Credit/No Credit Policy FAQs
Q: Does this policy apply to any semester other than Fall 2020?
A: No, this policy applies only to courses taken during the Fall 2020 semester.
Q: Does this policy apply to students in all academic programs?
A: This policy applies to all CUNY students who are enrolled in credit bearing courses for the Fall 2020 semester, including undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral courses, with the exception of the following list of courses chosen by the College to be excluded from opt-in.
Q: Why are some classes excluded from the Credit/No Credit option?
A: A letter grade is required for some courses where you may seek licensure upon graduation, accreditation purposes or if a course is required in order for you to advance within your major.
Q: Will all course grades automatically be converted to a Credit/No-Credit option?
A: No, course grades will not automatically convert to Credit/No Credit. Students must opt-in to the Credit/No Credit option in CUNYfirst. It will not be chosen for you regardless of your grade.
Q: When can I opt-in to the Credit or No Credit policy?
A: You can begin choosing the CR/NC option starting Dec. 24, through Jan. 12 (for 20 calendar days after final grades are submitted) to elect Credit/No Credit.
Q: Will students have to apply through CUNYfirst or through DegreeWorks?
A: Students will use CUNYfirst to elect the Credit/No Credit option.
Q; I graduated at the end of Summer or I have already graduated. Will I able to use Credit/No Credit option?
A: Once a degree is conferred and you have graduated, changes to an academic record, including grade change due to Credit/No Credit option, cannot be made.
Q: Will a Fall 2020 hold or stop prevent me from selecting the Credit/No Credit option?
A: Stops and holds will not have an impact on your ability to select the Credit/No Credit option.
Q: How will I know if a Credit/No Credit grade is better than a letter grade?
A: Undergraduate students who are graduating and whose cumulative or major GPAs are below a 2.0, or graduate students who have a GPA below a 3.0 should consult with their advisor before electing the option.
Q: Can I choose the Credit/No Credit option for individual courses?
A: Yes, any course that is not on Lehman College's list of Credi/No Credit list of excluded courses is eligible for the CR/NC option.
Q: Are there cases when a student should not choose the Credit/No Credit option?
A: Graduation: If an undergraduate student’s major GPA and/or cumulative GPA is below a 2.0, and the student is graduating, and the letter grade will raise the GPA to at least a 2.0, then choosing the Credit/No Credit option would prevent the student from graduating. Similarly, if a graduate student’s cumulative GPA is below a 3.0, and the student is graduating, and the letter grade will raise the GPA to at least a 3.0, then choosing the Credit/No Credit option would prevent the student from graduating.
Professional Licensure, Transfer, and Graduate School Admission: Some professional licensure organizations, and graduate schools outside of CUNY, may not accept a grade of Credit. As such, students, in consultation with program advisors, should weigh the potential impact of electing the Credit/No Credit option on their ability to: earn licenses, transfer credit to non-CUNY institutions, and/or gain admission into graduate school outside of CUNY. For example, there are some graduate programs that typically convert a CR grade to a C and an No Credit grade to an F when evaluating a transcript.
Lehman College advisors have considered the above possible exclusions into account when creating this CR/NC Decision Tool.
Q: Will this policy be published in the Lehman College course catalog?
A: Yes, you can find the Lehman College course catalog updated with Policy on Credit/No Credit for students, faculty, and staff.
Q: Is the decision to convert course grades to the Credit/No Credit option reversible during the 20 calendar days following the University’s final grade submission deadline?
A: No, a student may, between Dec. 24 and Jan. 12 to elect the Credit/No Credit option. Once a student chooses to convert course grades to the Credit/No Credit the decision is final. Importantly, there may be circumstances where electing the Credit/No Credit option may not be in the best interests of the student, some of which are described below.
Q: Will the decision to elect Credit/No Credit impact financial aid?
A: There may be cases where a student’s eligibility for financial aid could be adversely impacted by electing the Credit/No Credit option, including private scholarships, state student aid, and federal student aid. Students should meet with financial aid advisors prior to choosing Credit/No Credit.
Federal Student Aid: Students who receive federal aid are required to successfully complete courses within a specified period of time, with a determined GPA and at a pace based on the length of their academic program, known as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The federal CARES Act allows for a college to exclude any attempted credits that you did not complete, for class meeting dates that includes December 31, 2020 or the end date for the Federally-declared emergency from SAP calculation, because of COVID-19. You will not need to submit an appeal for the exception.
State Student Aid: Information will be updated once we receive an update from Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), New York State’s higher education student financial aid agency.
Private Scholarships: Private scholarship organizations may not accept a grade of CR. Considering that, financial aid counselors can help students to best leverage the flexibility afforded by the Credit/No Credit option by reviewing private scholarships with students and advising them to communicate with private scholarship organizations. Most scholarships will not be affected by a change in grading system unless they are for more than one year and have academic requirements.
Grades & GPA
Q: How will the Credit/No Credit grades be calculated into the grade point average?
A: Neither the CR nor the NC is included in the calculation of your GPA. The CR grade will allow you to earn credit (for credit bearing courses) but is not factored into your GPA. If you elect an NC grade in place of an F then it is not factored into your GPA, but you will not earn the credit. You should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of electing the Credit/No Credit option, particularly on matters related to graduation, professional licensure requirements, financial aid eligibility, and transfer of credit and/or graduate admissions to non-CUNY institutions. Again, Lehman College created a CR/NC Decision Tool to help students determine if opting into the CR/NC grade is right for them. Find the tool here.
Q: Will a grade of CR at one CUNY institution transfer to another CUNY institution?
A: Yes, a course with a grade of CR earned at one CUNY institution will transfer to another CUNY institution. There are no exceptions to this.
Q: Will a CR grade in a course be acceptable to register for higher level courses in subsequent semesters if the course taken in the fall was a prerequisite with a minimum grade requirement?
A: All students opting for a CR grade will receive credit for that course (for credit bearing courses). You will not be prevented from registering for courses in subsequent semesters that require specific grades in courses completed in the Fall 2020 semester, including transfer students. Prerequisites for all courses, with the exception of these courses Lehman College excluded from the CR/NC policy, and programs will be considered complete with a CR grade, at all CUNY institutions. You should, however, consider the likelihood of succeeding in subsequent courses, in which you will earn a letter grade, if you have not mastered the material in a related lower-level course. In the case of programs that fulfill the academic requirements for licensed professions, student decisions to pursue the Credit/No Credit option may impact their acceptance into the program (or graduate program). These students are encouraged to check with their respective departments.
Q: What will this look like on my transcript?
A: The grade glossary, attached to each transcript, will be updated to include a notation denoting that Fall 2020 grades of CR or NC, were earned during a major emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: Should a student opt for NC if they earned a D and want to repeat the course?
A: A passing letter grade (B+ through D-) can convert to ‘CR’ with credit for the class being awarded (for credit bearing courses), while a failing grade (F) can convert to ‘NC’, with no credit awarded. Still, it is important to understand that under certain circumstances, there is a difference between a passing grade for the purposes of CUNY, and an acceptable grade in the eyes of institutions outside of CUNY, specialized programs such as Nursing, and standards for professional licensure. Students should consult with their advisors before electing the Credit/No Credit option.
Q: Does this policy impact ePermit/Study Abroad grades?
A: The policy applies to all courses, even taken via ePermit/Study Abroad, in the Fall 2020 semester.
Q: Will a Fall 2020 hold or stop prevent a student from selecting the Credit/No Credit option?
A: Stops and holds will not have an impact on a student’s ability to select the Credit/No Credit option.
Q: Will the CR grade apply towards F-Repeat policy where the F grade was earned?
A: A grade of CR is a passing grade, will replace an F, apply towards the F-Repeat policy, and count towards the 16-credit F-Repeat limit (for credit bearing courses) but will not contribute to the calculation of the term GPA.
Q: Will the NC grade apply towards F-Repeat policy where the F grade was earned?
A: An NC grade will not replace a previously earned F grade.
Q: Will a WU grade convert to an NC grade?
A: WU is not an earned grade and is assigned to students who stopped participating in and do not complete the course; thus, students will not have option to convert these courses to an “NC” grade.
Q: Will a FIN grade convert to a NC grade?
A: FIN is not an earned grade and is assigned to students who do not complete coursework for which they received an INC grade in Fall 2020 semester, thus, student will not have the option to convert to an “NC” grade.
Q: Does this policy apply to a course where a student has already earned any version of the W grades on their record for Fall 2020 semester?
A: If a student has a version of the W grade (W, WN, WA, WD) on their record for a course for the Fall 2020 semester, this option does not apply to that course.
Q: Will this interfere with the number of Pass/Fail/No Credit grades that I can use after the Fall 2020 semester which is dependent on local campus policy?
A: These grades will not be included in the total number of non-letter grade courses a student may take as per the existing campus policy.
Q: Does this policy impact my eligibility for Dean’s List/Campus Honors for Fall 2020 semester?
A: Credit/No Credit grades are not counted toward the Dean’s List and Campus Honors. You must earn letter grades to be considered for any honors opportunities.
Q: Will successfully retaking the course in subsequent semesters replace the NC grade?
A: No, the NC grade will not be replaced and will continue to appear on the transcript. A grade of NC is not calculated into the GPA; therefore, it will not impact the 16-credit university limitation on repeats. On the other hand, if an F is received in a course, then successfully repeating that course later would replace the F grade in the calculation of the GPA.
Q: Does this policy apply to F grades assigned due to academic sanction for the violation of Academic Integrity Policy?
A: No, students found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy are not allowed to opt-in to receive a No Credit grade, as academically sanctioned F grades are not earned grades.
Q: My college has a standing Credit/Pass/Fail/No Credit policy that is available to students every semester. Does the Fall 2020 Credit/No Credit Grading Policy replace that policy or is this an additional option for students?
A: Existing Credit/No Credit (or “pass/fail” or “pass/no credit”) options at the colleges continue to apply in the Fall 2020 semester according to established rules set by each individual college, provided these are selected by the student up until their established deadline and before grades are posted. The Fall 2020 Credit/No Credit Policy for the Credit/No Credit only applies after the grades are posted, with the exception of courses chosen by campuses to be excluded from opt-in. If, upon seeing their posted letter grade in CUNYfirst, student wants to change an earned letter grade to Credit/No Credit, they can then opt-in to elect this option, with the exception of courses chosen by campuses to be excluded from opt-in. The dates of this opt-in period are from when the final grades are posted until 20 calendar days from grade posting. It is during this period that if the student wishes to change a letter grade to the Credit/No Credit option they may do so, with the exception of courses chosen by campuses to be excluded from opt-in. Once the choice is made in CUNYfirst, it is irrevocable.
Q: If I am transferring to CUNY from outside the university and my previous school had a mandatory or voluntary binary grading system (P/F; CR/NC) will my credits still transfer?
A: For courses taken in the Fall 2020 semester only, we will honor and transfer in binary grades for all courses that would normally transfer, without negative impact on admission, transfer credit, or degree requirements.
International Students, Veterans, and Special Programs
Q: What are the implications of Credit/No Credit opt-in for International Students?
A: International students should consult campus International Student and Scholar Services before initiating this option. For Fall 2020, international students will be able to opt-in to Credit/No Credit without any impact on their visa status if the decision is due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Q: What are the implications of Credit/No Credit opt-in for Veterans Benefits?
A: The VA does not typically pay for classes for which the grade received, such as Credit/No Credit, may not contribute to student progress standards for graduation (what the VA calls “non-punitive grades).” Non punitive grades have the same effect as taking a class in “audit” status. If COVID 19 is reported by the institution as a mitigating circumstance for the student’s receipt of a nonpunitive grade (i.e., Fail in a Pass/Fail class) then VA will pay for the class. As a mitigating circumstance, Veteran students should consult campus Veterans Support Services before initiating this option. More information is available here.
Q: Does this policy apply to Non-Degree, College NOW, or Early College Initiative (ECI) programs?
A: The policy applies to all students taking courses in the Fall 2020 semester regardless of matriculation status, with the exception of courses chosen by campuses to be excluded from opt-in.
Q: How will this policy affect undergraduate Macaulay Honors, Campus Honors, Adult and Continuing Education, ASAP courses, and other special academic programs?
A: The policy applies to all courses applicable to all CUNY undergraduate programs equally, with the exception of courses chosen by campuses to be excluded from opt-in.
Students Pursuing Licensed Health Professions Programs
Q: I am applying to a degree program in a licensed health profession at my school at the end of this semester. How will accepting a grade of CR affect my admission to the program?
A: Admission to many of the licensed health profession programs at CUNY is highly competitive. There are more students interested in these programs than there are clinical placements available, therefore there is a selection process based upon a review of the academic record of each student seeking admission. While no student will be deprived the right to a CR grade in any class at CUNY, overall GPA is not the only indicator in admissions decisions to licensed health profession programs. Students are encouraged to review the admissions criteria, which can be viewed on the program’s webpage, for acceptance to the program. Program directors will review the full transcript of each student and will make their admissions decisions based upon conclusions drawn from the review of those transcripts. Opting for a CR grade instead of a letter grade in a course may impact your ability to meet the expected admission criteria and acceptance into the program. Students doing poorly in a course may be advised to withdraw from a course, which has been extended to last day of classes, or take a Credit/No Credit grade option, with the exception of courses chosen by campuses to be excluded from opt-in and repeat the course in a subsequent term.
Q: I am a student in a licensed health profession program at my school, currently taking courses in my major. How will accepting a CR grade in my major courses affect my ability to continue in the program?
A: No student will be denied the right to elect the Credit/No Credit grade option, with the exception of these courses to be excluded from opt-in. All students, regardless of their field of study need to consider the impact that their level of proficiency in a Fall 2020 course will have on their success in a future course or in successfully advancing in the program in which they will earn a letter grade or choose a Credit/No Credit This consideration is particularly important for students in programs preparing them to take licensing examinations in one of the health professions upon graduation. Students doing poorly in a course may be advised to withdraw from a course or take an NC grade and repeat the course in a subsequent term. Students should contact their professor or advisor either prior to the end of the semester or certainly prior to opting for the Credit/No Credit grade.
Q: I am a senior applying to graduate programs in a licensed health profession. How will the CR grades impact my chances of gaining admission to the schools to which I have applied?
A: Each graduate program will view these grades as they see fit. Many colleges and universities throughout the United States are implementing similar type grading options for students for the Fall 2020 semester, so your transcript will most likely not be the only one with a Credit/No Credit. Students may consider admission criteria for graduate schools in your selected health profession to inform decisions on eligibility and other conditions that may potentially impact admission to the program. You have twenty days after your letter grade has been submitted to decide if you want to opt in for the Credit/No Credit grade, with the exception of courses chosen by campuses to be excluded from opt-in. We advise you to use that time to check with the admissions office of each program to which you have applied to make an informed decision.
Q: I am a student in an Education program that leads to teacher certification. How will accepting a CR grade in my Education courses affect my ability to get certified?
A: Candidates who complete a registered program would apply for certification through the approved program pathway. In this pathway, NY State Education Department (OTI) looks for the institutions’ recommendation for certification in the candidates’ TEACH account and does not look at courses on a transcript. Credit/No Credit courses would not be an issue in this case.
Q: I am a student taking education courses because I intend to apply for certification through the individual evaluation pathway. (I am not enrolled in a registered program that leads to certification.) How will accepting a CR grade in my Education courses affect my ability to get certified?
A: Candidates who complete college courses but are not matriculating in a registered program and would not receive an institution recommendation for certification, may apply for certification through the individual evaluation pathway. In this pathway, “candidates” must have achieved at least a C or its equivalent in any undergraduate level course and at least a B- or its equivalent in any graduate level course in order for the semester hours associated with that course to be credited toward meeting the content core or pedagogical core semester hour requirements for a certificate”, according to the regulations.
Students pursuing the individual evaluation pathway who earn at least a C or its equivalent in any undergraduate level course and at least a B- or its equivalent in any graduate level course may decide to accept the letter grade (and not convert it to CR) so their transcript can be more readily assessed by NY State Education Department.
Q: How do CR grades apply to the general core and content core requirements of NY State Education Department?
A: The minimum letter grade requirement does not apply to the general core (liberal arts and science) courses unless they are also counting towards the content core semester hour requirements. Credit/No Credit grades would be acceptable for those courses. In addition, any grade is acceptable, including pass/fail grades, for the 12-semester hour graduate coursework content core for the Professional certificate master’s degree requirement if the college granted degree credit for the course.
Q: I am a senior applying to graduate programs in Education. How will the CR grades impact my chances of gaining admission to the NY colleges to which I have applied, given the state’s 3.0 GPA minimum?
A: Each graduate program will view these grades as they see fit. Many colleges and universities throughout the United States are implementing similar type grading options for students for the Fall 2020 semester, so your transcript will most likely not be the only one with a Credit/No Credit or P/F or P/NC grade. CUNY’s Credit/No Credit grades will not impact the students’ GPA. You have twenty days after your letter grade has been submitted to decide if you want to opt in for the Credit/No Credit We advise you to use that time to check with the admissions office of each program to which you have applied to make an informed decision.
Q: What other issues should Education programs and their students consider?
A: Colleges may give students additional advice stemming from their accrediting bodies, etc. (CUNY will send letters explaining the Credit/No Credit policy to CAEP and AAQEP, in addition to Middle States.) Before choosing this grading option for one or more of their classes, students will consult with their academic and financial aid advisors regarding potential impact to their financial aid, licensure requirements, and graduate school admissions.