Graduate Certificate Rules

1. Certificate Requirements

Students must earn at least 12 credit hours (and up to 18 credits), consisting of two required courses (4 credits) and 3 or 4 elective courses (8 or more credits). The required courses are:

  • Two-week LL.M. Orientation program 
  • The U.S. Legal System – 3 credits
  • These required classes may be waived for practicing attorneys for whom these basic courses would not be beneficial. Students will select the rest of their classes from the curriculum related to the field of law of interest to them.

2. Grades

Graduate certificate students shall have the option of having their classes graded using letter grades or the modified pass/fail scale.  Graduate certificate students will be asked to elect the grading scale they wish to be graded on no later than the date set by the Registrar prior to the students’ first exam period.  These students will not be permitted to change this election.

Letter Grades

Section 8.02

The grading of students shall be indicated by the following letter and honor point equivalents:

  • A+ = 4.33
  • A = 4.0
  • A- = 3.67
  • B+ = 3.33
  • B = 3.0
  • B- = 2.67
  • C+ = 2.33
  • C = 2.0
  • C- = 1.67
  • D+ = 1.33
  • D = 1.0
  • D- = 0.67
  • F = 0.0
  • AW = Authorized Withdrawal
  •  I = Incomplete
  •  IP = In Progress
  •  NA = Not Applicable
  •  N = No Grade Reported
  •  S = Satisfactory Completion
  •  T = Audit
  •  U = Unsatisfactory Completion
  •  UWF = 0.0 Unauthorized Withdrawal, Failing

Professors shall assign letter grades as they deem appropriate, keeping in mind the following standards:

  • A is reserved for work that exceeds the professor’s expectations.
  • B is reserved for work that meets the professor’s expectations.
  • C is reserved for work that in part meets the professor’s expectations and in part does not meet the professor’s expectations.
  • F is reserved for failing work.

Modified Pass/Fail Scale

Grading of graduate certificate students who elect to be graded using the modified pass/fail scale shall be indicated by the following:

  • HP = High Pass
  • P = Pass
  • LP = Low Pass
  • F = Fail
  • AW = Authorized Withdrawal
  • I = Incomplete
  • IP = In Progress
  • N = No Grade Reported
  • T = Audit
  • UWF = Unauthorized Withdrawal, Failing

High Pass is reserved for work that exceeds the professor’s expectations. Pass is assigned for work that meets the professor’s expectations. Low pass is assigned for work that in part did meet the professor’s expectations and in part did not meet the professor’s expectations. Fail is reserved for work that does not meet the professor’s expectations.

Other Grading Information

  • The grades of "F,""UWF," and “U” are failing grades. The grades of “Low Pass,” “Pass,” and “High Pass” are passing grades. Credit is only granted for classes in which a student earns passing grades.
  • The grade of "IP" is reserved for courses continuing over two or more semesters. If a student received the grade of “AW,” no credit is awarded for the course, but the grade is not considered a failing grade.

A student who receives an Incomplete in a course must complete the course before the end of the semester next following the semester in which the Incomplete course was taken. An Incomplete may not be awarded to a student in the semester of graduation.

A graduate certificate student may take one course as an “Audit” if approved by the professor for the class. The student taking a class as an audit will not be required to complete class assignments, exams, papers, or other projects, but will be required to attend class. The audited class will be recorded on the student’s transcript with the grade of “T”. Courses taken as an “Audit” will not earn the student any credits toward meeting the certificate requirements.  A student wishing to audit a course must first obtain permission from the professor assigned to teach the course.

There is no mandatory curve or median for grading of graduate certificate students. The performance of graduate certificate students is not considered in determining grades for J.D. students.

As soon as practicable after each examination period, the Registrar's Office shall distribute to each student an up-to-date transcript. A new transcript is also provided in the case of a change of grade.

3. Assignments

Professors may, if they wish, adjust class assignments or offer alternative assignments to graduate certificate students.