Coronavirus Information and Update: Fall 2021 Plans

Archived Information

The following information regarding grades was in place prior to the Summer 2021 academic term and has been replaced with updated information.

Ungraded Courses

Courses are designated as graded or ungraded by the curriculum committee. There is no option for JD students to individually request a graded course be ungraded.

Maximum Grade Averages (curve)

Effective Summer 2005, the following regulation regarding the maximum grade averages for courses has been introduced and will replace previous expected grade averages.

  1. The maximum grade average will be 3.0. in
    • a) each first-year class and
    • b) in upperclass courses having an enrollment of over 20 students, and in which students are assessed solely by means of examination.

      For the purposes of this rule, students in a course are assessed solely by means of an examination if the written examination is the primary component of the grade, even if other factors such as class participation are taken into account in determining the final grade.
  2. The expected maximum grade average in classes in which a paper satisfying the Capstone writing requirement is used as the sole means of assessment will be 3.30. It is expected that this average will only be exceeded in exceptional circumstances, where papers submitted by the majority of students in the class are remarkably strong.
  3. In classes having an enrollment of 20 students or less, in which the Capstone writing requirement paper is not used as the sole means of assessment, and in classes having an enrollment of over 20 students, not evaluated solely by means of an examination, the faculty member will have the discretion to determine the appropriate grade average, subject to the following rules:
    • a) the grade average may exceed 3.00 if the faculty member determines, in the exercise of reasonable discretion, that the nature of the class and overall student performance justifies a higher average.
    • b) in exercising this discretion, the faculty member will take into account factors such as the advanced or specialized nature of the class, the method of assessment used, and the fairness of increasing the grade average beyond 3.00.
    • c) the expected maximum grade average in these classes will not exceed 3.30.
  4. By its nature, an Individual Research is not subject to this rule.
  5. This rule prescribes maximum grade averages. It is not intended to limit the discretion of a faculty member to determine a grade average below the maximum.
  6. Compliance with this rule:
    • a) All members of the full-time faculty and adjunct faculty are required to comply with this rule.
    • b) At the beginning of each semester, the Registrar will report to the faculty on the grade averages of all courses taught in the previous semester to enable faculty members to monitor compliance with this requirement and to be informed of the manner in which discretion has been exercised. A faculty member who has submitted grades on the high end of the discretionary scale may provide the Registrar with a written explanation and justification to be circulated with the Registrar’s report.
    • c) At the time of appointing adjunct faculty, the Dean will ensure that this rule is specifically brought to the attention of and explained to the adjunct faculty member, and that the importance of compliance with the rule is stressed.

The Dean will monitor grades submitted by adjunct professors, and, where appropriate, will call for justification of a high grade average.