Skip to content

COVID-19 Updates: Review our guidelines and mandatory policies for on-campus presence.

Grades are available after classes end. See the calendar for specific dates.

Viewing Grades

Official grades are posted in online services. Login to MyDCE and click the three horizontal bars in the top-left to open the side menu. Select “My Academic History” and follow the prompts to access final course grades in Online Services. Grades posted in Canvas or other course websites are not considered official final grades.

Courses in progress will not display on an official transcript until after the respective grade release date for the term. See Transcripts and Enrollment Certification for more information.

Letter Grades

Grades reflect the quality and quantity of a student’s work submitted throughout the term. Each instructor determines the individual grade components for their course and their percentage value in the calculation of their students’ final grades. Students should check the course syllabus for more information on their instructor’s grading policies. Students registered for undergraduate or graduate credit who complete the requirements of a course may earn one of the following grades:

A and A–

Earned by work whose superior quality indicates a full mastery of the subject, and in the case of A, work of extraordinary distinction. There is no grade of A+

B+, B, and B–

Earned by work that indicates a strong comprehension of the course material, a good command of the skills needed to work with the course materials, and the student’s full engagement with the course requirements and activities.

C+, C, and C–

Earned by work that indicates an adequate and satisfactory comprehension of the course material and the skills needed to work with the course materials, and that indicates that the student has met the basic requirements for completing assigned work and participating in class activities.

D+, D, and D–

Earned by work that is unsatisfactory but that indicates some minimal command of the course materials and some minimal participation in class activities that is worthy of course credit.

E (Failing Grade)

Earned by work that is unsatisfactory and unworthy of course credit. This grade may also be assigned to students who do not submit required work in courses from which they have not officially withdrawn by the withdrawal deadline. Zero or E grades are assigned to students for missing work. These grades are included in the calculation of the final grade. HES does not issue an F grade, the E is the equivalient failing grade notation.

Nonletter and Noncompletion Grades

Students enrolled in courses for credit are expected to complete all coursework on time, the final grade issued in the course will reflect the quality and quantity of work evaluated in the respective course and term. Students who do not complete a course by the end of a term may receive one of the following noncompletion grades. Noncompletion grades may affect academic standing. Potential and admitted degree candidates and premedical program students should check their individual program requirements.

DE (distance exam)

This is an interim grade assigned by the Registrar’s Office to distance students whose final grades are not available when grades are posted online. The grade is changed when the instructor submits the final grade.

EXD (excluded from course)

This is a permanent final grade assigned to credit and noncredit students who are no longer permitted to continue in a course. An EXD grade is equivalent to a failing grade and does not result in any tuition refund.

EXT (extension of time)

This is an interim grade that may be requested by credit students who, due to extenuating circumstances that occur after the withdrawal deadline in a term, need additional time to submit a final assignment or a small amount of written work (one or two assignments—not a timed classroom final exam—after the semester has ended). The EXT grade will be posted with the course on the Harvard DCE transcript while the extension of time period is ongoing.

Students that are approved and complete final work during the extension of time period will be issued an updated letter grade at the end of the extension of time period. Students that are approved but do not complete final work as expected will be issued a final letter grade factoring a zero for any missing work in the course. Faculty may grade partial work at their discretion or per course policies. The final letter grade will replace the EXT interim grade once reported by the faculty. This is often updated within two weeks after the extension of time deadline.

More information on submitting an extension of time can be found below.

MU (make-up final exam)

This is an interim grade assigned to students whose appeals for a make-up final exam are approved. This notation is changed to a letter grade when the student takes the make-up exam. Students who do not take the make-up exam as scheduled are assigned an E for that exam. Access to video lectures is extended to the make-up exam date in each term for students whose appeals for make-up final exams are approved.

NC (noncredit completion)

This is a permanent grade notation assigned to a course completed for which the student was registered as a noncredit participant. Please see Choosing a Credit Status for more information on noncredit status.

RQ (required to withdraw)

This is a permanent final grade assigned to credit and noncredit students who are required by the Administrative Board to withdraw from one or more courses. An RQ grade is equivalent to a failing grade and does not result in any tuition refund. Courses in which students have been assigned RQ grades are not included in the calculation of enrollment status.

WA (administrative withdrawal)

This is assigned to students who are administratively withdrawn in accordance with Extension School policies. WA may be a permanent notation.

WD (withdrawal)

This is a permanent final grade assigned to credit students who officially withdraw by the final withdrawal deadline. WD grades may not be changed to letter grades and do not result in any tuition refund. Courses in which students have been assigned WD grades are not included in the calculation of enrollment status. An E grade may be assigned to students who do not complete course requirements and do not officially withdraw by the withdrawal deadline. Admitted program candidates and prospective applicants should contact their program offices to discuss the implications of withdrawing from a course on their academic record and GPA.

WN (noncredit withdrawal)

This is a permanent notation assigned to noncredit students who withdraw by the final withdrawal deadline. WN notations do not result in any tuition refund.

*** (pending review)

This is an interim grade notation assigned by the Registrar’s Office to students with cases pending before the Administrative Board.

Grades for Harvard Business School Online’s CORe

Students enrolled in the undergraduate credit version of CORe receive grades of HHON (high honors), HON (honors), or PA (pass) and FL (fail). 

Extension of Time Policy

The Extension of Time (EXT) policy is offered for students that, due to an extenuating circumstance at the very end of the term may require a small amount of time after the end of the semester to complete final, written coursework. HES does not have an incomplete (INC) grade option. The EXT is available to support students in a class that does not have a timed final exam. For students in a course that ends with a timed final exam and written final deliverable, see the Make Up Final Exam and EXT Requests section below. Students approved for an EXT will receive a confirmation email from Academic Services once approved. An Approved EXT will grant extended access to the Canvas course platform through the Extension due date.

EXT Eligibility

To be eligible for an EXT, students must:

  1. Be in good standing in the term: Students must have all coursework due prior to the course withdrawal deadline complete and submitted. This includes completion of coursework that was issued an in-term extension by the faculty. Coursework approved in the EXT must be final coursework. Students must meet all other course expectations and attendance policies to be eligible for an EXT.

  2. Only final coursework is permissible under the EXT request. This includes final work such as:

    • Final Paper

    • Final take home exam
    • Final individual project

    • Final Group Project (depending on course policies)

    • Final Presentation (depending on course policies)

    • Final problem set or small end-of term assignment (originally due at the end of the term only)

**Students who owe a significant amount of work may not be eligible for an EXT. This includes courses that may only have a final paper or project. EXT requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis for courses that only have a final deliverable to determine if the student meets the academic standing in the course.

  1. Encounter an extenuating end-of-term situation: The situation must be encountered in the student’s personal life, not related to academic course load. This includes academic responsibilities at HES and / or combined with work or alternate academic endeavors. Most often, the EXT is approved to support students that encounter an acute illness at the end of the term, who encounter an unexpected emergency with family care, or who encounter extreme weather related disruptions that prevent access to the final course meetings.

  2. Receive Faculty Support, permission for the EXT request: The EXT is first and foremost an agreement with the course faculty. The Faculty must be able to support the EXT request, and the coursework requested in the EXT must be eligible for independent completion after the term concludes.

Make Up Final Exam and EXT Requests

When a course ends with both a timed final exam and final written coursework, students may need to request both the Make-Up final Exam (MU) appeal and the EXT. More information on the MU appeal can be seen on the Exams page. In the event a student needs to request both the MU appeal and EXT request:

  • Submit the MU appeal form in Online Services and submit the EXT form via email to Academic Services.
  • The MU appeal will be reviewed as the primary request; the EXT request will be held until the MU appeal review is complete.
  • Once a decision is released from the MU appeal, the EXT confirmation will follow:
    • If an MU is approved, the EXT is often approved as well.
    • If the MU is not eligible for approval, the EXT may not be either. Academic Services will correspond with all students who submit an EXT, regardless of the MU outcome.

*Note – A take home final is considered under the Extension of Time. If the course ends in an open book, take home final assessment, you do not need to file the Make Up exam appeal.

Submission Deadline and Final EXT Due Dates

Students should confirm the final coursework and final due date of the respective EXT request directly with the course faculty first. Faculty may require an earlier deadline for EXT work than the HES final due date specified below. If an earlier date is set by the faculty, this must be specified on the EXT request form when submitted to Academic Services. If no deadline is specified on the EXT form, the last day available to complete approved extension of time work in the respective term is:

Term Submission Deadline Final Due Date
Fall 2022 December 17, 2022 January 20, 2023
January 2023 January 23, 2023 February 3, 2023
Spring 2023 May 13, 2023 June 23, 2023

Students requesting an EXT should weigh their time and circumstances to ensure they can complete the final work by the specified EXT deadline before submitting the official EXT request to Academic Services. Students who feel unable to complete final work due to documented extenuating circumstances that occur at the end of the term may wish to review the Financial and Registration (FR) appeal option to request a retroactive withdrawal (WD) from a course.

Submission of the EXT request to Academic Services

To submit the EXT request:

  1. Discuss and confirm the EXT request with faculty before the term is over.
  2. If in agreement, complete the Extension of Time forms in full and submit to Academic Services before the final day of the semester in one of the following ways:
    1. Email the completed form to Academic Services and open CC the lead faculty in the course. If the lead faculty is not copied onto the submission, Academic Services will confirm the EXT request with them directly. This may take additional time and create delays in the EXT review.
    2. Forward the completed and signed form to the faculty directly. The faculty can then confirm the final details of the EXT request and forward the completed form to Academic Services. The student should have previously signed the EXT form and be copied on the email submission to ensure transparency.
  3. Academic Services will review the submitted EXT request to ensure the request is within the scope of the extension policy as outlined and can be supported in full after the term concludes.
  4. Once reviewed, Academic Services will send email notification to the student to confirm the EXT request and final details. Faculty will be open copied onto the correspondence to the student.

Students are responsible to ensure the extension request is submitted before the last academic day in the term. Unofficial extensions arranged between the faculty and student independent of Academic Services cannot be supported after the term ends. If an EXT is not confirmed by Academic Services it is considered unofficial; unofficial extensions may not be eligible for an updated grade once the final work is reviewed by the course faculty after the term ends.

Grade Changes

Grades, with the exception of interim grades listed above, are considered final when they are submitted to Academic Services. Students should ask their instructors for explanations of their grades if they believe errors were made. However, a student may not submit extra work, resubmit work to improve a final grade, or have their work evaluated by a third party.

Requests for grade changes are initiated by the instructor. Letter grades can be changed only if there is clear evidence of a computational or clerical error that is documented in writing by the instructor. Grades cannot be changed after April 1 for fall and January session courses and August 3 for spring courses.

Students may ask for an explanation of their grades if they believe a calculation or clerical error has occurred; however, they should be careful not to harass instructors. Students are expected to know and abide by our student expectations policies. Please see Expectations, Your Grades, for a detailed explanation of our student conduct policy regarding grades.

Potential and Admitted Degree Candidates and Premedical Program Students

The following scale is used to calculate the grade point average (GPA) for degree program applicants and candidates as well as premedical program students using a 4-point scale: A=4.0, A–=3.67, B+=3.33, B=3.0, B–=2.67, C+=2.33, C=2.0, C–=1.67, D+=1.33, D=1.0, D–=0.67, E=0, WD=0, RQ=0, EXD=0.

It is important to note that this numerical conversion does not represent grading assessments for individual courses. Final authority for grading rests with the instructor in charge of the course.

Potential and admitted degree candidates and premedical program students should check their individual program requirements to learn more about how letter and nonletter and noncompletion grades will affect their academic standing, including the limited number of WD grades that can be earned before counting as zeros in the cumulative GPA.

Admitted degree candidates and premedical program students can learn their GPAs by reviewing academic progress reports available through MyDCE, AA/ALB Community. These reports are updated at the end of each semester.

Potential degree candidates should be aware that a minimum GPA is required for admission to all programs. If your GPA is below the minimum, it may not be in your best interest to continue to register for courses in an attempt to raise your GPA. Students can calculate their predegree GPAs by using our GPA Estimator. To make an appointment with a Predegree & Admissions advisor to discuss your GPA estimate, refer to Predegree & Admissions Advising.