Undergraduate Studies
Office of the Provost

Dear Pitt Students,

After an academic year that has challenged us all on a variety of levels, I want to tell you how impressed I am with your incredible resilience. With the end of the academic year in sight, I wish you well on your final exams and projects and give you some points to consider as you wrap up the semester.

As you prepare and think ahead, I hope you find the resources and tips below of help/interest:

  • As you plan where to prepare for and complete your final exams, recall that you can take your exams in the assigned room on the final exam list (if applicable) or you can use one of the study spaces (which will be updated soon to reflect open times during finals week).
  • It is not too late to connect with the many formal tutoring programs available at Pitt to help you prepare for your final exams. Don’t leave those confusing topics to chance; get help while it is available!
  • Classes will still be offered via Flex@Pitt this summer, so it is a great time to catch up on coursework or, for some of you, to finish up your last few credits at Pitt. Also, you have the option to pay per credit or at a flat full-time rate.
  • We are looking forward to a “new normal” for the fall 2021 semester and are planning for an in-person experience. Don’t forget to use the Pathways Navigate Student app, schedule a meeting with your academic advisor or mentor for academic planning, and enroll in fall courses. While we will not employ Flex@Pitt in the fall, we will be announcing a limited number of remote-engagement classes for those who cannot return to Pittsburgh. Stay tuned.
  • Remember that W grades are an option for classes that simply “got away” from you this semester. The late withdrawal deadline is Friday, May 14. Similar to the fall semester, please work with your academic advisor and dean’s office to process these requests.
  • Also note that the purpose and use of G grades has not changed. This grading option is intended to be used for completing a well-defined and *small* amount of work (for example, a few homework assignments, perhaps the final exam or a project; overall typically less than 1/3 of the semester’s assessments) that you could not finish during the natural course of the term. In cases where you are that close to completion, reach out to your instructor to work out details about specific assignments remaining and the revised timeline for completion. The process modification discussed in my last message that allows for a “fallback grade” to be recorded only comes into play if you do not complete these assignments but would still pass the course.
  • If you are a graduating senior and haven’t connected with Pitt Commons yet, you are missing out! As you take your next step, get support and guidance from a Pitt alum who has been in your shoes by participating in Quick Connect on Pitt Commons.

Above all, stay healthy, remain optimistic, and hold on to that focus for just a bit longer: I am rooting for you to succeed!

Please email me anytime at vpmccarthy@pitt.edu if you have questions or concerns—or if I can help you achieve your academic goals.

To our graduating seniors, I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Good luck to everyone as you finish the semester strong!

Hail to Pitt!


Joseph J. McCarthy
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies