COVID-19 S/U policy information

Before deciding whether to change one or more of their courses beginning Spring 2020 through the end of Spring 2021 to be graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis, students should consider the information below. Students should be advised by an academic advisor as well as the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships or NCAA advisor if needed.

COVID-19 S/U request. Requests can be made through online form available from the Office of Admissions and Records. The form is located on the Admissions and Records forms page.

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Overall COVID-19 policy

  • Instructors will assign final grades as they have in the past.
  • Students will be able to view their final grade in MyNEVADA and consider if they want to change their final grade to an S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory).
  • Students will apply individually for each course that they want to change to S/U.
  • S/U is available for all undergraduate and graduate classes.
  • For all undergraduate classes, ‘S’ grade is equivalent to a D- or higher, ‘U’ grade is equivalent to an F.
  • For all graduate classes, ‘S’ grade is equivalent to a B- or higher, ‘U’ grade is equivalent to a C+ or lower.
  • ‘S’ grade will meet all requirements for degree completion and course progression of a successful completion regardless of instructor assigned grade. ‘S’ grades will meet pre-requisites for future enrollment even if a minimum grade of C is required; however, students are urged not to enroll into a course where they are not academically prepared.
  • If a student receives a ‘U’ grade, they will not earn credit for the course just as if they earned a ‘F’.
  • Students will be able to utilize the grade replacement policy regardless of letter grade or S/U grade.
  • If students are enrolled in any prerequisite courses for a degree program or next course, “S” grades will meet requirements; however, students are urged to evaluate if they are academically prepared to progress as it may be in their best interest to repeat the class
  • The Office of Admissions and Records will hold the original letter grade in the background for use in consideration of future exceptions; however, official grade will change to S/U.
  • All grades are final once a degree is posted. Students should take the following into consideration when determining if taking utilization of the COVID-19 S/U policy is in their long-term benefit.

GPA implications

All S/U graded coursework is not included in the grade point average (GPA). It will neither raise GPA, nor lower it.

If students are trying to raise their GPA to achieve academic good standing, S/U grades will not increase the GPA. S/U grades carry no grade points and are neutral in the GPA calculation. The University has temporarily suspended Academic Action (i.e., probation, dismissal). Students will not be dismissed nor progress in probation standings.

Grade Point Average  implications based on certain academic goals

Student honors. Many honors such as Dean’s Lists and Hertz Gold Medal require a minimum number of letter grades. Students should discuss with an academic advisor for specifics for their college.

Nursing and other limited access programs. Nursing and other limited access programs utilize GPA for entry and may require letter grades for consideration. Students should discuss with an academic advisor for specific to their goals.

Graduate program applications. For graduate program applications, S/U grades will not increase the student GPA as they are neither positive nor negative. Further education goals should also be weighed as letter grades may be needed or may show better to admissions committees for medical schools or graduate schools. These vary by program and institution and should be discussed with an academic advisor for questions.

Licensure and certifications. Licensure and certifications bring different requirements. If the student’s academic program requires grades for licensure/certification, they should consult with the program’s advisor before changing any course to S/U.

NCAA athletes. If students are trying to raise GPA to remain eligible to participate in NCAA athletics, S/U grades will not increase the student GPA and at this time, the NCAA has not ruled on whether an exception might be made for S/U grades earned during the pandemic. Students should discuss their specific situation with their athletic advisor.


Graduation implications

All S/U graded coursework will count as attempted credits and if successfully passed, earned credits toward graduation and other academic requirements. Exceptions for S/U limits for graduation requirements will be granted in regard to the COVID-19 S/U credits.


Financial aid implications

You have the option of selecting the grades you want to replace with S/U [Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory]. Be cautious in making a determination; while changing your letter grades to S/U can help you maintain your scholarships or financial aid. It could also hurt your eligibility.

Please reach out to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship if you have specific questions, but below is general guidance.

A grade of ‘S’ will only be awarded if you have earned the equivalent of at least D- in undergraduate courses or B- in graduate courses. The ‘S’ grade will earn credit, but will not be applied to your GPA. In other words, it will neither increase nor decrease your GPA. A grade of ‘U’ will not earn credits and, just like an ‘F,’ could affect your scholarship.

Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship

Eligibility is determined by each semester’s GPA. To remain eligible, you need to complete 12 credits a semester and obtain a qualifying semester GPA 0f 2.75. With a combination of S/U and letter-graded courses, the GPA calculation is only based on the letter-graded courses. Here is an example how your decision on you grades replacements can affect your scholarship eligibility.

Student X enrolled in four courses (total of 12 credits) in spring, and received grades of D, C, C, and B.

  • Scenario 1: The student makes a request to replace her D and C grades with “S” grades. After the grade replacements, her semester GPA would be 3.0 since the calculation is based only upon the B letter grade. With a GPA of 3.0 and all 12 credits completed, the student remains eligible.
  • Scenario 2: The student makes a request to replace all her four courses to S/U grades. The student would lose eligibility for the Millennium because, although 12 credits were completed, with only S/U grades, she has no GPA for that semester and would be unable to meet the GPA requirement.

Multi-year scholarships (e.g., Presidential, National Merit, and others)

You must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and earn 15 credits per semester for scholarship renewal the following year unless exceptions have been granted. If you have a combination of S/U and letter- graded courses, the GPA calculation is based only on the letter-graded courses. As long as you maintain an overall cumulative GPA of 3.5, and complete 15 credits in spring, you’ll remain eligible.

Example: Before the spring semester you had a cumulative GPA of 3.5. You enrolled in 5 courses in spring (15 credits) and obtained grades C, B, C, C, and C. By making a request to replace all your grades with S/U grades, your GPA will not be affected. Your cumulative GPA will remain at 3.5, and you will continue meeting eligibility.

Federal aid

Students need to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards (Pace and GPA requirements).

  • Remember, an ‘S’ will earn credit and is considered a passing grade.
  • A ‘U’ is considered a failing grade and does not earn credit hours.

Keep in mind, an ‘S’ grade will only be awarded if you have at least a D- in undergraduate courses or at least a B- in graduate courses. An ‘S’ grade will help with the Pace requirement and will not have an effect on your GPA.

If you are following an Academic Plan to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) guidelines, it is important to earn credit in all the courses on your academic plan.