Grades and Course Credits

University Policy

School of Law Policy

Please check the JD Handbook for the most up-to-date information, as this policy was up for review after publication of the 2016–2017 Bulletin.

Excerpt from Article IX of 2016/2017 Academic Regulations

Grading Scale and Procedures

a. Letter Grades with Numerical Equivalents. The Faculty has established the following scale of numerical equivalents for letter grades:

A+ = 4.3 B+ = 3.3 C+ = 2.3 D= 1.0
A = 4.0 B = 3.0 C = 2.0 F = 0
A– = 3.7 B– = 2.7 C– = 1.7

For all courses and seminars with enrollment of 26 or more students receiving grades, the following grade distribution is mandatory:

Grades Grade Distribution
A+ 0–5%
A+, A, A– 20–30% (A+ subject to 5% limitation above)
B+ and above 40–60% (subject to limitations on A range above)
B 10–50% (subject to limitations above and below)
B– and below 10–30% (subject to limitations below on ranges C+ and below)
C+ and below 0–10%
D, F 0–5%

For seminars and courses with a graded enrollment of 25 or fewer, the above distributions are not mandatory, but a median of B+ is recommended.

(i) In coursework for which a letter grade is assigned, the minimum passing grade is D.

b. Grades without a Numerical Equivalent—The Faculty has authorized the award of the following grades for courses satisfying JD degree requirements but not incorporated into the grade point average:

AUD =Audit P = Pass F = Fail
CR = Credit NC = No Credit H = Honors
W/D = Withdrawal from Course * = Indicates Currently Enrolled

c. Credit/No Credit/Honors. Second- and third-year students may elect to register for up to eight credits of non-required coursework on a Credit/No Credit/Honors basis after first year, if the coursework qualifies. If a graded seminar or course is taken by a student on a Credit/No Credit/Honors basis, the student must earn a “C” or better on the graded work in the course or seminar to pass. A student who does not satisfy that standard will not receive credit for the course, and the course will not appear on the student’s transcript except as provided under (c(ii)).

(i) The result of any course or seminar taken on a Credit/No Credit/Honors basis is not reflected in a student’s grade point average except as provided under (e).

(ii) If a student receives a grade of C– or D in a course taken on a Credit/No Credit/Honors basis in the final semester before the student’s anticipated graduation and the student requires credit in the course to be eligible for graduation, the grade shall be included in the student’s grade point average and on the student’s transcript and the student shall receive credit for the course.

(iii) A student must make any election to take a course on a Credit/No Credit/Honors basis by the end of the add/drop period. A student, however, can elect to reverse this decision and take the course on a graded basis for an additional two-week period after the end of the add/drop period.

(iv) Faculty may prohibit students from taking a course for a C/NC/H grade. Should a faculty member elect to restrict the grading for a course, the course description will note the grading structure.

(v) Students may have no more than 8 credits of “Credit/No Credit/Honors” graded courses applied to their JD degree requirements (84 credits for the Class of 2016; 85 credits for the Class of 2017 and thereafter).

d. Pass/Fail—The required 1L Lawyering Lab, moot court, and certain clinical courses are graded solely as pass (“P”) or fail (“F”). A “P” grade signifies successful completion of the course requirement(s); an “F” grade signifies failure to complete the course requirements. P and F grades earned in these courses do not have a numerical value that affects the calculation of a student’s grade point average.

e. The Registrar will release final grades to students as soon as possible after the examination period. Instructors may not release final grades directly to students.

f. Instructors may change final grades to correct clerical or mathematical error. Final grades may not otherwise be changed except by vote of the Faculty.

Excerpt from Article XIII of 2016/2017 Academic Regulations: Assigning Credits to Academic Offerings

A. Minimum Requirements for Assigning Credits to Academic Offerings

1. All academic offerings that confer credits must meet or exceed 42.5 hours total work on the part of the typical student per credit awarded. As per ABA guidelines, in satisfying this requirement, each 50 minutes spent in class or in an exam counts as one hour toward the 42.5 hour requirement. (For time spent in an in-class exam, a maximum of one 50-minute hour for each course credit can be counted towards the 42.5 hour requirement.) Each 60 minutes of out-of-class work counts as one hour towards this requirement. Examples of out-of-class work include, but are not limited to, preparation for class or for an exam, outside writing, meetings with the instructor, take-home exams, simulations, and fieldwork.

2. Except for courses covered in Part B, all courses must meet at least 55 minutes per week for 13 weeks (or at least 715 minutes per semester) per credit and must have an exam of at least 35 minutes (or require equivalent work) per credit. (Note: Courses are defined as requiring regular meetings with the instructor and other students in a classroom or similar setting. Thus this provision does not cover non-course academic offerings, such as moot court, journals, practicums, and Supervised Research and Writing. However, non-course offerings still must conform to Part A, Section 1.)

3. The fieldwork components of externships and clinical courses require at least 42.5 hours of fieldwork per semester for each credit of fieldwork.

B. Exceptions to Part A, Section 2:

1. 3-credit seminars with a writing requirement must meet at least once weekly for 110 minutes per week for 13 weeks (or at least 1,430 minutes per semester).

2. 3-credit simulation courses must meet at least once weekly for 110 minutes per week for 13 weeks (or at least 1,430 minutes per semester).

(Note: Offerings covered by Part B still must conform to Part A, Section 1.)

Work requirements for approved academic offerings may exceed these minimum requirements and are determined in the usual approval process. The instructor is expected to assign sufficient work to satisfy these requirements.