def2104 wrote:I read somewhere about Chicago's harsh grading policy...can anyone elaborate on what that is?
I wouldn't say it is harsh necessarily, just more specific than most. Copied from the wiki page:
The Law School employs a unique grading system with a range from 155 to 186. (The grading scale was previously 55-86, but the school prefixed their grades with a "1" in 2003 to avoid confusion with traditional grading scales.) These numerical grades convert to the more familiar alphabetical scale as follows: 155-159 = F, 160-167 = D, 168-173 = C, 174-179 = B, 180-186 = A. For classes of more than 50 students, professors are encouraged to set the median grade at 177, with the number of grades above a 180 approximately equaling the number of grades below a 173. Professors, however, are entitled to set a lower median at his or her discretion.
A student graduates "with honors" if a final average of 179 is attained, "with high honors" if a final average of 180.5 is attained, and "with highest honors" if a final average of 182 is attained. The last of these achievements is rare; typically only one student every few years will attain the requisite 182 average. Additionally, the Law School awards two class-rank based honors at graduation. The top 10% are honored as "Order of the Coif," and the top 5% are honored as "Kirkland Scholars" (a designation created in 2006 by a $7 million donation from the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis).