Grades are awarded numerically, to the hundredths, on a range from 4.33 to .00. All grades between .99 and .01 will be recorded as .00 (see Failing Grades and Repeated Courses in the Student Handbook). This chart provides an approximate letter grade conversion:
|A+ = 4.33||B+ = 3.33||C+ = 2.33||D+ = 1.33|
|A = 4.00||B = 3.00||C = 2.00||D = 1.00|
|A- = 3.67||B- = 2.67||C- = 1.67||F = .00|
Grade Distribution Policies
For Contracts I & II, Civil Procedure I & II, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Torts I, provided that there is an enrollment of 20 or more students, faculty members must have a median grade of 2.6 – 2.7 and meet the following grade distribution guidelines:
|Grade Range||% of Students|
|3.5 to 4.3||5 – 10%|
|2.3 or below||At least 20%|
For all other classes of 20 or more students, faculty members must have a median grade of 2.7 – 2.8 and meet the following grade distribution guidelines:
|Grade Range||% of Students|
|3.5 to 4.3||5 – 15%|
|2.3 or below||At least 20%|
Courses with fewer than 20 students are not subject to the grade distribution guidelines, but these courses should nonetheless be standardized within a median range of 2.7 – 2.9.
Courses with fewer than 10 students are not subject to the grade distribution guidelines, but these courses are encouraged be standardized within a median range of 2.7 – 2.9.
Exception to the Grade Distribution Policies
- With courses in which it can be demonstrated that the average grade-point average of enrolled students differs substantially from the average cumulative grade point averages, the Associate Dean may grant an exception from the distribution and median requirements set forth above.
- In the event of dramatic and unforeseen circumstances, the Associate Dean of Academics is vested with the authority to make adjustment to faculty grades, whether by his or her own volition or if petitioned by the course instructor.
- The grade distribution requirements will be satisfied if the distribution of all grades in multiple sections of one course satisfies the grade distribution requirements.
A student’s class rank is based on the number of credits the student has completed in order of cumulative grade point average. A student must earn at least 18 credits at Concordia University School of Law before a class rank may be assigned. In the case of students with transfer credit, only credits earned at Concordia University School of Law will be considered in the cumulative grade point average. However, all credits earned and accepted by Concordia towards a Juris Doctor degree will be considered to determine a student’s Classification Group for the purposes of class rank.
All students eligible to receive a rank, based on the above criteria, will be included in the next evaluation of the applicable ranking classification.
The following four (4) ranking Classification Groups will be conducted at the timeframes indicated:
- First Year, Full-Time (“1LFT”) Students: This evaluation date shall be after the receipt of spring semester grades. To be considered a 1LFT student, for the purposes of this ranking classification, a student must have been enrolled in no more than two (fall and spring) terms of law school and completed all first year courses (30 credits). The two terms do not necessarily have to be contiguous.
- First Year, Part-Time (“1LPT”) Students: This evaluation date shall be after the receipt of summer session grades after the first year. It shall include all first year students – enrolled in no more than three (fall, spring, and/or summer) terms of law school – who have completed at least 18 credits by the evaluation date and were not already included in a prior 1LFT or 1LPT ranking. The three terms do not necessarily have to be contiguous. First-year, part-time students who have completed less than 18 credits at Concordia University School of Law by the end of the summer session or who take more than three terms to complete their first year courses will be eligible to be ranked with the upper division after 18 credits are completed.
- Upper Division Non-Graduating:
- Fall: This evaluation date shall be computed after the receipt of fall semester grades, and shall include all students who have taken a total of 9 or more combined credits at Concordia University School of Law during the previous summer and/or fall terms. This rank category will include any upper division (non 1LPT or 1LFT) student not included in the Fall Graduating Students rank.
- Spring: This evaluation date shall be computed after the receipt of spring semester grades, and shall include all students who have taken a total of 18 or more combined credits at Concordia University School of Law during the previous summer, fall, and/or spring terms. This rank category will include any student not included in the other three spring/summer ranking categories (e.g., non-graduating third-year and fourth-year students).
- Graduating Students:
- Fall: This evaluation date shall be computed after the receipt of fall semester grades, and shall include all students who have applied and are on-track to graduate in December or May. It also includes the recent August graduates.
- Spring: This evaluation date shall be computed after the receipt of spring semester grades, and shall include all students who have taken at least 51 credits at Concordia University School of Law and have a degree conferred from Concordia University School of Law at the conclusion of the prior summer, fall, or spring term. August and December graduates are ranked with the following May graduates.
Ranking results will be communicated to a student’s Concordia University email account. A master list is maintained by the Assistant Dean of Career Services and Student Affairs.
The Dean’s List is awarded after each semester (fall, spring, and summer), beginning after the fall semester in the first year. To receive the Dean’s List designation on a transcript for a given semester, a student must:
- Enroll in and complete at least six (6) credits graded on the 0 - 4.3 scale in the semester as a degree-seeking student.
- Earn a semester GPA that places him/her within the top ten (10) percent of her/his class for that semester.
Class: Only degree-seeking students with at least six (6) credits graded on the 0-4.3 scale at the time of the calculation will be considered part of a class. For purposes of the Dean’s List, part-time students will be ranked together with full-time students based on their matriculation date (semester they started law school as a degree-seeking student). Part-time students remaining after the graduation semester of their respective full-time class will be ranked with the rising/current full-time and part-time third year class.
Top Ten (10) Percent: The semester GPA cut-off for the top ten (10) percent will be calculated based at the deadline for faculty to submit grades for the given semester.
A student who receives an incomplete is not eligible for the Dean’s List until the grade for the incomplete is received. Once the grade for the incomplete is received, if the student’s semester GPA is above or equal to the given semester’s top ten (10) percent GPA cut-off, that student will be awarded Dean’s List for that semester. The Dean’s List designation will not change for any other student originally awarded Dean’s List for that semester.
A CALI Award may also be awarded for the student with the highest grade in the class at the discretion of the faculty. These awards are nationally sponsored by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI).
Graduation with Honors
Students who obtain a cumulative grade point average of 3.29 or higher will graduate with honors, as follows:
Summa Cum Laude: 3.70 to 4.33
Magna Cum Laude: 3.47 to 3.69
Cum Laude: 3.29 to 3.46
Students who graduate with honors will receive a notation on their academic transcript.