Final Grades

This page addresses reporting final gradesreleasing final grades and grade changes.

Reporting Final Grades

TFs are required to remain in the Greater Boston Area until the end of Exam Period, or until final grades have been submitted.  Course heads and Head TFs should review the specific grade submission deadlines published in Information for Faculty Offering Instruction in Arts and Sciences.  If course heads have degree candidates expecting to graduate at the end of the current term in their course, they will be provided electronically with separate grade lists for these students.  The Registrar’s Office asks that course heads complete the grade list for these graduating students first and by the established deadline.  Doing so will allow the Registrar to prepare reports for awarding Latin honors, dockets for faculty and administrative meetings, as well as clearing approximately 1,700 students for their degrees.

Final grades are reported to the Registrar’s Office through my.harvard.  Instructions for how to do this are available on the my.harvard Knowledge Center.  Faculty are automatically assigned a grading role, and may elect to assign proxy graders.  Only the course head, however, can submit the final grades that are entered into the Registrar's Office database.

Course heads must also use the grade reporting system to submit an unsatisfactory grade report for any students receiving an unsatisfactory grade.  The minimum grade for degree credit (and therefore Gen Ed credit) is the passing, albeit unsatisfactory, grade of D-.  Note that undergraduates may not receive the grade of “Incomplete.”

You should keep in mind that all grade information is classified as highly sensitive and confidential data under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).  As such, this information can never be released to third parties without the written consent of the students to whom the grades have been assigned.  The electronic grading application provides grade recorders with the functionality to download grades to an Excel spreadsheet.  That said, grade information should never be stored, unencrypted, on local computers (particularly laptops) or local database systems.  Additionally, under no circumstances should exam booklets be removed from the immediate vicinity of the University.  Learn more about information security and privacy guidelines. 

Releasing Final Grades

It is the course head’s legal responsibility to maintain confidentiality of student grades and any other materials upon which evaluations are made.  For this reason, grades should not be posted by student name or identification number.  The teaching staff should not release grades to students until after the final grades are due.  The Q Evaluation remains open until this date and students who have completed the Q Evaluations for the course may receive grades early from the Registrar’s Office as an incentive.

Grade Changes

Once final grades have been submitted to the Registrar’s Office, grades cannot be changed without a letter from the course head explaining the reason for the change.  The letter should be addressed to the Dean of Undergraduate Education, c/o Registrar, 20 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138.  If an incorrect grade has been entered as the result of a clerical error, the grade change will ordinarily be allowed upon receipt of the letter from the course head.  However, if the grade change is requested because of an error in judgment, the matter will be referred to the Dean of Undergraduate Education.  In most cases, the course head will be expected to review the work of other students in the course in order to ensure equity for all students.  Further details are available in Information for Faculty Offering Instruction in Arts and Sciences.