Winter 2020 Grading Structure

A revised grading structure was implemented for the Winter 2020 semester to support students during a global pandemic (COVID-19) and to acknowledge challenges students encountered with alternative formats of learning. Once students received their grades, the following options were available to them for each course:

  1. Keep final numeric grade awarded
  2. Assign a "pass" or "fail" (for undergraduate and diploma students) or "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" (for graduate students) designation.
    • For undergraduate and diploma students, a grade of 50% or above was converted to a "pass."
    • For graduate students, a grade of 65% or above was converted to a "satisfactory."
    • A "pass"/"satisfactory" designation is counted in the student’s cumulative credit total but is not counted toward the student’s cumulative GPA.
  3. Drop the course

This revised grading structure applied to all students and courses with the exception of courses that were taken by audit. All students could drop courses with the exception of DVM students unless they sought advice from the Associate Dean, Students & Academic, Ontario Veterinary College. Students who were being investigated for, or had been found guilty of, academic misconduct in a course could not drop that course but were eligible to assign a P/F grade.

Students were encouraged to carefully consider how these decisions could impact their current academic status, future academic plans and financial aid eligibility. Undergraduate and diploma students should seek advice from their Program Counsellor if they have questions about current academic status or future academic plans. For questions about financial aid, please contact Student Financial Services.

Deferred exams: This grading scheme applied to students requesting deferred exams from Winter 2020, but did not apply to deferred exams from Fall 2019 courses.

Two-semester courses: If a student taking a two-semester course chose to assign a "pass"/"satisfactory" or drop the Winter 2020 portion of the course, that choice also applied to the Fall 2019 part of the course.


Only numeric grades are used to calculate semester and cumulative averages. No numeric grade is associated with a "pass"/"satisfactory" designation.

For example: An undergraduate student achieved grades of 50%, 60%, 70%, 80% and 90% in five, 0.5 credit Winter 2020 courses. The student chose the "pass" designation for the courses with a 50% and 60% grade. The student's average is calculated using only the remaining numeric grades.

Course 1 = Pass, Course 2 = Pass, Course 3 = 70%, Course 4 = 80%, Course 5 = 90%

70% + 80% + 90% divided by 3 courses = 80% average

The Dean's Honours List defines how "pass" grades are considered within calculations.


No. A "pass"/"satisfactory" does not assume the grade weighting of the required average. The "pass"/"satisfactory" does not count toward cumulative GPA.


A statement will appear on the transcript under the W20 term indicating the University of Guelph was affected by a global pandemic (COVID-19) and that some students chose to be graded on the University’s approved pass/fail (undergraduate and diploma) or satisfactory/unsatisfactory (graduate) scale.


Yes. Students who discover that they need a numeric grade instead of a "pass"/"satisfactory" for future educational opportunities can request that the numeric grade be reinstated. Please email for more information.


No. Students had the choice to assign a "pass"/"satisfactory" or "drop" for each course in which they were enrolled.


After receiving a final course grade, students granted a supplemental exam or deferred privilege will have 10 class days to decide the preferred grade option for that course.