MSU College of Law

Grade Curve Policy

  1. First year classes shall be curved around a target mean of 3.00.
    1. First year classes with greater than 20 students have a permitted variance of ± 0.07 (i.e., 2.93 to 3.07).
    2. First year classes with 20 or fewer students have a permitted variance of ± 0.17 (i.e., 2.83 to 3.17).
  2. Upper level courses shall be curved around a target mean of 3.33.
    1. Upper level classes with greater than 20 students have a permitted variance of ± 0.10 (i.e., 3.23 to 3.43).
    2. Upper level classes with 20 or fewer students have a permitted variance of ± 0.17 (i.e., 3.16 to 3.50).
  3. Deviations from the curve must be approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
  4. No more than 70% of grades awarded in any class may be B+ (3.33), B (3.00), B- (2.67).
  5. Grades of “F” in any class shall not be included in the calculation of whether the curve for any class complies with the grade curve policy.
  6. Final grades incorporating adjustments for factors such as midterm exams, attendance, additional graded assignments, and class participation shall comply with the target curves.
  7. Grade Curve in Micro-Classes
    1. Definition: A “Micro-Class” is a class in which (1) class size is six or fewer students, or (2) students are selected by the faculty member on the basis of demonstrated merit, such as Clinic II, King’s Scholars seminars, or directed studies.
    2. Applicable grade curve in micro-classes: Grades in micro-classes shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs a good faith attempt to comply with the spirit of the curve applicable to upper level classes.

Adopted: May 11, 2016, to become effective Fall 2016
Amended: September 21, 2016