Letter regarding Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 Class Averages PDF icon SU Adjusted Academic Measure -Class Averages




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

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 Manager, Student Affairs Office, explaining this process: PDF icon Letter for First Year Students MidTerm Grades ENG PDF icon Letter for First Year Students MidTerm Grades FR

*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 2023 (EN)PDF icon McGill Grading Standards 2023 (FR)

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.

Dean's Honours List and Table of Cumulative Averages

Dean's Honour List

Several awards are based on class standing. These include Dean's Honour List and many of the prizes and scholarships listed in other sections of our website.

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.

Where an award is based on class standing, it is calculated based on GPA for courses taken in fulfillment of the 105 BCL/JD program only. As provided in the BCL/JD program, this can include 6 non-law credits.

For annual awards based on the GPA for the Fall and Winter semesters of the academic year, students are eligible if they have completed at least 27 graded credits in the Fall and Winter semesters of that year. Any course taken with the S/U options not a graded credit. Grades received in deferred evaluations are included but Summer semester grades are not. In calculating GPA for such awards, only law courses will be counted, but all graded courses taken, including non-law courses, will be counted toward the minimum 27 graded credits. 

For awards based on the cumulative GPA (CGPA) over the entire program, there is no minimum graded credit requirement in the final academic year. In calculating CGPA for such awards, only courses taken toward the 105 BCL/JD program will be counted, including up to 6 non-law credits. For students registered in a Minor or Major program, their best grades for 6 of their non-law credits will be counted.

Determining DHL

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.* 

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

Last Reported DHL Cutoffs

The DHL CGPA cutoff for graduating students during the 2022-2023 academic year was a 3.41.

The DHL SGPA cutoff for continuing students during the 2021-2022 academic year was: 3.37 (for 2L students) and 3.31 (for 3L and 4L students). The DHL for continuing students for the 2022-2023 academic year will be shared at a later date in the Fall 2023 semester.

Please note that due to COVID-19 academic measures, the DHL for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 appears higher than in previous years. For the 2020-2021 academic year, the minimum number of graded credits students must have completed to be considered eligible for the DHL was temporarily changed to 24 graded credits.


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.


Undergraduate Table of Cumulative Averages (2018-2019)*

*Due to COVID-19 adjustments and the expanded S/U Option offered during the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms, the Undergraduate Table of Cumulative Averages was not prepared for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years.

 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.

Due to COVID-19 adjustments and the expanded S/U Option offered during the winter 2020 term, the Undergraduate table of cumulative averages was not prepared for the 2019-2020 academic year.
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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