Advisor FAQs for missing grades (spring 2024)

Q: Where can students find information about missing grades being replaced by P?

A: We have posted information here that you are welcome to share with students who have concerns. Sometime after the grading deadline, messaging will go to students who are affected, and we'll share that information with advisors when it's sent.

Q: We are aware that a standing policy applies that after the ninth week of instruction, automatic conversion of P/NP grades to letter grades can be approved when letter grades are required to fulfill major or graduation requirements (C for P and F for NP). Is this how cases will be addressed for graduating students with P grades that replace missing grades?

A: Because the academic senate has specified that any P grades that replace missing grades will not affect the student’s ability to progress in their major or graduate under letter grade requirements, this should make the process noted above unnecessary. For students who needed letter grades in major requirements, departments should evaluate graduation requirements consistent with this guidance from the academic senate. 

Since, for those students who requested letter grades, P grades replacing missing grades in spring 2024 will not be included in the maximum 25% allowable, the only students who may find themselves out of compliance based on P grades in spring 2024 are those who were already out of compliance with the 25% P/NP threshold, and were hoping to bring that percentage down with spring 2024 grades. We will approach these instances on an individual basis; if you encounter such students, please bring them to the attention of the University Registrar and/or the AVP for Undergraduate Advising. 

Q: Do students have the right to request a letter grade at a later time if they took a class for a letter grade and are unhappy with the P designation?

A: Students have a right to the letter grades that they have earned in cases where they requested letter grades. Students who have not received a letter grade over the coming weeks should contact their instructor and the overseeing department.

Q: How will this be handled in light of the graduation checklist deadline for spring 2024 graduation candidates? Or for students who are planning on grad school?

A: The replacement of missing grades with P grades should allow major-sponsoring agencies to verify graduation requirements for students who applied for spring 2024 graduation, especially given that the academic senate has specified that any P grades that replace missing grades will not affect the student’s ability to progress in their major or graduate under letter grade requirements.

We don’t know how this might affect graduate school admission. If students are concerned about the possibility of a P grade affecting their chances for admission, they may reach out to their instructors and the institutions to which they’re applying.

Q: For students who are upset or have grievances with their situation, who should they be referred to? Who can answer some of these tricky situations outside of the department? What is the “chain of command for referrals”?

A: The first inquiry should go to the instructor; then to the chair of the course-sponsoring agency; then to the dean. Advisors can help students by clarifying the appropriate referral process, by helping them understand any implications of receiving P grades, and by acknowledging the discomfort that often accompanies ambiguity.

Q: If a student knows they didn't pass, but has a missing grade, or a P grade, and needs to retake the course in Summer Session - should the student be enrolled with an OVR code? If so, who should do this?

A: No - advisors should never use OVR codes for this scenario. For Summer Session, students should contact the Summer Session office at for assistance with enrollment. 

An OVR code could result in a duplication of credit if the student’s work actually was passing, and thus should not be used.

Q: What if the same scenario applies as above, but the student is trying to enroll for a course in the fall?

A: The student should wait until after July 17, when missing grades will be replaced with either the input grades or with P. Enrollment for fall courses remains open for continuing students until August 2.

Q: How do we handle a case where a student had a P for a requirement and then it is later reported as a non passing grade?

A: This may look very different based on the requirement in question, the timing of the change to a non-passing grade, and the student’s proximity to graduation - for this reason, these will need to be evaluated individually. If a non-passing grade is reported soon, it would make sense to require the student to re-take the class or requirement in question. If further down the line, the advisor can consult with their undergraduate program director or department chair about whether an exception is warranted (recognizing that some exceptions, such as the DC requirement or the 40 upper division credit minimum requirement for majors, cannot be approved by the department).

As always, faculty can change grades at any time, up to one year after the grading deadline on their own, and longer through CCI. Students in this situation may file a grade grievance.  If we find any changes right at graduation time, please ensure the University Registrar and the AVP Undergraduate Advising are aware, who will discuss the situation with VPDUEGE. 

Q: If letter grades are required to qualify for the major I advise for and students have P grades, should I postpone approving students’ declaration petitions until a letter grade is reported?  Should I use the one quarter deferral (setting conditions for declaration that will be settled within at most one quarter), in the hopes a grade might be posted?

A: No. CEP has specified that default P grades should not impact a student’s progress in the major, and this includes major declaration. In programs with a specific course grade threshold, a default P grade should be treated as meeting that threshold. In programs with a GPA level across several courses, courses with default P grades should be treated as meeting that threshold. For example, if the threshold is 2.7, the credits associated with the P grade should be treated as having earned 2.7 per credit in the GPA calculation.

Q: If a student is satisfied with the P grade they have received and doesn’t want it changed to a letter grade, what can they do?

A: Students who wish to change their grading option from letter grading to P/NP for spring 2024 classes are encouraged to use the CCI appeal process for grading option changes.

Q: For students graduating soon, how will the P be handled for their university honors review?

A: University honors are awarded at the time of graduation to students who have completed 70 or more units at the University of California; and have a qualifying UC grade point average. Because a P is silent in the GPA, their GPA will be based on the remainder of their UC grades.

Q: For departments, can we retroactively go back and issue honors in the major if a letter grade is posted down the line?

A: Yes, departments are able to notify the Office of the Registrar if there are any additional department honors to be awarded.

Q: I am concerned about students with default “P” grades eventually, maybe, having grades convert to a non-passing grade anytime through June 2025. That seems profoundly unfair. I assume the purpose of the default “P” is to allow things to move forward, not to create potential future barriers for students. I feel we should consider default “P” grades as passing grades for declaration, graduation, etc. indefinitely, without the possibility of future crisis for the student. Can policy be developed to address this concern?

A: Policy already exists. While instructors of record have responsibility and authority over their student’s grade, the academic senate has specified that “instructors will not be able to replace [default P grades] with an NP grade, or a grade of C- or lower, without being liable to a grade grievance.” If such replacement occurs, students may consult the Grade Grievance Information at the bottom of the CCI webpage.


Revised June 2024