[FUN_Mail] FUN_Mail Digest, Vol 51, Issue 45

Jean Hardwick jhardwick at ithaca.edu
Mon Mar 30 13:38:55 EDT 2020

This question is going out to the different subcommittees at SfN, but the NTC Chair (at Harvard) did respond with this:

related to Harvard: the decision has been made that this semester we will consider all grades everywhere pass/fail. For Pre-meds, HMS has also said that they would consider pass/fail this semester as the norm.

Jean Hardwick
Charles Dana Professor of Biology
Ithaca College
(607) 274-3213

From: FUN_Mail <fun_mail-bounces at lists.funfaculty.org> on behalf of Jean Hardwick <jhardwick at ithaca.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2020 1:23:18 PM
To: Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Mailing List <fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org>
Subject: Re: [FUN_Mail] FUN_Mail Digest, Vol 51, Issue 45

This message originated from outside the Ithaca College email system.

Actually, I am the NTC representative and I have already sent an email to the Chair.

The message from med schools is mixed.  Many say that if students have a choice, they prefer the grade over a P/F.  However, every student is facing a unique set of circumstances at this point, so any decisions should be made with conversations with their advisors.  Overall, my guess is that schools will recognize the unique situation and focus more on the "normal" semester in a transcript.


On 3/30/20, 1:20 PM, "FUN_Mail on behalf of MARY E. MORRISON" <fun_mail-bounces at lists.funfaculty.org on behalf of Morrison at lycoming.edu> wrote:

    This message originated from outside the Ithaca College email system.

    Hi Chris,

    You should consult your campus's prehealth advisor.  There has been a very robust discussion of this issue among members of NAAHP, the national prehealth advisors' organization.  The response of medical schools to this change at many undergrad campuses is not yet formulated.  But it's clear they will have to deal with this issue, as many campuses are not giving students any choice about going to P/F at all.

    As for graduate schools--I believe that Barbara Lom is FUN's representative on that SfN committee.  Barbara, has there been any discussion about this issue across grad schools on that committee yet?

    Stay well out there everyone,

    Mary E. Morrison, Ph.D.
    Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) President
    Assistant Professor
    Biology Department Chair
    Neuroscience Program Coordinator
    Lycoming College
    Room 107 Heim Building
    1 College Place
    Williamsport, PA 17701
    morrison at lycoming.edu

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    Subject: FUN_Mail Digest, Vol 51, Issue 45

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    FUN_Mail Daily Digest

    Today's Topics:

       1. New P/F Options and Advice for Students Considering Grad
          School (Korey, Christopher A)


    Message: 1
    Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2020 15:23:51 +0000
    From: "Korey, Christopher A" <KoreyC at cofc.edu>
    To: Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Mailing List
            <fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org>
    Subject: [FUN_Mail] New P/F Options and Advice for Students
            Considering Grad School
    Message-ID: <41A26C70-9D3C-46DE-8EAD-6288165D8E2C at cofc.edu>
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

    Dar Colleagues,

    I hope this finds you all safe and healthy in these unusual times. I am sending this message to gather some advice about how to best advise students considering graduate school in the context of COVID-19 P/F policies for this semester. Our institution has created a policy that will allow students to choose a Pass (A to D-) or No Pass (F and WA ? excessive absences) once grades have been posted for the semester. The student will receive course credit toward graduation and major requirements, but the grade is not factored into their GPA.

    This is entirely the student?s choice and they can pick and choose individual courses. Faculty will grade their courses as they normally would and post letter grades.  There will also be a transcript notation for this semester highlighting the unusual nature of this semester so that there is a historical record.

    I have had several students who are considering graduate school ask me how graduate admissions committees will view the choice to take a Pass rather than the letter grade. For example, a student is likely to earn a C in Cell Biology and is considering taking the Pass.  Should she do this? Will committees take into account the significant disruption to a student?s ability to learn in the current environment?

    I would particularly like to hear from faculty that have schools that have PhD programs. Thanks for responding in this generally stressful and overwhelming time.


    Christopher Korey, Ph.D.
    Professor | Biology Department
    Faculty Affiliate | Women?s and Gender Studies Faculty Fellow | Center for Academic Performance and Persistence

    College of Charleston
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