Interim Amendments to Academic Policies

effective for Spring 2020

Spring 2020 amendments to academic and curricular policies

Beginning March 23, 2020, all Washington University courses are moving from in-person to remote instruction due to the spread of COVID-19. To best serve students and instructors during the rapid and unprecedented shift to online learning, the School of Arts & Sciences, Olin School of Business, McKelvey School of Engineering, and Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts have adopted amendments to several academic policies for the 2020 spring semester only.

All policy amendments are intended to help students and instructors transition to remote learning and to minimize potential negative impacts to academic progress. Individual schools or academic units may announce additional interim policy amendments; however, unless stated otherwise, all currently existing curriculum policies remain in place. 

For answers to common questions about these changes, please visit the policy amendment FAQ

Dropping a course

  • The deadline to drop a course (with no transcript notation) is extended to April 24 at 9 p.m. (CDT). The extended deadline will be reflected in WebSTAC beginning March 23. 
  • All Spring 2020 courses from which a student withdrew prior to March 13 will retain their "W" transcript notation.

Switching a course to or from pass/fail and graded credit

  • For courses which are offered for both a letter grade and as pass/fail, the deadline for switching a course to or from pass/fail and graded credit is extended to April 24 at 9 p.m. (CDT). The extended deadline will be reflected in WebSTAC beginning March 23.
  • Arts & Sciences students may elect to take more than one course pass/fail this semester only. There is no limit to how many courses you may take P/F this semester.
  • Students may change a course from audit to graded credit until April 24 at 9 p.m. (CDT). Given the challenges in administering audits remotely, the deadline to change the grade option to audit will not be extended. 

Declaring a major

  • Sophomores who have not yet declared a major will be granted an extension until the end of summer 2020. If students have concerns about meeting this extended deadline, they can contact Dean Matt DeVoll at mwdevoll@wustl.edu or 314-935-5392. 

Creating a complete curricular plan

  • Sophomores who have not yet completed a Curricular Plan will be granted an extension until the end of summer 2020. If students have concerns about meeting this extended deadline, they can contact Dean Matt DeVoll at MWDEVOLL@WUSTL.EDU or 314-935-5392. 

Defending a dissertation

  • For the spring 2020 term only, dissertation defenses will take place virtually.
  • There is no requirement for anyone to travel to campus to hold the defense irrespective of city of origin. This includes those defenses where the student and all committee members are in St. Louis.
  • No exception request is needed for virtual defenses for the spring semester.
  • To prepare for a virtual defense, please read through best practices for virtual dissertation defenses

Have questions?

See frequently asked questions and answers about policy amendments for spring 2020. 

Visit the FAQ