Final grades in each course will be in letter form, on an A+ to F scale with grade point values (used to calculate grade point averages and class ranks) as delineated below:
Note: There are no pluses or minuses in the D range.
Other marks may be used in appropriate circumstances, such as:
W Withdrawn without prejudice
WF Withdrawn failing
A grade of D or better is required to receive any credit in the course. A grade of F is a failing grade. A failing grade cannot be converted to a higher grade by repeating the course. Students may only repeat required courses in which they have received an F or a U.
Required courses, with the exception of the upper-level legal writing requirement, which must be met with at least a C+ (2.3); and Research Methods in Law, which must be met with a Satisfactory (S) grade, must all be passed with at least a D (1.0). A student who receives an F or Unsatisfactory in a required course must repeat the course in the next semester in which it is offered. If the next offering of the course is in the summer semester, the student may delay repeating the course until the next succeeding offering, with the permission of the associate dean for academic affairs.
The college will attempt to assign the student to an instructor other than the one from whom the student initially took the course, but the student must repeat the course in accordance with the above policy, even if assigning the student to another professor is not feasible. The student may only repeat the course for credit at the College of Law. In no event may a student repeat a required course more than once. If a student receives an F or Unsatisfactory grade the second time he or she takes a required course, the student shall be automatically dismissed from the College of Law, regardless of the student’s cumulative grade average.
A student who fails and repeats a required course will receive a separate grade for that course that shall be included in the computation of his or her overall grade average. The prior grade in the course will not be expunged from the student’s record and also will be included in the computation of that student’s overall grade average.
An IP or an I grade may not be carried for more than one full semester (including summers) after the semester in which a final grade originally was due. If the student has not earned a final grade by that time, a final grade of F will be entered.
Students who require a statement of good standing from the college after spring semester examinations but before the release of spring semester grades will have their status determined by whether their current, cumulative grade average meets the minimum for their next checkpoint.
Uniform Course Grading Standards for J.D. Students
All required courses, except Lawyering: Advocacy (LAW 6030) and Research Methods in Law (LAW 5030), must have a class mean (i.e., average) between 2.9 and 3.1. For non-seminar elective courses with 20 or more students, the faculty strongly recommends that the class mean fall between 3.0 and 3.2. For non-seminar elective courses with fewer than 20 students, the faculty strongly recommends a maximum class mean of 3.5. Courses that are specifically listed as seminars are exempt from the grading standards. In the course of grading, instructors shall disregard grades of students in the course who are not pursuing their J.D.
Course grading and Ranking for LL.M. Students
Grades for LL.M. students are determined independently from those compiled for J.D. students, even when they are enrolled in the same class. LL.M. students will not be included in the J.D. grading curves calculated for individual classes.
An LL.M. student must receive a grade of at least a C- to receive credit for a course. An LL.M. student must repeat any required course(s) in which that student receives a grade of less than C-. When an LL.M. student repeats a required course, as described herein, the student’s transcript shall reflect both the original and the subsequent grade; both grades will be used in calculating the student’s grade point average. In no event, may an LL.M. student take a required course more than twice.
LL.M. students will receive grade point averages, but not class ranks.
No final grade submitted to the College of Law registrar may be changed without the affirmative vote of the faculty at a faculty meeting, except for a grade change to correct a clerical or computational error, or pursuant to a grade appeal decided in the student’s favor in accordance with the standards for “Appeal of Course Grade” set forth below.
During their law school career, J.D. students may receive up to three rankings, according to the following schedule. Each spring, the College of Law will announce three rankings: a Final Ranking (of graduates); a Second Interim Ranking (roughly, of students who have completed their second full-time-equivalent (FTE) year); and a First Interim Ranking (of students who have completed their first FTE year).
For the Final Ranking, all students who, in the last year, have completed all requirements for graduation will be ranked on the basis of their overall grade average. Transfer students will be included only in this ranking.
For the Second Interim Ranking, all students who, in the last year, have received a final grade in at least one required course, and who have received a final grade in all required courses, will be ranked on the basis of their overall grade average.
For the First Interim Ranking, all students who, in the last year, have received a final grade in at least one first-year full-time required course, and who have received a final grade in all first-year full-time required courses, will be ranked on the basis of their grade average in first-year full-time required courses.
Any student with an outstanding grade of Incomplete (I) in any required course will not be ranked.
Ranking by the College of Law is based solely on grades earned in courses taken at Georgia State. LL.M. students do not receive rankings.
Graduation with honors will be granted to candidates for the J.D. and LL.M. achieving high academic work in all courses attempted at the College of Law. The specific award will be based on the following:
- Cum laude for candidates achieving a cumulative grade average of at least 3.40;
- Magna cum laude for candidates achieving a cumulative grade average of at least 3.60; and
- Summa cum laude for candidates achieving a cumulative grade average of at least 3.80.