Academic Awards

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Honors

Class rank and honors (including Order of the Coif) will be determined by the cumulative grade-point average. The Law Registrar determines class rank after all grades are received for the Fall and Spring semesters. The first ranking of the 1L class is after the Spring semester; there is no ranking of the 1L class after the Fall Semester.

For those students entering in Fall 2008 and thereafter, the class rank shall be reported as follows:

All students whose cumulative GPA falls within the top 20% of the class will receive an individual numerical ranking. All students whose cumulative GPA falls within the top 33% or top 50% will be so notified that they fall within this percentage band. The balance of the class will not be ranked.

Degree Honors

The degree of Juris Doctor will be awarded with honors under the following circumstances:

  • summa cum laude: final cumulative grade-point average of 3.800 or higher;
  • magna cum laude: 3.500 or higher;
  • cum laude: 3.200 or higher.

For those students in entering classes subsequent to 2009-2010, the School reserves the right to set separate grade-point averages and/or class standing requirements for the award of these honors.

The designations at the Commencement Ceremony are based on the cumulative grade-point average at the end of the previous semester and are only preliminary. The award of honors is determined exclusively by the final cumulative grade-point average.

Order of the Coif

Students who graduate in the top 10% of the class (Fall, Spring, and Summer graduating classes combined) and who meet other requirements of the Order may be elected to the prestigious Order of the Coif. Students should be aware that having more than 25 percent of all courses without traditional letter grades will render them ineligible for Order of the Coif. For this purpose, "courses without traditional letter grades" includes all courses taken outside the School of Law (including but not limited to first-year courses taken by a transfer student at another law school).

Dean's List

Full-time students who complete nine or more graded credits will be awarded a Dean's List certificate for any semester in which their grade-point average for the semester's work is in the top 20 percent of their class. Part-time students who complete seven or more graded credits will be awarded a Dean's List certificate for any semester in which their grade-point average for the semester's work is in the top 20 percent of their class. Students with a grade of "I" in the semester will not be eligible for Dean's List except for those students previously approved for an "I" in Individual Research, Writing Requirement, or Law Review Writing. Resumes and employment applications must specify the semester(s) for which a student received a Dean's List certificate.

If a student was denied a Dean's List certificate because of an "I" and the grade-point average is in the top 20 percent once the grade is received, the Dean's List certificate will be awarded retroactively. It is the responsibility of the student to request that the Office of the Registrar review his or her grade-point average for Dean's List eligibility.

Awards for Outstanding Performance

The School of Law participates in two award programs.

The CALI Excellence for the Future Award recognizes academic excellence and may be awarded to a student in each course, workshop, or seminar who has exhibited excellence in class performance, attendance and final grade.

The Dean's Certificate of Achievement award is a certificate that may be presented to the top one or two students in each course, workshop and seminar that is taught by a member of the regular faculty or a full-time instructor at the University of Miami School of Law.