Grades / Performance / Conduct
The grading scale for students enrolled for credit is A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C, and F. An Incomplete (I) grade is assigned by the instructor who has given the student permission to delay completion of specific course for a justifiable reason for a specific amount of time. W (official withdrawal) and AU (audit) are requested by the student and cannot be assigned by the instructor. A grade of F indicates the student’s failure to complete or comprehend the course work, and therefore, does not count toward the courses needed for completion of the degree. F and C grades are not removed from a student’s transcript even if a course is repeated.
Students are graded under the following system:
If a degree candidate receives a grade of C or below in a core course, the student must repeat that course. Even if the course is repeated, the original grade will remain on the student’s transcript, and the student may not receive another grade of C or below. For specific guidelines on what courses are considered core and/or required, please review the curriculum requirements listed for the corresponding program in this catalog or on the AAP website.
Special students—those who satisfy all requirements for admission to degree candidacy but who choose not to seek a degree—are held to the same performance standards as degree candidates. Provisional students cannot continue in a program if they earn a grade of B-or below (B+ or below for the Writing or Science Writing programs) in any course taken while they are in provisional admissions status.
Probation and Dismissal
Degree candidates who receive a grade of C or below are on academic probation. See “Requirements” section above for details and clarification regarding grade requirements for degree, special, and provisional students. When a course is repeated, both the original grade and repeated grade appear on the transcript. The degree candidate receives credit only once for the course; however, the original grade of C (or below) places the student on probation. If a degree candidate receives a grade of C in an elective course, the course need not be repeated and the course can be counted toward degree requirements. Degree candidates who receive a second grade of C or below in either a repeated core course or any course taken in the program will be dismissed from the program. Special students are held to the same performance standards as degree candidates. Provisional students who receive a grade of B-or below (B+ or below for the Writing or Science Writing programs) in any course cannot repeat the course and are dismissed from the program.
Students dismissed may apply to another program in Advanced Academic Programs immediately. Admission is not guaranteed. A dismissed student must wait one year from the date of dismissal before reapplying for admission to the program in which he/she has been dismissed. Readmission is not guaranteed.
Students who experience extenuating circumstances that prevent them from completing coursework within a given term may request an Incomplete (I) grade from their instructor. Approval of incomplete grade requests is neither automatic nor guaranteed. To receive an “I” in a course, the student must be in good academic standing at the time of the request, have completed all assignments up to that point, and receive instructor approval.
A student must request an Incomplete grade from the instructor in writing. Requests made before the withdrawal/audit deadline will not be considered as students still have the opportunity to withdraw or switch to audit at that point. Requests must include an explanation of the extenuating circumstances. The Instructor has the right to ask for documentation. All documentation must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs for evaluation to safeguard student privacy, not directly to the instructor.
If the instructor, after consultation with the Program Director, determines that circumstances warrant an Incomplete grade, the Instructor and the student will complete the Request for/Resolution of Incomplete Grade form. This form outlines the reason for the Incomplete, the remaining work to be done, and the deadline. The instructor also indicates the grade the student will earn if he or she fails to complete the outstanding assignments.
An Incomplete is granted at the instructor’s discretion; the instructor establishes the conditions for resolving the missing work. It is the student’s responsibility to submit all work at the agreed-upon time. If a student does not complete the missing course work within 60 days from the last day of the term, the “I” will automatically convert to the grade indicated by the instructor on the Request for Incomplete Grade.
The W (withdrawal) grade signifies an official withdrawal from a course that has been approved by the Advanced Academic Programs Registration Office. The student initiates the withdrawal by completing an online add/drop form. A 'W' cannot be assigned by the instructor. Students who register for a course but never attend or stop attending, and later drop, are subject to the refund schedule at the time of their drop. All registered students are subject to the refund schedule, regardless of attendance. For further information, see advanced.jhu.edu/registration, and then select Step 4: Paying for Your Courses.
Academic Standing and Conduct
The University reserves the right to dismiss at any time a student whose academic standing or general conduct is deemed unsatisfactory.
Graduate students at Johns Hopkins are expected to understand the ethical standards of the University, hold the highest standard of integrity for their work, and avoid academic dishonesty in all forms. Ignorance of ethical rules is no excuse for cheating. It is the further responsibility of every student to report to the instructor or their program’s director any suspected violations of academic ethics by peers. Enforcement of our code of conduct is a shared responsibility and should not depend on the University alone. We all celebrate the rigor of a Johns Hopkins education, but that rigor loses its meaning if students cheat. Students who violate this code of conduct face a range of penalties, including failure of a course, permanent university transcript notation of an ethics violation, loss of a degree, or expulsion from the University. Please see the Student Code of Conduct for procedures and responsibilities. At publication time for this catalog, Advanced Academic Programs was considering changes to the Student Code of Conduct. The revised code will be announced and posted at the link above.
Ethics violations of any kind are taken seriously and may result in dismissal from AAP’s programs. The best way a student can keep from committing an act of plagiarism is to be properly informed. At a minimum, please remember that any words taken verbatim from a source must be cited and contained within quotation marks. Even if a student has paraphrased an idea from a source, they must provide the appropriate citations. Ignorance of these principles will not be an acceptable excuse for violation of the policy. For further information and assistance in determining when and how to properly cite your sources, here is an excellent resource provided by the Milton S. Eisenhower Library of Johns Hopkins University. An equally useful resource with clear and specific definitions of plagiarism can be found at turnitin.com.
Grades are awarded for an individual student’s academic work during each semester based on that individual’s mastery of the course content. Grades are determined by faculty, and AAP will not override an instructor’s considered academic judgment when it comes to grade award decisions. Unhappiness with the grade is not sufficient basis for a grade appeal.
Facts considered during a grade appeal include but are not limited to: (1) verification that there was not an error in recording the grade or (2) whether the grade was a result of a faculty member’s failure to follow the syllabus, assignment guidelines, or other instructions provided by the instructor for assigning grades.
Grade appeals on the basis of discrimination are not within the purview of this policy. Students should send concerns regarding discrimination directly to the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE).
Grade appeals can only occur after a student has been granted a final grade for the course and appeals in a timely manner including all appropriate documentation. The appeal and supporting documentation must be submitted within 30 calendar days after the student’s final course grade has been posted.
Prior to submitting the appeal, the student must first contact the instructor to attempt to resolve the disputed grade. If the instructor and the student are unable to reach an agreement, or if the instructor does not respond to the student’s attempt to contact them, the student may submit a formal appeal to the AAP Grade Appeal Committee AAPgradeappeals@jhu.edu. The student should work with their advisor to prepare necessary documentation for submission, which include a student’s statement justifying the grade appeal along with all related supporting documentation. [Note: In the event that the course instructor is also the student’s faculty advisor, an alternative mediator will be identified by the Program Director and/or the Faculty and Academic Affairs Officer.]
Once the formal appeal has been submitted, the AAP Grade Appeal Committee has 10 business days to verify that the appeal meets the above criteria and all documentation has been submitted. Once the appeal is verified as complete, the AAP Grade Appeal Committee will reach out to the instructor for clarification of the grade; the instructor has 7 business days to respond. The AAP Grade Appeal Committee then has 14 business days from the time of the instructor’s response to determine whether the disputed grade should be changed or retained and inform the student and the instructor of its decision. If the committee supports the appeal, the instructor has 10 business days to complete any work directed by the committee and update the grade.
The committee’s decision is final. Limited appeals to the Associate Dean following a committee decision are possible only if (1) the timeline or process for the grade appeal was not followed, (2) the instructor did not follow the guidelines set forth in the appeal decision, or (3) if new evidence is made available after the AAP Grade Appeal Committee decision. A student submitting a limited appeal of the Committee decision must submit a statement and supporting documentation to the firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox. This appeal must be made within 10 business days of the receipt of the AAP Grade Appeal Committee’s decision to deny the appeal or of the resubmission of the student’s grade.
Students must complete all academic work in a master’s degree or certificate program within five years, calculated from the start of the first course that counts toward the degree (including time spent on continuous enrollment). Continuous enrollment does not stop or extend the time limitation requirement. This time limit includes any courses taken at another Johns Hopkins school/division that have been approved to count toward the degree or certificate.
If necessary, students may request from their program committee an extension of time to complete their program beyond the five-year limitation.
If an extension is granted, it will be communicated in a letter, and the five-year limit increased by the time included in the extension. All other criteria apply, including continuous enrollment should students fail to enroll in courses without approved leaves. An extension may be granted for a semester up to a full year, and in rare circumstances, for two years. In some instances, students may appeal the time limitation policy regarding previously completed AAP courses.