As printed in Southwestern's Student Handbook
Alphabetical Grading System
Southwestern utilizes an alphabetical grading system in which the actual grade earned is represented by an alphabetical letter. Grades are assigned from A+ to F. No unit credit is granted when the grade received is an F. A cumulative GPA of at least 2.330 must be maintained. The GPA is a mathematical depiction of a student’s law school grade performance carried out to the first three (3) decimal places. The GPA is derived by first multiplying the number of grade points earned in each graded course by the number of units assigned to that course. Those numbers are then added, and the resulting figure is divided by the total number of graded units attempted in the applicable period. The quotient is carried out only to the first three (3) decimal places. Courses offered on a Credit/No Credit basis are not included in the computation of the GPA.
To insure equity in multiple section courses and uniformity of grades, the faculty has adopted a policy requiring that all courses taught in the first-year day program and SCALE Periods I and II must have a mean of 2.90 and a median of B. A minimum of 15 percent grades in the A range (A+, A, and A-) shall be awarded. The minimum standard deviation is .65. All upper division courses must have a mean of 3.00 (plus or minus one tenth) and a median of B. As a guideline in upper division courses, 15 percent grade in the A range (A+, A, A-) shall be awarded. In courses where fewer than 30 students are enrolled, the mean and median standards are to be used as guidelines. LL.M. students should refer to Section 2 of this handbook for applicable grading policies.
Official class rankings by percentage in 10 percent increments are based on cumulative GPA, and are computed for each class at the end of each academic year. Students from the part-time evening and PLEAS programs are ranked together. First-year students also receive an unofficial mid-year class rank.
Grades are assigned on an alphabetical basis. Listed below are the letter grades with the grade point equivalent.
The grades of A+, A and A- denote outstanding scholarship and intellectual initiative; the grades of B+ and B denote above average work; the grade of B- indicates full satisfaction of the law school's requirements; the grade of C+ represents minimal competency sufficient for good standing and satisfactory progress towards graduation; the grades of C and C- represents work below minimal competency; the grades of D+ through D- reflect unsatisfactory work, sufficient only for credit; and the grade of F designates failing work that is insufficient for credit.