Z and P grades earn course credit.
- Z and P grades are not counted in the overall GPA calculation.
- Z and P grades are not used in determining whether a student qualifies to graduate with academic honors.
- Z grades do satisfy the requirement of "C or better" for earning academic credit.
- Z grades do not satisfy program and/or prerequisite requirements of grades of "B− or better" or "B or better" (applies only to specific published graduate program/prerequisite requirements).
- P grades do not satisfy the requirement for "C or better" for program progression or earning graduate academic credit.
As a reminder, F grades are unchanged: a grade of F does not earn course credits and is calculated as part of a student's GPA.
How Do I Change My Grades?
Students will have the opportunity to convert one or more letter grades to a Z or P under the COVID-19 Emergency Grading Options. Students will be able to access their final grades on myOleMiss and change individual letter grades to a Z or P grade based on the final letter grade assigned by faculty. See the screenshots below:
The "Modify Final Grade..." link is in the Grades group in myOleMiss. As you alternate which courses you want to consider using the Z/P grading, the interface updates your projected GPAs (both semester and resident) so you can see how that will affect your overall GPA.
You can also follow this direct link to your Z/P grading interface.
Grade Change Windows
The windows in which students will be able to modify their grade are shown below. Note that windows close at midnight on the last day.
- May Intersession 2020: May 26, 2020 through June 2, 2020
- First Summer 2020: June 26, 2020 through July 3, 2020
- Full Summer and Second Summer 2020: July 30, 2020 through August 6, 2020
- August Intersession 2020: August 17, 2020 through August 24, 2020
Once the window is closed, students may submit an issue through the same Z/P Grading Interface. A request to change a grade for a specific term (spring through summer) should be initiated within 30 calendar days of the posting of the course grade for viewing by students.
We recommend that students speak with their school or department academic advisors if they have questions about whether the Z or P grades will affect their degree progress or career plans. Students can send a message to school academic advisors from the Keep Learning website using the Message Center on the right-side of the page.
The Council also passed a resolution requesting deans' offices to exercise greater flexibility in allowing late withdrawal requests in light of the COVID-19 emergency. Students with questions about how a withdrawal might affect their specific situation are encouraged to speak with their advisors. Note that withdrawal from a course could affect financial aid.
The below table gives the late course withdrawal deadline dates for the spring and summer terms.
|Term||Last Date for Late Withdrawal|
|May Intersession 2020|
|Full Summer 2020|
|First Summer 2020|
|Second Summer 2020|
|August Intersession 2020|
These changes apply to all 100 – 499 level courses, and for undergraduate students who are enrolled in 500-level courses for undergraduate credit.
Please note that Z and P options are available to students only after faculty post final course grades when the course is completed.
The P Grade criteria were also amended to include courses other than exercise and leisure activity courses and during the COVID-19 Emergency may be used in all undergraduate courses when invoked during the week after grades are submitted by students who earn a C- or D.
These grading options listed above are not available for School of Law courses. These grades are available for cross-listed courses in the sections not designated as School of Law.
Graduate students should understand that the Z and P grade options do not alter the requirements for earning any graduate degree at the University of Mississippi.
Graduate students are encouraged to speak with their advisor about the implications of changing letter grades. The University cannot guarantee that the P or Z grade will meet requirements for licensure, credentialing, or future employment. In addition, financial aid eligibility may be affected.
- All courses in the spring semester will be graded on a mandatory Pass/Fail grading system.
- Grades will not factor into student GPAs unless a student receives an F.
- Students who are currently on academic probation will be granted an additional semester of probation.
- All 1L students who have a GPA under 2.8 (including Fall and Winter Intersession grades) will be subject to the requirements set forth in the Academic Success and Bar Preparation Policy for students who finish their 1L year under a 2.8 GPA.
- In compliance with ABA Standard 308, all students on probation will be required to meet and discuss their academic progress with the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs after exams.
For more information, including information for final exams, refer to the University of Mississippi School of Law COVID-19 Update page and the Information and Resources for University of Mississippi Law Students page.
- All professional pharmacy students (P1-P4) may exercise the university grading policy stated above for Full Spring and Second Spring classes only.
- Professional pharmacy students (P1-P4) are strongly encouraged to communicate with an advisor before making a final decision about a grade change, to discuss the implications for professional and personal development, and other matters.
- Professional pharmacy students (P1-P4) opting for a Z grade will be automatically referred to their respective Academic Achievement Program for follow up.