Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Grading System

November 19, 2018


The grading system at the Bloomberg School serves to document the academic progress of students. The system is designed to recognize superior work and provide indications of serious problems in academic work. Current students are expected to view their grades periodically by logging onto Self Service.

Descriptive Interpretation

Two grading systems are used by all instructors in submitting grades. One is a traditional letter grading system and the other is a pass/fail option.


Grade Points Meaning
A          4.0       Excellent
B          3.0       Good
C          2.0       Fair (satisfactory)
D          1.0       Poor
F          0.0       Fail
P          n/a       Pass

In addition, the letter “I” is used to designate incomplete, “W” to indicate withdrawal, “MT” for multi-term courses (grade assigned at the end of a subsequent term), “MR” or “X” in cases where the instructor fails to report grades. (Note: I, MT, MR and X grades are not final grades.)

The designation “AU” indicates audit. Field Placement, Thesis Research, Postdoctoral Research, and Special Studies and Research are graded strictly pass/fail.

No course credit will be acquired for courses in which a grade of AU (audit), I (incomplete), or MR or X (grade not received from course instructor) is received.

No course credit will be acquired for courses in which a grade of F (fail) is received, but the grade will be factored into the student’s grade point average.

No course credit will be acquired for lower-level undergraduate courses taken interdivisionally at other divisions of the University. Courses numbered below xxx.300 are considered lower-level undergraduate, e.g., AS 381.101, Beginning Hindi I.

Because not all divisions of the University share the same grading policies, the grades awarded by faculty are based on the procedures of the course’s home division. The grades that appear on students’ academic records reflect any appropriate conversions. Interdivisional registrants are advised to direct any questions to the registrar’s office at their home division.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory academic progress is measured by the following as they relate to one another:

  • To maintain satisfactory academic performance and good academic standing, all master's and certificate students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.75, and all doctoral students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.00 and grades of A, B, or P (pass) in all courses required by the School or by the student’s department
  • Written documentation of successful completion of all Bloomberg School and departmental degree requirements within the established time limitations
  • Confirmation of satisfactory performance by the student’s department and/or adviser as required. Each term, the progress of students is reviewed, and those students not making satisfactory progress in terms of the cumulative grade point average and completion of requirements within established deadlines are identified for all academic departments. Students may not graduate unless in good academic standing. Additional policies regarding continuation in a program while not in good academic standing are left to individual programs. Whether a D is considered acceptable to serve as a prerequisite will be determined by the course’s sponsoring department

IMPORTANT: Students receiving federal loans and federal work-study funding must adhere to the Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy posted on the Financial Aid Office website.

Pass/Fail Option

Students at the Bloomberg School may elect to take courses on a pass/fail basis only with the consent of their academic adviser. Each department has determined for its own students which courses may be taken on a pass/fail basis. Students should consult their departmental requirements for specific grading requirements when considering the pass/fail option. Students who must submit grades to employers, funding agencies, or other academic programs should also consult the appropriate offices before electing the pass/fail option.

Instructors are expected to evaluate student performance without regard to grading status and to give students appropriate feedback regarding their performance throughout the term. A grade of P will be recorded on the official grade roster for those students who have elected the pass/fail option and whose performance would otherwise be rated as A, B, or C. Instructors should assign a grade of D to students who register for a course pass/fail and do the equivalent of D work and F for students who do the equivalent of F work.

If an adviser, student, or department needs to know the specific grade a student earns, the student should not enroll as pass/fail. There will be no retroactive changes from regular grading to pass/fail and vice versa. If a student transfers to a program that requires a standard letter grade for a course that the student completed pass/fail, the student must repeat the course or obtain a waiver from the department. After the published add/drop period, a pass/fail change is treated as a registration change with a $50 late charge fee. Under no circumstances can changes be made to registrations during the last two weeks of a term.

Current students are expected to review their registration periodically by logging onto Self Service.

Deadlines for filing pass/fail requests will be adhered to without exception. Pass/fail forms cannot be accepted after the published deadline for each term. All students should consider carefully before exercising the pass/fail option. Pass/fail or letter grades, once elected, may not be reversed on the student’s official academic record after the published deadlines.


The designation “incomplete” (I) will be assigned by an instructor and entered on a student’s transcript when the Incomplete Grade Contract has been initiated by the student and approved by the instructor. An incomplete must be made up and replaced by a final grade within 120 days after the conclusion of the course, or before graduation, whichever occurs first.

In the event that an incomplete is not made up within the acceptable time period, a final grade of F will be assigned.

Retake Policy

Students may take a didactic course up to three times. Students may only retake a course if they have earned a C or below. If a course is repeated, both grades will be shown on the student’s academic record, and the quality points for both will be included in the student’s grade point average. Students will only receive degree credit once for a repeated course.

Registration Changes

Changes in course registration may be made without penalty up to the end of the second week in any regular term. For courses offered during the regular summer, summer institute, winter intersession terms, or irregularly scheduled courses, course-specific add/drop deadlines will apply. Students must obtain the instructor’s approval for each course added to their official registration after the published add/drop period. It is the instructor’s prerogative to deny a student’s request to add a class during this time. Additionally, changes to and from “audit” are not permitted after the published add/drop period. Instructor permission is not required for a student dropping or withdrawing from a course during the prescribed add/drop period. However, the student’s adviser must approve all registration changes. In the event of an approved withdrawal after the course change deadline, the letter W will be entered on the student’s transcript. A late change fee of $50 will be assessed for each course change (excluding withdrawal) after the published add/drop period. Furthermore, there will be no refund of tuition for any withdrawals from courses after the published add/drop period. Under no circumstances can changes be made to registrations during the last two weeks of a term.

Current students are expected to review their registration periodically by logging onto Self Service.

Students must resolve any registration holds before a registration change can be processed. Students making changes after the published add/drop period should notify the Office of Records and Registration once a hold has been removed.

Multi-term Courses

All courses at the School adhere to the registration and add/drop dates of the academic calendar. For multi-term courses, enrollment in part I necessitates enrollment in subsequent parts. Students must be enrolled in the Student Information System (SIS). If a student subsequently drops or fails to register for subsequent parts of a multiterm course, a grade of W (withdrawn) will be assigned for the previous part(s). Tuition for the previous part(s) will not be refunded. Students may not register for subsequent parts of the course without having enrolled in previous parts. After the two-week add/drop period, students have another four weeks to withdraw. A grade of W will be assigned for the current term (and previous term[s] if it is a multi-term course), and no tuition will be refunded.


Audit and credit course registrations will be assessed at the same tuition rate. No course credit will be acquired for courses taken for audit. All courses taken for audit must have the instructor’s approval. Courses may not be changed from credit to audit or vice versa after the designated add/ drop period. No exceptions can be made after the add/drop period has ended.

Note: Audited courses count toward tuition calculation and the 22 credit per term limit but do not count toward full-time enrollment status.

Reporting of Grades

Instructors will submit final grades to the Office of Records and Registration within ten days after the conclusion of the term in which their courses are given. Once a final grade is awarded and entered on a student’s transcript, the grade may not be altered without the approval of the Committee on Academic Standards. In the event that this committee approves an alteration for reasons other than error, the original grade will be noted in a transcript comment. Any request for a grade change must be submitted within 120 days of the date upon which a course concludes in accordance with the School’s academic calendar. In the case of a graduating student, the grade change must be submitted prior to the last day of the term of graduation.

Grades of “X”, MR or blank not resolved within 120 days of the date upon which a course concludes will be processed as withdrawals resulting in a “W” on the transcript. A late change fee of $50 will be assessed and there will be no tuition refund. The Bloomberg School reserves the right to amend the above terms and conditions when in its sole judgment such changes are deemed necessary.

Current students are expected to review their grades periodically by logging onto Self Service.

Grade Appeal Policy

Only final course grades may be appealed through this formal process, though students remain free to discuss interim course assignment grades with their course instructor or base an appeal of a final grade on the grade awarded to an interim course assignment. Appeals must be brought within 45 days of the posting of a final course grade to SIS.