International Center Questions

Can I study outside of the U.S. during COVID-19?

Yes, international students may study in or out of the U.S. and be maintaining their student status. Please be sure to notify the International Center where you are engaging in your study to ensure your records remain accurate.

Will my F1 / J1 status be terminated?

No, there is no impact to your F1 / J1 status during COVID-19 as long as you are maintaining your enrollment and making progress toward completion. 

Do online courses maintain my full-time enrollment requirement?

Yes, restrictions with online instruction for students in F1 / J1 visa status have been eased. As long as you are attending your classes and enrolled you are maintaining your ‘full-time enrollment’ responsibility.

Is the US still processing visas?

Visa processing has been slowed around the world. Please be sure to check your local U.S. consulate or embassy for visa processing guidelines. 

What if I need a signature for travel? How do I request one?

Please email internationalcenter@clarkson.edu should you require a travel signature while in F1 / J1 student status.

My Study Abroad plans were impacted for summer/fall 2020 - will I be able to meet my degree requirements?

The International Center will continue to monitor the availability of future programs and communicate accordingly. We will be reaching out to academic programs for decisions about your global experience requirements. 

Academic Questions

If I forget essential belongings needed for class or medical purposes, what do I do?

We realize that as students begin their preparation for online classes on March 23rd that it is natural that some students may find a need for an essential item for a class or personal needs. Therefore, we ask students to follow the process outlined by Residence Life, you can email reslife@clarkson.edu with questions. Students should email reslife@clarkson.edu with requests for essential items. See more information about this process here.

When will on campus classes resume for undergraduates and all students returning to campus?

Clarkson suspended in person undergraduate and graduate classes on all of its campuses for the remainder of Spring 2020. On Monday, March 23, Clarkson will begin online and alternative methods of learning for both graduate students and undergraduates. For more on that, read the message from Provost Robyn Hannigan here. We continue to monitor guidance from local, NYS and federal representatives, and we recognize that we are in a fluid situation. It is our goal to have all students return to their respective campus and resume classes when local, state and federal representatives give us information that makes that possible. We are utilizing alternative learning methods to keep students on track towards degree completion while further directives come in from government agencies. We are balancing these directives with wanting students to be able to graduate on time and launch the great careers they have earned. 

Will I be penalized if I don’t attend class?

Classes have been moved online starting March 23 until further directives come in from our state representatives that make returning for in-person classes possible. You should always notify your professors if you are unable to attend class for any reason -- both in-person and online.  

What happens if I cease to attend or participate in all of my online courses?

If you cease to participate, (i.e. disappear) there may be an undesirable impact on your Spring 2020 federal financial aid. If you receive federal aid, your aid may need to be pro-rated meaning you will lose some of your federal aid based on the last time you participated in a class.  There will also be a negative impact on your financial aid eligibility if you wish to return to the University for a future semester.

What is the Spring Semester Pass/No-Credit option?

With classes moving to alternative methods of instruction, we recognize that there may be concerns about how this change in delivery can impact students.  To minimize the impact on an individual's GPA, students will have the option to receive either pass/no-credit or an explicit letter grade at the end of the semester. (You will get to see your grade and make the final choice.)  For all course requirements, including modifications to the syllabus, assessment of student learning will be ensured throughout this process.  

What is a pass/no credit grade?

Pass/No Credit (P/NC) is a grading scale option offered by Clarkson University in lieu of a traditional letter grade. This grading scale is available to undergraduate students only.

What is a passing grade?

In order to receive a “P” in a course, the undergraduate student must have completed the course with a letter grade of C or higher. Pass grades do not have any impact on the student’s GPA, and the credits are counted toward graduation requirements. Students who earn “P” grades have successfully completed the course and do not need to retake it.

What does “NC” mean?

NC stands for No Credit, and it indicates the undergraduate student has not satisfactorily completed the course. A student who opts for the P/NC grading scale will earn an NC grade for any course in which their letter grade is lower than a C (that is, a C-, D, or F).  No Credit grades have no impact on the student’s GPA, however, the credits are not counted toward graduation requirements. If the course in which an NC grade is earned is required for graduation, then it must be retaken at a later date.

Is P/NC new?

No. Clarkson has always offered undergraduate students the option to choose a P/NC grading scale for select courses. The regulations governing P/NC grades can be found on page 22 of the Undergraduate Regulations. The biggest differences for Spring 2020 are (1) the University is waiving regulation III-N section 3 (limits and approvals related to selecting P/NC grades) and (2) the University has extended the deadline to opt into a P/NC grading scale to the end of the term, allowing undergraduate students to review their grades before making a decision.

What if I’m repeating a course? Can I still take a P grade?

Yes!  If you are repeating a course for which you previously earned less than a C grade (C-, D, F) and you chose to receive a P grade instead of a letter grade this semester, the previously earned grade (C-, D, F) will still be excluded from your GPA calculation.

With that being said, If you are repeating a course for which you previously earned less than a C grade (C-, D, F) and you chose to receive an NC grade instead of a letter grade this semester, the previously earned (C-, D, F) grade will remain part of your GPA calculation, as an NC grade indicates that you did not satisfactorily complete the course and no credit was awarded.

How can I select a pass/no credit grading option for my course?

Opting into the Pass/No Credit grading option is simple! View this document (on Clarkson's Intranet) for a step-by-step set of instructions.

Will I be able to choose a Pass/No Credit grade for a single class, or does my choice apply to all the classes that I am enrolled in this semester?

Students will be able to review and select Pass/No Credit for each course individually. Therefore, students may have some courses with letter grades, and some courses with P/NC grades this semester.

How will the choice for P/NC impact Federal and Institutional Financial Aid?

A grade of “P” counts as credits attempted and earned. A grade of “NC” counts towards credits attempted and no credits are earned.  Please review the regulations governing Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for additional information.

How will the choice for P/NC impact graduate school or additional future opportunities?

Students should consult with their academic advisors for guidance on their individual goals.

What is the deadline for selecting Pass/No Credit options for my Spring 2020 classes?

Grades are due to be submitted by faculty on Friday, May 15th. Students will have until 12pm (noon) on Wednesday, May 20th to make their selections.

I declared a class Pass/No Credit, but then changed my mind. Can I change it back to graded?

No. Once you have elected to take a course Pass/No Credit you cannot revert back to a letter-graded format. However, please remember that you will have until 12pm (noon) on Wednesday, May 20th to elect Pass/No Credit.

If I need to take an “incomplete” in a course, can I convert it to Pass/No Credit after the incomplete grade is resolved?

In limited cases, yes. The existing regulations regarding the granting of incomplete grades will still apply; that is, students must request an incomplete from their instructor by submitting the Incomplete Grade Request form. The student must have demonstrated extenuating circumstances to warrant an incomplete, and incomplete grades will only be granted if the student is able to pass the class. If the course instructor agrees to grant an incomplete, they should assign a deadline and sign the Incomplete Grade Request form, which the student should email to registrar@clarkson.edu. Whenever possible, the deadline to complete the remaining work should be prior to the start of the fall semester. Upon completion of the work, the instructor will submit a grade change. If the student wishes to convert their earned grade to a P or NC, they will need to contact the Registrar’s office within 5 days of the official grade submission.

Pursuant to the Regulations, for students who fail to complete the work required to resolve an incomplete grade by the deadline, a grade of “F” will be recorded. In this case, students may NOT request a conversion of the grade to NC.

If a student leaves the University, and returns after the Fall 2020 semester, then completes the work related to their incomplete grade, they will not be eligible to request a conversion to Pass/No Credit, as they would no longer be working under the extenuating conditions of the Spring 2020 interruption. 

Are there any restrictions that would prevent me from converting a grade to Pass/No Credit?

  1. Any student who has had an academic integrity violation which results in any sanctions from the Academic Integrity Committee will not be allowed to convert the grade earned in the course for which the violation occurred, to the Pass/No Credit grading scale. 
  2. Pursuant to the Regulations, for students who fail to complete the work required to resolve an incomplete grade by the deadline, a grade of “F” will be recorded. In this case, students may NOT request a conversion of the grade to NC.
  3. If a student leaves the University with incomplete grades from Spring 2020, and returns after the Fall 2020 semester, then completes the work related to their incomplete grade, they will not be eligible to request a conversion to Pass/No Credit, as they would no longer be working under the extenuating conditions of the Spring 2020 interruption. 
  4. W, LW and Incomplete grades cannot be converted to Pass/No Credit (for more info regarding incomplete grades, please see the question directly above this one)

How will Pass/No Credit impact end of term honors, such as the Dean’s and Presidential Scholar lists?

In order to be eligible for the Dean’s List, a student must have earned a minimum 3.250 GPA in the Spring 2020 term, be enrolled in at least 14 credits, of which 12 or more must be for a letter grade. 

In order to be eligible for the Presidential Scholar list, a student must have earned a minimum 3.800 GPA in the Spring 2020 term, be enrolled in at least 14 credits, of which 12 or more must be for a letter grade. 

Pass/No Credit courses are NOT counted toward the minimum of 12 graded credits required for each honors list, but passed courses can count toward the minimum 14 total credits required.

How will Pass/No Credit impact graduation honors?

Grades of P and NC have no impact on your GPA, and therefore will not impact your eligibility for graduation honors.

How will electing to convert a poor grade to “No Credit” impact my GI Bill benefits?

No Credit is considered a non-punitive grade (a grade that does not count as earned credit, or toward progress standards for graduation) and the VA typically does not pay for courses in which a non-punitive grade is earned. Guidance received from the US Department of Veterans Affairs indicates, “although VA does not typically make payments for classes resulting in non-punitive grades, if “COVID 19” is reported as mitigating circumstances for the student’s receipt of a non-punitive grade (i.e., Fail in a Pass/Fail class) VA will pay for the class.” (Reference, Q11). If you have concerns regarding your GI Bill benefits, please contact Alysson Darrah, Clarkson’s School Certifying Official (adarrah@clarkson.edu). 

How will Pass/No Credit impact my academic standing?

Academic standing is based solely on academic performance within the semester, and will not change due to subsequent changes in GPA due to courses being converted to the Pass/No Credit grading scale. The current academic standing policy will be revised such that no student will be subject to Academic Separation following the Spring 2020 term. Students will be placed on Academic Good Standing, Academic Warning, or Academic Probation based on their earned grades prior to any conversion to the Pass/No Credit grading basis, and in accordance with the standards set in the academic regulations. Students who would have been subject to Academic Separation will be placed on Academic Probation instead.

If I select Pass/No Credit for a class during the Spring 2020 semester, will I be able to repeat it for a letter grade in a future semester? 

You may only repeat courses for which No Credit (NC) is earned. A Pass indicates successful completion of the course, and passed courses cannot be retaken.

I don’t know what I should choose. Who can help me decide?

This is an individual decision each student must make for each of their classes. Your advisor may be able to assist you in thinking through the decision, but you must make the decision for yourself. 

What if I later decide to apply for medical school (or another graduate school) that requires grades in specific courses. Will I be able to reverse my decision at a later date?

Clarkson will ensure that those who need evidence of their academic achievements this spring will be able to get it. We will retain your original earned grade and will be able to provide you with a letter certifying the grades you earned in Spring 2020, should you require it later. You should consult with your academic advisor prior to the end of the semester, regarding your individual goals. 

Other Questions

What happens to my financial aid if I decide to withdraw from all of my classes?

If you cease to participate, (i.e. disappear) there may be an undesirable impact on your Spring 2020 federal financial aid. If you receive federal aid, your aid may need to be pro-rated meaning you will lose some of your federal aid based on the last time you participated in a class.  There will also be a negative impact on your financial aid eligibility if you wish to return to the University for a future semester.

Are campus events and activities being canceled in response to COVID-19? Is Spring graduation canceled?

With a ban issued by New York State on large gatherings and additional restrictions on environments with a higher density of people, we are temporarily suspending large events on campus until further notice.

The current plan is to hold the date of Saturday, August 15 to replace the May Spring Commencements, and to finalize plans by June 30 based on the status of federal, state and local health directives that may still include guidance on large gatherings and travel.  

The August commencement ceremony will include an option to participate virtually for both graduates and family members. Students who are unable to come in August will also have the option to return for ceremonies in December 2020 and May 2021 as well as with the Graduate School Ceremonies for our Capital Region Campus.  

For the August Ceremony, we will plan to provide housing for three nights on campus at no charge for students from Thursday, August 13 through Sunday, August 16.  

Recognition milestone events like the Last Lectures with Faculty, the Cultural Graduation, ROTC commissioning, Phalanx convocation tapping and other activities planned by class representatives and other student groups will be included in the weekend’s activities.  Student representatives and faculty organizers will be included in creating the schedule to be posted soon. 

Have Questions or Concerns?