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Spring 2020 CR/NC Policy

In light of the COVID-19 crisis and the sudden switch to virtual learning, the BMED Department has decided to allow the following grading policy for Spring Quarter 2020:

  • Undergraduates may take up to 16 units of major and/or support coursework using the credit/no credit (CR/NC) grading option;
  • Graduate students may take up to 8 units of coursework on their formal study plan using the credit/no credit (CR/NC) grading option, excluding thesis and project units.

There will not be a limit on how many General Education units you can take CR/NC in Spring Quarter 2020.  To determine if a course is a major, support, or GE course, refer to your curriculum sheet here:  We hope that this provides an opportunity to reduce stress and allows you to focus on learning the fundamentals in these shifted learning environments.  Note that switching to this grading option is your decision and you can do it on a course by course basis.

You can decide to switch to CR/NC until June 5th (last day of instruction).  So, take your time and make sure it is what you really want to do.  We recommend you do not change your grading options until after April 20th in order to ensure your Expected Academic Progress (EAP) Level is accurate when determining your Fall Quarter 2020 registration rotation.  All students will be prevented from changing their grading basis to Credit/No Credit from April 15, 11:59 p.m. to April 20, 8:00 a.m. while the Expected Academic Progress process runs.

Each department has set the requirement for the allowable units of major/support coursework to be taken CR/NC during Spring Quarter 2020.  Please note that your policy could be different than your friends or classmates.  

Here are some things to keep in mind when considering to switch a course to CR/NC:

The stated course outcomes of classes are not changing.  

  • We are bound by accreditation and prerequisites to make sure you attain an adequate level of understanding and skills related to the course objectives and prepare you for future courses and the profession.
  • For undergraduates: If you switch, a grade of C- or higher will result in a CR on your transcript with no effect on your GPA.
  • For undergraduates: If you switch, a grade of D+ or lower will result in a NC on your transcript, and you will need to repeat the course for credit towards your degree.
  • For undergraduates: Be careful in your decision process. A grade of D- or higher is considered a passing grade, but a D-, D, or D+ is No Credit.
  • For graduate students: If you switch, a grade of B- or higher will result in a CR on your transcript with no effect on your GPA.
  • For graduate students: If you switch, a grade of C+ or lower will result in a NC on your transcript and you will not receive credit towards your degree.
  • For Blended Students: Even if you are taking a class to satisfy an undergraduate degree requirement, since you are a matriculated graduate student, you must achieve a grade of B- or higher to receive credit.
  • Students nearing graduation should remember that you must have a 2.0 major GPA, CPSLO cumulative GPA, and Higher Ed cumulative GPA.
  • The repeat policy does not allow CR/NC to replace a grade from a previous time taking a course.  If you want to use repeat credit, the course will have to be taken for a letter grade.  The policy is outlined at: (see the second bullet).
  • If you are under an Individualized Change of Major Agreement (ICMA), please work with your change of major advisor to see how CR/NC will impact this.
  • Your professors will still be assessing your attainment of course objectives and will be assigning you a letter grade.  This grade is given to the Office of the Registrar to document the appropriate grading option (grade, CR, or NC) on your transcript.
  • Dean's List, President's List, Graduation Honors and Academic Probation will still be run using GPA. 
  • There are other things that may be affected by grading options: scholarships and financial aid, graduate school applications, fellowship applications, etc.  Although we don't know the impact on all of these things, we recommend you reach out to the corresponding departments or institutions for advice.

For more information about CR/NC grading options and other Frequently Asked Questions, please refer to:  For instructions on how to change your grading options in your Student Center, refer to:

Engineering Student Services is also available to support you:


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