Examinations and Grades

In most courses, the final grade is based largely on the student's achievement on an examination or final paper given at the end of the semester. Examinations are anonymous, and papers are identified solely by number, unless the circumstances of the assessment make this inappropriate. Each student is expected to take examinations at the scheduled times, unless an appropriate arrangement is made with the Director of Student Services pursuant to policy.  Failure to take an exam at the appropriate time or in the appropriate manner can result in a grade of F.

Grading of student work is on a 4.0 system:

A+       4.3

A         4.0

A-        3.7

B+       3.3

B         3.0

B-       2.7

C+      2.3

C        2.0

C-      1.7

D+     1.3

D       1.0

D-      0.7

F        0

Some courses are graded on a credit/no credit (pass/fail) basis.

A student receiving a grade of F in a required course must repeat and pass the course. Grades of F remain on a student's transcript and count toward a student's grade-point average even if a course for which an F is given is repeated and passed.

The temporary grade of I (incomplete) is recorded when the student has not completed the work required for the course.

Exam Tardiness: 

Students are expected to be in their seats five (5) minutes prior to the start of the exam.  Absent exigent circumstances, students who arrive after the exam has started must begin their exams immediately and WILL NOT receive additional time (this also applies to time used to set up exam software). 

Final Examination Rescheduling Policy

A student may request that one or more final examinations be rescheduled under the following circumstances:

  • Two final examinations in the same calendar day.
  • An evening final examination followed by a morning final examination the next calendar day.
  • Three final examinations on three consecutive days (in the first week of examinations only).
  • Four final examinations in five days (in the first week of examinations only).
  • An emergency warrants rescheduling (request must be documented).

The policy with respect to take-home final examinations is as follows:

  • If the take-home final examination is "floating," (e.g. the student may choose when to take it within a defined timeframe) the student may not create a conflict by opting to take it during an interval conflicting with another final examination.
  • A take-home final examination does not conflict with the preceding final examination(s) under the first or third rules above (two exams in the same calendar day or three exams on three consecutive days), if it may be checked out at least four hours after the prior examination is scheduled to conclude.
  • A take-home final examination does not conflict with the preceding final examination(s) under the fourth rule above (four exams in five days), if it may be checked out on Friday, at least four hours after the prior final examination is scheduled to conclude.
  • Perceived conflicts involving take-home final examinations of greater than 48 hours in length will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Requests to reschedule a final examination should be directed to the School's Director of Student Support Services.

Once a conflict has been identified, the director will determine which final examination(s) to move, and to what day and time, in order to eliminate the conflict.

Requests to reschedule a final examination on short notice because of severe illness or an emergency must be documented, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All such requests must be presented to the Director of Student Support Services for the School of Law immediately.

The policy with respect to requests to reschedule based upon disability is as follows:

  • All disability-based requests must be approved by the University Office of Student Disability Services
  • The Director of Student Support Services will reschedule a final examination because of disability only on request of the University Office of Student Disability Services.

Grade Normalization Policy

The faculty policy regarding grade normalization follows:

A.           First Year and Upper Level Required Courses

(1)                 First Year

In first year courses, the mean grade should be between 2.60 and 2.90.

(2)       Upper Level Required Courses

In upper level required courses, the mean grade should be between   2.70  and 3.00. The term "Upper Level Required Courses" includes only the following courses:

a)    Business Organizations

b)    Civil Procedure II

c)    Criminal Procedure I

d)    Evidence

e)    Federal Taxation

f)     Professional Responsibility.

(3)                 In first year courses and upper level required courses where more than one section is offered in the same semester, the professors teaching the sections will meet to establish (negotiate) the actual mean within the above described ranges for the course. Each professor will then submit grades with 0.10 mean of each other professor teaching the same course. If agreement cannot be reached between or among the professors, the issue shall be submitted to the Dean for resolution. It is intended that this process will allow the means for different subjects to vary within the established ranges, but that the same course will not vary from professor to professor more than 0.10 mean.

B.   All other courses will have a recommended mean between 2.80 and 3.10.

C.                 All class means are to be determined before any penalty is assessed for matters such as late papers, cheating, or other arguably non-substantive issues.

D.                 Mean numbers or variations between faculty mean numbers will not be rounded. Thus, for example, a mean of 2.48 would not be rounded up to 2.50; nor would a mean of 2.83 be rounded down to a 2.80. A mean difference between faculty members would not be rounded from 0.13 to 0.10.

E.                  There are no distributional requirements at either the high or low end of the grade distribution for any course. Nevertheless, it is intended that faculty members will use methods of evaluation which will appropriately measure or disclose significant differences in student achievement.

F.                  Although the means are recommended and not mandatory, it is intended that significant departure from the recommended range would become a matter of discussion between the professor and the Dean to determine whether the departure is appropriate.