Penn will not offer dean's list awards for the second consecutive academic year, administrators announced in an email to students in the College of Arts and Sciences on Monday.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University suspended dean's list awards to keep academic policies consistent with the previous year, in which Penn also adopted an extended pass/fail grading system, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Paul Sniegowski wrote in the email. A notation will be placed on students' transcripts to indicate the change in grading policies.
Dean's list is an honor awarded annually to students based on academic performance in the fall and spring semesters. To receive the citation on their transcript, a student must achieve a combined GPA of at least 3.7, receive no grade lower than a C, complete at least six credits for letter grades, and complete all courses on time.
The decision was made in consultation with students on the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education and the Undergraduate Assembly, two branches of Penn Student Government concerned with academic policy, the email stated.
Administrators expect dean's list to return for the 2021-2022 academic year when classes are set to once again be offered in person.
"We expect to return to normal (i.e. pre-COVID[-19]) grading policies for the 2021-2022 academic year, including the awarding of dean’s list and other academic honors and distinctions," Associate Vice Provost for Education and Academic Planning Gary Purpura wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian on April 13.
Penn announced in December that students would be able to opt in to pass/fail grading for any and all spring 2021 courses by March 19. The University offered a similar policy for the spring and fall 2020 semesters.
The University's decision to suspend dean's list for the 2019-2020 academic year frustrated some students, who said they worked hard to achieve the academic honor.
The email also urged students to participate in advance course registration for the fall 2021 semester, which closes on April 23, and to continue adhering to Penn's Code of Academic Integrity.
Staff reporter Tyler Harris contributed reporting to this article.