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Fall 2020/Winter 2021 Student Guide

Getting Advising

General Advising:

Our office continues to be available to assist you virtually Monday-Friday 8a-5p. To schedule a virtual appointment with a general advisor, use our online appointment system. If you need a phone appointment or have a quick question, please email to make an appointment with any advisor, including pre-health, pre-law, BGS, and Board advisors as well as writing consultants.

You will receive an appointment confirmation via email, including a link to your appointment’s Zoom meeting URL. If your advisor needs to reschedule the appointment for any reason, you will receive an email notification. 

Pre-health Help:

In addition to setting up an individual pre-health advising appointment, which you can do by emailing our front desk team at, you are encouraged to bring any and all pre-health advising concerns to our pre-health office hours. These are group-based drop-in sessions meant to help get you answers to quick questions.

Dean’s Recommendation/Certification Letter:

If you need a dean’s recommendation or certification letter, please review the request process here. You will need to submit a separate request for each school or program requiring a letter. If you have questions about the process, please email


Fall and Winter Classes

Class Formats:

Classes will be offered in three formats: in-person, remote, or hybrid instruction. (Please note that for Fall 2020, all classes will move to remote-only instruction after Thanksgiving break). All of the current dates and deadlines for 2020-2021 can be found on the LSA Academic Calendar.

You will see additional information in the LSA Course Guide and Wolverine Access to describe the format of a particular class. It is your responsibility to check your schedule before the start of the semester to ensure that the formats of the classes you are taking meet your needs.

In-person (“P” in the course guide): All students meet in-person together for all class sessions. These classes will have fewer seats and will be in classrooms that are large enough to provide sufficient physical distance between those present.

Hybrid due to COVID (“MC” in the course guide): A hybrid class format means students attend some sessions in person and other class sessions remotely.

Distance due to COVID (“DC” in the course guide): all class sessions are remote. Additional information about whether a particular “Distance due to COVID” class will be taught asynchronously or synchronously as well as information about its testing format will be available in the class format section of the course guide.

Please note that courses with multiple components may have a different mode of instruction for each component. For example, a lecture may be “Distance due to COVID” but a particular discussion section could be “in-person.” So it is particularly important that you confirm the format of each component of each class for which you are registered. If the class’s course guide description is unclear, please email the instructor directly for clarification.

Scheduled Times for Remote Classes:

Generally if “Hybrid due to Covid” or “Distance due to Covid” class is listed with a particular day and time, students not attending in person will need to be online at the scheduled time. If you are at all unclear about the expectation, it is your responsibility to email the instructor directly for clarification. Please also pay particular attention to the listed class time if you are taking virtual classes from a location outside of the Eastern Time Zone.


Contrary to usual practice, this fall and winter you will not be able to go to the first session of class for which you are waitlisted due to social distancing guidelines. Most departments will be using computerized waitlists; permissions will be issued automatically by waitlist order when someone drops the course. You can also contact the instructor to express interest and find out if overrides are being issued through alternate means.  

LSA Student Commitment to the Wolverine Culture of Care:

All students returning to campus this year are required to comply with all LSA and university policies, including any public health guidance related to COVID-19. Details regarding student responsibilities can be found on the LSA Student Commitment to the Wolverine Culture of Care webpage.

Student Illness and/or Need to Quarantine:

If you are ill and/or need to quarantine, you should contact your instructors to make them aware of the situation and develop a plan to make up any missed work. Many instructors will have lecture capture recordings of the class sessions you missed. To help facilitate initial communication between students and instructors in the event of an illness, the college provides an Illness Reporting Form. To learn more, please visit the Reporting an Illness page.

Fall and Winter Grading:

Per the provost’s November 13, 2020 announcement about the change in grading policy for Fall 2020 and Winter 2021, you will receive letter grades at the end of the semester and will then have the option to change those letter grades to “Pass” (“P” for grades A+ through C-) or “No Record Covid (NRC)” (for grades D+, D, D- and E). P/NRC grades will not impact your U-M GPA, and NRC grades yield no degree credit. (Note: if you need credit for an NRC course and earned a D grade of some kind, you will be able to request that the NRC grade be converted to the earned letter grade). You can make these decisions on a class-by-class basis.

Pass (P) grades can be used to satisfy college and major/minor requirements as long as the letter grades beneath the Pass would meet requirements.  For example, if your program requires a grade of C or better to fulfill a requirement and you convert your letter grade to a Pass, the grade that was entered by the instructor must be a C or better in order to fulfill the requirement. In this example, if your instructor entered a C-, you would receive a"P" and get credit (CTP) for the course, but it would not count toward your program requirement.

You will have until July 1, 2021 to decide if you’d like to convert your letter grade to a P/NRC (or your NRC grade to a letter grade) for the Fall 2020 term and November 1, 2021 for the Winter 2021 term. Please note that once you convert a grade to P/NRC, that decision is final. If you have questions, be sure to consult your academic advisor to avoid any unintended consequences. 

If you have any other questions about the updated Fall 2020/Winter 2021 grading policies, please see the Registrar’s COVID-19 Fall 2020-Winter 2021 Undergraduate Grading FAQ.

Drop/Add Deadlines:

As per the message sent from the Provost to all students,  the university has instituted a more flexible withdrawal policy: you can withdraw from a course at any time up through the last day of the classes (December 8 for Fall 2020; April 21 for Winter 2021); that withdrawal (or “W”) will not appear on your official transcript. (As a reminder, your official transcript is the one that gets sent from the registrar to third parties outside of the university like prospective employers or graduate programs. If you drop a class after the third-week deadline--February 8 for Winter 2021--you will still receive a W on your unofficial transcript, the one that you and other University of Michigan units can access).

However please note that the standard add deadline still applies: you have through the first three weeks of the term (February 8 in Winter 2021) to add classes via Wolverine Access. As usual, if you are adding a course after the start of the semester, it is important to contact the instructor to find out what material you’ve missed and how/if you’ll be able to make it up.

Academic Integrity:

While we realize you will be navigating many challenges with different course formats and that remote learning brings up new concerns regarding academic integrity. It is important to review LSA Community Standards of Academic Integrity and approach your coursework with integrity, regardless of whether it is online or in-person. Be sure to communicate with your instructors if you are unsure about coursework expectations or if you encounter any issues.   

Study Strategies for Virtual Coursework:

Virtual coursework might require some finetuning of your study strategies. The behavioral science team at the Center for Academic Innovation has put together a guide to help you adjust the way you prepare for remote coursework, and additional tips can be found on the Remote Learning for Students webpage. If you have questions or need additional support, please contact your advisor; we are happy to help.

Study Spaces:

In addition to places like Shapiro, the Union, the League, and the LSA atrium, here is a map and list of the buildings and 70 LSA rooms that are available for students to reserve.

Virtual Coursework Resources for Students with Disabilities:

Please see the Access to Remote Instruction webpage for resources and strategies put together by U-M Accessibility, and contact the Office for Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) for further information.

Final Exams:

For Fall 2020, all courses, regardless of format, will be transitioning to fully virtual delivery after Thanksgiving break; all exams and final projects will be conducted remotely. Ensure that you verify early in the term the days and times for all of your final exams through the Final Examination Schedule or your instructor in order to ensure you have addressed any exam conflicts or more than three exams in one day. For additional information refer to your courses’ syllabi and contact your instructor with any questions.


Taking Classes Elsewhere

For the 2020-2021 academic year (Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021), all courses currently approved on the Transfer Credit Equivalency (TCE) will continue to be accepted even if the course was taught via a different delivery method (i.e. online). Keep in mind that most U-M departments have never reviewed or formally approved online versions of these courses, and cannot guarantee these courses will still provide adequate preparation for subsequent coursework in their, or other, departments.

If you are interested in a class that is not currently listed on the TCE, you can submit classes for evaluation by submitting a Transfer Credit Equivalency request. All never evaluated courses will continue to be reviewed and approved by the appropriate department to ensure it includes key curricular content that is comparable (including the review of syllabi and exams), but no course will be rejected solely because of the delivery method (e.g., that it’s being taught online). Department-specific course information can be found on each department's website.

Continuing students (i.e. students for whom Fall 2020 is not your first semester in the college) may take one or more semesters at different institutions without permission from the college. If you are away more than two calendar years, you will need to reactivate your U-M academic account by filling out an Application for Reactivation. You should also be aware of the residency requirements of the college as you decide how many credits you plan on transferring to your U-M academic record. Before deciding on which courses to take elsewhere, you should confer with your general advisor and major advisor (if you intend on taking courses for their major).

Grading Considerations for Transfer Classes:

If you are being awarded a letter grade for a class you are taking elsewhere, you need a C or higher for a class to transfer. Current LSA practice also allows you to transfer in a non-traditional grade (e.g, a “P” for passing or “S” for satisfactory) that is a minimum grade of a C or higher (note: this threshold is our normal policy and different than the adjustment that was made for Winter/Spring/Summer 2020). If you are taking a pass/fail class at an institution that sets the lower limit of a passing or satisfactory grade below a C we will need official confirmation of the letter grade beneath it to confirm that you received a C or higher in order to award credit. If there is no official confirmation of letter grade available, departmental credit for your class may be awarded at the discretion of the college, and you can then contact the department to request an assessment of course content and mastery if credit for a direct equivalent is needed.

Remember that even though there are grading standards for transfer courses, the grades themselves will not be posted to your U-M transcript nor will they be factored into your GPA (unless you take classes at UM-Dearborn or UM-Flint). However, if you apply to graduate or professional school, you'll be asked to share transcripts from every college/university you attended.

Dual Enrollment (i.e., taking classes at U-M and elsewhere the same semester):

If you plan on taking U-M classes (regardless of format) while also taking classes elsewhere in the same term, you must first get permission. To do so please follow these directions for securing dual enrollment permission; please note that transfer credit will not be posted without this approval.

Disenrolling or Withdrawing from the Term

If you decide to take some time away from college, please refer to these withdrawal policies.