Explanation of Grading System

Effective with the class of 2013, the Washington University School of Law changed the grading system from number grades (70- 100) to letter grades (A, B, etc.), along with changing the GPAs to a 4.0 scale (based on 31 number grades separated by .06, ranging from 2.50-4.30) that continue to allow the Faculty to distinguish between students’ scores to a greater degree than the systems at most other Law Schools. The conversion scale is:

Letter Grades: Values:
A+ 4.00 – 4.30
A 3.76 – 3.94
A- 3.58 – 3.70
B+ 3.34 – 3.52
B 3.16 – 3.28
B- 3.04 – 3.10
C+ 2.92 – 2.98
C 2.80 – 2.86
D 2.74
F 2.50 – 2.68

Effective with the class of 2004 and ending with the class of 2013, the Washington University School of Law instituted a grading system with a scale of 70 - 100.  Effective with that graduating class, the middle score in the scale was changed from an 83 to an 87.  With this new scale, a grade of 74 or better was necessary to earn credit in a course.  A 79 average was necessary to remain in good standing each year and overall in the new scale. The conversion of number grades to letter grades (updated in 2013) is: 95-100=A+; 91-94=A; 88-90=A-; 84-87=B+; 81-83=B; 79-80=B-; 77-78=C+; 75-76=C; 74=D; 70-73=F. 

Effective Fall 1979, and ending with the class of 2003, the Washington University School of Law instituted a grading system with a scale of 65 to 100.  For J.D. students, a grade of 70 or better is necessary to earn credit in a course.  A 75 average is necessary to remain in good standing each year and overall.

Prior to Fall 1979, the Washington University School of Law used a grading scale ranging from 55 to 90. The change in the grading system which became effective in Fall 1979  raised  the 36 point scale by 10 points and changed the credit/no credit line from 61 to 70.  Final grade averages prior to Fall 1979 have been retroactively adjusted by adding 10 points to the actual averages earned.  This is indicated on the transcript as “Adjusted Final Average.” The actual grades earned prior to Fall 1979 are reported on the transcript.

GRADING SYSTEM for LL.M. in Taxation: Grading scale same as above; however, students enrolled in LL.M. in Taxation program must receive a grade of 79 (75, prior to the 2002/2003 academic year) or better to earn credit in a course. Students in the LL.M. in Taxation program are not ranked.

GRADING SYSTEM for LL.M. in Intellectual Property & Technology Law: Grading scale same as above; however, students enrolled in LL.M. in IP & Technology program must receive a grade of 74 (79 from the 2002/2003 through the 2006/2007 academic years; 75, prior to the 2002/2003 academic year) or better to earn credit in a course.  Students in the LL.M. in IP & Technology program are not ranked. 

GRADING SYSTEM for LL.M. in U.S. LAW (Master of Laws): Grading scale same as above (prior to 2010-2011, grades were: High Pass, Pass, and No Credit). Students in this program are not ranked.

RANKING INFORMATION: Effective Fall 1994, Washington University School of Law discontinued ranking J.D. students. (Exception: students in the top 5% are informed of their rank.) Because of high academic standards and intense competition, considerable bunching occurs in the middle range of our grading scale. Students in non-JD programs are not ranked.

ADDITIONAL GRADES CODES: 

AUD = Audit CR# or CR – Credit CIP - Course In Progress N - Grade Not Recorded
HP = High Pass NCR# or NCR - No credit I – Incomplete IP - In Progress
P - Pass PW - Permitted to withdraw RX - Reexamined in course  
LP - Low Pass RW - Required to withdraw R - Course repeated  

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This page last updated 27 June 2013.