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Office of the Registrar

Grade Options: Spring 2020

Note: The deadline to exercise this grading option was May 27, 2020.

Due to the changes in course delivery necessitated by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, Southern Miss is implementing some new grade options for students for the Spring 2020 semester.

Undergraduate and graduate students will receive letter grades in their spring semester classes, as usual, which will be visible in SOAR at the end of the semester. At that time, however, because of the extraordinary circumstances created by COVID-19, students will have a one-time opportunity to request a grade change to alternative options that will give them credit hours but will not impact their GPA.

We hope that these options for alternative grades for spring 2020 will ease students' minds and allow them to focus on successful course completion.

Grade options depend on the letter grade students receive in the class, and are as follows:

Undergraduate Grade Options

Assigned Grade

Spring 2020 Option



  • The Spring 2020 optional grades cannot be applied to January Intersession or first half-term (8W1) classes for spring 2020.
  • The Spring 2020 optional grades cannot be used to mark repeats on courses taken in previous or future terms.
  • Grade changes are permanent and cannot be reversed.
  • Students will not earn quality points and GPA will not be impacted by the Z, P, or NP grades. Students on probationary status should talk with their advisor about whether to change their grades. Student-athletes must talk with their academic counselor before changing their grades.
  •  Z grades will satisfy pre-requisite and degree requirements, including capstone courses, but may not be used to replace a repeated class grade.
  • Grades may be replaced for individual classes.

Graduate Grade Options

Assigned Grade

Spring 2020 Option

A –––
A- ––– 
B+ Z
B- Z


  • Z, PS, and NP carry no quality points and will not count against the GPA.
  • PS grades will be counted within the Graduate School’s 6-credit-hour limit on C+ and C grades.  The distinct designation (PS) is needed for degree audit purposes to distinguish from other P graded courses. 
  • NP grades must retaken but will not count against the existing one-retake limit. 
  • The Spring 2020 grading policy is NOT retroactive to include January intersession or first half-term (8W1) classes but does apply to both full term and 8W2 courses that are currently in progress.

Request a Grade Change 

This option will be available to all students on May 20, 2020, after grades have been posted for the Spring 2020 semester. Students will have until May 27, 2020, to request a grade change. 

Alternate grade changes are currently being processed by the University. Students may review their SOAR account for any grade change updates.



If you receive a grade of B or C, you can replace those grades with a Z. The Z grade will still give you credit for the course and count to meet pre-requisite and degree requirements such as a capstone course but will not count in your GPA.

If you receive a grade of D, you can replace that grade with a P. The P grade will still give you credit for the course but will not count in your GPA. P grades do not satisfy pre-requisite requirements or course requirements such as a capstone course where a grade of C or better is required.

If you receive a grade of F, you can replace that grade with an NP. The NP grade will not give you credit for the course and will also not count in your GPA. An F grade counts toward your GPA, so taking an NP is beneficial in this circumstance.

**Please note that some classes require a grade of B to meet prerequisite requirements. If you are unsure about requirements for a specific class, please consult with your advisor before submitting your request.

You can choose which classes to change, and that can be one of them or all of them. When you fill out the request form, there are multiple spaces for classes.

Final grades from instructors will be available on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

On Wednesday, May 20, students may begin requesting grade replacements. A link will be placed on the Registrar’s homepage to an electronic form the student may complete to make the request. Students will have 7 days to submit requests for changes. No requests will be allowed after 11:59pm on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

Students must list their email account when submitting the request.

No. Grades of Z, P, and NP are specific only to Spring 2020 term and cannot be used to mark a repeat on a previous grade.

Example: you took MAT 101 in the Fall of 2019 and made a D grade. You retake MAT 101 in Spring 2020 and choose the Z grade. You cannot mark a repeat on the D grade from Fall 2019. Both grades will appear on your transcript and the D grade will still be included in your GPA.

No. If you wish to keep all your grades that your instructor assigns at the end of term, you do not need to do anything.

Yes. If you take the course in a future term and want to use your letter grade to mark the Z, P, or NP as a repeat that is permissible. However, you should consider if this is a good use of your repeat hour limits. Z, P, and NP grades do not affect your GPA so marking them as repeats doesn’t change or benefit your GPA.

Example: you took MAT 101 in Spring 2020 and chose the Z grade. You repeat MAT 101 in the Fall 2020 and make a B grade. You can mark a repeat on the Z grade using the new B grade.

This question will be answered differently in each student situation. Please reach out to your academic advisor and seek advice before making your request. You can find your advisor’s contact information in your SOAR account on the Advisor Information
In this situation your term GPA would be a 4.0.
The Dean’s and President’s list designations will be awarded to students who keep all original grades issued by instructors and who meet the GPA requirement for that designation. A student who chooses one of the new grade options, even if it’s only for one class, will not eligible for either of these distinctions.

Academic standing calculations will be run as usual after grades are submitted (due May 18) and end-of-term processing happens. The window for students to have the option to change their grades (May 20-27) will occur after those initial standing calculations occur. Adjustments to academic standing will be made manually after grades are changed, and those adjustments will depend on whether students change no grades, all grades, or some of their grades for spring 2020:

  • Students who choose to keep all original grades issued by instructors will retain the academic standing they were assigned automatically by the system during end of term processing. These standings will be assigned as normal according to the existing academic standing policy outlined in the Bulletin.
  • Students who choose to change all grades to those included in the new grading basis will have their previous term academic standing applied, regardless of previous standing. If it is the student’s first term of enrollment and they change all grades, their academic standing will be “Good.”
  • Students who choose to change some, but not all, grades to those included in the new grading basis will have their academic standing manually recalculated after the grade changes. Their standing will then be re-evaluated according to our current academic standing policy and either assigned a standing of “good” or “probation.”

Cumulative Hours (including transfer work)

Minimum Cumulative GPA Required Student’s Cumulative GPA at End of Term AFTER Grade Changes
0–14 1.50 ≥1.50 = Good
≤1.49 = Probation
15–29 1.75 ≥1.75 = Good
≤1.74 = Probation
30 and above 2.0 ≥2.00 = Good
≤1.99 = Probation


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