S/U option for students for the 2020-2021 academic year

November 19, 2020

This message was sent to students, faculty and staff at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Dear Wolf Pack Family,

Throughout the fall semester, the challenges we’ve faced have been numerous – the COVID-19 pandemic and its disruption of our daily lives, the uncertainty of not knowing if tomorrow will bring a rise in cases and what that news might mean to one’s aspirations for the future and the health of one’s family and community. For our students, in particular, this year has been difficult, as they’ve attempted to establish a sense of normalcy and progress against a backdrop of unprecedented developments.

Given this complicated time and the deeply personal challenges associated with it, many of our students have had questions this semester regarding grades, particularly concerning if the option used last spring regarding Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (“S/U”) grading could be used again this semester. They’ve noted that the “S/U” option, which was implemented by the Nevada System of Higher Education as an emergency measure as the University moved to alternative operations and used remote delivery for instruction as the first wave of COVID-19 hit Nevada, helped them better navigate what was a challenging and complicated time.

The leadership of NSHE has had numerous discussions about this option in recent days, and has listened carefully as many students have provided meaningful feedback. Today, Chancellor Melody Rose announced that NSHE institutions can implement an “S/U” option for fall 2020 semester grading. In accordance with Chancellor Rose’s announcement, the University will be providing an “S/U” option to our students for the fall 2020 semester and for the 2020-21 academic year.

We will be following a similar process as last spring when we implemented this option. It should be noted there are several implications associated with changing from a letter grade to an “S,” including program accreditation, scholarship eligibility, degree progression, professional licensure and graduate/professional school admissions. This is why we will be requiring students to consult with an academic adviser before requesting this option. We are encouraging all of our students, no matter their circumstance, to continue to work toward achieving the highest grade possible for this semester. By offering an “S/U” option, however, we are hopeful that it will help alleviate some of the pressure, anxiety and uncertainty our students are experiencing as we face another rise in the number of COVID-19 cases throughout our community and the state.

More details about the “S/U” option will be forthcoming in the next few days from the Office of the Provost.

Read Chancellor Rose's announcement regarding the S/U grading option.