Legal Studies Latest News

November 5, 2020


Dear Legal Studies Majors,
You should be receiving a message from the College of Letters & Science this afternoon regarding P/NP policy for Fa20 and Sp21.

The following contains the Legal Studies P/NP policy for Fa20 and Sp21 with an added bonus of advice.

P/NP Policy – Fa20 and Sp21
The College has decided that courses that fulfill major requirements may be taken for P/NP Fa20 and Sp21.
Courses used to fulfill requirements for the Legal Studies major can be taken for P/NP Fa20 and Sp21, they will count towards the major.

The absolute final deadline with no exceptions to change to P/NP for Fa20 is Friday December 4th.

Who Should Change to P/NP?
Our best advice is to only change a class to P/NP if you know now that you won’t be able to pass the class with better than a C- minus.
A C-minus or higher is required to earn a Pass.
If you know now that you will not be able to earn any grade points at all, meaning you will be earning an F, you might want to drop the class rather than changing to P/NP.
An NP is calculated as an F in the law school application gpa.
Letter grades are more useful.
You are encouraged to keep your classes for a letter grade if you are doing well in your classes.
If you are experiencing extenuating circumstances, this P/NP safety valve is for you.
More often than not, students who worry about their grade for a class and change to P/NP, end up working just as hard and often find out they would have earned a good grade after all.

Once you change to P/NP, you cannot go back to a letter grade after the deadline, so choose this option very carefully.

Check With Financial Aid

Financial Aid is being more lenient with dropping below 13 units in a semester, but please check with them to be sure you don’t have to pay back any money. 

1/3 Rule
Remember you can have 1/3 of your entire units taken at Cal for P/NP (Sp20 does not count towards this total). 1/3 is a lot and is not necessarily recommended.

If you are going to show your transcripts to anyone later on, letter grades are what you want.

Late Change Policy Fa20

Because you can drop a class Fa20 through December 4th and it won’t count towards your one-time-only Late Change total, you might want to consider dropping rather than earning an NP.

Law School Apps.
Because I know I’ll get questions about how law schools view P/NP, a Berkeley Law admissions staff person says that schools will be more understanding because of the pandemic situation. She advised not to write an addendum to your application for Sp20 because the whole world went to P/NP that semester and it’ll just be redundant info.

You can write an addendum for Fa20 if you choose P/NP due to extenuating circumstances.

Legal Studies Honors Program

If you are planning to apply to the Legal Studies Honors Program, your Legal Studies upper division courses need to be taken for a letter grade, the only exception is Sp20 coursework.

Deadline to Make Late Changes
The deadline to either drop a class or change to P/NP is Friday, December 4th.
It’s the last day of classes, and the last Friday before RRR Week.
You can make these late changes in CalCentral through December 4th.

Burn that into your memory…December 4th…December 4th…