Pass/Fail Statement


University of Ottawa Approves Pass/Fail Grading

Dear members of the UOSU, 

We’re pleased to announce that the University of Ottawa has agreed to a compromise with the University of Ottawa Students’ Union regarding Pass/Fail grading this semester.

After numerous conversations with the University, asking them to offer students concrete change rather than kind words, students in most programs will now have the option to apply for Pass/Fail grading to one of their courses, for both the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 semesters.  

This is a huge win for student advocacy. From the very beginning of online learning, we’ve been listening to you to hear about what challenges you’ve been facing this semester. We’ve sent out surveys, listened to your representatives from Recognized Student Governments, and read your testimonials. 

In November 2020, as a result of these thorough consultations, we sent an open letter to the Provost, in consultation with 18 Recognized Student Governments, calling for a modified Pass/Fail option this semester. 5,328 of you signed our petition echoing this call, and 370 of you wrote to us sharing their stories on how to improve online learning. Make no mistake, the credit is not for us or the University to take – this win for students is thanks to you. 


If you are considering applying for the Pass/Fail option for a course this semester, please consider the following points: 

  • Please consult the list of exceptions sent by the University. Your program may not be eligible for this option.  
  • Please also keep in mind that picking the Pass/Fail option can have a negative impact, in some cases, for students applying for graduate opportunities.  
  • The University will be issuing more information about how to exercise the Pass/Fail option in early 2021. Please keep an eye on your inbox for more information. 

We know this semester has been rough, and it is crystal clear that many issues – negative mental health, racism and others – continue to be pervasive on our campus. The acquisition of the Pass/Fail option demonstrates what can be done when students work together to call for change.

That work, in all of its forms, must continue. But for now, we at the UOSU are here to help you through this stressful exam season, and are ready to build change at uOttawa in semesters to come.

In solidarity, 

The UOSU Executive