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Grades are available after classes end. See the calendar for specific dates. Final grades can be viewed in MyDCE, My Academic History once posted.

Grading System

The Registrar’s Office is authorized to obtain reports on the academic evaluation of students in a respective class at the end of every term in the form of grades. Grades are established by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and evaluated by the lead faculty in the respective course. Faculty are responsible to submit final course grade notations by pre-scheduled deadlines; submission of grades is done securely at the conclusion of every course. 

Final grade notations represent the quality and quantity of work assessed through the duration of the term per the grade policies and standards articulated in the respective course. Faculty are responsible to ensure grades issued in a course are fair and equitable, and consistently evaluate peer students enrolled. Students should not assume a specific grading method in a course, nor should they assume a numeric value or percentile value will equal a specific letter grade unless specifically noted by the course faculty. 

Harvard Division of Continuing Education uses the following Faculty of Arts and Sciences system of letter and non-letter grades for final course evaluations: 

Letter Grades

Letter grades are issued for enrolled undergraduate and graduate credit students. 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. Zero or E grades are assigned to students for missing work, which are included in the final grade evaluation. HES does not issue an F grade; the E is the equivalent failing grade notation.

Noncredit Participation, Course Audit

A student that registers for a course in a noncredit (NC) credit status will see the course reflected on the academic transcript with one of the following associated noncredit grade notations. View the Credit Status Selection page for more information on Noncredit registration.

NC (noncredit completion)

Permanent grade notation assigned to a course completed for which the student registered as a noncredit participant. The NC grade notation indicates the student was enrolled and could engage with the class per the faculty policies but was not eligible to complete final exams or assessments, similar to a traditional course audit. Students who pursue a course as a noncredit enrollee will have the course and grade notation posted to their academic transcript. Please see Choosing a Credit Status for more information on noncredit status.

Met all RQMTS (Met all requirements)

Specific courses taken for noncredit may fulfill requirements for HES academic programs. This notation is issued to students enrolled in program specific courses for which all course requirements have been satisfied. The notation indicates that the student attended, participated in full and as expected, and met all course responsibilities to earn the program requirement associated with the noncredit course offering.

RQMTS not met (Did not meet requirements)

Specific courses taken for noncredit may fulfill requirements for HES academic programs. This notation is issued to students enrolled in program specific courses for which course requirements are not satisfied. The notation indicates that the student did not meet the expectations of the course and therefore does not earn the associated requirement or standard for course completion.

Alternate Grade Modes

Specific courses related to Harvard Extension School academic programs may issue a final non-letter grade at the end of the term. These grades are issued to all students in the respective course instead of a final letter grade.  

Courses with Satisfactory Grades

SAT (satisfactory) – earned by work that demonstrates full comprehension of course materials and strong command of the skills needed to work with the course materials. 

UNS (unsatisfactory) – earned by work that is unsatisfactory and will not earn academic credit. May be assigned to students who do not submit required work in courses for which they have not withdrawn.

Courses with Passing Grades

PA (passing grade) – earned by work that demonstrates full comprehension of the course materials, good command of the skills required to work with the course materials, and the student’s full engagement with the course requirements and activities.  

FL (failing grade) – earned by work that is unworthy of course credit and not of passing quality or for students who did not fully engage with the course requirements and activities. May be assigned to students who do not submit required work in courses for which they have not withdrawn.

Grades for Harvard Business School Online’s CORe

HHON (high honors) – earned by work whose superior quality indicates full mastery of the subject and extraordinary distinction.  

HON (honors) – earned by work that demonstrates strong comprehension of course materials and exceptional command of the skills needed to work with the course materials.  

PA (pass) – earned by work that demonstrates full comprehension of course materials and good command of the skills required to work with course materials.  

FL (fail) – earned by work that is unsatisfactory and unworthy of academic credit.

Nonletter and Noncompletion Grades

Students enrolled in courses are expected to complete all coursework on time and engage per their credit status selection and per course expectations. 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.

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.

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.

TNC (Thesis Not Complete)

In the rare case where a student does not meet the requirements to complete their thesis prior to their designated completion period, students may be issued the TNC / Thesis not Complete grade. This is a permanent final grade 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)

Is a permanent notation assigned to noncredit students who remain registered through the duration of the term but take action to withdraw from the noncredit enrollment prior to the respective withdrawal deadline. Similar to the WD grade, no tuition refund is issued and the course and grade notation will appear on a student transcript reflecting the final withdrawal status of the course.

WA (administrative withdrawal)

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

Interim Grades

Courses may be issued a temporary or interim grade in circumstances when an administrative review is necessary or when an administrative exception for time to complete course requirements is approved. Interim grades are posted to a student transcript when grades are released and will be replaced by a final grade notation once the review or extended approval is concluded.

EXT (extension of time)

Is an interim grade assigned to students who have been approved for an Extension of Time. This notation is changed to a letter grade when the extension of time period is concluded. A student approved for an extension of time that does not complete the remaining work by the assigned deadline will be issued a final grade, factoring a 0 or E for any work that remained outstanding. Access to the course platform may be extended for students that are officially approved for an extension of time. See more information on the Extension of Time policy. Noncredit students are not eligible for a EXT grade notation.

INP (In Progress Grade)

Degree candidate courses that require multiple term enrollment, such as thesis registration, will see an INP grade posted to their transcript once the initial term of registration is concluded. The INP will remain on the academic transcript until the student completes, times out, or withdraws from their thesis track program.

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. Noncredit students are not eligible for a MU grade notation.

*** (pending review)

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

Posting Final Course Grades

Official, final grades are posted in the MyDCE Student Portal, My Academic History Section: 

  • Login to MyDCE
  • Click the three horizontal bars in the top-left to open the side menu. 
  • Select “My Academic History”
  • Follow the prompts to access final course grades . 

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.

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. The EXT is available to support students in a class that has written final work in lieu of or in addition to 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.

Extended completion of coursework beyond the last academic day in the term is not permitted without an EXT approved by the Academic Services office in the Registrar’s Office. Students approved for an EXT will receive a confirmation email from Academic Services once approved. Grade Changes from course faculty will not be approved after the end of the term for additional work submitted after the course ends who do not have a confirmed EXT by Academic Services for the respective course. An Approved EXT will grant extended access to the Canvas course platform through the Extension due date. 

HES does not have an incomplete (INC) grade option.

EXT Eligibility

To be eligible for an EXT, students must:

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.

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.

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.

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 Appeals 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.

Final EXT Coursework Due Dates

Students should confirm the final coursework 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 EXT coursework in the respective term is:

Term Final Due Date
Fall 2023 January 26, 2024
January Session 2024 February 2, 2024
Spring 2024 June 14, 2024

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.

EXT Request Form Submission

To submit the EXT request:

If students have met the eligibility criteria listed above for an EXT request, all sections of the Extension of Time Request Form must be completed signed and dated by the student and their faculty. Completed forms should be sent to no later than the last academic day of the respective term:

Term EXT Request Deadline
Fall 2023 December 21, 2023
January Session 2024 January 22, 2024
Spring 2024 May 11, 2024

Academic Services will review the submitted EXT request to ensure the request is within the scope of the extension policy as outlined above and can be supported in full after the term concludes. Once reviewed, Academic Services will send and email notification to the student with the Extension of Time request decision and final details. Faculty will be open copied on the correspondence to the student.

Students are responsible to ensure the EXT request is submitted no later than the last academic day of 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 approved by Academic Services it is considered unofficial. Unofficial extensions are not eligible for grade change.

Grade Changes

Grades, except for interim grades, are considered final when submitted by the lead faculty at the conclusion of the term. On occasion, faculty may err in the calculation or reporting of final letter grades. Corrections for final grades must be initiated by the faculty and communicated to the Academic Services Office (as part of the Registrar’s Office) for final review and correction. Letter grades may only be changed if there is clear evidence of a computational or clerical error that is documented in writing by the lead instructor. Students may not submit additional academic work to improve a final course grade, submit work after the final academic day of the term for inclusion in the grade calculation (without an approved Extension of Time), re-submit coursework that has already been evaluated for an improved final assessment, or be graded by an alternate standard than peers enrolled due to student hardship. Work that has been assessed by a 3rd party will not be considered as evidence of incorrect grading or an error in the final grade calculation. 

When reviewing requests for a final grade change – the Registrar’s Office must be certain that all students in the course were graded equitably and per the same standards as peers before any adjustment in the final grade can be approved. 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.

Grade Change Period

Grade changes must be initiated within 6 months from the end-of-term. Students that have questions or concerns related to their final grade, if not receiving a reply from the instructional staff, may contact the Academic Services office before the 6-month period post-term elapses. Once the 6-month period is concluded, the Registrar’s Office will only support grade changes in exceptional and well documented circumstances. 

Students who have been awarded a degree, diploma, or certificate are not eligible for a grade change in any course included in the respective program curriculum or requirements once the degree is conferred or the diploma or certificate is awarded. 

Grade Inquiries

Faculty are responsible for the accuracy and equity in both setting the grading standards of the course and implementing them throughout the term. When questions regarding an assessment grade or in-term feedback arise, students should first inquire with the course instructional staff directly. Inquiries of this nature are managed in different manners depending on the assessment and when they occur within the term. 

In-Term Grade Inquiry

Questions related to a grade or assessment issued within a term, such as a problem set, paper, draft, or midterm exam, should be raised directly with the instructional staff during the term in which the grade was issued. Students should connect as soon as possible after the assessment is returned to discuss any academic concerns they may have with the assessment issued. The final authority for the assignment of grades during the term rests with the lead instructor of the course. If an exception is granted by the lead instructor, students should plan for that to be accounted for in the final calculation of the overall course grade. If the lead faculty does not commit to or does not approve an exception, retroactive review or exceptions approved by the Harvard Division of Continuing Education administration are unlikely to occur.

Faculty are not required to alter or adjust their in-term grading standards or offer an exception to coursework even when students feel it appropriate or equitable based on personal circumstances encountered. Students who encounter documented, extenuating circumstances that causes coursework to be missed and occurs after the semester deadline may withdraw from the class if the deadline has not passed. Students who have documented disruptions due to extenuating circumstances may also wish to file an appeal to request a retroactive registration change. Students who do not agree with feedback given by faculty on the in-term assessment that wish to remain registered in the class are encouraged to provide feedback on the course at large, including the course and faculty administration directly, during the end-of-term anonymous course review surveys.

Final Grade Inquiry

A student may request that the lead faculty review a final course grade calculation that has been issued after the term concludes or ask for an explanation on how the final letter grade was calculated if they believe an error was made. If an instructor provides this explanation, even if the student disagrees with the faculty assessment, further pursuit of a grade inquiry with the Academic Services office is unlikely to change the final course grade. On the rare occasion where either faculty are unreachable after two weeks of attempted outreach or if the faculty offer limited feedback on the grade calculation that does not resolve the student concern, students may contact Academic Services for additional support in reviewing the calculation and issuance of the final grade notation.

Students that contact Academic Services should be prepared to submit their inquiry in writing:

  • Detail the aspect of the course grading standard that was incorrectly calculated or assessed.
  • Offer context to the attempts to communicate with the faculty regarding this concern. This includes detailing attempts to reach out and the manner of the outreach. If faculty have offered a response, students should plan to attach or forward any prior communications with the teaching staff regarding the grade expectations and calculation.
  • Attach any documents related to the student grade concerns – the course syllabus, course grading rubrics, and any feedback received from the instructional staff related to the grade issued at the end of the term.

Academic Services staff will review grade inquiries for a respective term after the official grade release date and will work with the course faculty, Academic Administration, and the program or department office as necessary to determine if there is an error in the final grade issued. Requests to review individual assignments or midterm grades will not be considered on an individual basis or as evidence of an incorrect final grade once the term is concluded and the final grade has been issued. Students are not eligible for a grade change if the incorrect document was submitted for evaluation or if the original submission was not received by faculty as expected. Course materials received after the final academic day of the term, even if an unofficial faculty extension was granted, are not considered valid or final until the Academic Services team reviews the request and confirms, in writing via email, to the student and faculty. Grade inquiries requesting to include final work that was not submitted on time or not accepted by the faculty per the course expectations will not be reviewed under a grade inquiry.

The Academic Services staff, when reviewing final grade inquiries, must be satisfied that all students in the course have been issued a fair and equitable grade, per the standard set in the course during the respective term dates, before authorizing any final grade change. If evidence of an error cannot be confirmed, then the final grade as issued will stand as accurate.

Note: Grade changes based on student inquiry very rarely result in a final grade change after the term ends. Students who connect to discuss final grade concerns may not have their final grade adjusted; students should plan their academic pursuits ahead assuming the grade issued at the end of the term will stand. If there is cause for a grade change identified, the Academic Services team will work with the student and appropriate administration to ensure the student record is corrected.

Grade Inquiry Time Period

Grade inquiries will be reviewed only after official, final course grades post and must be received within the 6-month period after the respective course concludes to be eligible for review.

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, *UNSAT=0, SAT=NA, FL=0, PA=NA, 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.

*For ALM degree candidates enrolled in courses that are graded SAT/UNSAT or PA/FL, a SAT/PA grade will satisfy the degree requirement but will not impact the degree program GPA. A grade assignment of UNSAT/FL is the equivalent of a failing grade of E and will be factored into the cumulative GPA as a zero.