Sac State to implement optional credit/no credit system for most undergraduate courses

Students will be able to opt in on course-by-course basis

Madeleine Beck, deputy copy editor

Sacramento State will make most undergraduate courses optional credit/no credit, according to an email to instructors obtained by The State Hornet. 

Students will be able to choose between three grading systems for each of their classes. 

There are three options for students: 

  • Credit/no credit
  • ABC/no credit
  • Normal letter grades (ABCDF)

Teachers will not know what option students choose; they will assign grades as usual, which will be converted to credit/no credit if students opt for that choice.

For students who choose credit/no credit, grades A through C- will be converted to credit, and grades D+ or below will be converted to no credit, the email said. Students who choose ABC/no credit will have grades D+ or below converted to no credit, but will keep any A through C- grades received.

Students will be able to go back and change their choices after their final course grades are posted, the email said.

“It’s really important for some of our students to be able to say, ‘right now I just want credit/no credit, I want to take the anxiety out of it.’ And they may go back and change their mind later,”  Steve Perez, university provost and vice president of academic affairs, said at a Faculty Senate meeting Thursday.  

Credit/no credit grades do not affect students’ GPAs.

Students who do not make a choice will stay in their current grading mode, which is a letter grade for the vast majority of courses, the email said.

The email also said these grading alternatives won’t work for all classes and all students.

“There are a few classes and groups of students that have to be excluded because of accreditation requirements, NCAA regulations, international restrictions, and so forth,” the email said. “Talking to an advisor about your grading options is a great idea.”

The email said Sac State aims to provide information on grading policies for graduate students next week.

The implementation of an expanded credit/no credit system comes following the implementation of some version of this system at many universities across the country, including Stanford University, Columbia University, UC Berkeley, CSU Northridge and Harvard University.