Fall Guide

Fall Grading Policies

With input from the Faculty Senate and the Associated Students, and with the approval of the Provost, the University will – with the modifications described below – return for Fall Quarter 2020 to the standard and published grading policy posted below. This temporary policy has no bearing on courses graded S/U or on grading in the Fairhaven College, which has its own grading policy.

Requesting P/NP grades:

Students may designate a course as Pass/No Pass by submitting a request with the Registrar’s Office after registering for the course; they may change this designation by submitting the change to the Registrar’s Office at any time through the seventh week of a quarter (Nov. 10); for extension program courses, pass/no pass grading designation may be elected up to the end of the seventh week for regular quarter-long courses, or prior to the third class meeting for shorter courses. Students may be advised to stay with a letter grade if required for accreditation, veteran status and benefits, or other purposes.

P/NP grades:

Undergraduate students opting for P/NP (EP/NP*) grading in Fall Quarter 2020 will receive an EP for grades of D+ and above. A grade of D or D- will be recorded as a NP, which will not earn credits or be reflected in the GPA. A grade of F will be recorded as NP on the transcript, will not receive degree credit, and will not be reflected in the GPA. By choosing not to opt for EP/NP grading, a student may have a D or D- reported to their transcript, which will earn credits and be reflected in the GPA. Departments requesting a different minimum grade for credit may petition their Dean and will announce the course grade rubric before the start of classes. This policy has no bearing on courses graded S/U.


A grade of EP* during Fall Quarter 2020 will count towards curricular, major, continuation, and graduation requirements unless noted by a department and included in the respective syllabus.


In Spring Quarter of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic led the university to shift to remote learning, a modality that was new for many faculty and students. These uncharted teaching/learning conditions made it necessary to adopt a temporary grading policy that would accommodate student acclimation to the new learning environment and that would afford students a certain flexibility in how their work in courses would be formally registered. While the challenges brought on by the pandemic have by no means disappeared, the return to some face-to-face instruction, as well as more familiarity with remote and online teaching/learning, supports returning to the standard rank (letter grade) system. The later date by which students must opt for a P/NP grade (Week 7, as opposed to the standard Week 4 reporting deadline to the Registrar), recognizes a continued need for flexibility and the fact that the decision might be better informed after mid-term. As other universities make the same decision, it is also in the best interests of our students to revert to rank grading, retaining some aspects of the flexibility present in the temporary policy (more time to decide on requesting P/NP, etc.).

*EP (Pass – Exceptional Circumstance) is to be used as the P grade in grade submission. It is necessary in order to facilitate the appropriate qualification of the P grade in Banner and DegreeWorks during the period of the temporary grading policy.

  During all quarters in which P/NP interim grading policies are in effect at the undergraduate level, the following policy will apply to graduate level courses, beginning Summer 2020.

Policy Highlights
  • Graduate students may choose P/NP grading for courses that are normally A-F letter-graded, excluding thesis and research courses. Courses graded S/U cannot be changed to P/NP.
  • To elect P/NP grading, submit a request to the Registrar's Office by the end of the seventh week of the quarter. For short format courses, P/NP may be requested prior to the third class meeting.
  • To request P/NP for undergraduate courses, follow the undergraduate grading policy.
  • A minimum C- equivalent is required to receive a P grade. Programs may specify a higher passing grade, and must communicate that to students by the first day of the course.
  • Beginning Summer 2020, a maximum of 6 credits of P grades may be counted toward degree requirements. All spring 2020 P grades may apply to degree requirements, and do not count against the 6 maximum.


Graduate School Interim Grading Policy

Resources for a successful remote-learning experience are available at the Keep Learning website. Services for fall quarter are being offered such as remote access to computer lab software as well as extended laptop checkout for students who lack computer access at home. For additional information on Covid-related academic policies and protocols, please visit the Provost's page.


All Fall Quarter classes remote after Thanksgiving

All WWU classes will be moved to remote/online after the Thanksgiving break. This means that instruction during the last week of classes (November 30-December 4), and exams during Finals Week (December 7-11), will be delivered/administered remotely.

All Winter Quarter classes to start remotely

All Winter Quarter 2021 classes will start remotely on Jan. 5, our originally scheduled start date.  Those select classes cleared to move forward under face-to-face or hybrid delivery will not meet in person until Jan.11, after remote instruction for the first few days of the term.

Testing program for onsite employees now available

Are you working onsite at least once a week? Free voluntary COVID-19 testing for employees is now available to support your health and the health of our community! Testing will primarily take place at Northwest Labs on Meridian. 

Enrollment is easy; just fill out the enrollment e-sign form. Visit our voluntary employee COVID-19 testing website for more information, and thank you for being part of the #BeWellWWU community and participating in this important effort.

Coronavirus | If You Feel Sick

The Student Health Center is still here for you — but we have adapted our services for everyone’s safety. Most services are now offered virtually.

All in-person medical and mental health walk-in services are no longer available.  Most services are now offered virtually (through phone or Zoom).

Please do not visit in-person.  Call the  Student Health Center at 360-650-3400 to make a virtual appointment, or to speak to a nurse for urgent medical needs.

For employees with specific health concerns, please contact your primary care provider. Additional information is also available on the Whatcom County Health Department website.


Technology Assistance

ATUS Classroom Services/Equipment Loan have established extended laptop loan programs for students without access to a computer. Students who need a laptop should complete a request to arrange to safely pick up a laptop.

In addition to many outdoor locations on campus with wi-fi signal, students may access wi-fi in Haggard Hall 153. Computer labs Haggard Hall 101 and 112 are open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Students must self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and practice social distancing.

Students can access computer lab workstations remotely. Many labs are open to all students and some are department-specific

Students are encouraged to prepare for their spring classes by reviewing the Keep Learning recommendations, which include strategies for becoming familiar with approaches, tools and operations likely to be used in your spring classes.

Everett-based students

Technology assistance will be limited to remote support due to Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. Support will be offered through the WSU Help Desk as of the spring quarter start on Monday, April 6. Remote support is available Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m -8 p.m. and Fridays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. To access support:

Call: WSU IT Help Desk at 425-405-1555.

Email: everett.it@wsu.edu

Virtual via Zoom: https://wsu.zoom.us/my/everett.it or Zoom meeting ID: 425-405-1555

Bremerton/Poulsbo-based students

For technology support, contact the OC Help Desk at: 360-475-7600.

Port Angeles-based students

WWU is currently working with Peninsula College to address access issues. Contact your program coordinator if you have questions or need information at this time.

Teaching and Learning

Fall Quarter will be a different experience for all involved, instructors as well as students. We will get through the quarter together, and instructors are making every effort (and will continue to do so) to provide a quality course for you with specific and important learning objectives.

However, we want to acknowledge that the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order means Western needs to close the vast majority of spaces on campus to student use, even individual student use. This includes instructional labs, studios, and practice spaces. The order and Western’s actions taken to comply with it will mean a different educational experience for several groups of students. Western’s faculty understand this fact and are taking steps, as much as they can, to provide alternative experiences that are meaningful and advance your learning and career goals.


Accommodations for students with disabilities are determined through an individualized process which takes place between the student and the Disability Access Center (DAC). Though students may already have accommodations in place, new or different accommodations may be appropriate for the online setting. If you have questions about the accessibility of your course or would like assistance and support implementing accommodations, please contact the DAC: DRSfrontdesk@wwu.edu or 360-650-3083.