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Academic Policy for MSJ Students   

Note: Entering class prior to 2013, view academic policy here >>

The MSJ Academic Policy and Grading Standards apply to all MSJ students who began the MSJ program in 2013 or later unless otherwise indicated. These standards provide for a progressive standard of evaluation of a student's performance based upon the number of credits completed. Students are responsible for reviewing their grades and online transcript at the end of each semester to determine compliance with these standards. The Law School reserves the right to change the provisions of these standards. Notice of changes will be posted, and all changes, unless otherwise provided, will be effective on the date indicated in the policy and binding on all students. Students are responsible for reading and understanding all provisions of these standards.

Grading System & Standards

MSJ students are graded on the following grading scale:

Grade Quantitative Qualitative
A+ 4.33 Excellent
A 4.0  
A- 3.67  
B+ 3.33 Good
B 3.00  
B- 2.67 Fair
C+ 2.33  
C 2.00  
C- 1.67 Unsatisfactory
D+ 1.33  
D 1.00  
F 0.00 Failure


In order to receive the MSJ degree, a student must complete 31 credits of coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.


Maximum Number of Credits: Attempted & Completed

The MSJ degree requires students to successfully complete 31 credits, including required and elective courses, after attempting no more than 40 credits. Repeated courses, withdrawn courses (WD), incompletes (I), or failures (F), are considered attempted but not earned hours. Any withdrawals from a course during the drop/add period are not counted as attempted credits. For purposes of this policy, “credits completed" refers to credits for which the student has received a grade. MSJ students may complete no more than 40 credits of courses in pursuit of the MSJ degree. Any student who does not achieve a GPA of 3.0 or higher after completing 40 credits of coursework will automatically be dismissed from the program.

Failure of Courses

No credits will be earned towards a student's degree for courses in which a student receives an F. However, the grade of 0.00 will be factored into the student's GPA based on the number of credits the student would have received for the course had he or she received a passing grade. In addition, as explained above, the number of credits for the course will be counted towards the maximum number of credits the student may complete in pursuit of the degree. A required course in which a grade of F is received must be repeated at the next administration of the course with a different professor. A student repeating a required course because of a grade of F who receives a second grade of F in the repeated course will be automatically dismissed from the MSJ program.

Incomplete Grades

An Incomplete (designated on the transcript as an I) is not counted in determining the student's GPA. Although a student's GPA is not affected by an Incomplete, the fact that the student receives no credit for the course may affect the student's eligibility for financial aid. Students should be aware that a grade of I is a temporary grade; if it is not resolved according to the specified deadlines, it will automatically and permanently convert to an F.

Withdrawal from Courses

If a student withdraws from a course after the course start date (whether voluntarily or pursuant to an administrative withdrawal), the designation WD will be included in the student's transcript.  MSJ students may receive a WD in no more than 3 courses. An MSJ student who has already received 3 WDs and subsequently withdraws from another course after the course start date, or who is administratively withdrawn from a course, will be withdrawn from the program.

Withdrawal from the MSJ Program

Students who wish to withdraw from the MSJ program must submit written notice to the Registrar/Bursar at, with a copy to, Associate Academic Director for the Division of Online Learning. Read our Refund of Tuition after Withdrawal policy here.

Policy for Students Electing a Dual Concentration with Financial Services

All MSJ students who elect to pursue a Dual Concentration in Financial Services and any other field (Health & Hospital Law, Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Law & Compliance, or Intellectual Property Law) will need to complete 37 credits to earn the MSJ degree.

All such students are required to complete the following courses:

  1. Introduction to Law & Legal Writing (4 credits)
  2. Torts for MSJs (3 credits)
  3. Fundamentals of Business Law (3 credits)
  4. Constitutional Law for MSJs (3 credits)
  5. Introduction to Corporate Law (3 credits)
  6. Governance & Compliance (3 credits)
  7. Risk Management & Compliance (3 credits)
  8. Securities Regulation & Compliance (3 credits)
  9. Introduction to Corporate Finance (3 credits)

In addition, students must complete 9 elective credits in their non-Financial Services concentration (Health & Hospital Law, Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Law & Compliance, or Intellectual Property Law).

Academic Standing

An MSJ student must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.00 in order to graduate. Each student is required to maintain satisfactory academic standing, defined in terms of both the minimum GPA required and the maximum number of C+, C, C-, D+, D, or F grades permitted. Students who do not maintain satisfactory academic standing will be automatically dismissed from the program, without the opportunity for appeal, pursuant to the standards set forth in the following table:

Credits Completed Dismissal
0-7 credits completed 1 grade of F, or 2 grades of C, C-, D+ or D
16 credits Cumulative GPA below 2.4
At any time (A)Grades of C+, C, C-, D+, D or F in more than two of the following courses:
  1. 1. Introduction to Law & Legal Writing;
  2. 2. Torts: Liability for Civil Wrongs;
  3. Business Law;
  4. Constitutional Law Survey;
  5. Introduction to Contracts & Torts;
  6. Introduction to Corporate Law;
  7. Governance, Compliance, Enforcement & Risk Management; and
  8. Securities Regulation & Compliance


(B) Impossibility of meeting graduation standard of obtaining a 3.00 GPA within the maximum number of credits completed.

The following honor is awarded each year to graduating MSJ students at the School of Law's Commencement Ceremony:

With Distinction Top 5% overall GPA



Academic Probation



Any student whose GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. The Assistant Dean may impose on a student on probation any or all of the following conditions:

1. reduction in academic load;

2. repetition of required courses;

3. limitation of courses or programs that may be taken; and/or

4. suspension for a specified period of time.