Guidance on Credit/No-Credit for Pre-Law Students

We know you, and many students, are trying to learn more about what the CR/NC option will mean for your pre-law journey. We are monitoring updates and gathering the most accurate information to provide to you. The Law School Admission Council has not made a statement since spring 2020 on Pass/Fail (Credit/No Credit) grades. Their statement for spring 2020 is as follows: 

"Law schools are fully aware of and understand that virtually all students enrolled during the spring 2020 COVID-19 pandemic experienced significant disruption in their living and learning arrangements. Law schools are also aware that many undergraduate and graduate schools changed their grading systems to allow or require Pass/Fail grades in lieu of their traditional grading systems and will not penalize any applicant for presenting Pass/Fail grades. LSAC will place a letter in the CAS report of every applicant enrolled during spring 2020, reminding law schools of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the population and on higher education.

As of October 27, 2020, here is what guidance we can provide our pre-law students: 

  • Students should complete their courses as if they are going to get letter grades, prior to making their final decision on CR/NC during the week of November 2-6, 2020.  

  • If a student has a grade that is lower than expected, or if they choose the CR/NC option, they should be ready to potentially explain on an application how the transition to virtual and/or the experience of this public health event has affected their academic experience. 

  • If a student has extenuating circumstances related to the pandemic (ex. illness, displaced by pandemic, or serving as a caretaker for someone who is ill, etc.), then taking CR/NC is a viable option that can be explained in an application.  

  • If choosing CR/NC for courses, regardless of the reason, schools will view those courses in context with the rest of your transcript. Therefore, when considering the option, think about how your academic abilities will be conveyed through your full transcript and graduate exam score.  

  • GPA is an important selecting factor for entry into law schools. In considering how taking courses CR/NC will affect your GPA, please consider the following:  

    • How many courses you took last semester as CR/NC; two semesters of courses taken as CR/NC will leave you with only 3 years of grades to make up your GPA.  
    • Law schools will use the letter grades on your transcript as a reflection of your academic ability and may assume that the courses you took for Credit will be below these grades.

    • Taking a course CR/NC does not affect your GPA, it weights your other course grades higher in the absence of more letter grades as data points.  

  • Most law schools have not made a statement about CR/NC for the Fall 2020 term as many undergraduate institutions have not chosen to continue the option of CR/NC. 

  • For specific questions, Pre-Law Advisors are available for consultation on any individual student situation. Meet us by scheduling an appointment through Handshake or by calling 434-924-8900.  

Explanation of each grade as approved by the Provost:  

  • Credit (CR): awarded if you meet the class’s requirements for credit (C or higher). For Spring 2020 only, CR will meet all undergraduate degree requirements, including pre-requisites, general education, major, minor, etc. CR will not affect your GPA. 

  • General Credit (GC): awarded if you receive a passing grade below a C. GC will earn the credit hours associated with the course and will fill undergraduate requirements that can be met by a passing grade lower than C. GC will not affect your GPA. 

  • No Credit (NC): awarded if you receive a grade of F. This grade will not earn credit or meet any requirements. NC will not affect your GPA. 

  • NOTE: There will be an explanation of this CR/GC/NC system on your transcript that schools would be able to view.