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FAQ for Spring 2020 Grading Options (COVID-19)

This page will house FAQ for Smeal grading options using the University-approved grading options for Spring 2020 only due to COVID-19.

Smeal and Smeal Bound Student FAQ for COVID 19 Grading Policy (Applies to Spring 2020 semester only) 


The University has an FAQ that will answer the majority of your questions about the new optional COVID 19 grading options for the Spring 2020 semester. First go to this website and read through the information. The Q&A below is aimed specifically at Smeal-specific questions so it is limited in scope. 


QuestionHow can I request to change my grade under the new COVID 19 grading policy and what is the process? 

AnswerThe University will be publishing the specifics of this information in the future on this website:   


QuestionWill SAT, V, Z count toward my credit window for Smeal Entrance to Major? 

AnswerThe SAT, V and Z grades will NOT count toward your entrance to major credit window. The SAT/V/grades will not be used in the calculation of your grade point average. 

  • Sophomores making adequate progress should be in the credit window (40-59 credits) already.   

  • First-year students (admitted in SU 19, FA 19, SP 20) should continue to take normal credit loads. If you use the COVID-19 grading system in the Spring 2020 semester, as long as you are making adequate progress you will be able to apply for your major on time. 


QuestionWill the SAT, V, Z grading apply to students who had been/are studying abroad Spring 2020 as well? 

AnswerYes, all students studying abroad in Spring 2020 will have the opportunity to change their grade(s) to SAT, V, Z.  However, students studying abroad should NOT change their grades at their host institution.  The host institution MUST put a letter grade for all courses completed.  All alternative grade switching will occur back at Penn State.  


QuestionWhat alternate grade is acceptable to meet graduation requirements for “C” required courses including “C” required entrance to major courses? 

AnswerCOVID 19 grade assignment of SAT is required to fulfill your “C” required courses. 


QuestionWhat alternate grade is acceptable to meet graduation requirements for “D” required courses? 

AnswerA COVID19 grade assignment of SAT or V will fulfill a “D” required course. 


QuestionI am an Actuarial Science major in the Smeal College of Business or am interested in pursuing a major in Actuarial Science. Can I take courses under the Spring 2020 Covid-19 grading policy (SAT, V, Z)? 

Answer: The Joint CAS/CIA/SOA VEE Administration Committee is temporarily accepting for VEE credit a pass/satisfactory mark or a grade of C or better on transcripts for the Spring and Summer 2020 semesters only. While the standard VEE policy accepts a passing score on a pass/fail course only if the candidate's professor can provide a letter that a B- or better was earned, we will not require that letter for the Spring 2020 courses.


QuestionI am an Accounting major in the Smeal College of Business or am interested in pursuing a major in Accounting and I am planning to take the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam. Can I take courses under the Spring 2020 Covid-19 grading policy (SAT, V, Z)? 

AnswerQualification to sit for the CPA exam are determined by individual states. We recommend students in the Accounting major or intending to be Accounting majors contact the state where they intend to take the exam for guidance.  https://www.thiswaytocpa.com/licensure/state-requirements/