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Policies & Procedures: Grading System

Once a student is enrolled in a course, he/she will receive one of the following grades:

A signifies that the student’s work in the course has been excellent.

B signifies that the student’s work in the course has been good.

C signifies that the student’s work in the course has been satisfactory.

D signifies that the student’s work in the course has been inadequate, but passing.

F signifies that the student’s work in the course has been failing. No credit hours are awarded for work undertaken and completed with this grade. Any student receiving a grade of "F" in any course required for graduation must repeat, and successfully complete with a passing grade, any such course failed within two semesters from that semester in which the failing grade was received. All grades are counted in the student's cumulative grade point average.

W signifies that the student has withdrawn from the course in accordance with the Withdrawal Policy, stated above.

I signifies a temporary grade granted to a student under the Grade of Incomplete (I) and Make-up examinations Policy, stated above.

The grade of A may be supplemented by a MINUS. The grades of B, C and D may be supplemented by the designation of a PLUS or a MINUS. Some elective courses are offered only on a Pass/Fail basis. This fact is noted in the general course descriptions.

Grade Point Average Computation

A student’s grade point average each semester and his/her cumulative grade point average are computed by multiplying the honor points awarded by the number of credits per course. The total number of honor points earned is then divided by the total number of credit hours attempted.

Honor Points

Honor points are awarded:

A = 4.0 honor points
A- = 3.67 honor points
B+ = 3.33 honor points
B = 3.0 honor points
B- = 2.67 honor points
C+ = 2.33 honor points
C = 2.0 honor points
C- = 1.67 honor points
D+ = 1.33 honor points
D = 1.0 honor points
F = 0.0 honor point

Class Rank

Final Class Rank

Interim Class Rank (for students entering Fall 2005 or later)
Interim class ranks, calculated at the ends of semesters before graduation, shall not include transfer students or students in the J.D./LL.B. program who took their first-year classes at the University of Ottawa.

Students who are excluded from the calculation of Interim or Final Class Rank shall have their MSU College of Law grade point averages compared to those of their classmates (based on year of graduation) for the same time period. The Registrar shall generate reports of the grade s of students included in class rank calculations for the requisite time periods, indicating decile cutoffs. In lieu of a class rank, students excluded from class rank calculations shall be told into which decile their grade point average falls.

Grade Change Policy

Examination administration and grading are anonymous. After anonymous examination grades are submitted to the Registrar, minor individual adjustments may be made. The examination grade as adjusted becomes the final grade. Records of examination grades and adjusted grades are maintained by the Registrar.

Changing of a final grade after its submission to the Registrar is inconsistent with the grading system mandated by the faculty. When a change is sought, the faculty member may not have the benefit of, or the time to review, the papers of other students in the course and may be subject to pressures extraneous to the grading process. Therefore, a request for a change in a final grade will ordinarily not be approved. The judgment made by the faculty member when a grade is submitted to the Registrar must be viewed as conclusive.

There are, however, rare instances in which fairness might justify a final grade change. This might be the case, for example, when there is demonstrable evidence of a mathematical error in the calculation of a grade, or where there has been an egregious error in grading, such as the failure to read and take into account an entire bluebook or a significant portion of one. A mere change of mind will not justify a change of a final grade.

Requests by a faculty member for a change of a final grade will be decided by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, to whom these requests should be directed, or, in his/her absence, by the Dean.

Credit/No Credit Option

Students may elect to register for no more than two (2) elective offerings, with a maximum of five (5) total credits hours (or six (6) total credit hours for approved graduate level courses that are taken pursuant to the rule under Visiting at Schools Other Than MSU Law) to be graded on a Credit/No Credit rather than a letter grade basis. The election must be made directly with the Registrar. It is not available for required courses, directed study, or for a course taken to satisfy a concentration, certificate program, or Upper Level Writing Requirement. An election to take a course on a Credit/No Credit basis may be made no later than the last day of classes or before a final exam, including take home exams, whichever is earlier. For this Credit/No Credit election in a course taken at MSU Law, the minimum passing grade is “C.” Courses offered only on a Pass/Fail basis, such as Moot Court and externships, are outside the scope of this rule.

NOTE: Any credits taken prior to fall 2005 under the Pass/Fail Option will count toward the maximum credits allowed under the Credit/No Credit Option.

Student Notification of Grades

It is the policy of Michigan State University College of Law to post student grades approximately 30 days after the last exam is scheduled, subject to the discretion of the Associate Dean. The Registrar attempts to post the grades on the computer as quickly as possible after they are received from the professor. If a grade is not on the computer, it is not yet available.

Students may view posted grades on the MSU computer system. Access is through STUINFO, which is a menu item on the system. Both student PID and PAN numbers are required for access.

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