Extended deadline for Q-drops and P/F Flexibility

Dear Longhorns,

We understand that this semester has been enormously difficult, in your classes and in your personal lives. For many of you, the cumulative toll and anxiety has been amplified by concern about grades, workload, and the impact on your GPA. Following recommendations from student government and the Faculty Council, and after extensive discussion with student and faculty leadership, President Hartzell has approved the following steps to help students. These steps are outlined below as changes to Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit exceptions, extended Q-Drop deadline, and additional student resources for all those in need.

COVID-19 Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit Exceptions

For the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters, undergraduate students may choose to have a total of three (3) classes graded on a Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit basis without penalty.

  • These exceptions are new and apply only to the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters.
  • Students will be able to view their final grades prior to making a decision about the fall or spring semesters.
  • Selecting to convert a course to Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit is not a requirement; it is a choice and an opportunity for you to use if it is helpful.
  • Using a COVID-19 Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit Exception will allow the class to count toward degree and course requirements, where a standard Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit will not.
  • Standard Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit options remain available to students.
  • FAQs are available here with more information.

Beginning January 6, 2021 and continuing through May 28, 2021, undergraduate students may contact their academic advisors to request a COVID-19 Pass/Fail Exception for up to three (3) classes. Please wait until January 6 to begin those conversations with your advisor so they are able to help address other student needs this calendar year. It may be advisable to wait until after the spring semester so that you can make the best decision by optimizing your three conversions over both semesters.

It is also important to keep in mind how classes taken with a grade of “P” (Pass) will be treated by graduate and professional school admissions, licensure requirements, and others. It is therefore recommended that you work with your advisor to make this decision, as changing a letter grade to Pass/Fail may have unintended consequences.

Extend Q-Drop Deadlines

We are extending the undergraduate Q-drop deadline for the fall 2020 semester to December 9. For the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters, all Q-drops will be considered “non-academic,” which allows students to drop a class without counting toward the six-class limit. If you already applied for a Q-drop this semester, these changes will be applied retroactively. We will similarly extend the Q-drop deadline in the spring 2021 semester to May 11.

If you are considering a Q-drop for any of your classes for fall 2020, contact your advisor. There may be some conditions when a Q-drop is not available (e.g., students on probation). Additionally, Q-drops may have an impact on financial aid as well as other implications.

Student Resources

We realize there may be some students under extreme stress, for whom the above relief mechanisms will not be sufficient to help them get back onto the right track. If you are in this situation, know that the university continues to offer you a wide range of resources. I encourage you to review and take advantage of the support available to you as student at UT.

We also realize that not all students know about the options in place for getting support and adjusting your schedules to fit your academic needs. We are committed to working with student leadership in the coming months to ensure that we communicate effectively about such resources and options, and to streamline any cumbersome processes that might impede providing you with support that will ultimately benefit your success.

You have all worked so hard to make it through this semester. Our hope is that these steps continue to support your success at UT. Despite these unprecedented times, we are a Longhorn community determined to support each other and change the world. And we will, every step of the way.

To your success,
Daniel Jaffe

DANIEL JAFFE | Interim Executive Vice President and Provost
The University of Texas at Austin | provost.utexas.edu


Updated to reflect end of P/F decision timeframe has been modified from June 15 to May 28 to align with academic calendar.

Messages from the Provost