The FAQs listed below are strictly related to academic situations and decisions arising from Rice's response to COVID-19. There is a comprehensive list of additional COVID-19 FAQs available at https://emergency.rice.edu/coronavirus-faq.
Can I use the classroom that was assigned to my class in Spring 2020?
Please note that the university has a limited supply of webcams. In order to meet the needs of the entire university, the Office of Information Technology will be relocating the classroom webcams to other locations. If you would like to use a room with a webcam (to broadcast/record your class or for any other reason), you may be assigned to a different room than you might expect.
I am an incoming undergraduate student in Fall 2020. I heard some changes have been made to AP, IB and A-Level exam credit due to COVID-19?
Due to CDC guidance related to COVID-19, Spring 2020 AP Exams are being conducted online and IB and A-Level examinations have been suspended, to be replaced with either a diploma, a grade or a course certificate reflecting the student’s standard of work. Rice will accept these Spring 2020 results in lieu of traditional AP, IB and A-Level examination results.
In order for Rice University to review and award credit for AP, IB and/or A-Level examinations, you will need to request that an official score report be sent directly from the governing agency (such as the College Board for AP scores and International Baccalaureate Organization for IB scores) to Rice University.
Questions about AP, IB, and A-level credit can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm an instructor or staff member. How do I ensure that I'm complying with FERPA during this time?
FERPA remains in force during this time. We encourage you to review the FERPA and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) guide, FERPA FAQs, FERPA information page, and FERPA Training in Canvas. These resources will provide you the necessary information to protect student information under FERPA.
Our office may provide additional guidance at a later date, but if you have questions, you may email Justin Schilke, Senior Associate Registrar, at email@example.com.
Has anything changed with the Spring 2020 final exams?
You may view final exam information on the Course Schedule:
Screen shots of these above steps are available here.
I am a faculty member and need to submit a grade change for Spring 2020, is there an electronic process for this task?
You may submit a grade change for most situations in ESTHER using the Grade Change Request application.
I am a Spring 2020 degree candidate, will there be a Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremony?
Plans are underway for a “virtual commencement ceremony”. Additionally, as soon as this public health crisis has passed, Rice will announce and begin preparing for an on-campus ceremony in our Academic Quad to celebrate our Spring 2020 graduates. More info on this can be found at commencement.rice.edu.
When will my Spring 2020 degree be officially conferred? What is the date of conferral that will appear on my diploma and my transcript?
The originally planned date of conferral was May 16, 2020. Due to various COVID-19 academic relief accommodations and corresponding deadline extensions, the Spring 2020 conferral date has been pushed out two weeks, to May 30, 2020.
I am an undergraduate student, can I really designate all of my Spring 2020 courses as Pass/Fail?
Yes. At their (03/25/2020) meeting, Rice's Faculty Senate approved to allow undergraduates to declare any or all of their spring classes as Pass/Fail. Courses designated as S/U and first half-of-term courses are not eligible for this.
This provision, approved for Spring 2020 courses only, also additionally allows for students to uncover the letter grade of any course taken Pass/Fail during Spring 2020 per existing university rules. Moreover, Spring 2020 courses that remain P/F will not count against the normal allocation of Pass/Fail courses allotted to undergraduate students.
Additionally, an adjustment and provision will be made within the university’s degree audit system (Degree Works) to allow Spring 2020 courses with a grade of “P” to be eligible towards an undergraduate student’s major, minor or certificate’s course requirements.
The deadline for designating a class/classes as Pass/Fail has been further extended to Monday, June 1st (for Continuing Students) and to Wednesday, May 20th (for Spring 2020 degree candidates).
I am a graduate student, how many courses can I designate as Pass/Fail in Spring 2020?
Graduate students in terminal masters programs may designate up to two (2) in progress, letter grade, non-research courses as Pass/Fail for the Spring 2020 semester.
Can I designate a FWIS course as Pass/Fail?
Yes, for the Spring 2020 semester only.
I am an undergraduate student, when is the deadline to designate a course as Pass/Fail in Spring 2020?
May 20, 2020 -- is the deadline for Spring 2020 degree candidates to designate a course status to Pass/Fail option.
June 1, 2020 -- is the deadline for continuing undergraduate to designate a course status to Pass/Fail option.
I am a graduate student, when is the deadline to designate a course as Pass/Fail in Spring 2020?
May 20, 2020 -- is the deadline for Spring 2020 degree candidates to declare the Pass/Fail option for their two (2) courses.
June 1, 2020 -- is the deadline for continuing students in terminal masters programs to declare the Pass/Fail option for their two (2) courses.
July 1, 2020 -- is the deadline for continuing students in the online MBA program to the Pass/Fail option for their two (2) courses (from the Spring 2020 quadmester).
I am a graduate student, how do I select and designate a course as Pass/Fail in Spring 2020?
Will the courses I designate Pass/Fail count against the four Pass/Fail limit?
No. The Faculty Senate approved a proposal to allow undergraduates to declare any or all of their spring classes as Pass/Fall. Courses designated as S/U and first half-of-term courses are not eligible for this. Moreover, Spring 2020 courses that remain P/F will not count against the four P/F courses allowed under university rules. Additionally, an adjustment and provision will be made within the university’s degree audit system (Degree Works) to allow Spring 2020 courses with a grade of “P” to be eligible towards an undergraduate student’s major, minor or certificate’s course requirements. The deadline for designating a class/classes as P/F has been extended to Monday, June 1st (for Continuing Students) and to Wednesday, May 20th (for Spring 2020 degree candidates).
Can a P grade be used as a terminal master’s degree requirement for Spring 2020?
Yes. Courses designated Pass/Fail in the Spring 2020 semester will be allowed to fulfill degree requirements in a terminal master’s program. An adjustment has been made within the university’s degree audit system (Degree Works) to allow Spring 2020 courses with a grade of “P” to be counted towards a terminal master's student’s degree requirements.
Are undergraduate students allowed to take more than 4 courses as Pass/Fail now?
Courses designated Pass/Fail in the Spring 2020 semester only will not count against the normal allocation of 4 Pass/Fail courses allotted to undergraduate students.
Can I designate a course that is graded S/U to be graded as P/F instead?
No. S/U courses are not taken for a standard letter grade and cannot be changed to P/F.
I don’t want to take any additional coursework as Pass/Fail. Can I get a standard letter grade as I had planned?
Yes. This accommodation for Spring 2020 is available for those who would like to use the option, but not required. Students can complete coursework for the standard letter grade for any and all coursework. The instructor of any given course does not know who is taking a course as P/F and who is taking a course for the standard letter grade. All students are graded in the same manner by the instructor. Whether or not that grade shows as the actual grade earned or as the P/F option is up to the student.
Will Pass/Fail coursework be allowed to fulfill major (or minor or certificate) requirements?
Courses designated Pass/Fail in the Spring 2020 semester only will be allowed to fulfill major (or minor or certificate) requirements.
Can I declare graduate-level coursework as Pass/Fail (courses numbered 500-level and above)?
Undergraduate students taking graduate-level coursework as P/F may declare those courses as P/F. However, if that coursework is intended to be used in the future as counting toward a graduate-level program at Rice (such as a professional master’s degree), be advised that P/F coursework will not count toward graduate-level academic program requirements.
Graduate students in a terminal master’s program may designate up to two (2) in progress, letter grade, non-research courses as Pass/Fail for the Spring 2020 semester by contacting either
There is no change to the policies governing graduate students and P/F coursework in other graduate programs.
When is the deadline to uncover a P grade from the Spring 2020 semester to the actual grade earned?
May 20, 2020 -- is the deadline for Spring 2020 degree candidates to convert a Pass/Fail grade to the standard letter grade earned.
September 4, 2020 -- is the deadline for continuing undergraduate and continuing students in terminal masters programs to convert a Pass/Fail grade to the standard letter grade earned.
Will the deadline to uncover a Pass/Fail course taken in Spring 2020 be extended?
No. Students have until the second week of the following semester (the second week of classes in the Fall 2020 semester) to uncover the P/F grade on any courses from the Spring 2020 semester to the actual grade earned. (See Academic Calendar for more information on the standard deadline.)
Will my transcript indicate the unique circumstances that occurred during the Spring 2020 semester?
The Office of the Registrar is working in consultation with other constituents on campus to provide a statement on the academic transcript for Spring 2020.
I have unique circumstances that I think constitute an exception to some of the requirements, policies, or deadlines in place (even with the graduation accommodations in place for Spring 2020. How do I ask about exceptional circumstances?
Undergraduate and graduate students will not be placed on academic probation,academic suspension, or dismissed from the program as a result of course outcomes in Spring 2020 without the explicit approval of the Dean of Undergraduates or the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, as appropriate.
Please contact The Dean of Undergraduates, who will work with the Committee on Examinations and Standing to identify, to the extent possible, potential exemptions from the Spring 2020 semester and bring them forward for approval of an exception at the December 2020 Faculty Senate Plenary Meeting. Graduate students, please contact the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies or your home academic department for guidance.
Is the drop deadline for the Spring 2020 extended for both continuing students and degree candidates?
May 20, 2020 -- is the deadline for Spring 2020 degree candidates to drop a course.
June 1, 2020 -- is the deadline for continuing students to drop a course.
July 1, 2020 -- is the deadline for continuing students in the online MBA program to drop a course (from the Spring 2020 quadmester).
Has the deadline to change from credit to audit changed for Spring 2020?
Yes, the deadline to change from credit to audit is tied to the course drop deadline. Because of this, the deadline to switch from credit to audit has been extended to Wednesday, May 20th (for the Spring 2020 degree candidates) and to Monday, June 1st (for Continuing Students).
I am a first-year second semester student and dropped a course after the end of Week 7. Can I "undo" the drop and be added back to the course?
Yes. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org from your Rice email address and provide the information about the course you would like to be re-enrolled in. Please be specific to include the course that you dropped, and when you dropped it (it must have been after the Week 7 (02/28/2020) deadline). The window within which to do this is small, requests to re-enroll in an eligible previously-dropped course ends on Friday, March 27th. Once re-enrolled, students are expected to fully participate and attend the course as if they had never dropped.
I am an undergraduate student and dropped a course before the end of Week 7. Can I "undo" the drop and be added back to the course?
In order to have this approved, you will need to appeal to the Committee on Examinations and Standing (EX&S). Our office cannot add you back to the course without EX&S approval.
What happens if I drop a class after the last day of class?
In all cases, a drop that occurs after the last day of class will be considered a “rare situation” as defined in the General Announcements and the assigned grade for that dropped course will be noted as an “NG" (No Grade) on the student’s transcript. Continuing students who in a later semester (after Spring 2020) retake a course that was designated as “NG” in Spring 2020 may have the Spring 2020 record of the course removed from their transcript if the student so requests of the Registrar.
I did not drop a course by the last day of class. Now that I want to drop a course, will it put me below full-time status? Do I need permission to be under full-time status?
No, since your request is coming in after the last day of class, your request will not be processed until the grade for the course is submitted. At that time, the earned grade will be changed to an “NG” which keeps your attempted hours at a full-time status.
I was charged a fee for a "Late Drop." Can that fee be waived or reversed?
Yes, the Office of the Registrar has identified those instances and has coordinated with the Cashier’s Office to have those Late Drop fees reversed.
Are there any changes to the Fall 2020 registration schedule?
No. The registration schedule will remain the same.
I am a spring 2020 degree candidate, when will my degree be posted to my transcript?
Degrees will be posted and transcripts will be available during the first week in June.
I am a continuing student – when will my transcript have my spring grades posted?
Transcripts with spring grades will be available the first week in June.
Is Rice offering courses this summer?
Yes, Rice will be offering online courses this summer. This decision was announced on April 9.
Why are there no (or few courses) currently on the posted Course Schedule?
In order to change meeting dates and move to an online instructional method, we needed to cancel the majority of courses that were on the Course Schedule so that they could be approved to be taught online and placed in an appropriate meeting block.
When will there be more courses put onto the Course Schedule?
Rice has specific policies in place for the offering of online courses that must be followed. As departments complete these steps to gain approval, more courses should appear on the schedule. We are expecting that to occur over the next few weeks.
Is there any change to tuition for summer?
Yes, the tuition rates have been substantially reduced. Please see the Cashier's website for information on current tuition rates for summer.
What are the new session dates for summer?
The Summer 2020 Academic Calendar has been updated to reflect the new meeting dates.
Are there any changes to research or internship courses?
No. Research and internship courses remain on the Course Schedule, although these should be completed remotely.