Grading Criteria for J.D. Students

Students enrolled in the School of Law receive letter grades based on the following:
A 4.000  C+ 2.300
A- 3.700 C 2.000
B+ 3.300 C- 1.700
B 3.000  D 1.000
B- 2.700 F 0.000
The minimum passing grade is D or 1.000 and an average of C or 2.000 is necessary for graduation.

In most classes, final exams are graded anonymously by professors at the end of each semester.  In other classes, such as Edited Writing Classes and clinics, the identity of the student is known.  Grading is within the academic discretion of the professor and some professors also consider other factors, such as class participation and attendance.  Students should always refer to the course syllabi for classes to determine the grading procedure for each class.  Once final grades have been determined, they are submitted to the Law School Registrar’s Office.  The Registrar’s Office enters the grades into my.SMU and students view their grades via their student account.

Once all grades have been entered, the Registrar’s Office calculates class percentiles based on cumulative GPAs and the GPA cut-offs are released to the students via e-mail. Only the cut-offs for top 33% and 50% are released to first year day students after the fall semester of their first year.  After their second semester, cut-offs for top 10% and top 25% are also released.  Evening students receive class percentiles after the spring semester of their second year.  All cut-offs (top 10%, 25%, 33%, and 50%) are released to upper-class students after the fall and spring semesters.  Specific class ranks for students are only released to the individual student upon request and only after graduation from the law school. August and December graduates are ranked with those students who graduate in May of the following year.

The Dean’s Lists for each class are processed by the Registrar’s Office after class percentiles have been released.  Dean’s Lists are based on term GPA’s only.  To be eligible for Dean’s List an evening student must be enrolled in and pass at least 9 graded hours and a day student must be enrolled in and pass at least 12 graded hours.   Dean’s Lists are based on the top 25% of each section of the class based upon such section’s semester GPAs.

Honors designations are automatically given to graduates who have the following minimum grade point average based on their cumulative GPA:

Cum Laude - 3.2
Magna Cum Laude - 3.6
Summa Cum Laude - 3.8

Refer to the Law School Catalog for further information.
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