Update to University Grading Policy

On March 20, the university announced a new, temporary posture toward its grading policy due to the unique circumstances that we are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The framework for our grading policy had significant input from SGA leadership, the student body through a survey conducted through Facebook, the University Faculty Council, and the Office of the Provost. In the last two weeks, we have received a great number of communications from both students and faculty about our policy. On Friday, the University Faculty Council reviewed and approved the final form of these policies for our campus, which will be in effect for the spring 2020 semester. The full grading policy and FAQs concerning it are at https://www.iit.edu/COVID-19/pass-fail-policy-faq. The following is a summary of the policy, but please review the policy and the answers to the FAQs carefully for a full understanding of its terms.

In the Undergraduate College, all undergraduate students will be graded on a pass-fail basis. Graduating seniors may request that they receive grades this semester by navigating to this website and completing the form: https://iit.secure.force.com/form?formid=217935 . Graduating seniors do not need to provide a reason for submitting the request; they must merely check the box that they are graduating in May 2020. All other undergraduate students may also petition to receive grades if they believe the pass-fail policy will cause substantive negative impact on them. Specifics on the petition process, including the criteria under which petitions will be evaluated, are set forth in the policy and answers to the FAQs. We encourage these students to consult with their academic advisers before submitting a petition. Specific criteria for petitioning for grades may be found on the Illinois Tech COVID-19 website at https://www.iit.edu/COVID-19/pass-fail-policy-faq. The deadline for filing a petition is Sunday, April 12, 2020.

Students of the Institute of Design will also be graded on a pass-fail basis. These students will have the same petition rights as non-graduating undergraduates, and their petitions will be evaluated pursuant to the same criteria. However, these students must file the same form of petition as a student in the Graduate College. Again, the submission deadline is Sunday, April 12.

Students of the Graduate College and graduate students in Stuart School of Business and the College of Architecture will continue to receive letter grades for all courses. These graduate students may also petition to be graded pass-fail if they can demonstrate they will experience a negative impact due to their special circumstances. Again, specifics on the petition process, including the criteria under which petitions will be evaluated, are set forth in the policy and answers to the FAQs. Petitions must be submitted on or before Sunday, April 12, 2020. Graduate students may submit a petition through the G701 Form . Graduate students should consult their academic advisers and submit their petitions by email to their graduate advisers, who will forward the petitions to Graduate Academic Affairs.

In Chicago-Kent College of Law, all students will be graded pass-fail for the spring 2020 semester in all of their courses. Any student who believes that the mandatory pass-fail policy will have a negative effect on them in the manner specified below may file a petition for letter grades to be entered for all of their spring 2020 classes. (For the avoidance of doubt, students cannot petition to receive letter grades for only select classes.) Variance petitions will be granted only if receiving letter grades is a requirement for the students’ external education funding or in similar unusual circumstances. Petitions that meet this standard will be granted; petitions that do not will be denied. Petitions must be submitted to variance@kentlaw.iit.edu by Sunday, April 12, 2020.

Co-terminal students will be governed by undergraduate policies and, in the spring 2020 semester, will be graded pass-fail. As discussed above, students may petition if they believe they have significant and demonstrable reasons for doing so. For shared courses, co-terminal students will have a letter grade assigned for the master’s programs, and this will be converted to an S or U grade for the undergraduate program.

These policies are now set for the spring 2020 semester only, and our normal policies will be in place for summer 2020 and fall 2020. Again, I urge you to review the policy and the answers to the FAQs so that you have a full understanding of how the new policy will be implemented. We also request that all students and faculty respect the deliberative process that led us to this policy and engage with faculty, staff, and administrators in a respectful and professional manner.

Thank you all for the extraordinary manner in which you have risen to the occasion in this challenging and unprecedented time. I am proud to be a Scarlet Hawk!


Peter Kilpatrick
Peter Kilpatrick
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, Illinois Institute of Technology