Grades and Grading Scale

Grades can be accessed online via Campus Connection. Grades can be viewed and printed using the Unofficial Transcript in the Student Center in Campus Connection.

Grades are assigned in accordance with the following definitions. A plus or minus grade represents a slight variance from the indicated definition.

Once a grade is assigned, university policy prohibits faculty from changing the grade unless the professor made a clerical error when calculating it. Removal of an incomplete grade in accordance with University policy is an exception to the grade change policy.

Faculty may not assign or accept additional graded material in order to improve a student’s final grade. They may not conduct a substantive reevaluation of the student’s exam or coursework.

A     The instructor judged the student to have accomplished the stated objectives of the course in an EXCELLENT manner.

B     The instructor judged the student to have accomplished the stated objectives of the course in a VERY GOOD manner.

C     The instructor judged the student to have accomplished the stated objectives of the course in a SATISFACTORY manner.

D     The instructor judged the student to have accomplished the stated objectives of the course in a POOR manner.

F     The instructor judged the student NOT to have accomplished the stated objectives of the course.

IN     Temporary grade indicating that, following a request by the Student, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and the Instructor have given permission for the student to receive an incomplete grade. In order to qualify, the student must have:

1.  satisfactory record in the work already completed in the course;

2.  encountered unusual or unforeseeable circumstances, which prevent him/her from completing the course requirements before the end of the term; and

3.  applied to the instructor and to the Assistant Dean for permission to receive the IN. The incomplete will expire at the end of the following semester. If the work is not complete, the student will receive a failing grade.


PA     Passing achievement in a pass/fail course. (Grades A through D represent passing performance).

W     Withdrawal from the course instituted by the student after the last day to drop with a refund and before the final withdrawal deadline.

WA     Withdrawal from the course initiated by an administrator at a student’s request, usually outside of established deadlines.  Administrative withdrawals may be granted under extraordinary circumstances and require documentation for support.

FX     Student stopped academic activity, was absent excessively, or failed to withdraw while registered. The FX will be factored into a student’s GPA in the same way an F would be.

M     Final grade not submitted by instructor.

AU     Auditor status; course does not earn credit.

Illustration of Calculating Grades

​A     4 times the number of credit hours assigned to the course.

A-     3.7 times the number of credit hours assigned to the course.

B+     3.3 times the number of credit hours assigned to the course.

B     3 times the number of credit hours assigned to the course.

B-     2.7 times the number of credit hours assigned to the course.

C+     2.3 times the number of credit hours assigned to the course.

C     2 times the number of credit hours assigned to the course.

C-     1.7 times the number of credit hours assigned to the course.

D     1 times the number of credit hours assigned to the course.

F, FX     No quality points awarded.

AU, W, WA, IN, PA     Quality points not assigned.

First-Year Grade Curve and Upper-Level Classes with 50 or More Students

The College of Law faculty has adopted the following mandatory grade curve that applies to all first-year courses and to upper-level classes with 50 or more enrolled students:

A     12%-17%

A-     and/or B+ 20%-30%

B     20%-30%

B-     and/or C+ 20%-30%

C or below      10%-15%

In addition, the mean or average for all DePaul students in any course subject to this grade curve must be between 2.95 and 3.15. All LARC sections taught by the same instructor during the semester are aggregated into one course for purposes of this curve. 

Upper-Level Grade Curve: Classes with 21 - 49 Students

The mean or average for all DePaul students in any upper-level course with an enrollment between 21 and 49 students, including LARC III, must be between 2.95 and 3.15.

Upper-Level Classes with 20 or Fewer Students

No mandatory grade curve applies to courses with enrollments of 20 or fewer DePaul students. However, any instructor submitting grades for DePaul students more than half of which are grades of A shall provide the Vice Dean with a brief explanation of the methodology that led to this result.

Computation of GPA

GPAs are computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of graded credit hours. Graded credit hours do not include courses graded WA, W, P, IN, M, or AU, but do include courses graded F or FX. Grade point averages are reported to three digits and cannot be rounded up. Students must report their grade point average as it appears on official and unofficial transcripts.

Grade of W or WA (Withdraw)

If a student withdraws from a course before the tuition refund deadline announced in the academic calendar, no record of the withdrawal will appear on his or her transcript.  However, if a student drops a class after the tuition refund deadline, the grade of W will appear on the transcript. A withdrawal has no effect on a student’s GPA. If the student asks to withdraw after the online deadline passes, the student will receive a grade of WA (administrative withdrawal), and tuition is due.

Grade of FX

The College of Law requires regular and punctual class attendance and proper class preparation. Irregular class attendance or inadequate preparation may result in a student being involuntarily withdrawn from the class.  Students who are involuntarily withdrawn receive a grade of FX. A students who registers for a class, does not complete the coursework or exam, and does not drop the class prior to the last regularly scheduled day of class will also receive a grade of FX.

Grade of IN (Incomplete)

The grade of Incomplete (IN) is assigned when a student has been excused from taking the final examination on good cause shown or, with permission, has failed to complete all of the required coursework.  To receive an incomplete, a student must receive written permission from the instructor and the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.  All course work must be completed by the end of the following semester or the student will receive a permanent failing grade (F).

Pass/Fail

Pass/Fail rules are described in § 5.9. Only designated courses may be taken pass/fail.  Students may NOT elect to take graded courses pass/fail.

Repeat Policy

A student who receives a grade of F or FX in a course may NOT retake the course (with the exception of Legal Profession, which must be completed successfully in order to obtain a JD). Courses may not be repeated in order to obtain a higher grade.

Anonymous Grading

For most courses, the Law School uses an anonymous grading system.   Students receive an anonymous number each semester.  The only identifying information that should be used for all exams is the four-digit anonymous exam number.  Students must ensure that their e-mail addresses on Campus Connection are correct or they will not receive an anonymous exam number.

Disclosure of Grades

Typically, fall semester grades are released in mid-January. Spring semester grades are released in mid-June. Summer grades are released in September.

Once the University processes final course grades, students may obtain their final grades on Campus Connection. Grades will not be disclosed over the telephone or by email. Students must give written consent for grades to be disclosed to third parties. 

Unofficial transcripts with grades and grade point averages are available on the University Campus Connection website.  Official transcripts are available from the University Office of Student Records (SR). For further information, go to Campus Connection or to http://sr.depaul.edu.

Grades also appear on Degree Progress Reports, available on the University Campus Connection website. A Degree Progress Report charts the student’s progress toward his or her degree.

Determination of Grades

Grades are determined solely on the basis of the academic performance of each student according to criteria established by the course instructor.  During the first week of class, the instructor will advise the students of the factors that will be considered in determining the final grade (e.g., examinations, papers, class participation, attendance, etc.).  The evaluation of academic performance is subject to the professional judgment and discretion of the instructor.

Once final grades are submitted to the Office of Student Affairs, they may be changed only in the event of a clerical or computational error. Grades cannot be changed because of a reassessment of an examination or course work or the submission of extra work.

Grade Challenges

For the complete grade challenge rules, go to www.depaul.edu > Graduate Student Handbook > Graduate Academic Policies. Students should understand that grade challenges are very rarely granted. Academic records will be locked upon degree conferral. Under no circumstances will changes be made to the academic record after degree conferral.

Deadlines to File a Grade Challenge:

  • Fall semester grade:  March 1 of the following spring semester
  • Summer/spring semester grade:  October 1 of the following fall semester 

A student may appeal a grade only in unusual circumstances and only if a student establishes the following:

  1. The methods or criteria for evaluating academic performance, made explicit by the instructor at the beginning of the course, usually in a course syllabus or as subsequently modified with the majority consent of the students, were not actually applied in determining the grade.
  2. The grade was determined or influenced by criteria other than those explained by the instructor or by criteria not relevant to academic performance.
  3. The instructor applied predetermined criteria unfairly, which may include but not be limited to the following:

​a.   The instructor’s evaluation of academic performance so exceeded the reasonable limits of the instructor’s discretion as not to be acceptable to the instructor’s peers.

b.   Predetermined criteria were not explained at the beginning of the semester.

Before filing a grade challenge, a student must first meet with the professor to discuss the grade. To initiate a challenge, the student must file five copies of a cover letter, petition and any supporting documents with Vice Dean David Franklin.

Academic records will be locked upon degree conferral. Under no circumstances will changes be made to the academic record after a degree is conferred. Students who are dismissed may not file a grade challenge. 

Class Ranks

JD students who have completed at least one semester at the College of Law are ranked by cumulative GPA in percentage increments. LL.M. students are not ranked.  Students who transfer to DePaul are ranked once they receive DePaul grades. Transfer credits are not used to determine class ranks but are used to determine honors at graduation. Class ranks are posted in February and July on the Law School website.

Ranks are listed by percentile, in five percent increments, through the 50th percentile.  The lower half of the class is ranked by quartile. Full-time and part-time students are ranked separately. Once released, class ranks are not affected by any subsequent grade changes or withdrawals. Numeric class ranks are not available.

In communicating with prospective employers or otherwise, a student must report his or her class rank precisely as listed on the Law School website.  Students may not round off their grade point averages to achieve a higher rank. 

To verify a class rank, a student should order an unofficial transcript or official transcript from Campus Connection or through the University Office of Student Records, http://sr.depaul.edu. Students then should compare their cumulative GPA to the percentage class ranks on the Law School website, www.law.depaul.edu. If an employer requests verification of class rank, the student should give the employer the unofficial or official transcript and a copy of the ranks from the law school website or refer the employer to the website.

Dean's List

Students who rank in the upper 25 percent of their class based on one semester’s grades qualify for the Dean's List.  Dean’s List notes appear on unofficial and official transcripts, available on Campus Connection. Total credits, graded as well as pass/fail, count toward earned credit hours.

To qualify for the Dean’s List, a full-time student must be registered for at least 12  credits graded other than pass/fail or audited.  A part-time student must be registered for at least nine credits graded other than pass/fail or audited. Once released, the Dean’s List is not affected by any subsequent grade changes or withdrawals.

JD Classifications for Class Ranks and the Dean’s List

For purposes of determining class ranks and the Dean’s list, JD students are classified by the number of credit hours they have earned:

Full-Time

First-Year = 28 or fewer earned credit hours
Second-Year = 29 to 54 earned credit hours
Third-Year = 56 or more earned credit hours

Part-Time

First-Year = 20 or fewer earned credit hours
Second-Year = 21 to 43 earned credit hours
Third-Year = 44 to 67 earned credit hours
Fourth-Year = 62 or more earned credit hours

CALI Excellence for the Future Award

An outside company, Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), provides an award to the student who receives the highest grade in each course.   The award winners receive a certificate from CALI. CALI recipients may confirm their awards on www.cali.org.

Transcripts: Official and Unofficial

Only the University Office of Student Records can issue transcripts. The College of Law cannot issue transcripts. To access both official and unofficial transcripts, go to www.depaul.edu > Current Students > Campus Connection > log in. For Students > Records & Registration > choose either Transcript - official or transcript - unofficial.

Unofficial transcripts: Unlimited copies may be made at no charge. Most employers will accept an unofficial transcript in the initial stages of interviewing. Before making an offer, they may request an official transcript.

Official transcripts: electronic or paper. If the student clicks on “official,” the transcript may be sent to the student or to a 3rd party recipient. The student should choose a method of delivery: email, express mail or regular mail. Express delivery is available for an extra fee. Students may order up to 10 free transcripts per year.

Electronic delivery: The official transcript can be sent to a 3rd party recipient if the student specifies an email address. It is certified as official and is in PDF. If printed, it becomes unofficial.

Paper (Mail delivery): The official transcript becomes unofficial if the student makes a photocopy of the original.  Students may not request to pick up printed transcripts from the University Office of Student Records.

The transcript will not be issued if a student's financial account with the University is delinquent.​​​