LLM Academic Regulations
Letter grades are given with numerical equivalents as follows:
Graduate students may not elect to take graded courses on a Credit/No Credit basis. No credit is given for grades below C- for U.S. law school graduates in the program and for grades below D for non-U.S. law school graduates. A student who has been excused from taking a regularly scheduled examination or has been granted an extension of the deadline for a research paper is given the grade of I, Incomplete. (See Failure to Take an Examination, and Deadlines for Courses Graded on the Basis of Methods of Evaluation Other than In-Class Examinations, below.) The cumulative average of a student includes all grades in all courses taken while a candidate for a given degree.
No grade may be changed by an instructor after it has been posted or disclosed to a student unless there has been an arithmetic or administrative error that has been certified in writing by the instructor. A student has the right of faculty peer review of complaints of “capricious or prejudiced academic evaluation” under the regulations outlined in The George Washington University Guide to Students’ Rights and Responsibilities. To initiate such a review, the student must submit a letter and supporting documentation to the senior associate dean for academic affairs by the last day of classes of the semester following the semester or summer session in which the grade for an examination, paper, or other work product was awarded.
Method of Evaluation
The method of evaluation is indicated at the end of each course description in this Bulletin, and a student’s grade in the course will be determined in large part on that basis. In most courses, a final examination is held during the examination period. These courses are marked “examination.” Additional written work requirements are indicated by notations such as “drafting assignments” or “problem assignments.” A small number of courses are marked “take-home examination,” indicating that the instructor will determine the method by which the examination is administered outside of the classroom.
Courses that require the preparation of a major research paper in lieu of an examination are marked “research paper.” Some courses are marked “examination or research paper with permission of the instructor.” In such cases an examination will be scheduled but the instructor may grant permission for a number of students to write a research paper in lieu of the examination.
Skills courses are usually graded on the basis of simulation, role-playing, and/or some form of written assignment and may be marked, for example, “drafting assignments” or “simulation and paper.”
Participation—Once a student has been evaluated in a course using the method indicated in the course description, the instructor may raise or lower the student’s grade on the basis of class participation. For courses in which the sole method of evaluation listed in this Bulletin is an examination (whether in-class or take-home), a student’s grade may be raised or lowered for class participation by only one grade step, e.g., from B to B+, or B to B-, provided that the instructor so notifies the students in the syllabus. For all other courses (excluding skills and clinical courses), instructors intending to consider class participation in determining final grades must state in the syllabus the weight it will be accorded.
The degree of Master of Laws “With Highest Honors” is awarded to those students who obtain a minimum cumulative average of 3.67.
Failure to Take an Examination
Written examinations are held at the end of most courses. Every student is required to take the regular examinations at their scheduled dates and times unless excused. If a student fails to take an examination, a grade of F will be recorded unless the student has been excused from the examination or has obtained the dean of students’ permission to drop the course. No excuse for absence will be granted except by the dean of students and then only for illness or other emergency. Travel or scheduling conflicts do not constitute an emergency, nor do multiple examinations on the same date or examinations on several consecutive dates. Application for excuse must be made in writing as soon as possible but not later than one month after the date of the examination.
An instructor may, at his or her discretion, permit a student who has been granted an excused absence for an in-class examination to take the examination on a graded basis later in the examination period or as soon thereafter as can be arranged in consultation with the dean of students and the Records Office. If the student is not permitted to make up the examination in this way, and in the case of all other excused absences in graded courses, the following regulations apply. A student who has received an excused absence for a graded course will have the temporary grade of I (Incomplete) entered on the record and must elect, in writing, one of the following options. First, the student may comply with the instructor’s procedure of evaluation (make-up examination, research paper, or other procedure, as determined by the instructor) to be graded on a Credit/No Credit basis (for credit, a minimum grade of C-is required for LLM candidates) before the end of the semester following the excused absence. Second, the student may take the next regularly scheduled examination in the same course, taught by the same or a different instructor, for a letter grade. The examination, however, may not be taken after a student has been excluded for low scholarship, and permission to take an examination before the regularly scheduled date and time will not be granted. If the student fails to complete the elected option within the prescribed period, without an approved absence, the grade of I for the course will be changed to a grade of F.
Deadlines for Courses Graded by Evaluations Other than In-Class Examinations
As indicated in course descriptions, many courses are graded on the basis of research papers, take-home examinations, appellate briefs, drafting assignments, litigation exercises, negotiation exercises, oral arguments, oral presentations, problem assignments, projects, short papers, simulations, or writing assignments.
To receive a letter grade for a research paper, a student must submit the paper by the date specified by the instructor, or, if the instructor has not specified a due date, by the last day of classes in the semester. For courses taken in the fall semester, the instructor may extend the due date to no later than January 15. For courses taken in the spring semester, the instructor may extend the due date to no later than June 15, unless the student intends to graduate at the end of the semester, in which case the paper must be submitted by the last day of the examination period. In the summer session, the deadline will be determined by the instructor, but will be set no later than the last Friday before fall semester classes begin.
To receive a letter grade for any required assignment other than a research paper, a student must submit the assignment by the date specified by the instructor, or, if the instructor has not specified a due date, by the last day of classes. An instructor may extend the due date to the last day of the examination period in the semester.
Although no letter grade can be awarded for extensions beyond the foregoing deadlines, the instructor may, for sufficient reason, extend a deadline for the submission up to the last day of the examination period of the following semester; further extensions may be granted only in exceptional circumstances and must be approved in writing by the instructor and the dean of students. When the deadline is extended beyond those indicated for receiving a letter grade, the following conditions apply: (1) no student will earn any credit for the course for any purpose until assignments acceptable to the instructor have been submitted; (2) the only grade the student may receive for the course is CR (Credit) or NC (No Credit). To earn a grade of Credit, a minimum evaluation of C- is required for LLM candidates. Failure to submit all required assignments within the extended deadline will result in a grade of F.
Changes in Program of Study
Master of Laws candidates may make changes in their class schedules during the first six days of classes. After that time, students may add or drop courses only with the written approval of the instructor, the dean of students, and the director of the Records Office. Under no circumstances may a student drop a course after the last day of classes in any semester. Under no circumstances may a student add a course or credits to a course for which the student is registered after the Friday of the eleventh week of class. A student is not permitted to drop a course or credits from a course for which the student is registered after the Friday of the eleventh week of class unless the dean of students certifies that extraordinary events warrant doing so.
Credit for Courses Taken in Other GW Schools
Master of Laws candidates are permitted to take graduate courses related to their fields of interest in other schools of this University with the permission of their program director. A maximum of 6 credit hours will be credited toward the degree for such courses. The grade of CR (Credit) or NC (No Credit) will be recorded for such courses; a student must earn a grade of at least B- to receive a grade of Credit. Law students receive 1 credit hour for each 700 minutes of scheduled class time in a semester; therefore, a law student may in some cases earn only 2 credits for a course offered by another school of the University for 3 credits.
Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, Inc.
A candidate for the Master of Laws degree may take graduate courses at Georgetown University Law Center through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. A maximum of 6 credit hours of such courses may be credited toward the master’s degree. Permission to take Consortium courses must be granted by the Law School’s dean of students and the registrar of Georgetown University Law Center. The grade of CR (Credit) or NC (No Credit) will be recorded for such courses. To receive the grade of CR a student must attain a grade of C- or higher.
A student who fails to register for one or more semesters will be required to apply for readmission in order to continue in the degree program. Application for readmission should be made to the relevant program director. Readmitted students will not receive academic credit for course work completed more than five years prior to the date of the readmission request. Petitions for exceptions to this policy should be addressed to the relevant program director and the senior associate dean for academic affairs and will be granted only in exceptional circumstances.
Regular attendance at classes is required and is necessary for successful work. A student who is shown by the instructor to be deficient in class attendance or participation will, after the instructor first attempts to communicate with the student, have a grade of No Credit entered on the record absent an excuse. No excuse for deficient attendance or participation will be granted except by the dean of students and then only for illness or other emergency. A student whose excuse is accepted by the dean of students will be withdrawn administratively from the course.