To EP or Not to EP: Employers Weigh In

We recently reached out to some of our employer partners to get their take on how transcripts are evaluated with new grading models due to COVID-19. Exceptional Pass (EP) has been offered at Tufts since COVID has disrupted the traditional academic structure. It has now been an option for 3 consecutive semesters and so we asked employers the following questions:

  1. How does a student’s undergraduate transcript play a role (if any) in being evaluated for opportunities?
  2. How is the EP grade viewed on a student’s undergraduate transcript?

Unsurprisingly, what we found is, it depends. While over half of our respondents do not even require transcripts as part of the application process, for those that do, the grade of EP is evaluated differently depending on industry and employer. Of those that require a transcript roughly half prefer set grades as opposed to having an EP on the transcript while the other half said set grades and EP are evaluated equally. So, what does this mean for you when trying to make the decision to take a course for a grade or EP? Here are a few recommendations:

🗣Talk to an Advisor (Academic & Career)

Advisors can help navigate what is right for you in relation to your career goals and everything else you have going on. There is no one answer fits all when deciding between EP and a grade. Advisors can help you get a wholistic picture and help you figure out what the right choice for you is.

💻 Do Research

Do you already know what industries (or even specific employers) you are interested in? If so, do some research on them! See what they are saying about application requirements and if they have any recommendations on how to be a strong applicant. *Bonus Points* Ask a recruiter or alum from the organization for advice! Look for a recruiter contact on Handshake or LinkedIn or try searching The Herd for alumni in the field.

🔆Check in with Yourself 

At the end of the day, you and your wellbeing are most important. If you are feeling overwhelmed, or even if you think you are managing everything, there are plenty of resources available to you. During these stressful times it is important to give yourself compassion. By being in tune with your own needs and stress management, you will be in a better position to decide what option makes the most sense for you at this point in time after receiving advice from advisors and industry professionals.

As always, Tufts Career Center is available to you. Regardless of what you decide, our advisors can help you move forward in your career development and exploration and identify ways to highlight your decision to employers to put your best foot forward.

By Misha D'Andrea
Misha D'Andrea Recruiting Coordinator, Employer Relations