No Retroactive Pass-Fail Option for Fall Semester

December 4, 2020

Dear Students,

We recognize that this fall semester has been filled with challenges for everyone as we implemented many wide-ranging measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic in order to preserve in-person instruction at Baylor University. We also recognize that as the semester concludes, with final exams currently underway, these challenges have not ended.

In recent days, we have heard requests from students to allow them to choose, retroactively, a pass-fail option for their classes at the conclusion of the fall semester, as we did at the end of the spring semester. For a variety of reasons, and after consulting with Baylor’s academic leadership and the Faculty Senate, the University has determined that this will not be an option for the fall 2020 semester.

This fall has been quite different from spring 2020 in at least two ways. First, our faculty members were able to plan for the semester’s challenges for several months in advance, taking into account the different teaching modalities that would be used. Such planning wasn’t possible during the spring. Second, we have been able to complete the fall semester with on-campus instruction and without any changes to our planned teaching modalities, unlike the sudden changes experienced in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

While a pass-fail option will not be retroactively available, other options exist should you find yourself challenged to meet academic requirements due to the circumstances of taking classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, you can work through Baylor’s standard Academic Appeals process, which begins with contacting your instructor. The appeals process requires students to submit their appeals in writing at each step. More information is available at

Second, you could consider taking an Incomplete for a given class. This University policy recognizes unforeseen circumstances that have prohibited students from completing the assignments and/or exams required during the semester. Your instructor would have to agree to this option, and, of course, you would be required to complete the remaining assignments within one semester. In the meantime, students would have an “I” on their transcript. Should you successfully pursue this option, the best plan would be to complete the incomplete work between the end of the fall term and the beginning of the spring 2021 semester.

Thank you for entrusting your education to Baylor University. We hope this information is helpful, and we wish you success as you complete the fall semester.


Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D.

Are you looking for more News?