Grades in a Doctorate program

by | September 29, 2008

At the end of each quarter I will usually be contacted by one or two Learners concerned about the grade they received in a course. Typically the Learner received a grade lower than they were expecting and in some cases, a grade lower than they have ever received since finishing their undergraduate program. In most of these cases I will redirect the Learner back to the course syllabus and the grading breakdown. About once every couple quarters I will talk with a Learner that is very distraught about the grade they received. They have convinced themselves that anything less than a 4.0 GPA is a sure sign of their failure and will most certainly tarnish their goals for the future.

Here is the reality. Grades in a doctorate program mean very little. No one is going to review your doctorate transcripts and form an impression of your skills and abilities based on the grades you received in specific courses. Much, MUCH, M-U-C-H more emphasis will be placed on your Doctoral Competencies, your Dissertation, and the relationships you develop with your instructors and fellow Learners as you are progressing through your program. Please keep this in mind next time grades are posted and you didn’t receive the grade(s) you were expecting. There might be other areas that you should focus your attention on.

-What is a letter grade an indication of?
-Do you need to receive an ‘A’ in order to demonstrate what you have learned?
-What if there were no assigned gardes?