Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Was Enrolled in ‘Intro to Ethics’ Class During Boston Marathon Bombing

This photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found on a cell phone left in his UMass Dartmouth dorm room.
This photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found on a cell phone left in his UMass Dartmouth dorm room. –US Attorney’s Office

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was enrolled in ‘Introduction to Ethics’ at UMass Dartmouth during the spring of 2013. He did not complete that or three other courses he was taking that semester, given that he was imprisoned for allegedly setting off the explosions that killed three and injured over 260 people at the Boston Marathon finish line.

Tsarnaev’s college transcript was introduced in court Tuesday during testimony by UMass Dartmouth Vice Chancellor Mark Preble. By the time he was arrested, Tsarnaev had a cumulative GPA of 1.094.

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The transcript shows he was a poor student during the entirety of his four semesters on campus. He received seven Fs over three semesters: Two Fs were given in the fall of 2011 for chemistry, two in the spring of 2012 for critical writing and reading and a math course, and three in the fall of 2012 for chemistry, American politics, and psychology.


Because of his poor grades, Tsarnaev lost his financial aid, Preble testified. In an attempt to regain that aid, Tsarnaev filled out a Satisfactory Academic Progress Report on January 24, 2013, explaining what had changed from the year before.

His answer referenced his inability to deal with stress and “terrorist accusations’’ that innocent men living in Chechnya faced. He wrote:

“This year I lost too many of my loved relatives. I was unable to cope with the stress and maintain school work. My relatives live in Chechnya, Russia. A Republic that is occupied by Russian soldiers that falsely accuse and abduct innocent men under false pretences and terrorist accusations. I am at a point where I can finally focus on my school work. I wish to do well so one day I can help out those in need in my country, especially my family members.’’

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