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Passing grades

In order to obtain credit for their courses, candidates in the BCL/JD Program must obtain a passing grade. The following grades are awarded by the Faculty of Law:

BCL/JD Program


Real Excellence  




Very Good           




Reasonably good 


Competence plus




Marginal Pass (complementary and elective courses) / Failure (compulsory courses).


Compulsory Courses

Passing grades: A; A-; B+; B; B-; C+; C

Failing grades: D; F

Complementary and Elective Courses

Passing grades: A; A-; B+; B; B-; C+; C; D

Failing grade: U; F

Grade points are assigned to letter grades as follows:


Grade Points
















F 0

McGill grading and grade point average (GPA) policy

See the University Calendar's page on Grading and Grade Point Averages (GPA).

If you repeat courses, all results are included in the GPA calculation. Therefore, grades of D or F continue to be used in the CGPA calculation even after you repeat the course or if you take a supplemental examination. Note that credits are only granted once for a repeated course regardless of the passing grade.

Grades and academic standing

BCL/JD students

Candidates who do not achieve a sessional Grade Point Average of 1.50 will be required to withdraw from the Faculty.

Candidates who achieve a sessional Grade Point Average of between 1.50 and 1.99 will be permitted to continue their studies, but must achieve at the end of the subsequent session either a sessional Grade Point Average of 2.50 or a cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.00.

Candidates must have a cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.00 to be entitled to graduate.

Candidates who are required to withdraw from the Faculty may be authorized by the Faculty Admissions Committee to continue their studies if exceptional reasons for the required withdrawal exist.

LLM, DCL, and GC Students

Students who have failed one course required by their department while registered as a graduate student may automatically write one supplemental examination, if the departmental policy permits, or retake that course or substitute an equivalent course.

For the purposes of this policy, "required course" includes either a course required by the student's program of study, or a course that has been designated by the department for an individual student's program of study.

Students with any further failures in that course, including the supplemental, or a failure in any other course, will be required to withdraw from their program of study. When a student retakes a course, he/she is required to pay the fee charged for the course in question.

Doctoral students and Master's students in thesis programs can also be required to withdraw from their program of study for documented lack of performance in research.

The failure policy does not pertain to the failure of comprehensive examinations, doctoral oral defenses, or thesis failures. In the case of a failed thesis or defense, the Thesis Failure Policy, detailed in McGill's Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office's Thesis guidelines section, applies. In the case of a failed comprehensive examination, McGill's Ph.D. Comprehensives Policy applies.

Students taking courses extra to their program

Students who wish to take a limited number of courses that are considered to be extra to their primary program, must request permission to do so prior to registration, in writing, to the SAO. If approved, the courses will be flagged as extra to their program, and will not be calculated in GPA or total credits earned.

Access to student records

Quebec legislation respecting Privacy and Access to Information has formalized dealings with student files. Consequently, personal information, including transcripts of academic records, may only be released with the authorisation of the student.

In particular, information relating to the overall standing of an individual student is confidential and cannot be furnished to prospective employers without the consent of that student.

The Faculty does not rank undergraduate students, but we do publish a table of cumulative averages (see below). Students requiring a letter explaining the grading policy or rankings can request one by emailing the SAO.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option

31 March 2020: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Faculty of Law has instituted an expanded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option for the Winter 2020 semester. All law students, undergraduate and graduate (BCL/JD, LLM, DCL), may exercise the S/U option for any of their courses (e.g. compulsory, basket, elective, including first-year courses and term essays). There is no limit to the number of courses for which you may exercise the S/U option the winter 2020 term.

The SAO has created a webform for students wishing to exercise the S/U option. Students may elect the S/U option, course by course, until 22 May 2020, following McGill’s expanded protocol, announced on 20 March 2020.


The S/U Option is applicable to Law and non-law Electives and Law Complementary courses within the BCL/JD Program.

The S/U Option is limited to one course in the program for a max of 4 credits.

Students are NOT permitted to choose the S/U Option for Required Courses.

Students who decide to have a course graded as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) must do so before the Course Change deadline on Minerva ( as part of the Student Menu > Registration Menu > Quick Add or Drop Course Sections Menu. Students cannot make any changes after the Course Change deadline even if the option was selected by mistake.

The instructor will report grades in the normal fashion. Grades of A through C are converted to “Satisfactory” (S), and grades of D, F, and J are converted to “Unsatisfactory” (U). The courses taken under the S/U option will be excluded from the grade point average (GPA) calculations, but they will be included in the attempted credits total. Credits for courses with a final grade of S will also be included in the number of credits earned.

The Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option is not open to graduate students.

For more information, please refer to the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option on the main McGill Programs, Courses and University Regulations site, under Registration. Be aware that a D is a fail and translates to “Unsatisfactory” under this option.

First-year mid-term grades

Students have access to view their mid-term grades on myCourses for a 2-week period at the end of the Fall term (January).

The Faculty does NOT release December mid-term grades for first-year full-year courses.

These grades are NOT final grades, and are intended to provide pedagogical feedback to students and instructors. The final grade for first year courses will be visible on the student's official transcript at the end of the winter term (May).

The following is a letter from the Director, Student Life and Learning, explaining this process: PDF icon 1L Midterm Grades 2020 *Advanced standing students who require a more detailed letter can contact the [at] (SAO).

Letter about grades and the BCL/JD (formerly the BCL/LLB) Program

The following letter, prepared by our Associate Dean (Academic), explains our program and our exceptionally rigorous academic standards. PDF icon McGill Grading Standards

The following letter, prepared by Associate Dean Graduate Studies, explains the Graduate Program and our exceptionally rigorous academic standards. PDF icon McGill Law Grading Standards for Graduate Students

Table of cumulative averages for BCL/JD students

These tables below show the percentage of BCL/JD students whose Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) falls within each grade range. It is based on information available at the end of each academic year. It is normally updated each June. The Faculty does not compile individual student rankings, nor provide ranking letters of any kind.

Dean's Honour List

A maximum of the top 10% of BCL/JD students in the Faculty of Law are named to the Dean’s Honour List (DHL) at the end of each academic year. This non-monetary designation appears on the official McGill transcript.

For non-graduating students, the DHL is determined on the combined GPA for the fall and winter terms only (Sessional GPA, or SGPA). The top 10% listed below (for both 1st years and upper years) DOES NOT reflect the final DHL SGPA. Students must have completed at least 27 graded credits (minus S/U Option) to be considered eligible for the DHL. The DHL for in-progress students during the 2018-2019 university year was a SGPA of 3.42.

For graduating students, the DHL is determined on the Cumulative Average (CGPA) of the entire BCL/JD Program.

Undergraduate table of cumulative averages (2018-2019)

 First-year students


 CGPA range

 % of students*

A-/A 3.70-4.00 < 1%
 B+ 3.30-3.69 10%
B ** 3.15-3.29 > 17%
 B ** 3.00-3.14 26%
B- 2.70-2.99 33%
C/C+ 2.00-2.69 13%
D/F 0.00-1.99 < 1%



Top 10%

Top 20% 3.19
Top 50% 3.00

Upper year students


 CGPA range

% of students*

A-/A 3.70-4.00 1%
B+ 3.30-3.69 19%
B ** 3.15-3.29 21?
B ** 3.00-3.14 26%
B- 2.70-2.99 26%
C/C+ 2.00-2.69 6%



Top 10% 3.4
Top 20% 3.3
Top 50% 3.1

Percentages have been rounded, so the total may not equal 100.

** Given the large number of students with cumulative grade point averages between 3.00 and 3.29 (B range), this grade increment has been divided in two to provide additional information.

Table of cumulative averages 2018-2019 [.pdf]
Table of cumulative averages 2017-2018 [.pdf]
Table of cumulative averages 2016-2017 [.pdf]
Table of cumulative averages 2015-2016 [.pdf]
Table of cumulative averages 2014-2015 [.pdf]
Table of cumulative averages 2013-2014 [.pdf]
Table of cumulative averages 2012-2013 [.pdf]
Table of cumulative averages 2011-2012 [.pdf]
Table of cumulative averages 2010-2011 [.pdf]
Table of cumulative averages 2009-2010 [.pdf]
Table of cumulative averages 2008-2009 [.pdf]
Table of cumulative averages 2007-2008 [.pdf]

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