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Dear Colleagues,  

You recently received a massmail from Provost Cangellaris regarding emergency academic policy modifications for Fall 2020. We write to share some additional information relevant to graduate students and to let you know that we are sending a separate communication with this information directly to all graduate students. 

Extensions of Academic Deadlines 

  • Dropping a course without a grade of W: The last day to drop a course from the current term without a grade of W has been extended to December 18. This deadline applies to full-semester courses, POT B courses, and non-standard courses with an end date after December 1, 2020. Most course drops can be made using Student-Self Service.

    Students who want to drop a course without a W for a Fall 2020 course that has an end date before December 1, 2020, may make a request through the Graduate College petition process.
  • Electing Credit/No-Credit: The last day to elect Credit/No-Credit for a course is now January 5, 2021.

Fall 2020 Credit/No-Credit Policy Information 

We encourage students to have a discussion with their academic advisor to understand what grading options are in their best interest. In most cases, these Credit/No-Credit requests will be approved by a student's advisor. However, there may be external policies (licensure, certification, professional accreditation) that should be taken into consideration. Academic programs will be able to alert students to factors that may impact these decisions. 

The Credit/No-Credit grading option is available for courses with standard letter grading (A-F). 

As a part of the emergency academic policies approved by the Academic Senate in EP.21.037:

  • Election of Credit/No-Credit for courses this term will not count toward applicable minimums as outlined in the Student Code Section 3-105. This includes the limit on the number of credit hours that can be taken as credit/no-credit during a semester.

  • In courses in which Credit/No-Credit is elected and Credit is earned (letter grades of C- and higher), the credit is applicable toward degree requirements. 

The above emergency policies override existing Graduate College and department policies for Credit/No-Credit.

Students who are on academic probation or limited status, and other “at-risk” students, are able to select Credit/No-Credit grading for Fall 2020. However, students should consult with their academic program to define a path for academic success for Fall 2020 and beyond. If there is no GPA computed at the end of the Fall 2020 semester, the Graduate College will continue to use the prior academic standing for the next semester of enrollment. 

Procedures for Submitting Credit/No-Credit Requests 

For all Credit/No-Credit requests, the student will need to complete the Credit/No-Credit Form. The form must have all required signatures. This can be a physical signature, an Adobe authorized digital signature, or an email confirming approval attached to the form (all emailed approvals need to be attached to the form and uploaded as one file). For instructions on electronically signing these forms, visit our business process FAQ page.

Once the form is completed and signed, the student or program should upload the form at https://grad.illinois.edu/forms-submit

The student can verify if the Credit/No-Credit has been applied to the course through Student Self-Service by checking the grade mode. It will say ‘Credit/No-Credit’ or will appear with a ‘C’. 

Additional Resources/Options for Addressing Academic Concerns

Graduate students have options that are available to them through existing processes to address academic concerns. These policies/procedures include: 

  • Dropping courses – deadlines have been extended, see above.
  • Withdrawing – or using the medical withdrawal process, if appropriate.

For Faculty, we also wish to draw your attention to the “Incomplete” grading option. This option may be something to consider for individual student circumstances to allow a graduate student additional time to finish up final course requirements. Faculty are able to assign “I” grades for graduate students using the standard grading process.

Please work with students to help guide them through available options. It is important to note that a graduate student is required to be enrolled in order to hold a graduate appointment (fellowship, assistantship, or hourly). Please also be aware that enrollment requirements may vary depending on departmental policies, and some fellowships with external funding sources may be subject to additional enrollment requirements. Students may also wish to consult with the Office of Financial Aid and ISSS for additional considerations, particularly to discuss the impact of dropping courses. We expect that many of these conversations will be highly individualized, and we are happy to provide additional support on this topic, please feel free to contact grad@illinois.edu with any questions.  

We hope that these modifications will allow additional time for students to make any necessary adjustments to their fall schedules and academic timelines. 

Please feel free to contact us with any questions at grad@illinois.edu.  


Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko 
Dean, Graduate College


Sent to: Academic Department Heads, Directors of Graduate Study, Graduate Faculty, and Graduate Program Contacts