COVID Student Grading FAQs

Updated: May 4, 2020

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Note: the information below is UNIQUE to the Faculty of Law. Many, but not all, of the
University’s guidelines apply to law students as well.

If there is a conflict between an answer given by the University on their FAQ page please contact Associate Dean Calder at to clarify. Answers given below are specific to Law and should take precedence.

When will Spring 2020 grades be released?

Grades in the Faculty of Law are due on May 5th, and will likely be released to students on eitherMay 8th or May 11th. An email will go out to faculty, staff and students when the timing of the release is confirmed.

What are the grading options that are available to law students?

After students have their grades they will access an electronic grading options form, available here.

The form will have all your grades listed for Spring 2020. For each course there will be a drop down menu with four choices:
  • Keep original grade
  • COVID Pass/Fail
  • Drop Course without academic penalty
  • COVID Withdraw – Extenuating Circumstances

You will then make a selection for each of your courses and submit the form. Your decisions are final, and the form cannot be altered once submitted. Students can elect a different grading option for each course.

If you believe your final grade was negatively impacted by COVID-19, you have the option to take a COVID Pass/Fail, to drop or withdraw in any course.

The election deadline is May 29, 2020. If students do not fill out the form by then, the default is “Keep original grade.”

When will the grading options be available?

Law students will be able to elect their grading options as soon as their grades are released on or after May 8th (or as announced).

I am not sure which grading option to choose. Who should I contact?

The Faculty of Law has identified 6 members of Faculty and Staff who will act as Academic Advisers. If you need advice with respect to any element of the grading options please contact:

Can I choose the COVID Pass/Fail option in one course and keep a percentage grade in another?

Yes.

I want to keep my grades in all my courses. Do I need to do anything?

No. The default option is “Keep original grade.” Your grades will not be official, however, until May 29, 2020 when the election process concludes. If you are a graduating student and require a Letter of Completion before May 29, 2020 you should go through the election process, and choose “Keep original grade” for all grades.

When can I order an official transcript?

After the student makes their election, the information will be uploaded to a data base. A team of us will then make the grade changes, and once those are done, the student will have a final transcript for Spring 2020.

Your elected grades will not appear immediately on your transcript; they will appear after staff in the Faculty of Law checks the changes and submits the revised grades. An email will be sent to the student once the change has been made.

For graduating students, your JD will be conferred on July 15, 2020.

I am graduating this term. How can I get a Letter of Completion?

Many of our students are set to begin articling in May, 2020. In order to enable those students to start their articles when scheduled, we have designed a process that prioritizes the processing of your election choices. And, we have streamlined a process for “Letters of Completion.”

Even though our students will not receive their degrees until July 15, 2020 (when Senate meets to confer degrees), you can begin articling as soon as the Associate Dean, Students, writes a letter to the relevant Law Society to indicate that your academic requirements are complete. Those letters cannot be written until the student has finalized their grades through the election process.

Forms submitted by: Grades finalized Letter Produced
Midnight, May 13 May 14 May 15
Midnight, May 20 May 21 May 22
Midnight, May 27 May 28 May 29
May 29 June 4 June 5

 

Will there be a COVID notation on this transcript if I don’t elect to take COVID grades?

All transcripts for students taking courses at UVicLaw in Spring 2020 will carry a notation that reads: DISRUPTION OF STUDIES DUE to COVID19

For students who keep their grades their transcripts will appear as they usually do (course, unit value, grade, grade point, awarded units) for example:

LAW 307B CIVIL PROCEDURE WITH DRAFTING 2.0 82% A- 7 2.0

For students who take a COVID grade the notation will appear as follows (course, unit value, P or F, award units, note) for example:

LAW 320 WILLS, ESTATES AND SUCCESSION 1.5 P 1.5 COVID19

What does it mean to take a “COVID Pass/Fail”?

If a student has a grade of 50% or above, and elects a COVID Pass/Fail they will receive the grade of P and a note on their transcript, COVID19. They will receive the assigned unit value for the course, but the P will not count towards their GPA.

If a student has a grade of 49% or below, and elects a COVID Pass/Fail they will receive the grade of F and a note on their transcript, COVID19. They will not receive the assigned unit value for the course, and the F will not be counted towards their GPA. Students with a COVID Fail will be required to write a supplemental exam, if eligible.

What is a COVID Pass?

“COVID-19 Pass” grades:

  • will be considered as a successful academic attempt;
  • will accumulate credit – therefore, a course that receives a pass will contribute to the required unit accumulation for degree and program requirements;
  • will count toward program requirements and pre-requisites that do not have a minimum grade requirement;
  • will not be included in GPA calculations;
  • will not be available to students with a DEF in any course;
  • students will not be permitted to write a supplemental in a course in which they elected to take a COVID-19 Pass.

A COVID-19 pass will be a record that a student has met the course’s learning outcomes, but had their final grading impacted by the pandemic.

What is a COVID Fail?

“COVID-19 Fail” grades:

  • will not be considered as a successful academic attempt;
  • will not accumulate credit – therefore a course that receives a fail will not contribute to the required unit accumulation for degree and program requirements;
  • will not count toward program requirements and pre-requisites;
  • will not be included in GPA calculations;
  • students will be required, if eligible, to write a supplemental in a course in which they receive a COVID-19 Fail.

If I choose the COVID Pass option, does the course still count for credit?

Yes.

Can I take a COVID Pass in Law 390 – my major paper requirement?

No.  Law 390 has a minimum grade requirement of 65% (C+).  If you take a COVID Pass you will not receive credit for Law 390.  It is a graduation requirement to do a major paper so for a graduating student, taking a COVID Pass in Law 390 means you will not convocate this Spring.

What does it mean to “Drop Course without academic penalty”?

A student can drop any course in which they have an assigned grade without academic penalty.

Students with a DEF grade, meaning that an exam or assignment has been deferred, should not elect to drop the course.

Important: All 1L students who are thinking of dropping a course MUST consult the Associate Dean, Students. A 1L student who drops a course will not have 1L standing, and would not ordinarily be permitted to commence 2L course work.

If you drop a course, it will be removed from your transcript, and no record of having taken the course will show. No tuition will be refunded.

If I take “Drop Course without academic penalty” do I get a tuition refund?

No.

What does it mean to take a “COVID Withdraw – Extenuating Circumstances”?

A student can withdraw from any course in which they have an assigned grade without academic penalty. The course will remain on your transcript, but without a grade and the note of WE. Similar to Drop Course, if you are a 1L students who is seeking to take a COVID WE you should consult the Associate Dean, Students so that impact on your 1L standing and ability to continue on in the program is assessed.

Will these grading options apply to the summer term as well?

No. Spring 2020 only.

Can I appeal the assigned grade I received in Spring 2020?

The appeal process for Spring 2020 will be unique given that exams will not be held in the Front Office for viewing. The appeal period will start the day following grade release, and will be open for 21 days. Students will be required to review their grades BEFORE electing their grades through the election process. The appeal process is as set out in our Faculty regulations and available here:
https://www.uvic.ca/law/assets/docs/studentandacademicmatterspagedocs/Review%20of%20an%20As
signed%20Grade.pdf

The first step in the appeal process will be to contact your professor to review your exam.

It will not be possible to complete a formal grade appeal before the May 29, 2020 election process deadline. Therefore, if you are considering formally appealing your grade, you should elect your grades, including keeping the grade that is under appeal. Once the formal appeal is complete, we will be able to make a grade change, outside of the regular process, if need be.

All students seeking to appeal their grades should contact Associate Dean Calder as soon as possible.

I have received an “N” Grade due to incomplete work this term. What are my options?

Some students who have incomplete work from the term may receive a grade of N with a mark out of 100. Students with the grade of N will not be able to elect COVID Pass. Their options will be: keep the grade, COVID Fail, Drop or COVID WE. As above, the consequences for a 1L of dropping or taking a WE are different than that of upper year students, and those students should be encouraged to discuss their choices with Associate Dean Calder.

Students with N grades should be sure to contact Associate Dean Calder or Yvonne Lawson to discuss course completion.

I have received a DEF Grade due to deferred work this term. What are my options?

Students who have deferred work will receive the grade of DEF, which is a place holder until the deferred work is complete. This will include students who had to defer their exams to July due to the impact of the pandemic. Those students will not be able to choose COVID Pass/Fail. They will be able to keep their grade, or to choose to Drop or take a COVID WE. As above, the consequences for a 1L of dropping or taking a WE are different than that of upper year students, and those students should be encouraged to discuss their choices with Associate Dean Calder.

Students with DEF grades should be sure to contact Associate Dean Calder or Yvonne Lawson to discuss course completion.

Will a COVID Pass satisfy a prerequisite grade for registration in a future course?

Yes. If a student takes a COVID Pass in a course that course is deemed to be completed at the set course value and fulfills any future prerequisite requirement (i.e, a student with a COVID Pass in Evidence can enrol in Law Centre which requires Evidence as a prerequisite).

If I take a COVID Pass will it impact my GPA?

Yes. A COVID Pass is not calculated as part of your GPA. So, taking a COVID Pass in the place of a C or D grade would give you a higher GPA than keeping your original assigned grade.

How will a future employer assess my transcript if it contains one or more COVID Pass grades?

How any future employer or graduate school will view a COVID Pass is unknown. Completing your courses this term, no matter what grade you received, is a mark of resilience. And every transcript will bear the notation: COVID19 OCCURRED DURING THIS TERM.

If a student elects to take a COVID Pass in place of one or more of their grades, our messaging from UVicLaw is that means the student met the learning outcomes of the course, but was unable to do their best due to the exigencies of the pandemic. We will stand firmly behind our students who make these elections.

For more in depth conversation, please contact Laura Pringle, our Law Careers Officer (lco@uvic.ca). The Law Careers Office has posted FAQs at their website: https://www.uvic.ca/law/jd/lawcareersoffice/index.php. These FAQs will also be continually updated, and will provide students with as much information as possible on the relationship between their transcripts in this time of COVID-19 and their future work in law.

I am considering dropping one of my courses. How will this impact my standing?

2L and 3L students must take a minimum of 14.5 and a maximum of 16.5 units in their final two years of their JD, and in the final three years of their JD/JID. If a student elects to take a COVID grade, there may be implications for that student’s standing within their year, and their ability to progress to the next year of the degree. And for convocating students, it may affect you ability to convocate this term.

If you have any concerns about standing, please contact Associate Dean Calder or Yvonne Lawson.

Information on issues of standing are found in the Calendar:

Undergraduate calendar - May 2020 - Law

Faculty of Law Requirements

Some of these questions will be unique for students in some of our other programs, including:

 

Students with questions specific to these programs, or to the ramifications on their progress through their degree due to the election they are thinking of making should speak with Yvonne Lawson or Associate Dean Calder.

I am an International Student, and I am worred about the impact of my election on my immigration status. What should I do?

Important: if you have concerns about the impact of grading options on immigration, work authorization and settlement, please contact International Student Services (issinfo@uvic.ca).

I am on Student Loans. What happens if I drop a course?

Decisions students make, particularly if they are considering dropping or withdrawing, can have financial ramifications, for awards, eligibility for bursaries, and for their student loans. In these situations there are specified unit requirements for each term. Please contact SAFA (finaid@uvic.ca) or our Financial Aid Officer, Deb Kennedy (lawfao@uvic.ca) to help guide you in your decision-making.

How are scholarships and financial aid going to be affected or distributed?

Decisions students make, particularly if they are considering dropping or withdrawing, can have financial ramifications, for awards, eligibility for bursaries, and for their student loans. In these situations there are specified unit requirements for each term. Please contact SAFA (finaid@uvic.ca) or our Financial Aid Officer, Deb Kennedy (lawfao@uvic.ca) to help guide you in your decision-making.

I am an Indigenous student, partially funded by my Band. What happens if I drop a course or take a COVID Pass?

If you have questions about the effects of the choice of grading options on your funding please contact Ruth Young (lawjid@uvic.ca) for advice.

My question is not answered here. What can I do?

Please send your question to Associate Dean Calder: lawassoc@uvic.ca and she will do her best to answer (although she reserves the right to yell “No Comment” and go running down the path). FAQs will be updated frequently with all emailed questions.