Harvard Chan School Grading System

 The Harvard Chan School offers ordinal (letter), pass/fail, and audit grading options for non-degree students. 


Grading Option   Grade Definition   Grade Point Average  
Ordinal   A – C, F Grading Scale   Calculated in Final G.P.A.  
Pass/Fail   P = Pass, F = Fail   P Not Calculated in G.P.A., F Calculated in G.P.A.  
Audit (Special Fellows)  Not Graded   Not Calculated in G.P.A.  


Please note that “audit” may be selected only by Special Fellows. There is a limit of 5 credits per semester of audited course work while registered as a full- or part-time student. Students do not receive credit for audited courses. Audited courses will appear on transcripts with the grade of AU. This grade will not be calculated in the G.P.A. Students who do not meet the instructors’ expectations of an auditor will receive the grade of WDA. This grade will not be calculated in the G.P.A. Summer courses may not be audited.  


If the student does not select a grading option during the registration process, the Registrar’s Office assigns the default grading option of ordinal.  


The table below reflects the grades used and their corresponding grade point values.  


A  =  4.00 (Excellent)  F  =  0.00 (Failing/ordinal) 
A-  =  3.70  WD*  =  Withdrawn 
B+  =  3.30 (Good)  P*  =  Passing 
B  =  3.00  F  =  Failing (pass/fail) 
B-  =  2.70 (Satisfactory)  IN*  =  Incomplete (pending completion of work) 
C+  =  2.30  INC*  =  Permanent Incomplete 
C  =  2.00 (Poor)  ABS*  =  Absent from Exam 
C-  =  1.70  IP*  =  In Progress 
AU*  =  Audit  WDA*  =  Withdrawn Auditor 


* Does not calculate into GPA 


Grade of Withdrawal 


Students who petition for, and have approval for withdrawing from a course after the period’s add/drop deadline for any course at the Harvard Chan School will receive a grade of “WD.” The withdrawal will be a part of their permanent academic record. Withdrawn course credits will not count towards attempted nor earned credits. Tuition is not refunded for withdrawn courses. 


Page Break 

Grade of Absence from Examination 


A student who cannot attend a regularly scheduled examination must request permission for an alternate examination from the instructor in advance of the examination. At the discretion of the instructor, and in the case of significant medical or personal reasons, an alternate examination may be permitted. Ordinarily, the instructor will consult with the director for student affairs concerning medical and personal problems. An excuse for absence from an examination and permission for an alternate examination must be recorded on the Absence from Examination Form from the Registrar’s Office. In the case of an unexcused absence, the instructor will give a grade of “F” for this examination. (CEP 2/89) 


Grade of Failure 


Students failing any course at the School will receive a grade of “F.” The failure will be a part of their permanent academic record. 


Grade of Incomplete 


Instructors may grant an extension to students who fail to submit an assignment by a deadline date. The penalty for missing a deadline ordinarily is a lowering of the student’s grade on the assignment by one letter (e.g., from A- to B-); however, the instructor may decide that a lesser or greater penalty is required. Instructors should set policy at the beginning of the course concerning the impact of missed deadlines on students’ grades. 


Instructors may recommend that students who have missed deadlines on course work take an “Incomplete”, represented by an IN. Students who do not complete course work will receive a grade on the work completed to date or will receive an “Incomplete” at the discretion of the instructor. Students receiving an incomplete must obtain the Incomplete Contract from the Registrar’s Office — a written contract between the student and instructor. Both parties agree to the work to be performed, the completion deadline, and the penalty, if any, to be assigned if the work is not completed. These terms are recorded on the form. The signed form is then submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the instructor. Forms hand delivered by the student will not be accepted. 


Policy on the grade of “Incomplete” is as follows: 


The deadline for making up incomplete course work should be no later than one semester after the semester in which the course was taken, and may be earlier, at the discretion of the instructor. If the instructor will not be present when the deadline arrives, a designated surrogate must be appointed by the instructor to receive and evaluate the completed course work. If the completed work is submitted by the deadline date, the instructor (or surrogate) will evaluate it, and the grade given will replace the incomplete (“IN”) on the student’s record, so that the final grade will be “the final grade”, with a notation on the student’s transcript. If the incomplete work is not made up by the deadline date, a grade of “INC” will be given for the work not completed. If this work accounts for the whole grade, the final grade given will be an “INC.” (CEP 7/2016) 


If the Registrar’s Office does not receive a grade from the faculty member after one semester, the grade of “IN” becomes permanent on the student’s transcript, represented by an INC, and the credits will not count toward the student’s program. The INC functions as an “F” grade and will factor into a student’s GPA.