Academic Honors & Awarding of Diplomas

Dean’s List

For each fall and spring semester, the Dean’s List will include any student who completes at least nine credit hours during the semester and who achieves a semester GPA of 3.30 or higher.   No Dean’s List is determined for Maymester.   However, the Dean’s List for the summer session will include any student who completes at least nine combined hours of Maymester and summer courses and who achieves a GPA of 3.30 or higher for those combined courses.  For a student in this category, the designation “Dean’s List” will appear after the summer session grades on the student’s transcript.

Presidential Honors Program

The Presidential Honors Program recognizes full-time and part-time students at the Charleston School of Law for their outstanding academic performance. Students invited to join the program will be eligible for several benefits, including potential eligibility for the Presidential Honors Scholarship. To read more about the eligibility requirements and the benefits offered, please visit the Prospective Students webpage at

Graduation Honors

Graduation Honors are as follows; there is no rounding:

  • Summa Cum Laude          3.70-4.00
  • Magna Cum Laude           3.50-3.69
  • Cum Laude                         3.30-3.49

Maritime Concentration and Honors Designations

Graduating J.D. students with 12 or more credit hours in maritime designated courses (Admiralty I and II are required for this designation) will earn the Maritime Concentration designation. Graduating J.D. students with 12 or more credit hours in maritime designated courses (including Admiralty I and Admiralty II) and a grade point average of at least 3.3, the equivalent of cum laude honors, in those maritime designated classes may receive an honors designation in maritime law.

Maritime designated courses can be found in the Admiralty and Maritime LL.M. Catalog. 

Curriculum Tracks and Qualifying Designations

Students may be eligible for a qualifying designation on their transcript in three practice areas:  Criminal Practice, Public Policy and Service, or Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution.  The requirements for the qualifying specialization designation are:

a. Successful completion of the minimum number of classes from each of the below three categories, with the final grade of “B” or better in each qualifying course:

i. core classes,

ii. key electives, and

iii. skills courses.

b. Successful completion of the upper level writing requirement on a topic within the course track area of specialization.

c. Successful participation in an oral discussion with a panel of no more than three professors to discuss, defend, and articulate their upper level writing requirement.

Additional information can be found at Curriculum Tracks and Qualifying Designation.

Awarding of Diplomas

The Charleston School  of Law awards diplomas four times each academic year: at the conclusion of the fall semester, at the conclusion of the spring semester, at the conclusion of the on-campus Maymester session, and at the conclusion of the on-campus summer session. Students who have completed the requirements for graduation may not take additional  courses unless approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

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