Law School Full-Time and Part-Time Options

The College of Law has both a full-time and a part-time option. At the end of their first year, students may change from part-time to full-time 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 full-time students complete their first-year required courses and after part-time students complete their first four semesters of required courses, students may take any course, regardless of the student's part-time or full-time status.

Credit Hour Requirements

Juris Doctor (JD) students must complete 86 credit hours in order to graduate from the College of Law. Full-time students are expected to complete the requirements for the JD degree in three years. Part-time students are expected to complete the JD degree in four years. The maximum time to complete the JD program, if a student takes a leave of absence, is five years.

Maximum and Minimum Credit Hours

Upper level full-time students may register for a maximum of 16 credit hours per semester.  After their third semester, part-time students may register for a maximum of 12 credit hours per semester.

Full-time students must take a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester except that full-time graduating seniors in their final semester need only take the number of credit hours necessary for them to graduate. Part-time students must register for a minimum of nine 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 and LLM Programs

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  

Experiential Education Requirement

JD students matriculating Autumn 2016 or later 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 Professional Skills Requirement subsection below). 

Professional Skills Requirement (available for JD students who matriculated prior to Autumn 2016)

Choose one of the following:

Advanced Writing Requirement

Choose one of the following:


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.

​​Third Year in Practice (3YP) Program

The Third Year in Practice Program (3YP) will provide qualifying students with a unique third-year experience engaging in the actual and simulated practice of law.  Students admitted to the 3YP program will be required to complete 24 credit hours of experiential courses, including an intensive externship of at least 5 credit hours (21 to 23 hours per week) 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.