Pass/Fail Grade Appeal Process 2020
Pass/Fail Grade Appeal Process
Cape Breton University recognizes the impact that COVID-19 has had on our students in the transition to remote learning options during what is already a very stressful period. As such, a Pass/Fail option is being provided to our students for courses completed during the Winter 2020 Term.
How does it work?
Once final grades have been posted to your record on Friday, April 24, you may view them through your Student Online Account. You may then choose one of the following options for each of your courses;
If you received a passing grade, you may:
Keep the final numerical grade and earn the credit, OR request that your grade be changed to “PASS”. This is a good option if you feel that your final grade is not reflective of your overall performance as:
- you will receive credit for the course , and
- there will be no impact on your overall average (GPA).
If you do not receive a passing grade, you may:
Request to have the failing grade switched to a “WS”, which is defined on your transcript as “withdrawal under special circumstances”. Under this option:
- you will not receive credit for the course, however,
- it will not negatively affect your overall average (GPA).
Not all programs or courses are eligible for this process. A Pass/Fail option in some courses or programs may be subject to criteria established by transfer agreements, professional orders, or licensing bodies.
Exceptions include but are not limited to:
- Thesis courses in graduate or honours programs (students should consult their Thesis Supervisors),
- Engineering Transfer program courses (see guidelines provided by Dalhousie University below),
- Nursing program courses,
- Courses that are part of professional program requirements (i.e., Accounting Majors in the Bachelor of Business Administration).
For Bachelor of Engineering students who plan to transfer to Dalhousie University for degree completion:
- First-year Students awaiting discipline placement:
Discipline placement will continue to require the successful completion of seven or more courses with a GPA of 2.0 or greater.
- Students who have elected a PASS designation will be given credit for the course, but it will not be used in the calculation of the GPA* (equivalent to a transfer credit,” T” grade).
2. Year Two Students awaiting admission:
In order to be admitted to the third year of a Dalhousie Engineering Program students must:
- Have successfully completed all Year 1 and Year 2 courses (with Numerical Grade or PASS grade)
- Have a GPA of 2.0 or greater (PASS grades will not be used in the calculation).
- If a student has a failing grade in one or more of the required courses, they will not be eligible for admission.
All students should be aware that, under certain circumstances, a numerical grade might be more advantageous than a ‘Pass’. These include, for example;
- Students considering graduate school;
- Students considering a transfer to another program or to another university (i.e., BSc Nutrition students);
- Students currently in conditional academic standing who have achieved grades that will increase their average;
- Students in fields where performance in certain courses is a consideration for employment;
- Students seeking to be awarded a prize or honour calculated based on a GPA.
It is strongly recommended that if you are considering application to further studies at another institution or to external licensing/certification bodies, you check with them to determine any possible impact pass/fail grades might have.
Eligibility for Dean’s List, Scholarships and Bursaries
To align with the Pass/Fail grading option, eligibility criteria to receive or renew scholarships has been amended to require 21 numerically graded credits for the 2019/2020 academic year, instead of the normal 24 credits.
Dean’s List eligibility will also be calculated using 21 numerically graded credits for the Fall & Winter semesters, but otherwise will follow the regulations as outlined in the Academic Calendar.
The Pass/Fail grading option does not affect eligibility for Cape Breton University bursaries, which are awarded based on financial need.
Before requesting the pass/fail option, it is recommended that you speak with an academic adviser in your program who can, with your life, professional, and academic goals in mind, talk through whether taking pass/fail is an appropriate decision for you.
To make an appointment with an adviser please email:
School of Education and Health: firstname.lastname@example.org
School of Arts and Social Sciences: email@example.com
Shannon School of Business: firstname.lastname@example.org
School of Science and Technology: email@example.com
Process to Request a Change to Your Final Grades
Once you have determined that you would like to request an appeal of final grades in one or more of your courses, and have spoken with an adviser to explore and confirm your options and their implications, please send an email to:
which includes the following information:
- Your full name
- Your student ID number
- Your program of study
- A list of course numbers that you would like considered for grade change to ‘PASS’ or ‘WS’
Please Note: your email must be sent from your official CBU email account. We cannot accept email requests from Hotmail, Gmail or any other source.
Once your email has been reviewed, you will be notified by return email of the final decision.
All decisions are final and cannot be reversed in the future. Under exceptional circumstances, students may file an appeal with the University Appeals Committee to have the original numerical grade reinstated.
All requests for grade appeals must be received by Friday, May 29, 2020.