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UT Austin students may choose 3 classes to be graded pass/fail for fall and spring semesters

The COVID-19 exceptions apply only to these two semesters, according to the university.

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin announced Wednesday some changes for students to help them as the world continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. 

UT announced Wednesday it would allow students to choose a total of three classes that can be graded on a pass/fail basis without penalty for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters. University officials said it is not a requirement, but rather an option for students to request a COVID-19 pass/fail exception should they feel it is helpful for them. Using a COVID-19 pass/fail exception will allow the class to count toward degree and course requirements, where a standard pass/fail will not, according to UT.

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The university also announced that it is extending the Q-drop deadline for fall 2020 to Dec. 9. The deadline for spring 2021 has been extended to May 11. 

"For the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters, all Q-drops will be considered 'non-academic,' which allows students to drop a class without counting toward the six-class limit," the university said in a written statement. "If you already applied for a Q-drop this semester, these changes will be applied retroactively."

A student's GPA is not negatively affected by a Q-drop, but he or she is only allowed six Q-drops while attending college at any public Texas institution. If by Q-dropping the class and the student will falls below 12 hours, he or she will be considered a part-time student.

Requests for pass/fail selections will begin Jan. 6 and continue through June 15. The COVID-19 exceptions apply only to these two semesters, according to the university. 

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“We understand that this semester has been enormously difficult, in your classes and in your personal lives,” said Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Daniel Jaffe. “For many of you, the cumulative toll and anxiety has been amplified by concern about grades, workload, and the impact on your GPA … Despite these unprecedented times, we are a Longhorn community determined to support each other and change the world. And we will, every step of the way.”

For more information, visit the UT website here

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