Grading System

The YSPH grading system is designed to foster an atmosphere of cooperative learning. Consequently, YSPH does not compute the grade point average (GPA) or class rank of its students. Students are graded only to provide them with a formal evaluation of their understanding of the concepts presented in their courses.

All YSPH courses are graded Honors (H), High Pass (HP), Pass (P), or Fail (F). The Internship, seminars, and colloquia receive a grade of Satisfactory (S) upon successful completion. The grade of “Q” indicates courses for which a student has received a course exemption.

  1. A grade of Honors should be assigned for performance that is distinguished. This reflects contributions that go beyond the requirements for the course, either in terms of the creativity of their application, the complexity of the settings in which the ideas are applied, or their ability to build on the methods and ideas taught in the class.
  2. A grade of High Pass should be assigned for students who have demonstrated a proficiency in the use of class material. Students earning this grade not only understand the material that was taught but can also deploy it in constructive ways for new problems.
  3. A grade of Pass should be assigned for students who have demonstrated an understanding of the class material. They must be able to accurately describe ideas and methods and identify contexts in which they are appropriately used. Passing grades indicate that students are capable of performing competently in this domain as public health professionals.
  4. A grade of Fail should be assigned to students who cannot demonstrate an acceptable understanding of the core ideas, methods, or other class material and thus lack competence in this domain of public health.

The instructor for each course will determine the specific performance criteria that correspond to each of these tiers of academic achievement. Consequently, quantitative thresholds for particular grades may vary from one course to the next and in some courses may depend on factors (e.g., class participation) that are not readily quantified.

A failure in any course remains on the student’s transcript. If the course is retaken, it is listed again on the transcript with the new grade.

It is expected that instructors will require all course assignments, including term papers and exams, to be submitted by the last day of the term. In very rare cases, students may receive a grade of Incomplete (I). The instructor and the associate dean for student affairs will jointly review each case to approve permission for a student to submit work after the end of the term. Permission may be granted because of an incapacitating illness, a serious family emergency, or another matter of comparable import. If the instructor and the associate dean cannot reach a consensus, the matter will be referred to the Committee on Academic Progress for resolution. The instructor and the associate dean will stipulate the date on which the student’s late work will be due (this date cannot exceed three months from the last day of the term) and will determine the date on which the instructor is expected to submit a course grade to the registrar. If the student’s work has not been completed by the stipulated date, the grade of Incomplete (I) will be converted to a failing grade (F).

Students with a grade of Incomplete will not be allowed to participate in YSPH Commencement activities.

The transcript is a permanent record. Grade changes may only be made if the instructor reports to the registrar that a clerical or computational error has resulted in an inaccurate grade. The university considers an instructor’s evaluation of the quality of a student’s work to be final. Disputes about a course grade that are alleged to result from discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, or handicap are resolved through the university’s student grievance procedures.