Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Graduation Requirements

J.D. Requirements

A student shall be eligible for the degree of Juris Doctor upon satisfying the following requirements:

  • All students must successfully complete a minimum of eighty-six (86) credit units, seventy-four (74) of which must be graded credits.
  • Students must complete their course of study for the JD degree no later than 84 months after commencing law study at the School of Law or at a law school from which the school has accepted transfer credit.
  • All students must satisfy residency requirements. These requirements are designed to comply with Standards of the American Bar Association and ensure that students have had sufficient exposure to the knowledge, skills and values of the legal profession. At the same time, they are designed to equalize tuition costs to the extent possible. 

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR FULL-TIME DIVISION STUDENTS:

A student in the full-time division can achieve the required time in residence in the following way:

a) Completion of 6 full-time semesters [12 - 17 credits per semester]

b) Students in the full-time division may not advance the date of their graduation by taking classes during the summer session.

c) Additional credits earned in one academic year or summer session will not permit a student in the full-time division to take fewer than the minimum credit hours (12) per semester thereafter.

d) Note:All students may register for a maximum of 8 credit hours during any one summer session.

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR PART-TIME DIVISION STUDENTS WEEKEND:  To earn a JD degree in the Part-time Weekend JD Program, you must complete a minimum of 86 credit hours of coursework in no fewer than seven semesters. Students in the part-time weekend program must register for a minimum of 8 credit hours, and no more than 12 credit hours, each semester.

A student in the Part-time Weekend JD Program can achieve the required time in residence in these ways:

Seven Semesters and at Least Two Summer Sessions

A student in the Weekend Part-Time Division can meet the residency requirement upon the completion of seven part-time semesters and a minimum of eleven academic credits over two or more summer sessions.

A student in the Weekend Part-Time Division, with approval from the Dean’s Office, may meet the residency requirement and reduce the number of required summer academic credits (eleven credits) by completing no more than two additional hours above the maximum part-time limit of twelve hours in semesters three, four, five, six or seven.  In other words, a student in the Weekend Part-Time Division who wishes to graduate in seven semesters and who receives prior approval may be permitted to take up to 14 credit hours in a semester, thereby reducing the eleven credit summer requirement by two credit hours to nine credit hours of summer school.  To receive approval, the student must demonstrate that his or her outside/work responsibilities will allow for sufficient time to participate fully in the study of law during that semester.  Note that students who receive prior approval from the Dean’s Office will be charged additional tuition at the hourly rate for each hour that exceeds twelve in that semester.

In addition to an array of electives, many flexible course options will be available, including independent study, and fully online courses (as many as 15 credit hours of fully online coursework after completion of 28 credit hours).

Students in the part-time division who wish to accelerate their graduation in this way should consult with a Student Advisor to make sure that they will be able to meet all degree and tuition requirements.

Note that additional credits earned in one academic year or summer session will not permit a student to take fewer than the minimum credit hours per semester thereafter.

Eight Semesters

A student in the part-time division can meet the residency requirement upon the completion of eight part-time semesters of a minimum of 8 credit hours.

  • REQUIRED CURRICULUM: All students must successfully complete the required curriculum.  Required courses include the following:
    • Civil Procedure (4 credit hours in Fall semester of the first year)
    • Torts (4 credit hours in Fall semester of the first year)
    • Property (4 credit hours in Fall semester of the first year full-time/second year part-time)
    • Contracts (4 credit hours in Spring semester of the first year)
    • Constitutional Law (4 credit hours in Spring semester of the first year full-time/second year part-time)
    • Criminal Law (3 credit hours in Spring semester of the first year)
    • Legal Writing I and Legal Research (2 credit hours in Fall semester of the first year)
    • Legal Writing II (2 credit hours in Spring semester of the first year)
    • Perspective Elective (2 or 3 credit hours in Spring semester of first year for full-time students; part-time students must take perspective elective after the first year)
    • Advocacy (2 credit hours taken during the fall semester of the second year)
    • Professional Responsibility (3 credit hours – after first year)
    • Skills Elective – (A minimum of 2 credit hours – after first year)
    • Experiential Learning Electives - A minimum of 6 credits are required after the first year. A maximum of 3 Experiential Learning hours may be earned through a comprehensive simulation.  At least 3 credits must be earned through a live-client experience in one of the following ways:

(1)   an intensive field placement through Loyola’s Externship Program,

(2)   through participation in one of Loyola’s seven clinics, or

(3)   through an approved practicum project.

Students may not satisfy the Experiential Learning requirement by taking a class that is also taken to satisfy the “Skill” requirement or the “Perspective Elective” requirement.

  • Mandatory “bar skills” class - J.D. Students who are ranked in the bottom 15% of their class after their second, third, or fourth semester of law school will be required to complete 2 credits in a designated “BAR SKILLS” class in order to graduate. Those students who entered law school before the fall of 2014 are exempt from this requirement.
  • Students are required to schedule a Graduation Interview with the Law Registrar during the semester prior to their final semester to review credentials and apply for graduation. In other words, if the student expects to graduate after the spring semester, he or she must schedule a Graduation Interview with the Law Registrar during the prior fall semester.

Eligibility to Continue in the J.D. Program

Students in the J.D. Program who matriculate prior to the 2017-18 Academic Year must achieve a minimum 2.0 grade point average in order to graduate.  Prior to graduation, eligibility to continue in the J.D. Program is determined as follows:

  • In order to remain in good standing and be eligible to continue in the program, a student:
    • must have attained a grade point average of at least 1.75 at the end of the first semester of the first year; 
    • after the completion of every semester thereafter, maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0; and
    • not receive a grade of “F” or “WF” in more than three courses during residence in the School of Law

Students who matriculate after the 2016-17 Academic Year must achieve a minimum 2.33 grade point average in order to graduate.  Prior to graduation, eligibility to continue in the J.D. Program is determined as follows:

  • In order to remain in good standing and be eligible to continue in the program, a student:
    • must have attained a grade point average of at least 2.00 at the end of the first semester of the first year; 
    • after the completion of every semester thereafter, maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.33; and
    • not receive a grade of “F” or “WF” in more than three courses during residence in the School of Law

Requirements for Students Who Transfer Divisions

Students who transfer divisions can satisfy residency requirement in the following ways.  A student may not transfer divisions in their final semester of law school.

  • Full-time students who seek to transfer to the part-time division must meet with a member of the Dean's Office to discuss the conditions upon which a transfer will be approved. If permitted, a student who transfers from the full-time division to the part-time division must comply with the academic schedule determined by the Dean’s Office.  Students in this category may not graduate in fewer than seven semesters (excluding summers).
  • A student in the part-time division who transfers, after approval from the Dean's Office, to the full-time division:

a) before the third semester and graduates in three years (six semesters) must complete a minimum of eight hours of summer courses;

b) before the fourth semester and graduates in three years (six semesters) must complete a minimum of eleven hours of summer courses;

c) before the fifth semester and graduates in three years (six semesters) must complete a minimum of fifteen hours of summer courses over two summers.

Additional credits earned in one academic year or summer session will not permit a student to take fewer than the minimum credit hours per semester thereafter.