In response to the impact that COVID-19 has made on learning and instruction, many colleges and universities throughout the country and around the world have adopted more flexible grading policies, such as Pass/No Pass (P/NP) or Pass/Fail, for Spring 2020. UC Davis understands that these flexibilities were implemented to help ease student stress and burden during this period of significant change and uncertainty, and we support these efforts. We are also aware that many prospective students who wish to attend graduate or professional school at UC Davis are concerned about the impact these optional grading methods may have on their application.
At UC Davis, our decentralized admissions process allows for graduate programs to be very hands-on in the careful review and selection of applicants to join their program. Graduate Studies advocates for the use of a holistic review process for each application which considers all elements within the application such as personal statements, letters of recommendation, supplemental materials (e.g. writing sample or resume), and test scores, in addition to academic measures such as GPA. The satisfactory completion of prerequisite and foundational coursework is essential for preparing a prospective student for a successful transition into graduate-level study. In addition to championing holistic review, Graduate Studies is working closely with the various graduate programs to ensure that they develop a plan for academically supporting future students who adopted a non-letter grading option, such as P/NP or Pass/Fail, in Spring 2020.
We hope this provides prospective students with reassurance that we will base our decisions for admission on a comprehensive set of factors beyond just academic performance in a single academic term. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to contact their program of interest if they have questions or concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on their admission to UC Davis.