VII. Grades and Grading Policies


There shall be anonymous grading of all examinations (in-class, take-home, or self-scheduled examinations). Anonymous grading is not required for evaluations such as grades for papers and student performances where knowledge of the student is inevitable and desirable.


The grading system is comprised of the following grades: A+ (4.3), A (4.), A- (3.7), B+ (3.3), B (3.0), B- (2.7), C+ (2.3), C (2.0), C- (1.7), D (1.0), F (0).

  1. The required median and required grading distribution for J.D. students will only apply to the J.D. students enrolled in the course and will not be affected by the LL.M. students enrolled.

  2. Grades in all upper-level, non-clinical courses with enrollment of 25 or more J.D. students shall have a required median of B+ (3.3) and shall be subject to the following required distribution:

    Instructors are encouraged, but not required, to give roughly the same number of, respectively, A, A-, B+, and B grades.

    A+

    As described in Paragraph VII.E

    A, A-

    33%-39%

    B+, B

    41%-45%

    B- or below

    14%-18%

  3. In all upper-level, non-clinical courses with enrollment of 16 to 24 J.D. students, no more than 50% of the students may receive grades of A+, A, or A- (combined), and no more than 50% of the students may receive grades of B- or below (combined).

  4. In all upper-level classes with enrollment of five to 15 J.D. students, and for all non-advanced clinic courses, the following restrictions shall apply:

    1. a) For classes with an even number of students, no more than 50% of the students may receive grades of A+ or A (combined), and no more than 50% of the students may receive grades of B- or below (combined).

    2. b) For classes with an odd number of students, the course median shall be between A- (3.7) and B (3.0), inclusive.

  5. all directed research classes, advanced clinics, and all upper-level classes with enrollments of four or fewer students shall be subject to no required median or grade distribution.


Grades in all first year courses, including Lawyering Skills, shall have a required median of B+ (3.3) and shall be subject to the following required distribution:

Legal Research Practicum shall be offered on a Credit/No Credit basis

A+

As described in Paragraph VII.E

A

19%-23%

A-

19%-23%

B+

19%-23%

B

19%-23%

B- or below

14%-18%

For Academic Year 2020-2021, all first-year courses shall be subject to the following grading distribution:

A+

As described in Paragraph VII.E

A

19%-23%

A-

19%-23%

B+

19%-23%

B or below

33%-41%

In all upper-level classes, including clinics, and all first-year classes there shall be a required number of A+ grades equal to the following:

Number of Students

Faculty shall give at least the following number of A+ grades

Faculty shall give at most the following number of A+ grades

1-20

0

1

21-40

1

2

41-60

2

3

61-80

3

4

81-100

4

5

101-120

5

6

121-140

6

7


Any requests for exceptions to any of the requirements in Section VII.C-F shall be made directly to the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or Vice Dean. There is a strong presumption against such requests being granted.


Participation points may be awarded by instructors, but they must be handled in a manner that does not compromise anonymous grading.
  1. First-Year, Year-Long Courses that Award a Final Grade at the End of the First Semester

    Students must earn a passing grade for the first semester as a pre-requisite for enrollment in the second semester.

  2. All Other First-Year Year-Long Courses

    Students will receive one final grade for the entire course at the end of a year. In year-long courses with one final grade, students shall receive a grade of “In Progress” (“IP”) for the fall semester. The fall IP grade will be replaced by the grade awarded in the spring semester for the entire course. IP grades shall comply with the required median and grade distribution listed in VII. D, except that IP grades need not conform to the required distribution for the grade of A+.

    1. a) Faculty may issue letters for year-long courses after grades post to transcripts indicating the student’s level of performance at the mid-course point. The instructor will notify the Law School Registrar of the intent to issue letters on or before grades are posted; the letters will be generated by the Law School Registrar or the faculty member. In-progress letters will be available until final grades for the course are posted to transcripts at the end of the academic year.

    2. b) If an instructor chooses not to issue a letter after grades post to transcripts indicating the student’s level of performance at the mid-course point, the instructor must ensure that the student is aware of his or her progress at the mid-course point on or before when grades are posted to transcripts.

  3. Upper-Level Year-Long Courses

    The instructor must designate whether students enrolled in his or her year-long upper-level course will receive a grade at the end of each semester or will receive one final grade for the entire course at the end of a year. The designation shall be posted in the course catalogue and in the course syllabus.

    1. a) In year-long courses with one final grade, students shall receive a grade of “In Progress” (“IP”) for the fall semester. The fall In-Progress grade will be replaced by the grade awarded in the spring semester for the entire course. IP grades shall comply with the required median and grade distribution listed in VII.D, except that IP grades need not conform to the required distribution for the grade of A+.

    2. b) Faculty may issue letters for year-long courses after grades post to transcripts indicating the student’s level of performance at the mid-course point. The instructor will notify the Law School Registrar of the intent to issue letters on or before grades are posted; the letters will be generated by the Law School Registrar or the faculty member. In-progress letters will be available until final grades for the course are posted to transcripts at the end of the academic year.
  1. Second- and third-year students may take up to 8 self-selected units of Law School upper-level courses on a Credit/No-Credit (i.e., satisfactory [S]/unsatisfactory [U]) basis. Students must register to take a course Credit/No-Credit by the end of the second week of classes in a semester. Changes after that may be approved in writing for good cause by the Assistant Dean for Student Services.

  2. In order to receive credit for a course taken Credit/No Credit, a student must obtain a minimum grade of C- (1.7).

  3. An instructor may designate that his or her course is not available on a Credit/No-Credit basis. This means that students may not elect to take such a course for Credit/No-Credit.

  4. An instructor may designate a course as being entirely a Credit/No-Credit course. All students in such a course will receive Credit/No-Credit rather than grades. These units will not be counted as a portion of the 8 self-selected Credit/No-Credit units available to students.

  5. A student must take a course on a CR/NC basis if:

    a) The instructor is a non-full time member of the university’s faculty; and
    b) The instructor currently employs or has made an offer of employment to the student; and
    c) The student is enrolled in a non-anonymously graded course. A non-anonymously graded course is one in which 60% or more of the grade is based on non-anonymously graded assignments.

    These units will not count toward the maximum 8 self-selected CR/NC units a student may take.

  6. The instructor must assign a letter grade to all J.D. and LL.M. students and count all J.D. students’ scores toward the median, regardless of whether any students are taking the class Credit/No-Credit. For those students who opted for Credit/No-Credit, the Law School Registrar will enter the appropriate notation on the transcript.

Grades of Incomplete shall count toward class size for the purposes of required median and grade distribution. A student who receives a grade of Incomplete is not eligible to receive a Faculty Award or Dean’s Award for the course.
  1. Except as otherwise provided in this Rule, all grades other than Incomplete are final when filed by an instructor. No change of grade may be made on the basis of reassessment of the quality of a student’s work. The only grounds for a change of grade are clerical error, procedural error, application of non-academic criteria, or improper academic procedures, as explained below.

  2. It is the responsibility of each student to monitor her/his academic records after each grading cycle. If a student believes that a final grade should be changed due to a clerical or procedural error, the student shall notify the instructor in writing within 60 days after the grade is issued, stating the reasons for the requested change. The Registrar is authorized to change the grade upon written request of the instructor, provided a clerical or procedural error is the reason for the change. Changes based on a clerical or procedural error will not be made more than one year after the grade is issued.

  3. If a student believes that a grade should be changed based on a grievance covered by Appendix II of the Manual of the Irvine Division of the Academic Senate (Grade Appeals), the student should first attempt to resolve the matter informally with the instructor. The Manual provides: "Grounds for grievance are application of non-academic criteria and/or improper academic procedures that unfairly affect a student’s grade." Either the student or the instructor may ask the Dean or the Dean’s designee to help facilitate informal resolution of the matter. If the matter is not resolved informally, the student may follow the formal procedures in Appendix II.

  1. The School of Law will award "graduation" honors – summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude. A student is eligible for graduation honors if s/he has completed at least 75 percent of his or her law studies in graded courses. Honors will be based on all grades earned at UCI School of Law and computed after all grades are turned in for graduating students. Thus these honors will not be available at graduation. Students who graduate in December are ranked with the succeeding May graduating class. The top 5 percent of the graduating class will be designated summa cum laude; the next 7.5 percent will be designated magna cum laude; the next 10 percent will be designated cum laude. Where necessary the School of Law will round up.

    For the class of 2021 and 2022, in order to be considered for graduation honors if you were enrolled in Spring 2020, be aware of the following chart: 

    # units enrolled in Spring 2020 To be considered for Latin Honors, minimum number of units taken for a grade (units are rounded)
    12 56
    13 55
    14 54
    15 53
    16 53
    17 52

    Note: Credit/no credit units earned in the spring 2020 semester will not be included in the calculation of the 75% graded unit requirement for eligibility for Latin Honors. 86 units are required to graduate. Calculations are based off of 75% of (86 – Spring 2020 units).

  2. The student(s) receiving the highest grade in each section of each first year class, except the Legal Research Practicum, will receive the Faculty Award and the student(s) receiving the second highest grade will receive the Dean’s Award. No student shall receive a Faculty Award or a Dean’s Award for the Legal Research Practicum. For an upper-level class, a faculty member may choose to give both awards, no award, or only the Faculty Award. Upper-level students are eligible for an award in classes with an enrollment of at least three students; they are eligible regardless of whether the class was taken for a grade or S/U. The Lawyering Skills class may award additional honors for specific tasks and competencies, as determined by the Lawyering Skills faculty. More than one student may be given awards if the students’ scores are the same. The School of Law will determine what, if any, additional awards will be given for upper-level courses.

  3. Additional awards will be granted at graduation and at other times. These awards will be determined in the future. Also, the time and manner of presentation will be determined.

  4. The School of Law will not post class ranking of students. The School of Law will not announce the grade point averages that determine class standing. However, the School of Law will have such information available when necessary for highly competitive positions such as judicial clerkships, fellowships, and academic positions. The Dean, the Assistant Dean for Student Services, and faculty shall not disclose information about class standing for any other professional purpose. With the consent of the student, such information can be disclosed as necessary and appropriate for the competitive positions indicated above.

  1. A student’s grade point average will be based only on courses taken at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. In other words, courses taken at other law schools or in other parts of the University of California, Irvine (with the exception of courses (a) taught by University faculty with a joint appointment in the Law School and (b) listed in the Law School catalogue), shall not be included in a student’s grade point average at the School of Law.

  2. Classes that law students take at UCI outside of the School of Law will be listed on the student’s transcript, but will not be included in the law student’s law school grade point average at the School of Law. An upper-division course originating in another school or department of the University shall be included in the law student’s law school grade point average at the School of Law only if either (a) the course is taught by University faculty with a joint appointment in the Law School and (b) the course is listed in the Law School catalogue; or (c) the course is part of the Law, Society and Culture (LSC) Emphasis and the law student is enrolled in the LSC Emphasis.

  3. The total number of units transferred from another ABA-accredited law school, but not specific courses, will be listed on the UCI Law School transcript. Grades earned in transfer units and in courses taken by students who spend their third year of law school as a visitor to another ABA-accredited law school will not be included in the law student’s law school grade point average at UCI School of Law.

  1. If a student receives an F or a No Credit in a first-year required course, the student must retake the course the next time it is offered and receive a grade higher than an F or a No Credit in order for the requirement to be satisfied. Both the original failing grade or No Credit and the grade or Credit/No Credit in the re-taken course will appear on the transcript. Each grade will be calculated separately into the cumulative GPA.

  2. Upper-Level Classes

    1. a) If a student receives an F in a required upper-level course at the School of Law, the student must retake it or a comparable course and receive a grade higher than an F in order for the requirement to be satisfied. Both the original failing grade and the grade in the re-taken course will appear on the transcript. Each grade will be calculated separately into the cumulative GPA.

      b) If a student receives an F in any course other than a required course at the School of Law, the student may retake the course. Both the original failing grade and the grade in the re-taken course will appear on the transcript. Each grade will be calculated separately into the cumulative GPA.

  1. Standard-Term Courses

    Professors must submit fall semester grades no later than four weeks from the date of the last day of the exam period. Spring semester grades must be submitted no later than the Tuesday following Memorial Day. Professors must remain available after submission of grades until it is verified that the grades meet the requirements of these rules (such as the required median). The Registrar may set an earlier date by which professors must provide information as to any students who will not be receiving a passing grade in a course, is a visitor from another law school, or is graduating from UCI School of Law at the end of the current term.

  2. Short-Session Courses

    1. a) Professors must submit grades no later than four weeks from the due date of the last class assessment. Professors must remain available after submission of grades until it is verified that the grades meet the requirements of these rules (such as the required median). The Registrar may set an earlier date by which professors must provide information as to any students who will not be receiving a passing grade in a course, is a visitor from another law school, or is graduating from UCI School of Law at the end of the current term.

      b) Students will be notified by letter of their short-session course grade after the instructor electronically submits the course grades to the Law School Registrar. The letter may be generated by either the Law School Registrar or the faculty member.

      c) Grades for short-session courses post to transcript at the same time all spring standard-term grades post to transcript.

  1. Information about grade distributions will be made available to students on-line for all law school classes with enrollments of 10 or more students. Distributions for courses offered solely for Credit/No Credit will not be listed.

  2. Grade distributions will be available on-line for three years after the course is taught.

  3. It is a violation of the Law School Honor Code to copy, download, or distribute the grade distribution information in any way.

  1. Student evaluations of all courses taught will be available to the students, except for those of entry-level faculty in their first year of law teaching.

  2. Student evaluations will be available on-line for three years after the course is taught for all full-time faculty, and for lecturers and adjuncts who teach each academic year.

  3. It is a violation of the Law School Honor Code to copy, download, or distribute the evaluation material in any way.