Keep Learning with AAP

2020 Grading and Incomplete PolicyGetting Started with Blackboard | Disability Accommodations | Blackboard Email | Zoom Help | Help Desks | JHED and JHU Email | JHU Library Resources | Writing Tutoring | Professional Success Support | JHSAP | Additional Resources | A Message From JHU Faculty

For ongoing up-to-date information about COVID 19 testing requirements and processes, please visit the Information for Graduate Students page.

Extension of Spring 2020 Incomplete Policy

Noting that we are living in extraordinary circumstances, the AAP Program Chairs authorized the option for faculty to extend the deadline for students to complete incomplete grades up to 6 months from the last day of class, on a case by case basis, for both the Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters.  To qualify for the extension, students must meet all of the regular criteria stated in the Incomplete Grade Policy.

Spring 2020 Grading and Incomplete Policy

We hope that you and your families continue to be well.  As you are aware, on Friday Johns Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs moved to a new Pass/Fail grading system for the Spring 2020 semester.  It is our hope that this change will help you as you balance the new challenges of school, work, and family in this unprecedented time.  Several students have had questions about the new grading system, so we want to provide you with additional guidance in the form of answers to frequently asked questions.  As we move forward through the rest of the semester, please know that all of the faculty and staff at AAP are working to support you; please don’t hesitate to reach out to your professors, advisors, Financial Aid office, or other areas if you have additional questions. Please continue to visit the Keep Learning With AAP” for updates on how AAP is responding to the COVID 19 situation.

Do I need to request the P/F option?

No.  The P/F option will be the default grade option for the Spring 2020 semester.

Am I still able to earn a traditional letter grade?

Yes.  ANY student can request a traditional letter grade in any AAP course.  Please note that in some circumstances, requesting a grade is advised – particularly if you are planning to apply for a PhD program, if your employer or any other entity reimburses your tuition, or if your financial aid or other financial support is contingent upon earning a particular grade (note, these are examples and are not intended to cover the full scope of who should request a letter grade)

How do I request a letter grade?

With the Spring 2020 term nearing an end, AAP wants to ensure that you are able to easily request a letter grade for your course(s). As a result, AAP has implemented a new process in SIS and is extending the deadline for opting for a letter grade from May 1st to the end of Monday, May 4th. Please note, no action is required if you want to receive the default grade of “Pass” or “Fail.”


Will all of my course assignments now be graded Pass/Fail? Will my course stop giving me new assignments?

No.  Faculty members will continue to grade and provide feedback on individual assignments according to their normal grading standards.  Only the final course grade will be Pass/Fail.

Can I ask my professor about my current course grade before making a decision about whether to stay Pass/Fail or to opt for a letter grade?

Yes, as long as the decision is made by May 1, 2020.  Please note that your current course grade may change between now and the end of the semester.

Will all AAP course grades default to Pass/Fail indefinitely?

All AAP course grades will default to Pass/Fail for the Spring 2020 semester only.

How will the Pass/Fail option affect my GPA?

A “Pass” grade will not be factored into a student’s GPA.  A “Fail” grade will continue to be factored into a student’s GPA just as it would in a letter grading system.  Please note that AAP does not calculate student GPA.

What will appear on my official transcript? Will I still earn credit if my final grade is “Pass”?

Yes, you will earn the normal credits in Spring 2020 if your final grade is “Pass.”  If you request a letter grade, the letter grade will appear on your transcript.  If you default to the Pass/Fail grade, the “P” or “F” will be listed on your transcript.

What is the cut-off for a “Pass” vs. a “Fail”?

If a course is a core (required) course, a grade of B- or above will be considered “Pass.”  If a course is an elective (optional) course, a grade of C or above will be considered “Pass.”

Does Pass/Fail grading affect students’ probation or dismissal?

A “Fail” grade will continue to affect students’ probation or dismissal according to current policies – a grade of F will place a student on probation; if it is the student’s second grade of C or below, the student may still be dismissed from the program.  A “Pass” grade in any course for the spring 2020 semester will not affect a student’s probation or dismissal status.

When Your Face-to-Face Course Is Offered Remotely

Providing support for students is one of the highest priorities within the Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) division, and this time of unexpected challenges is no different. AAP stands ready to assist students from on-campus courses as they move forward in a flexible online learning environment. While learning continues via this new format for the next few weeks, AAP will provide help to those who are less familiar with remote learning tools. In addition, AAP provides services that go beyond the classroom. The faculty and staff from AAP look forward to your continued progress and success in your courses this semester.

Support in the Classroom

Getting Started with Blackboard

Your instructor will provide instructions on how you are to access course materials, submit assignments, or complete exams. Here are a few tips and resources to help you get started.

  1. The first step is to log into your Blackboard site – Quick video or handout
  2. Locate your course in the upper right-hand side under the “My Courses Plus” module
  3. Select the course name to access the course Blackboard site
  4. Take a few minutes to Navigate your Course (Web)(Video)
  5. Accessing the Lessons

Here are a few resources on the Blackboard tools your instructor may use:

Disability Accommodations

Johns Hopkins is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. We encourage students in need of accommodations to register with Student Disability Services. Questions regarding the registration process or accommodations can be directed to

Communication is Important

In the online environment, it’s very important that you communicate with your professors regularly. Also, if you’re experiencing a problem with course material, let your professor know right away. Here are a few tools you may use to communicate with your professor or classmates.

You can send an email to your instructor or classmates using the Blackboard email tool

Your instructor can schedule live online meetings, and so can you. Zoom Pro is available to all students. Please visit and sign in using your credentials. Use your Zoom account to schedule meetings to converse with your classmates about course material or to work on your group projects.

Get Help & Support

Blackboard and Zoom Help Desk

Students and faculty have 24/7 access to Help Desk support:

JHU-Wide Support: JHED and JHU Email

Please call the Johns Hopkins Support Center at 410-516-4357 if you have a question about:

  • Your JHED ID and password
  • Accessing JHU’s online library (using VPN)
  • Your JHU email account

Accessing JHU Library Resources and Help

If you are located outside of the country or must access JHU resources restricted to the campus network, you will need to use the VPN. Visit the JHU Library for information.

Upcoming Workshop on April 1st:

Ebook Publishers – Help! Is There a Free Ebook Version of the Book I Need?

Two sessions offered: Wednesday, April 1 at 12:00 pm-12:30 pm and 7:00 pm -7:30 pm Register here

Stop by for a live video reference session on strategies for locating ebooks through a variety of online resources. Learn which publishers have opened access to assist with remote teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Bring the titles and ISBNs of the books you seek online. Once you register, you will get the zoom link to join the session.

See the recent library blog post for more information.

Support Beyond the Classroom

Writing Tutoring

You can access writing tutoring 24/7 through You have the choice to drop-in for a live session with a tutor, schedule a future session, or submit an essay for feedback. Access through the AAP Student Resources organization in Blackboard.

Professional Success Support

No matter where you are in your career or job search, Career Services offers a wide variety of virtual tools to aid your professional success. Learn more about these resources and access them here. You can sign up for workshops and events and apply to jobs via Handshake, JHU’s career development platform. Looking for support from someone who’s been there? Connect with an alumni mentor through PeopleGrove. Contact the career development team at with questions.

Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program (JHSAP)

The Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program (JHSAP) is here to support you in managing challenges, both in the classroom and in life. JHSAP is a free, confidential service that provides short-term counseling, work-life guidance, and crisis support to all AAP students. If you are anxious or need someone to talk to, please reach out to JHSAP. You can request an appointment here or call 443-287-7000 OR Toll-Free: 866-764-2317 to talk to someone now. JHSAP’s role is to support students in managing challenges they face, both in the classroom and in general.

Additional Resources

Messages From JHU Faculty

Hopkins faculty members offer messages of support for students. Johns Hopkins faculty recently recorded Instagram videos of encouragement for students as university shifts to remote learning for the remainder of the semester.