See Academic Rule 13
See Commencement Ceremony
Honors for recipients of the J.D. degree are awarded on the basis of the cumulative Law School grade point average. Cumulative grade point averages are calculated to three decimal points, and are not rounded. The basis of awarding honors is:
3.333 – 3.499 Cum laude
3.500 – 3.999 Magna cum laude
4.000 – 4.333 Summa cum laude
Prior to the commencement ceremony, provisional honors are calculated based on a J.D. student’s cumulative grade point average at the conclusion of the preceding (fall) semester. Two semester courses, such as moot courts or some clinics, in which a grade is not assigned until the second semester has been completed, are not included in the provisional calculation. The provisional honors are listed in the commencement ceremony bulletin.
Honors are calculated a second time at the end of a student’s law career and include all grades, such as those not calculated for the provisional honors, and are final honors. Final honors are confirmed by the Registrar (and then listed on both the transcript and diploma) at the time of degree conferral (graduation) which occurs after May commencement ceremonies. It is possible to have provisional honors granted for the commencement ceremony but ultimately not have honors confirmed at the time of graduation if a student’s final grade point average is lower than the threshold (3.333). In this case, a student may not continue to refer to the provisional honors in resumes or other representations regarding academic performance.
Alternatively, a student could receive a different honor, i.e. 3.500 Magna cum laude as provisional honors and 4.000 Summa cum laude upon graduation.
For December graduates no provisional honors are calculated because there is not a commencement ceremony specific for December graduates. Therefore, the grade point average for final honors is the only honors calculation done and is final upon degree conferral.
Order of the Coif
Order of the Coif requires that at least 75 percent of a student's credits toward degree requirements be in "graded courses" that count toward the J.D. GPA. Thus, eligibility for Order of the Coif requires a minimum of 66 total graded Law credits earned in coursework at the University of Minnesota Law School. Due to this restriction, transfer students who receive credit for a significant number of courses taken at a previous institution will not be eligible for election to Order of the Coif. This limitation may also impact the eligibility of some joint and dual degree students who take a larger proportion of courses in their partner program.