This page contains ongoing policy updates related to changes necessitated by COVID – 19 during spring 2020 semester. 

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Spring 2020 P Grading Policy and Media Studies ApplicationTemporary Changes in Response to COVID-19

Media Studies, like the College of Letters and Science, strongly recommends that students keep the spring 2020 DPN grading option to reduce their academic stress. 

Spring 2020 P grades will be accepted for all Media Studies course requirements.

For students eligible to apply to Media Studies in fall 2020, the following changes will be made to the application process:

  1. Spring 2020 P grades will be accepted. The minimum GPA for the application will be based on the letter grades relevant to the major, which includes prerequisites and any course that satisfies a major requirement;
  2. If a student has only P grades (all from spring 2020) and it is not possible to calculate an application GPA, the student should substitute their overall GPA on the application; 
  3. The required minimum GPA will be 3.0, reduced from 3.2.

The 70-unit maximum to apply will remain in place. This unit total excludes test scores, community college courses taken while in high school and excess P.E. units.

Students must take approved courses to satisfy prerequisite course requirements. Media Studies does not accept exam scores.

There are two types of applications to the major: 

Standard Application

A student completes a standard application if the above requirements have been met. 

Appeal Application

A student completes an appeal application if the above requirements have not been met. Appeal applications include a cover letter explaining the reason for appeal and why the student is academically interested in the major. Students may also use the cover letter to address grade concerns or strength in the major not represented by the available letter grades. When Media Studies Faculty review appeal applications, they will keep in mind that spring 2020 was a challenging semester for all students.

Please note: students have one opportunity to apply to the major. 

The fall 2020 Media Studies application packet will be available on the Media Studies website by the end of May 2020.

April 12, 2020


This page is a general resource for policy changes related to COVID–19 in 2020. 

College of L&S Policy Updates

Berkeley International Office Updates & FAQ


Covid-19 Grade Information for the Media Studies Honors Program 

April 15, 2020 

The UC Berkeley Academic Senate is encouraging students to take Spring 2020 courses as Pass/No Pass. These P/NP guidelines aim to alleviate some of the stress students are experiencing related to grades this semester. This update offers information on policy changes intended to support students pursuing honors in the Media Studies Program. Please note that policies may change according to new developments in campus pandemic response. 

The Media Studies Honors Program is responding to the Covid-19 disruption by adopting L&S recommendations. For the purposes of obtaining honors distinction:

  1. L&S will reduce its minimum GPAs for Distinction on General Scholarship at Graduation by 0.05 to account for the grading and instruction adjustments made this semester. Following L&S’s lead, the Media Studies Program will temporarily reduce honors GPA requirement by 0.05 to account for the grading and instruction adjustments made this semester. Accordingly, the 3.5 GPA requirement will be reduced to 3.45 for Fall 2020 Honors Thesis enrollment. 
  2. In exceptional cases, instructors may consider issuing an I (incomplete) grade to individual students. Honors courses must be completed before graduation in order for a student to receive honors on their diploma. This means that if a student is issued an I grade, they must also agree to create a written contract for project completion and postpone their graduation (i.e. change their Expected Graduation Term (EGT) to summer 2020 or Fall 2020 with their College Advisor). 

Current Media Studies Honors Students
All students in Media Studies H195 need to earn a P grade in the course in Spring 2020. Letter grades for the Spring term will neither assist or impede your chances for honors. If students earn P grades in all their Spring 2020 courses, GPAs will meet honors requirements. Students graduating in Spring 2020 who have met these requirements will graduate with honors. Students graduating in summer 2020 or later will need to maintain their overall and major GPAs above a 3.5 to earn honors in the major each term through the end of their expected graduation term. Media Studies GPAs are based on the required core and elective courses for the major. Grades for Media Studies H194 and H195 are not part of GPA calculation. 

Future Media Studies Honors Students
Students applying to enter Media Studies H194 in Fall 2020 should fill out a course application form and will be enrolled with the temporary 3.45 GPA or better criterion. If their major and overall GPAs are above a 3.45 after summer 2020 grades are published in Cal Central and their proposed thesis topic is approved, they will be given a permission code to enroll in the course by the Media Studies H194 instructor and must attend the first class meeting. Students who have not met the requirements to enroll in Media Studies H195 in Spring 2021 may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Policies that Honors students may not have any F or NP grades are still in effect.

Students who are interested in participating in the 2021-22 Media Studies Honors Program will need to follow the L&S Executive Committee approved requirements for the Media Studies Honors Program published on the Media Studies website.