COVID-19 P/Z Grading Information

Maricopa Community Colleges is committed to supporting academic continuity for our students amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Here we clarify our response to grading policy changes and how it applies to students.

In response to the 2020 coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Maricopa Community Colleges modified its grading policy in Spring 2020 to default from standard grading to P/Z for a majority of our courses. Exceptions to this modified policy included specialized or accredited courses, and those exceptions were communicated directly to enrolled students. The P/Z grading policy did not extend beyond Spring 2020 courses.

Defining P and Z Grades

P and Z grades simply represent whether the student passes the class with credit (P) or no credit (Z). The P grade indicates a passing grade and is equivalent to a C or higher (A/B/C) on a five-grade scale. The Z grade represents a failing grade and is equivalent to a D/F. Neither grade is factored into the Maricopa grade point average (GPA).

Impacts of P and Z Grades on Students

A P grade does not impact Title IV Financial Aid. Since a P grade is passing with a C or better, college credit is awarded. Financial aid eligibility will be based on passing the course. Satisfactory Academic Progress will count the course as attempted and completed towards pace of progression.

For veterans, a P grade is permitted with no impact. For Z grades (no-credit), COVID-19 should be reported as the mitigating circumstance for the student’s receipt of a non-punitive grade; Veterans Affair (VA) will pay for the class.

A P grade does not affect student athletes. Since some sports seasons have been cancelled, a P grade will not change athletic eligibility or be factored into a GPA. Students who may require letter grades to improve their GPA for eligibility purposes should speak to their advisor.

A P grade does not affect international students. As long as 12 credit hours are earned for the semester, a P grade will not negatively impact International students.

A P grade might have some effect on scholarship recipients. Since a P grade is not factored into a grade point average, if P grades are received for all courses in the semester, there will be no grade points to include in a GPA calculation which may have a negative effect on competitive rankings.

A P grade does not impact students whose courses are reimbursed or paid for by their employer or a third party if a P grade is permitted by the employer/third party. If the employer’s tuition reimbursement requires a letter grade or specific GPA, a P grade may not meet the requirements for funding, according to the employer’s/third party’s agreement.

Some programs of study do not accept P grades, even if college credit is earned based on the accrediting body requirements. Students in accredited programs should speak with their faculty member, advisor, or program director about the impact of a P grade.

A P or Z grade can impact an application to one of Maricopa Community College’s selective admission programs, such as nursing, physical therapy assisting, or others. Programs which have selective admissions requirements use letter grades for calculating points toward admissions criteria, meaning a P or Z grade would not be accepted. For questions about a specific Maricopa Community Colleges’ program admission criterion, please contact the program director, corresponding faculty member, or your academic advisor.

A P grade cannot replace a prior failing grade or allow a student to repeat the course to improve his or her grade.

A P grade will be allowed to satisfy degree and prerequisite requirements. The exception would be courses and programs that require letter grades or require a grade of B or higher to meet the program’s grading requirements.

Transfer Students

Within the state of Arizona, the AZTransfer policy that governs admissions and transfer guidelines has been modified to allow P grades to be acceptable in transferring statewide within the Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC) and transfer pathways. All three state universities (Arizona State University, University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University), in addition to Grand Canyon University and University of Phoenix, have confirmed acceptance of P grades being awarded during the semesters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic response.

However, students who received a P grade, rather than a letter grade, during the COVID-19 pandemic response may apply to replace their P grade with the letter grade earned (and vice versa) in the class for up to one academic year after the grade was issued. Students who apply to replace their P grade with a letter grade more than one academic year after the grade was issued, will be limited to receiving a letter grade of C.

In the event that a faculty member is no longer employed by Maricopa Community Colleges, the Division/Department Chair will request Canvas access from the College’s CTL and/or attempt to obtain necessary documentation related to the grade adjustment request. In the event no higher letter grade can be substantiated, the student will receive a letter grade of C.

To apply for a Grade Type Adjustment, complete this e-FORM.

Dual Enrollment Students

P and Z grading is not automatic in any Dual Enrollment courses and is not available for year-long Dual Enrollment classes. Furthermore, the option is not recommended for Spring-only Dual Enrollment courses, as P grades are not guaranteed to transfer or apply to graduation requirements outside the AZTransfer institutions.

We encourage students to contact their immediate faculty members, advisors, or program directors for additional support or clarification.