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BAU Policy for Spring Semester 2019 2020 Assessment and Grading System

03 April 2020

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Dear BAU Academic Staff and Students

Since October 17, the difficulty of events has been snowballing into an unprecedented calamity that has engulfed us all. Uncertainty of the present, fear of the unknown, anxiety about the future have become familiar states of mind for us all, and each one of us needs the reassurance that all will be well. It also requires a degree of flexibility and choice to see us all through. As a university, we found ourselves overnight forced to adopt methods of online learning, introducing a new culture that usually requires time to take roots. The hurdles and challenges that the university - including the Administration, the staff member and the students - faces challenges to meet the requirements of the educational process, are dealt with as they arise, ensuring that no one is left behind or disadvantaged. The University – as always – is fully aware of the extra burden placed on its students to attain the academic achievements they seek. With this joint responsibility in mind, it is essential that we all cooperate to bring the current academic year to a successful completion.

With reference to the BAU announcement issued on 26th March 2020 regarding the steps and measures taken by the University to enhance our online academic performance, the President of BAU has introduced modifications to the academic calendar for the Spring Semester. Thus, the holidays will be rescheduled as follows:

  1. The cancellation of the Easter holiday that was scheduled from 10 to 20 April 2020, to be limited only to the official holidays, as follows:
    1. Friday, 10 April 2020 and Monday, 13 April 2020
    2. Friday, 17 April 2020 and Monday, 20 April 2020;
  2. Amending the Eid Al-Fitr holiday that was scheduled from 23 to 27 May 2020, to start on 15 May 2020 and extend till 31 May 2020; and
  3. Resuming the Spring Semester on Monday, 1 June 2020

Noting that these dates are subject to change depending on any developments.

Given the University’s commitment to flexibility and allowing students’ the choice in planning their future, the President and the Deans’ Board decided to establish a temporary mechanism that gives students the option of either receiving letter grades or a Pass (P)/No-Pass (NP) for the courses covered this Spring Semester. The following, therefore, offers details of the exceptional measures for the Spring Semester the academic year 2019/2020:

  1. The courses that can be completed through the online education should be concluded on 15 May 2020. The final exams/evaluations for these courses are to be scheduled as follows:
    1. Intensive English online exams/evaluations start as of 11 May and until 15 May 2020
    2. University Requirement online exams/evaluations start as of 1 June 2020.
    3. Faculty online exams/evaluations start as of 8 June 2020 for two weeks, until 20 June 2020.
  2. Various evaluation methods are to be adopted, depending on the nature of each course (Short questions and short answers, Essay exams, assignments, Oral exam, Open-book exams, Mini projects, Multiple choice questions exams)
  3. Upon resuming normal on-campus classes, the study of those parts of the courses, that cannot be offered online, such as the clinical and practical parts are to be completed , and other courses in different faculties. Students are to be subsequently notified of the study schedules of these parts and courses.
  4. Suspending the attendance and the academic warning rules for this semester.
  5. Allowing for a degree of flexibility with the grading system; upon issuing the exam results, the student can choose one of two systems:
    • The letter grading system (A, B, C, D, F) as adopted at BAU: In this case, the grades are calculated as part of the GPA.
    • Or
    • A Pass / No Pass system (P / NP), which does not count towards the GPA. This system allows students to complete their studies and achieve the learning outcomes, without showing the grade on the student’s transcript.

In this system for undergraduate grading, NP is equivalent to letter grades F or D- and P is equivalent to the other letter grades

Undergraduate grading system
Letter Grade Percentage GPA Letter P/NP System
A+ 95-100 4.00 A+ Students are eligible to change course grade to P.  
A 90-94 4.00 A
A- 86-89 3.67 A-
B+ 83-85 3.33 B+
B 80-82 3.00 B
B- 76-79 2.67 B-
C+ 73-75 2.33 C+
C 70-72 2.00 C
C- 65-69 1.67 C-
D 60-64 1.33 D
D- 55-59 1.00 D- Students are eligible to change course grade to NP.  
F 00-54 0 F

Concerning the postgraduate grading system, NP is equivalent to letter grades F, D- or D and P is equivalent to the other letter grades.

Postgraduate grading system
Letter Grade Percentage GPA Letter P/NP System
A+ 95-100 4.00 A+ Students are eligible to change course grade to P.
A 90-94 4.00 A
A- 86-89 3.67 A-
B+ 83-85 3.33 B+
B 80-82 3.00 B
B- 76-79 2.67 B-
C+ 73-75 2.33 C+
C 70-72 2.00 C
C- 65-69 1.67 C-
D 60-64 1.33 D Students are eligible to change course grade to NP.
D- 55-59 1.00 D-
F 00-54 0 F

This system is applicable exceptionally for the current Spring Semester 2020, and is to be implemented according to the following steps:

  1. The staff members evaluate the students’ performance and announce the results as usual.
  2. After checking their course grades, the student decides which course(s) to keep in letter grading and which one(s) to change to P/NP grading.
  3. The students have seven days after the grades are posted to decide whether they would like to switch any courses to P/NP.
  4. Students are strongly advised to check their special cases with their advisors before taking any decision regarding their choice of the grading system.
  5. The grade change requests have to be submitted online to the Registration Office using the special form which will be sent to students during the final examination period.
  6. If a student receives a P grade on a course, the course credits will count on the transcript toward the graduation requirements but will not count in the GPA.
  7. If a student receives an NP grade on a course, the credits for the course are not counted, because the student did Not Pass it and will have to repeat it. It does not count in the GPA averages.
  8. For students who are repeating a course and receive a P grade, the old grade will be removed from the GPA for the Spring Semester 2020.
  9. For students who are repeating courses and receive an NP grade, the old grade will remain and will count in the GPA for the Spring Semester 2020.
  10. Rank scholarships continue to be granted during the Spring Semester 2020 for undergraduate students, who are registered for a minimum of 15 credits and receive the normal letter grades according to the regular grading system.
  11. A note will be added to the transcript of the students stating that the grading of the Spring Semester 2020 occurred during a period of exceptional academic disruption.

In conclusion, we hope that these measures will allow for a successful educational process, providing both the academic staff-members and students with the means to achieve the desired goals.

We also hope that this crisis passes soon, that life returns to normality and the University opens its gates to bring the academic year to a successful and fruitful conclusion.


With my best wishes of safety and success to all,

Prof. Amr Galal El-Adawi
President of Beirut Arab University