College of Law > Academics > JD > JD Degree Requirements

JD Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Law School Full-Time Day and Evening Program Options

The College of Law has both a full-time day and an evening program option. At the end of their first year, students may change from the evening program to full-time day or vice versa by filing a program change request form with the Office of Student Affairs. The form is available on the College of Law website under Registration. Students may only change their status once while they are enrolled in law school.

Students are advised that a program change may affect their financial aid. For financial aid information, they should see a financial aid counselor in the Office of Financial Aid on the 9th floor of the DePaul Center.

Note that, after JD Day students complete their first-year required courses and after JD Evening students complete their first three semesters of required courses, students may take day or evening courses, regardless of the student's program.

Credit Hour Requirements

Graduation with a JD requires that the student complete 86 credit hours. Under the College of Law's semester system, one credit hour is granted for 50 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instructional time per week, multiplied by 15, and at least 120 minutes of additional out-of-class student work each week, or an equivalent amount of work for other courses and activities, multiplied by 15. The standard course extends over a fourteen-week semester, followed by a  final examination period. Courses or other credit-bearing activities that occur over a different time period must incorporate the same total amount of instructional time and additional assigned work per credit hour as a standard course. At a minimum, students must complete 42.5 hours for 1 unit of credit; 85 hours for 2 units of credit; 127.5 hours for 3 units of credit; and 170 hours for 4 units of credit.

Credit is earned if a student receives an A through a D, or PA grade. 

Time to Degree Limitation

JD Day students are expected to complete the degree in three years. JD Evening students are expected to complete the degree in four years. The maximum time to complete the JD program, if a student takes an approved leave of absence, is five years. Students who are unable to complete the degree within this time frame are required to confer with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in the College of Law. ​Pursuant to the American Bar Association Standards of Accreditation, all JD students must complete their degree no later than 84 months after commencing law study. 

Maximum and Minimum Credit Hours

First-year JD Day students take 14-15 credit hours per semester. First-year JD Evening students take 9-10 credit hours per semester.

Upper level JD Day students may register for a maximum of 16 credit hours per semester. After their third semester, JD Evening students may register for a maximum of 12 credit hours per semester.​

JD Day students must take a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester except that JD Day graduating seniors in their final semester need only take the number of credit hours necessary for them to graduate. JD Evening students must register for a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester except that graduating seniors need only take the number of credit hours necessary for them to graduate. ​

No Credit for Course Work Taken Prior to Matriculation in the JD Program

The American Bar Association Standards provide that credit for a JD degree shall only be given for course work taken after the student has matriculated in a law school. A law school may not grant credit toward the JD degree for work taken in a pre-admission program.

Course Requirements

Core Required Courses

Course Title Semester Hours
LAW 101APPLIED LEGAL SKILLS1
LAW 105CONTRACTS4
LAW 112LEGAL ANALYSIS RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATION I2
LAW 115LEGAL ANALYSIS RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATION III3
LAW 119LEGAL ANALYSIS RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATIONS II3
LAW 120CIVIL PROCEDURE4
LAW 130PREPARING TO PRACTICE I0
LAW 131PREPARING TO PRACTICE II0
LAW 140CONSTITUTIONAL LAW4
LAW 160PROPERTY4
LAW 170TORT LAW4
LAW 481LEGAL PROFESSION3
LAW 506CRIMINAL LAW3

Experiential Education Requirement 

Students must complete at least six credit hours of experiential education courses from the list of approved courses below. Most, but not all, courses are offered for three credit hours. JD students who matriculated prior to Autumn 2016 can choose to take only one professional skills course in lieu of the Experiential Education Requirement (see the Catalog Archive for applicable courses).

Course Title Semester Hours
Select at least six credit hours of the following:6
LAW 213
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PRACTICUM
LAW 238
TRANSNATIONAL CIVIL LITIGATION DRAFTING
LAW 286
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW PRACTICUM
LAW 287
ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW PRACTICUM
LAW 290
ANATOMY OF A DEAL: FROM INCEPTION TO CLOSING
LAW 312
TRIAL ADVOCACY II
LAW 319
PROSECUTING & DEFENDING CRIMINAL CASES
LAW 345
LEGAL CLINIC SUMMER
LAW 356
DISPUTE RESOLUTION
LAW 369
LITIGATION LAB
LAW 400
BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS AND DOCUMENTATION
LAW 419
LITIGATION STRATEGY: PRE-TRIAL, CIVIL
LAW 427
APPELLATE TECHNIQUE
LAW 429
LEGAL CLINIC I
LAW 438
MEDIATION
LAW 450
TRIAL ADVOCACY I
LAW 460
BUSINESS PLANNING
LAW 475
NEGOTIATIONS
LAW 514
LEGAL CLINIC II
LAW 524
EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM
LAW 538
NATIONAL TRIAL TEAM
LAW 548
ADVANCED MEDIATION: LAWYER AS MEDIATOR
LAW 555
ADVANCED LEGAL RESEARCH
LAW 564
EXTERNSHIP SEMINAR
LAW 566
FIELD CLINIC SEMINAR
LAW 567
FIELD CLINIC PRACTICE
LAW 641
PRACTICAL LEGAL RESEARCH
LAW 712
THE PRACTICE OF HEALTH CARE LAW

Advanced Writing Requirement

Course Title Semester Hours
Select one of the following:
LAW 250
SENIOR RESEARCH SEMINAR
LAW 227
CHILDREN'S HUMAN RIGHTS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW
LAW 258
WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW
LAW 379
TAX RESEARCH AND WRITING
LAW 427
APPELLATE TECHNIQUE
LAW 428
INDEPENDENT STUDY
LAW 429
LEGAL CLINIC I (Advanced Criminal Appeals)
LAW 455
LEGAL DRAFTING
LAW 514
LEGAL CLINIC II (Advanced Criminal Appeals​)
LAW 559
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: MADRID, SPAIN (Master's Thesis)

Electives

Elective courses are open to all students who meet the prerequisites for the course in question. For information on specializations, see the section on Certificates.​​​​

Credit Hour Limitations

Non-Classroom Credit Hours: 12-Credit Limit

With the exception of students enrolled in the Third Year in Practice (3YP) program, a JD student may earn a maximum of 12 credit hours for non-classroom (indirect instruction) courses. Courses that count toward the 12-credit non-classroom limit include the following:

Course Title Semester Hours
Limit of 12 credit hours of the following:12
LAW 114
LEGAL ANALYSIS RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATIONS TEACHING ASSISTANTS
LAW 204
LAW REVIEW
LAW 217
JOURNAL FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
LAW 223
JOURNAL OF WOMEN GENDER & THE LAW
LAW 224
ASP TA
LAW 236
JOURNAL OF SPORTS LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS
LAW 298
GENERAL TEACHING ASSISTANT
LAW 303
BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL LAW JOURNAL
LAW 336
JOURNAL OF ART TECHNOLOGY & INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY EDITORIAL BOARD
LAW 411
GUIDED RESEARCH
LAW 428
INDEPENDENT STUDY
LAW 436
JOURNAL OF HEALTH CARE LAW EDITORIAL BOARD
LAW 524
EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM
LAW 536
NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION
LAW 537
INTERNATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION
LAW 567
FIELD CLINIC PRACTICE
LAW 961
INTENSIVE FIELD PLACEMENT
LAW 962
ADVANCED INTENSIVE FIELD PLACEMENT

​Distance Education Credit Limit 

American Bar Association rules specify that JD students may earn a maximum of 28 credit hours toward the JD degree for distance education courses. The College of Law offers both fully online and hybrid courses. A hybrid course is a course in which some, but not all, of the instructional time is online. All fully-online courses, and some hybrid courses, qualify under the ABA rule as distance education courses. ​​ ​

Third Year in Practice (3YP) Program

The Third Year in Practice Program (3YP) provides qualifying students with a unique third-year experience engaging in the actual and simulated practice of law. Students admitted to the 3YP program are required to complete 24 credit hours of experiential courses, including an Intensive Field Placement of 5-9 credit hours and the Third Year in Practice Seminar. In addition, students will be able to choose from an array of professional skills, practicum, legal drafting and clinic courses to create a fully immersive third year in practice.

Required Courses for 3YP Students

Course Title Semester Hours
LAW 9603YP SEMINAR2
LAW 961INTENSIVE FIELD PLACEMENT5-9

Optional Courses for 3YP Students

Course Title Semester Hours
LAW 962
ADVANCED INTENSIVE FIELD PLACEMENT
LAW 963
ADVANCED INTENSIVE FIELD PLACEMENT TUTORIAL

Content displayed from this DePaul University catalog page.

First-Year Curriculum

Explore sample schedules for the full-time and part-time JD programs.