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Grading Policies

Grading System

For courses with final letter grades (as distinguished from P/F courses) grades range from A+ to F. Weighted averages are computed from exam scores and scores on any other graded assignments in the course, and the professor then designates the range of averages to equate to a letter grade. Grades may be adjusted upward or downward by a professor based on class attendance, preparedness, participation, and performance.

In two-semester courses, first semester essay exam responses marked with scores and the score earned on a multiple-choice section, if any, are returned to students early in the second semester. Scores are not grades. A final letter grade is not determined until the completion of the course, and is based upon the student's weighted average of examination responses for both the first and second semesters, any other graded class assignments during the year, and any applicable adjustments for class attendance, preparation, participation and performance.

Anonymous Grading

Under G&A Rule 501.1, which was adopted by the Faculty on March 10, 2014, grading in most courses at McGeorge is anonymous. Each fall students are given a confidential exam number to use for assignments and exams. The professor does not know which grade goes with which student by student name.

In some courses, however, grading may not be completely anonymous. In those courses, students will use their confidential exam number for some assignments and exams and will use their name for some assignments and exams. In other courses, grading is not anonymous at all — assignments and exams are graded using only the student's name.

Additionally, professors can provide grade adjustments to any student per G&A Rule 302. In such cases, the professor will necessarily know a student's name when making the adjustment.  Moreover, a professor may also opt to ascertain how a student performed on the assignments and exams in the course when deciding on an adjustment for that student.

Professors will inform students in writing of the anonymous or non-anonymous grading procedures for the assignments, exams, and grade adjustments in their course. If you have a question about how grading will operate for a particular course, please ask the professor.

Scores & the 104 Point Grading Scale

Under G&A Rule 411, anonymous grading in Torts, Contracts, Property, Civil Procedure and Global Lawyering Skills I, scores are based on the following scale, which is roughly equivalent to the following letter grades:

  • 100-104 — A+
  • 95-99 — A
  • 90-94 — A-
  • 85-89 — B+
  • 80-84 — B
  • 75-79 — B-
  • 70-74 — C+
  • 69-65 — C
  • 64-60 — C-
  • 59-55 — D
  • Lower than 55 — F

Scores do not appear on transcripts and do not represent a final grade in a course. All scores are subject to adjustment and finalization under G&A Rule 501. In courses other than those listed above, there is no standard grading scale.

Subjective Interpretation of Grades

Under G&A Rules 501 and 502, letter grades, ranging from A+ to F, with pluses and minuses, have the following subjective interpretations:

  • A — Exceptional, Outstanding Performance
  • B — Very Good, Skillful
  • C+ — Satisfactory Demonstration of Professional Competence
  • C — Unsatisfactory because of Some Deficiency in Knowledge or Analysis or Both
  • D — Unsatisfactory, Showing Grave Deficiencies in Knowledge and Analysis
  • F — Failing, No Demonstration of Knowledge or Analytic Ability

Under G&A Rule 504, units of credit for a course are awarded if the course grade is "D" or higher. No course or unit credit is granted for a grade of "F."

Pass/Fail Courses

Some elective courses are designated as Honors/Pass/Low Pass/No Credit/Fail courses in the Catalog. Of the 88 semester units required for graduation, 72 must be earned in graded (i.e., not P/F) courses. The only P/F courses are those so designated by the faculty. Students do not have the option to enroll in a graded course on a P/F basis. Under G&A Rule 202, the following grading standards apply in P/F courses:

  • Honors — Work performed at a superior level
  • Pass — Work performed at an acceptable level
  • Low Pass — Work performed at the "C" or "C-" levels
  • No Credit — Work performed at the "D" or "D-" levels
  • Fail — Receives no unit credits for the course

Students earning the grade of "No Credit" or "Fail" do not receive unit credits for the course. In determining a student's cumulative grade point average, units attempted in P/F courses are not counted for any course in which a grade higher than "Fail" was received.

Grade Distributions

Under G&A Rule 501, all grades in required courses other than Global Lawyering Skills I and II and Principles of Legal Analysis I and II must meet the following grade distribution standard:

Letter GradeGrade Distribution Standards (Min % – Max %)Corresponding Score on the G&A Rule 411 Scale
A+ 0% – 2% 100-104
A 2% – 10% 95-99
A- 5% – 15% 90-94
B+ 15% – 25% 85-89
B 25% – 35% 80-84
B- 15% – 25% 75-79
C+ 5% – 15% 70-74
C 0% – 15% 69-65
C- 64-60
D 59-55
F Lower than 55

 

In determining compliance with the ranges above, fractions may be rounded up or down at the discretion of the instructor. For example, in a class of 70 students, 5% = 3.5 students and 15% equals 10.5 students. The instructor may therefore give 3 to 11 grades of C+.

Arithmetic Means

The following arithmetic means are the targets, with .1 on either side of the mean being an acceptable variation, for the courses below.

Required/Bar-Tested CoursesMean
Civil Procedure
Contracts
Criminal Law
Property
Legal Profession
Legislation & Regulation
Torts
2.9
Business Associations
Community Property
Constitutional Law
Criminal Procedure
Evidence
Professional Responsibility
Remedies & Principles of Law
Wills and Trusts
3.0
Global Lawyering Skills I 3.0
Global Lawyering Skills II 3.2

 

Elective Courses (number of students determined on last day of instruction)
30 or more students 3.1 mean
16-29 students 3.2 mean
1-15 students 3.3 mean

 

There are no targeted means for Academic Success courses, namely Principles of Legal Analysis I and II.

Probation

A student whose cumulative GPA falls within the range from 2.18 – 2.324 at the end of any academic year, other than the final year, may continue his or her enrollment on academic probation, under the conditions described in G&A Rule 605. You cannot repeat probation.

Academic Disqualification

Under G&A Rule 605, a student is disqualified when his or her cumulative GPA at the completion of an academic year falls below 2.18 or, for a student who was on academic probation, when their cumulative GPA falls below 2.33. Procedures for requesting re-enrollment following academic disqualification are discussed in G&A Rule 703.

Grade Changes (Appealing a Grade)

Individual professors do not have authority to change grades once submitted, and they are expressly discouraged by the G&A Rules from re-reading examination papers for the purpose of reevaluation and grade change. Do not contact your professor directly to request a grade change.

    • If you believe there is a mathematical error, contact the Office of the Registrar.
    • If you believe that there was an abuse of discretion in assigning the grade, the procedure to challenge a grade, is described in G&A Rule 605. Contact Dean McGuire if you are considering such a petition.

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