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Message from Senior Associate Dean Mark H. Weichold

Released: March 29, 2020; Updated April 24, 2020 to include extended deadline

Potential Impact of “Spring 2020 Grade Mode Change Option” on Entry to a Major 

The Texas A&M University administration announced on March 21, 2020, that temporary changes to grading, Q-drop and withdrawal deadlines were recommended by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and approved by Texas A&M President Michael K. Young. Details are outlined in a message from Young and the provost.

You now have the option to choose satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) grading for any course in which you are enrolled in the spring 2020 semester. A recent announcement by the university has now given you until noon on Tuesday, May 12 to make changes to your grading options. See instructions for changing your grade mode. (Note: Degree candidates will have until 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 7). Any student considering the change from graded to S/U grading is strongly encouraged to talk with their academic advisor before switching, to make sure they fully understand the implications on future plans, including entry to a major (ETAM), progress toward a degree, or financial aid.

Please note, that the S/U grading will adhere to its current Definition in Student Rule 10

  • S: Satisfactory = C or above (hours not included in GPA)
  • U: Unsatisfactory = D or F (no grade points, hours included in GPA) except as noted below:
    • Any U or F grade received in spring 2020 will be removed from GPA computations (per item No. 7 on the March 21 Texas A&M administration announcement)

General engineering and Engineering Academy students with additional questions should contact their assigned academic advisor, schedule an advising appointment or email

The section below briefly describes how the spring 2020 S/U grading option may impact ETAM.

ETAM Required Coursework

  • For any course on the ETAM required coursework list:
    • A grade of “S” will satisfy the ETAM coursework eligibility requirements
    • A grade of “U” will NOT satisfy the ETAM coursework eligibility requirements

ETAM Automatic Entry

  • Students will be allowed to change up to two of their spring 2020 math, science and engineering ETAM-required courses to the S/U grading option and still retain their automatic entry eligibility.
  • All other ETAM automatic entry eligibility criteria remain the same.

ETAM Holistic Review

  • All ETAM Holistic Review eligibility criteria remain the same.
  • Please keep in mind, during the holistic review process, that the College of Engineering departments carefully consider letter grades earned in ETAM Required Coursework to inform their ETAM decisions. As a result, students are encouraged to consider the importance of having a letter grade (A-F grades) in the required ETAM math, science and engineering coursework for departments to consider during their review.

ETAM Essay Prompt: An Opportunity to Provide Additional Information

  • If you have experienced any extenuating circumstances, whether they are related to the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise, please remember you can share this information with the majors you are applying to in the ETAM application “Additional Information” essay.