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Grading Norms

J.D. Grading Norms

On May 5, 2005, Penn State Law faculty established suggested J.D. grading norms for (1) all required courses; (2) electives with an enrollment of 30 or more; and (3) seminars and electives with an enrollment of 29 or fewer, as follows:

1. All required courses: Median = B.
Mean = 2.9-3.1.
Expect 15% A and A-.
Expect 15% C+ and below.
Expect 3-7% D and below.
2. Elective classroom courses (30+): Median = B.
Mean = 2.9-3.2.
Expect 15% A and A-.
Expect 15% C+ and below.
3. Seminars, small classes, etc. Median = B+.
Mean = 3.0-3.6.
No expectations.

These norms are suggested guidelines as opposed to rigid requirements.

LL.M. Grading Norm

On March 3, 2014, Penn State Law faculty established a suggested LL.M. grading norm. A grade is given solely on the basis of the instructor’s judgment as to the student’s scholarly attainment. The following grading system applies to LL.M. students: A (EXCELLENT) indicates exceptional achievement; B (GOOD) indicates substantial achievement; C (SATISFACTORY) indicates acceptable but substandard achievement; D (POOR) indicates inadequate achievement; and F (FAILURE) indicates work unworthy of any credit, and suggests that the student may not be capable of succeeding in LL.M. study. The grade-point equivalents for the above marks are: A, 4.00; B, 3.00; C, 2.00; D, 1.00; F, 0. In Fall 1995 a +/– grading system went into effect that includes A–, B+, B–, and C+. The grade-point equivalents are A–, 3.67; B+, 3.33; B–, 2.67; and C+, 2.33.