Grading Information and Academic Standards
The School of Law has a numerical grading system for most courses and a descriptive grading system for some courses.
Numerical Grading System
• 93 to 100: Demonstrates a superior level of competence.
• 84 to 92: Demonstrates an above average level of competence.
• 75 to 83: Demonstrates the level of competence expected within the profession.
• 65 to 74: Demonstrates an unsatisfactory level of performance but sufficient potential to provide a foundation for competence.
• 55 to 64: Requires repetition of the course for receipt of academic credit.
The numerical grades described above do not represent percentages of correct answers to examination questions; rather, they are designed to allow professors to reflect differences of achievement within levels of competence. Unless otherwise announced by a professor, a written examination will be given at the end of each course.
Descriptive Grading System
• Honors: Demonstrates a superior level of competence and distinctively superior level of achievement.
• Satisfactory: Demonstrates a good to an above-average level of competence.
• Unsatisfactory/Passing: Demonstrates an unsatisfactory level of performance in the course, but demonstrates sufficient potential to provide a foundation for competence. Academic credit is awarded for the course.
• Unsatisfactory/Failing: Demonstrates an unsatisfactory level of performance in the course and requires repetition of the course for receipt of academic credit.
The above-listed descriptive grades will be posted on each student's transcript. They are not used for the calculation of semester or cumulative grade point averages; rather, grade point average and class rank are based solely on the cumulative average of numerically graded courses.
The grade of "Honors" will be earned only when, in the professional opinion of the faculty member, a student's performance has met the standard set forth above. It is therefore possible for there to be no "Honors" grades in some courses in some years. In no event shall an "Honors" grade be given to any student who does not rank in the top 1/3 of students taking the course. This rule is intended to preserve the integrity and meaningfulness of the "Honors" designation.
Grading Policy and Mandatory Medians
The median grade range for required courses is 81-83. The median grade range for elective courses is 83-85.
If a class has an enrollment of 12 or less students, a faculty member may deviate from the median range. If a class has an enrollment of more than 12 students, a faculty member may deviate from the median range with written justification and the explicit approval of the Associate Dean.
A professor is not bound by the foregoing mandated median ranges in a course in which a final exam (including, without limitation, a take-home exam) is not administered. The preceding sentence is not applicable to any first year course.
(Students in the Flex Program are subject to the Academic Standards stated in the "Program Details" found here.)
Any student, who has not been excluded pursuant to the Academic Exclusion provisions set forth below, whose semester average is below 75 will be placed on academic probation for the next semester. During this probationary period, the student will be subject to the supervision of the Associate Dean and may not participate in co-curricular activities.
Any student will be excluded from further study in the School of Law if:
1) the student has received two grades below 65 in the first semester in the School of Law;
2) the student's grade point average for the first semester in the School of Law is below 70.0;
3) the student's cumulative average is below 75 at any time after the completion of two (2) or more semesters in the School of Law;
4) the student is on probation and the student’s grade point average for the semester during which the student is on probation (summer school is not considered a semester) is less than 751; or
5) the student has received three or more grades below 65 (a grade of UF is considered below 65 for purposes of this rule).
Academic Appeals (exclusion from the study of law):
1. Except as provided in paragraph (3) below, anyone excluded from further study in the School of Law may petition the faculty Academic Appeals Committee for a waiver of the exclusion rule. The petition shall be in writing and delivered to the Associate Dean at least 72 hours before the scheduled meeting of the Committee. It is presumed that the Petitioner’s unsatisfactory academic performance in the School of Law’s academic program is the best indication of how the Petitioner would perform in the future. The Petitioner has the burden of overcoming this presumption by clear and convincing evidence. This clear and convincing evidence shall include evidence as to why the Petitioner’s future studies will be successful. The petition for a waiver of the exclusion rule shall be denied unless the burden of proof is clearly met. Petitions will be granted by the committee only in rare and extraordinary circumstances. While there is no right to appear in person before the Committee, a student may file a request to appear with reasons therefor stated in the petition. The decision of the Committee shall be final.
2. A student excluded at the end of that student’s first year of law school may petition only one time for a waiver of the exclusion rule. If the petition is denied by the committee, the petitioner may apply for admission as a first year law student through the normal application process established by the School of Law’s Office of Admissions.
3. A student who has received two grades below 65 in the first semester in the School of Law, or whose grade point average for the first semester in the School of Law is below 70.0, or whose cumulative average is below 73.5 at the end of the spring semester of the first year in the School of Law may not petition or apply for admission as a first year law student through the normal application process established by the School of Law's Office of Admissions until two years have elapsed.
Any student whose grades require probation or exclusion under the above rules shall be placed in such status as of the first day of the semester following the semester for which the unsatisfactory grades were earned, regardless of when the grades were actually reported.
For purposes of applying the foregoing rules, grades earned in summer school shall be taken into account in the fall semester following the summer school session in which the course was completed.
1 This provision refers to the student’s grade point average only for the semester in question. This semester average is independent of the student’s cumulative grade point average which is addressed in Academic Exclusion point 3) above. Illustrations of the application of this provision follow:
Has a 77.2 cumulative grade point average (GPA) at the end of the first year of law school. A’s GPA for the Fall Semester of A’s second year of law school is 74.8 which produces a cumulative GPA of 76.43. Because A’s GPA for the Fall Semester of A’s second year of law school was less than 75.00, A is placed on academic probation. A then earns a 74.7 GPA for the Spring Semester of A’s second year of law school which produces a cumulative GPA of 76.01. A is automatically excluded under this provision because A was on probation when A earned a semester GPA of less than 75.00 in the Spring Semester of A’s second year.
Earns a semester grade point average (GPA) of 74.2 in the Spring Semester of B’s first year of law school which produces a cumulative GPA of 79.00 for B’s first year of law school. B is placed on academic probation because B’s GPA for the Spring Semester of B’s first year of law school was below 75.00. In the Fall Semester of B’s second year of law school, B earns a GPA of 74.6 which produces a cumulative GPA of 77.59. B is excluded under this provision because B was on probation when B earned a semester GPA of less than 75.00 in the Fall Semester of B’s second year.
Repetition of Courses; Re-Examination; Additional Coursework
A grade below 65 is a failing grade and requires repetition of the course for receipt of academic credit. Re-examinations are not offered or permitted.
The faculty may decide that a student with a grade of 65 to 74 in a course needs to repeat that course or take a specified elective or group of electives to ensure a sufficient foundation for competence. A student with a pattern of grades in the 65 to 74 range may be required at the discretion of the faculty to repeat an entire semester or academic year in order to ensure competence in core courses. In the event the faculty decides that repetition of courses is necessary, the student will be notified in advance and will be entitled to be heard before the Academic Appeals Committee on the matter. To the extent courses are repeated, both grades will be included in the calculation of the student’s cumulative average.
Academic Appeals (all other academic matters):
Academic appeals are handled within Campbell Law School. Any grievance of a student relating to an academic matter shall first be discussed with the appropriate faculty member. Every effort should be made to resolve the matter at this level. If the grievance cannot be resolved with the faculty member, the student shall discuss the matter with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. If the grievance cannot be resolved with the Associate Dean, the student shall discuss the matter with the Dean. The decision of the Dean in academic matters is final.