Academic Honors Policy
Georgetown University Law Center does not rank its students. Diplomas with honors and Dean’s List honors were first awarded in the Spring of 1978. Minimum credit-hour requirements must be met in order to earn Dean’s List honors and graduation honors, and these requirements are specified in the Georgetown Law Student Handbook.
For Juris Doctor students
Graduation Honors (based upon the overall cumulative grade point average of the student):
- Cum Laude – top third of the graduating class
- Magna Cum Laude – top ten percent of the graduating class
- Summa Cum Laude – there is no cumulative grade point average that automatically entitles a student to this honor. Instead, the J.D. degree summa cum laude is granted at the sole discretion of the faculty. To be eligible for consideration for the award of summa cum laude, a graduate must have completed at least 71 academic credits at the Law Center and have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.70.
The Academic Standards Committee approved an amendment to the Academic Honors Policy for May 2012 and October 2012 J.D. graduates who matriculated prior to Fall 2009. May and October 2012 J.D. graduates, who matriculated prior to Fall 2009, will have their graduation honors calculated based on the May 2011 graduation honors cutoffs. This amendment was approved to minimize the transitional effect of the Fall 2009 higher recommended curve for this group of students who, like the May 2011 J.D. graduates, would have completed at least one year under the pre-Fall 2009 lower recommended curve.
The Academic Standards Committee approved an amendment to the Academic Honors Policy for Spring, Summer, and Fall 2021 J.D. graduates who matriculated prior to Fall 2018. Spring, Summer, and Fall 2021 J.D graduates who matriculated prior to Fall 2018 will have their graduation honors calculated based on the Spring 2019 graduation honors cutoffs. This amendment was approved to minimize the transitional effect of the higher recommended curve enacted by the faculty effective Summer 2020 for this group of students who would have completed at least two years under the lower recommended curve.
- The Dean’s List is awarded to those Juris Doctor degree students who place in the top third based upon their annual grade-point average. First-year students must place in the top third of their first-year section. Upperclass students meet different top-third cutoffs depending upon whether or not they are in the graduating class.
- Director’s List for CTLS: Beginning with the Fall 2011 semester, the Directors’ List distinction shall be given to the top 15% of students each semester based on their cumulative grade point average for the one semester; to be given the Directors’ List distinction a student must successfully complete at least 10 credits of CTLS coursework, including any required courses.
For Master of Laws students
Graduating with Distinction
- LL.M. Candidates who are interested in being considered for the possibility of graduating with distinction must attain a cumulative grade point average in the top third of the entire graduating LL.M. class.
An LL.M. student who graduates in the top one-third of the graduating students in his or her specific LL.M. degree program will be designated as a Dean’s List graduate for that specific LL.M. degree program. Dean’s List designation will be granted for the following LL.M. degree programs: Individualized, International Legal Studies, General Studies, Securities & Financial Regulation and Taxation.
Note: The difference between graduation with distinction and Dean’s List is that graduation with distinction is calculated based upon the entire graduating LL.M. class and then printed on the diploma and the student’s transcript, whereas Dean’s List is calculated based upon the graduating class within each respective LL.M. degree program and then printed on the student’s transcript only.