Grading Guidelines for Average Grades and Grade Distribution

Effective beginning Fall 2004.

First Year Courses

Legal Analysis, Research & Writing
Average Grade: 2.95 - 3.05

Other First Year Courses
Average Grade: 2.70 - 2.80

Target Range
Target Range
A 11% 6-16% A 7% 2-12%
A- 15% 10-20% A- 10% 5-15%
B+ 19% 14-24% B+ 12% 7-17%
B 21% 16-26% B 17% 12-22%
B- 11% 6-16% B- 20% 15-25%
C+ 9% 4-14% C+ 14% 9-19%
C 7% 2-12% C 11% 6-16%
C- 4% 1-7% C- 4% 1-7%
D+ 2% 0-8%
Graphic: Down arrow.
D+ 2% 2-10%
Graphic: Down arrow.
D 1% D 2%
F 0% F 1%

Upper Level Courses

Average Grade: 2.90 - 3.00

Target Range
A 11% 6-16%
A- 14% 9-19%
B+ 16% 11-21%
B 20% 15-25%
B- 12% 7-17%
C+ 11% 6-16%
C 10% 5-15%
C- 3% 0-10%
Graphic: Down arrow.
D+ 2%
D 1%
F 0%

Grade points are awarded to each student on the following basis for each credit hour of work:

  • A = 4.00 points;
  • A- = 3.67 points
  • B+ = 3.33 points;
  • B = 3.00 points;
  • B- = 2.67 points
  • C+ = 2.33 points;
  • C = 2.00 points;
  • C- = 1.67
  • D+ = 1.33 points;
  • D = 1.00 point;
  • F = 0 points.

It is presumed that grades in each class will meet both the distributions and the average grade. At the time a faculty member turns in final grades in a class, he or she shall also submit to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs the average grade for the class and the distribution of grades by number and percentage, highlighting any divergence from the guidelines.

Grades that diverge from the guidelines, in the opinion of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, may call for consultation between the Associate Dean and the Professor submitting them, before the grades are posted. The purpose of this consultation will be to attempt to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Paper classes and classes with enrollments of 20 or below will often justify divergence from the guidelines.

See also the Grades section in Academic Policies.

Grade of 'A with distinction'

A grade of 'A with distinction' may be awarded to students demonstrating a level of achievement clearly superior to a grade of A in the course. This designation, which carries no additional grade point value, appears on the student's transcript. The designation is awarded infrequently and is not granted automatically to the top paper in the course. Although the designation is awarded infrequently, more than one student in a course may receive the designation if their achievements far exceed the historical 'A' performance level. (Adapted from Faculty Meeting Minutes, April 18, 2001)