COVID pass/fail grades: what you need to know

At the January 2022 meeting, the MRU General Faculties Council (GFC), the legislative body dealing with academic matters that makes recommendations to the MRU Board of Governors, voted to approve a COVID-pass/COVID-fail (CP/CF) letter grade option for the Winter 2022 semester. This motion was presented as many Mount Royal students continue to experience heightened stress due to the pandemic and ever-changing instruction delivery methods.

While students now have the option to select a CP/CF option for the Winter 2022 semester, students still have the option to maintain the originally-assigned letter grade if they wish to do so. CP/CF still registers as a credit attempt and will count towards your full-time or part-time status however, there may be other implications and impacts to your degree that are important to consider before you choose the CP/CF option.

Student Impact and Risks

  • Non-letter grades do not contribute to the calculation of GPA. This poses a risk for graduating students who intend to apply for undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree programs, as well as students who are wholly or partially funded by academic scholarships.
  • Taking a non-letter grade may affect admission to subsequent levels of post-secondary education and/or transferability of the course to another university, particularly beyond the Fall 2022 semester.
  • Access to programs within MRU may be affected (e.g. Honours program selection).
  • About one-third of MRU’s applicant pool is made up of MRU students who are not currently in the program to which they are applying. Non-letter grades will affect their ability to apply to programs at MRU since these classes will not contribute to the GPA calculation.
  • Non-letter grades will not count toward the GPA requirements for graduation that some programs have.
  • Removes the opportunity for I-grades (Incomplete) that are applied when a student has not completed semester work to the satisfaction of the instructor and has been granted an extension to complete that work. Course requirements must be completed within a maximum of 60 days after the end of the semester.
  • CP/CF grades could have implications later in a student’s academic career (e.g. graduate school applications and scholarship/funding applications)
  • May have implications for programs that require accreditation or professional designations.
  • Alternate grading structure will have cross-impacts with Collaborative Degree partners as well as implications to downline admissions.
  • Non-letter grades restrict the ability to ensure proper prerequisite knowledge or minimum required grade in subsequent courses. CP grade will not meet minimum grade prerequisite requirements.
  • Might have implications towards the limit of attempts a student has to take a course.
  • Non-letter grades restrict the ability to assess in-course awards that have minimum GPA requirements as well as determining the highest GPA. Alberta scholarships are awarded based on specific GPA, which is reported to the government.
  • Programs at MRU have specific grade requirements on individual courses that are required for graduation. The use of non-letter grades could affect students’ ability to meet graduation requirements for those programs.

Long story, short…

If you’re a credit student or a student in an occupational program, you have the option to choose the CP/CF grading option (Academic Upgrading is excluded). MRU strongly encourages students who receive a letter grade of C- or C (or higher) to keep that letter grade.

Have additional questions? Let us know!