March 18, 2021

SIU announces spring 2021 grading options

Meera Komarraju, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, announced today, March 18, that undergraduate students have the option of seeking a “pass/no-pass” grade for spring 2021 semester courses, while graduate students may select a “satisfactory/unsatisfactory” grade, due to the ongoing challenges associated with COVID-19. She also provided updates on fall 2021 semester registration.

“Pass/no pass” option for spring 2021 semester

The university made this decision carefully in consultation with both student and faculty leaders and after assessing approaches by other universities.

It is very important that students have a full understanding of the potential impact of opting for a “pass/no pass” grade. For this reason, students will be required to consult with their academic advisors or program coordinators or directors before making the decision. They are also encouraged to discuss possible implications with the financial aid office.

Potential implications include:

  • GPA: “Pass” and “satisfactory” grades do not contribute to grade point averages. The “pass/satisfactory” grade option would not be helpful for students who are trying to raise their GPAs so that they can graduate, or for any other reason.
  • Scholarships: Some scholarships require a minimum GPA; GPAs are examined annually.
  • Financial aid: There could be financial aid ramifications with respect to maintaining adequate academic progress.
  • Professional/graduate school: Some students who are applying to graduate or professional schools may need letter grades.
  • Accreditation: Students in accredited programs may need letter grades.
  • Employment: Some employers may be concerned about a student having a significant number of nongraded academic credits on the transcript.

Students are encouraged to reach out so that they can make informed decisions and contact their academic advisors with questions.

Fall 2021 registration

Advisement has begun for undergraduate students for the fall 2021 semester. All students, graduate and undergraduate, are encouraged to register for courses soon. Advance registration for fall 2021 will begin on Tuesday, March 30. Students can visit the registrar’s website for more information.

If trends continue to move in the right direction, the university is planning for all of its class sections to be face-to-face. SIU is planning for fall 2021 to be more like fall 2019 than fall 2020, with health and safety protocols in place.

It’s important to note that students’ bursar bills can be paid closer to the start of the fall semester, which begins on Aug. 16. In other words, students can register in advance of that date and not pay the bill immediately. Students can email the bursar’s office at or call 618-453-2221 with questions.