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Statement for Undergraduate Students

March 24, 2020

Dear Boilermaker,

I write to you today from my home office computer and am sending you a global message of wellness, safety, and care. Regardless of your current physical location, our Boilermaker Nation is a family and one that has no walls, no borders, and certainly no limits!

Undoubtedly, this Spring 2020 semester is like no other you have ever experienced. I can assure you that is true for all of us. It proves to be the semester that will go down in history as the most disruptive in decades and will likely be known as the ‘asterisk semester’ as it relates to academic transcripts.

The Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated many changes in how we perform our work. Recognizing the many challenges to undergraduate students and instructors as they rapidly transition to unfamiliar modalities of instruction and assessment, we are relaxing a number of deadlines and regulations. We will be providing a one-time exception in order to create a broad safety net for students.

These changes for the Spring 2020 semester are:

  • Pass/No Pass: Students have until the end of the semester (May 1, Friday before finals) to switch any course from a letter grade to P/NP. 
    • The minimum threshold for a grade of “P” is defined as a C- for all 10000-40000 level courses in Spring 2020.
    • Passing grades for courses completed in Spring 2020 will count for any and all degree, admissions indexes, and pre-requisite requirements internal to Purdue.
    • As always, P/NP grades are not used in computing GPA.
  • Withdraw/Drop: Students have until the end of the semester (May 1, Friday before finals) to withdraw from (drop) a course, with academic advisor approval. 
  • Incompletes: Any student receiving an incomplete for a Spring 2020 class will have the full 20-21 academic year, to the end of the Spring 2021 semester, to clear the incomplete, which is the existing regulation.  However, we will strongly discourage faculty and instructors from issuing incompletes.
  • Academic Dismissal: No student will be dropped from the University as a result of their performance in Spring 2020.  Normal regulation will be reapplied in the fall.
  • Academic Probation: No student will be placed on academic probation as a result of their performance in Spring 2020.  Normal regulation will be reapplied in the fall.
  • Transcript Notation: A comment will be added to the transcript of all students enrolled this semester making reference to the COVID-19 pandemic for the S20 semester.

You are urged to work with your academic advisor prior to making any grade modality or drop decisions to be sure the full implications of these decisions are understood. There are many reasons that will factor in to your choice of grade modality, and many factors that may impact your ability to learn over the coming weeks. 

Please stay connected with us, with each other, and with all your networks and communities around the world as we overcome this challenge. We are Purdue!

Boiler Up! Hammer Down! Hail Purdue!


Dean Katie

Katherine L. Sermersheim, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Provost & Dean of Students
Purdue University
Schleman Hall | Room 207
475 Stadium Mall Drive | West Lafayette, IN   7907
Phone: 765.494.1257| Email:

Purdue University, Office of the Dean of Students, Helen B. Schleman Hall (formerly the Recitation Building), 2nd Floor, 656 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2086, Phone (765) 494-1747, Fax (765) 496-1550

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