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 and with respect to certain
percentages of the graduating class. Cumulative grade point averages are
calculated to three decimal points, and are not rounded. The basis of
awarding honors is:
Summa Cum Laude: Top 1% of the graduating J.D. class and any other students with a GPA of 4.000 or higher.
Magna Cum Laude: Top 15% of the graduating J.D. class.
Cum Laude: Top 40% of the graduating J.D. class.
The Registrar will calculate cutoffs for honors by multiplying the number of graduates by .01, .15 and .40, rounding up to the nearest whole number, and adjusting to ensure that all students with the identical GPA receive the highest honor for which any one of them is eligible.
The Registrar shall record the minimum GPAs eligible for Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude for each Spring J.D. graduating class. These minimums for the most recent Spring graduating class shall determine honors eligibility for students who graduate after that Spring (and therefore were not included in percentile calculations), but before the next Spring’s graduating class.
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 after all final grades have been received for the May graduating JD class, 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 later in the summer 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. 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.
Order of the Coif
Members of the student body in the top 10 percent of the graduating J.D.
class are eligible for election to the 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.
[NOTE: The following information is applicable for students who graduated prior to January 2014.]
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