The College of Law employs a letter grade system of A-F. The grades issued in all required courses must have a median of 3.0 and a mean between 2.85 and 3.15. The grades issued in all non-required courses with an enrollment of more than ten students must substantially conform to this mandatory curve. Substantial conformity means that grades cannot deviate more than 0.1 from the mandatory median and mean. If the grades issued in a course of more than 10 students substantially deviate from the mandatory curve the professor must provide the Associate Dean with adequate justification for the deviation. The Associate Dean shall make the final determination of whether an adequate justification exists for the substantial deviation. If the Associate Dean determines that adequate justification does not exist, the professor, the Associate Dean, or the Registrar shall recurve the grades.
The law school uses letter grades to calculate grade point averages in a four-point numerical system. Letter grades have the following numerical values:
Grade Options and Their Numerical Value
Mandatory Mean and Median
Grades in all courses of more than 10 students must substantially comply with the mandatory mean and median grade curve as follows:
Mean: between 2.85 and 3.15*
Substantial compliance means grades must fall no more than .1 deviation up or down for both the mean or median. Please consider this policy when you develop your syllabus and when you determine how to grade your class.
Anonymous Grading Policy
The Sturm College of Law employs an anonymous grading system. The SCOL requires Anonymous grading whenever the grade for the entire course, seminar, or exercise rests on a written examination. However, in other situations, such as classroom participation credit, writing exercises, skills training, and performance courses, faculty have no obligation to anonymously evaluate a student.
Whenever a faculty member anonymously grades any part of the course, the faculty member must maintain anonymity with respect to that part of the grade until the Registrar records final grades. Students who seek to discuss their performance on an examination should not contact the faculty member until the Registrar records the faculty member’s final grades.
Finality of Grades and Grade Grievance Policy
Once a faculty member submits a final grade to the Registrar, the faculty member cannot change that grade unless the faculty member determines:
The professor has made a mistake that does not involve an issue of judgment, such as a mathematical mistake or a mistake in the conversion of a numerical score to letter grade; or
The faculty member has made an incorrect evaluation of a student’s work, provided that:
the faculty member did not know the identity of the student during the reevaluation process, and
the faculty member informs all students in the course about the opportunity for reevaluation.
If a student wishes to have a faculty member review his/her examination to confirm the numerical accuracy of a grade, the student must maintain anonymity with the faculty member and make such a request through the Office of the Registrar. The student must make this request within three months after the Registrar posts the final grade.
If a student wishes a faculty member to review his/her examination to confirm the accuracy of the faculty member’s evaluation of the student’s examination answers, the student must maintain anonymity and the faculty member must first inform all students in the course about the opportunity for reevaluation. The student can submit a written petition that requests a substantive reevaluation to the Office of the Registrar. The petition must include the student’s examination number and must NOT include the student’s name. The student must make this request within three months after the Registrar posts the final grade.
Submission of Grades
Grading spreadsheets will be provided to faculty members at the end of the semester. The Registrar’s Office distributes the spreadsheets via e-mail at that time to provide the most accurate data regarding the class. The grading sheets are provided automatically to help calculate the mean and median of the class when the faculty member enters letter grades. Remember to provide final letter grades for the course(s). Grades are due 30 days after the date of the final examination (or the due date of the final assignment.) Grades should be submitted to the Registrar’s office.
Please feel free to e-mail the Registrar’s office with any questions.