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This message was shared with the students, faculty, and staff of the 10-campus University of Hawaiʻi system on April 9, 2020.

In response to the exceptional circumstances of the spring 2020 semester, the University of Hawaiʻi has worked together as a system to develop an option for students to be able to choose to take their courses on a Credit/No Credit basis for this semester only. UH recognizes that the academic, personal and financial situations of students, faculty and staff have been abruptly transformed. Based on consultation across our campuses with faculty, feedback from students, review of UH system and campus policies, and emerging practices nationally, UH campuses will offer all students the option of taking courses as Credit/No Credit for spring 2020.


Over the last two weeks, the campus Vice Chancellors for Academic Affairs developed a set of guidelines for this emergency policy that attempt to balance the disruption caused by the sudden need to move all courses online mid-semester with our usual grading standards. The guidelines developed by the vice chancellors were then distributed to each campus faculty senate for consultation. The campus faculty senates provided valuable feedback and suggestions on the guidelines that shaped the final policy.

Next Steps

An Executive Policy memorializing this emergency policy will be available by Friday, April 17, 2020. An implementation plan and general FAQ for faculty and students will be available as well. Here, the general scope of the new policy is described.

General Policy Guidelines

For spring semester 2020, students in all undergraduate and graduate UH classes ending after March 20, 2020 will have the option of taking their classes on a Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) basis.

Process for implementing the CR/NC for spring 2020

  1. Faculty will continue to award letter grades for spring 2020 classes by entering their grades into MyUH during the regular grading period. Courses already established as CR/NC will continue to use those designations instead of letter grades.
  2. Once the faculty have entered their grades, students will be able to view the assigned grades in STAR-GPS.
  3. Until May 22, students may choose to retain their letter grades or convert their letter grades to the CR/NC designation for one or more classes.
  4. After May 22 when students have made their choice, registrars will make the grades final and will include a notation indicating this is a “semester disrupted by COVID-19” on the transcript.

For the purposes of this policy, Credit (CR) may be awarded for a grade of C or better. Establishing credit at a C allows for those students opting for the Credit option to continue to meet the requirements for entry to major and minor courses, as well as prerequisites for courses in a sequence. The CR designation will not be counted in the GPA. Students with a letter grade of C-, D, or F may opt instead for No Credit (NC). If they opt for No Credit, that course will not be counted towards their GPA.

By Graduate Division policy, a grade of C or better is required for students to receive credit.


Within the UH System, students will be “held harmless” by the choice to select CR/NC in spring 2020. Choosing the Credit/No Credit option will not negatively impact their academic journey within the UH System, including transfer between UH campuses, nor will it be a barrier to entry into subsequent courses. Furthermore, academic probation will be extended to the following semester for any student who does not move off academic probation based on their spring 2020 GPA. Students should understand that taking an Incomplete in a course may preclude them from changing a grade to the Credit/No Credit option before May 22.

Additional information regarding the implications of this emergency policy will be provided to students by Friday, April 17 so that they can make an informed decision regarding their choice between letter grades and Credit/No Credit.


Some professional accreditation organizations may not permit alterations to the grading process. In such cases, a very limited number of exceptions may be granted upon request to the president via the campus chancellor or provost.

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