Exams and Grades
Date Approved and/or Revised
April 12, 1992; March 12, 2016 (revised); August 31, 2017 (revised), February 16, 2022 (revised)
Grading Scale. The following grading scale is used by the law school: A = 4.0, B+ = 3.5, B = 3.0,
C+ = 2.5, C = 2.0, D+ = 1.5, D = 1.0, F = 0.0, CR = Credit, NL = No Credit.
Computation of Grade Point Average. A grade is weighted by the number of credits for the course in order to calculate the grade points (e.g., letter grade for Property, 4-credit course, grade of B, 4 x 3.0 = 12.0 grade points). Calculating a student's semester average requires totaling the grade points and dividing them by the total number of graded credits taken for that semester. The cumulative average is calculated by dividing a total of all grade points by the total number of graded credits. Semester and cumulative grade point averages are recorded to the third decimal without rounding. A grade average of 2.5327, for example, is recorded as 2.532.
Credits earned in courses graded "CR" (credit) are not used in calculating a student's average but do count toward the 90 hours required for graduation. For courses in which a student received an "NL" grade (no credit), credit is not awarded, but such a grade does not affect grade averages.
The Grading Policy [Revisions effective with the Fall 2017 Semester]. "Evaluation of student work is one of the fundamental obligations of law professors. Examinations and assignments should be conscientiously designed, and all student work should be evaluated with impartiality. Grading should be done in a timely fashion and should be consistent with standards recognized as legitimate within the university and the profession." Statement of Good Practices by Law Professors in the Discharge of Their Ethical and Professional Responsibilities (Association of American Law Schools 1969).
"The responsibility for determining all grades and for judging the quality of academic performance in a course rests with the instructor." Student Grade Appeal Operating Policy and Procedure (1)(a) (Texas Tech University 1990).
Principle One. The responsibility to evaluate individual student academic performance and to assess the academic performance of a class of students comes within the discretion of the individual professor. This discretion includes determination of the distribution of grades for the course. The professor is obliged to evaluate the performance of the individual student along with the performances of the class, within the context of the professors' experiences and professional judgment. This responsibility partakes of the individual professor's academic freedom. Consistent with professional standards and university policy, the only external limitation on this evaluation is that the grade or grades cannot be the product of prejudice, or arbitrary or capricious action.
Principle Two. The faculty recognizes that grading appropriately rests in the sound discretion of the individual professor. At the same time, the faculty understands that using a grading policy similar to the practices of the law schools peer institutions would provide several benefits. A policy would help to minimize potential employers misunderstandings in comparison of grades across institutions. It would further minimize grading disparity between sections of the same course in the law school, particularly in first year sections. As such, the faculty suggests that individual faculty members consider the grade distribution below, acknowledging that the distribution of grades within every course is left to the wisdom of the professor.
Using another grade distribution or departing in any way from this suggested distribution will not constitute grounds for an individual grade appeal. Seminars and other small enrollment classes are not included in these suggested distributions.
Suggested Grade Distribution
D+, D, F 5%
Grade Reports. Students may view their grades at https://raiderlink.ttu.edu.
Dean's List. While the Dean does not report an official Dean's List each semester, students who have a semester average of at least 3.450 for a fall or spring semester may report themselves on resumes, etc., as being on the Dean's List for that semester.
Graduation Honors. Found in the Hooding Ceremony Policy
Class Rank. Found in the Class Rank Policy
Review of Examinations. Students who want to review their exams should contact their professors after grades have been reported.
Incomplete Grades. The law school does not use "Incomplete" grades. Students are required to complete the work for a course in the semester in which they are registered. Otherwise, a student must either withdraw from the course, if given permission by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the professor or take a "WF" for work not completed. This is a failing grade and will be calculated into the students average with a grade of "F."
Grade Changes. No changes are made in grades unless there has been an error in calculating a grade or an answer missed in the grading process. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs must approve all grade changes, and the Registrar notifies students whose grades are changed.
Grade Appeals. Students who have a question concerning a grade received should first talk with their professors. If they are not satisfied with the outcome of these efforts, they should contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Following that, students who feel that they have reason to pursue grade appeals should obtain an appeal form from the Registrar or Associate Dean and follow the procedures outlined. A grade can be appealed "only when there is demonstrable evidence that prejudice or arbitrary or capricious action on the part of the instructor has influenced the grade." Texas Tech University Operating Policy and Procedure 34.03. Grade appeals will not be accepted later than the 45th day of the next long semester following the semester in which the contested grade was received. See university OP 34.03 online at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/opmanual/OP34.03.pdf.
Grades for Failed and Repeated Courses. If a student fails a course, the grade received is calculated into the student's average in the usual manner. If a failing grade is received in a required course, the student must repeat the course taught by a different professor, if available, and receive a passing grade. The grade received when a failed course is retaken will not be computed into the student's final cumulative grade average, but the grade will be used to compute the semester grade average to determine whether the student has satisfied the continuing cumulative average for that semester.
A student who fails an elective course may repeat the course but will receive only credit upon successful completion; the grade will not be calculated into a student's average.
The grade received in any repeated course is shown on a student's transcript as credit/no credit.
Adjustments to Grades. Professors may add or subtract up to one letter grade increment to the final grade for classroom attendance and participation. Students wanting to know whether or not they have received extra points or had points deducted and the reasons for doing so should check with the professor. Professors may also remove students who exceed the maximum number of allowed absences from their courses. In these situations, the students receive no credit and may be awarded a grade of "WF," which will affect their grade point averages.
"W" Grades. Students will receive a "W" grade in all courses dropped on or before the 30th class day of the fall or spring semester or on or before the 15th class day of a summer term. For any courses dropped after these deadlines, a professor has the option of assigning a grade of "W" or "WF." A "WF" grade is treated as a failing grade of "F" (0.0) and is used in calculating a student's GPA.