Novel coronavirus information

June 3, 2020

New S/NS and Former Quarter Drop grading options announced

This message was sent to students across the University of Washington from the Office of the University Registrar.

The University recognizes the impact these extraordinary times are having on students. To provide more flexibility, the faculty have approved two new grading options. For spring quarter 2020, S (Satisfactory) grades will count toward degree and graduation requirements. Additionally, students may now more easily request that they be late-withdrawn from specific courses because of hardships beginning with spring quarter.

Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory (S/NS) grading for spring quarter

How it works:

  • S grades for spring quarter 2020 will count toward degree and graduation requirements.
  • Spring 2020 has been designated as an extraordinary circumstances quarter.
  • There will be no limit on the number of credits for spring 2020 that may have S/NS grading.
  • Beginning June 17, undergraduate students may change a numeric grade to S/NS, or change an S/NS grade to numeric during any quarter designated as an extraordinary circumstances quarter.
  • Students may change their grade mode for spring 2020 courses at any time until they graduate – even if that is a year or more away.
  • Spring 2020 graduating seniors have until July 8 (when spring degree posting closes) to request the change.

What it means:

  • Starting June 17, and until they graduate, undergraduate students may change a numeric grade to S/NS or vice versa during any quarter designated an extraordinary circumstances quarter.
  • S grades will count toward degree requirements. Previously, S only counted for elective courses and students could only take 25 credits as S/NS.
  • As an example, with the limit on S/NS grades lifted for spring, all credits taken in spring 2020 could be converted to S and still count toward a major or degree.

What to do:

  • Use the late grading option change form, which students will receive via email on June 17, to request a change of S/NS to numeric, or numeric grade to S/NS.
  • No supporting materials will be required. You do not need to notify your instructors or email your campus registrar team now. Simply wait for the June 17 email with the new late grading option change form link.

Former Quarter Drop process replaces Hardship Withdrawal

How it works:

To give students more autonomy and flexibility, the faculty have approved a new process for students to petition to change individual course grades to a Registrar Drop (formerly Hardship Withdrawal) beginning with spring quarter.

What it means:

Beginning with spring 2020, this new process called the “Former Quarter Drop” replaces the Hardship Withdrawal process. It allows students to convert course grades earned in previous quarters to an RD annotation and have the grade and points removed from their GPA.

  • This process works for students with circumstances that prevented them from dropping their course by the 14th day of the quarter.
  • A review board will work with students who have difficulty providing documentation to support their petition.
  • The new transcript annotation of “RD” for Registrar Drop will replace the “HW” annotation on transcript hardship withdrawal petitions.

What to do:

  • Until system updates can be made, students should complete the current hardship withdrawal petition process for spring quarter 2020 at this link:
  • Students should mention in their petition statements if they faced hardships associated with COVID-19 or other circumstances such as illness.
  • Supporting materials are helpful for spring quarter requests related to COVID-19 and/or remote courses.

We hope these new options help you navigate these challenging times while still advancing towards your degree.

Questions? Please write us at:

HELEN B. GARRETT, Ed.D., University Registrar and Chief Officer of Enrollment Information Services
UW Seattle –

UW Tacoma –

PAM H. LUNDQUIST, M.Ed., Registrar
UW Bothell –