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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater
An aerial photo of Patton Hall, McWhorter Hall and the Baskin Center in the foreground, with the city of Nashville in the background

April 8, 2020 Coronavirus Update to Students

Dear Students,

The reality of the coronavirus epidemic continues to significantly impact our lives.  As a University, we have had to take unprecedented steps in our approach to teaching and supporting students in order to attain successful outcomes during these uncertain times.  As students, you have had to adapt to new learning methods while also coping with varying degrees of impact on your personal lives.

While up until this time Belmont has not modified its approach to grading for the semester, please know it is not due to lack of awareness of or empathy for these realities. Rather, it is because we have been considering solutions that take all relevant factors into account. A move to pass/fail, while being adopted widely among other Universities, is not necessarily the best option for every student. Such a move also affects things like how other colleges/universities view your transcripts (transfer credit, graduate/professional school admissions, etc.), grade point average calculations (which could impact financial aid, graduate/professional school admission, employment opportunities, etc.), academic progress, professional certifications,  etc.

It is for these reasons that Belmont is implementing an approach that provides students the option to elect a pass/fail approach for a portion of their courses. Details are as follows:

  • Each student is allowed to select up to seven (7) credit hours as Pass/Fail AFTER grades have been posted for the spring 2020 term.
  • This allows students to pursue their best graded outcome to the benefit of their overall academic performance, while also providing an option for those courses where the graded outcome was lower than expected.
  • This is a one-time only exception to the University’s standard grading policies resulting from the aforementioned circumstances. 

More information will be sent in the coming days providing important considerations as you decide whether/how to exercise the pass/fail option being offered, as well as details on the process to select this option if so desired. For now, though, I encourage you to maintain focus on completing your courses as strongly as possible as any pass/fail decisions do not have to be made until final grades are posted.

I wish you all the best for a successful conclusion to the spring semester.

Thomas Burns
Provost