The maximum time for all students to complete a JD degree is six years.
The total number of credits needed to graduate with a JD degree is 86.
- At least 70 of the 86 credits must be letter-graded on the A/B/C/D/F grade scale. Only 16 credits may be earned on either the H/P/L/F or P/F scale. List of all courses graded PF/HPLF.
- At least 80 of the 86 total credits must be earned at the University of San Diego School of Law.
- The Dean or his or her designate may grant exceptions to the above for students who transfer to USD from other law schools or who visit other law schools during a Fall or Spring semester.
- Students who enter full-time must attempt and pay for six (6) full-time regular (Fall or Spring) semesters. A full-time regular semester is a minimum of 12 credits and a maximum of 16 credits.
- Students may apply up to four (4) credits earned in a prior summer session toward the requirement of attempting 12 credits in a subsequent regular semester. However, students will still pay full-time tuition as if they had attempted 12 to 16 credits. For example, a student can take four (4) credits in the summer and apply all credits to the upcoming Fall semester and therefore only take eight (8) credits in that Fall semester.
- Students may petition to graduate in five (5) full-time semesters in limited circumstances only.
- Students who enter part-time must attempt and pay for eight (8) part-time regular (Fall or Spring) semesters. A part-time regular semester is a minimum of eight (8) credits and a maximum of 11 credits.
- Students may petition to graduate in seven (7) part-time semesters in limited circumstances only.
The Minimum Cumulative GPA for all students is 2.00.
The upper division writing ("written work") requirement may be satisfied in any of the following ways:
- Completion of a substantial, in-depth research paper of no fewer than 20 pages in length in a course of limited enrollment centered on the preparation of such in-depth research paper. Courses that will fulfill this requirement are designated with "Requirement(s): Writing" in the course description or with "Writing-CORE W" under "Attributes" in the class schedule.
- Be aware that successful completion of a writing course is not determined by the student’s grade in the course, but is separately indicated by the professor in the manner specified by the Law School’s administration. If you have any questions about the writing requirement, please consult the Office for Law Student Affairs.
- Scholarly written work submitted to the San Diego Law Review, San Diego International Law Journal or Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues for publication upon certification of the approving faculty member.
Students must pass a Professional Skills elective from a list of such courses designated by the Dean's Office. A course will be included on this list if it provides substantial instruction in the professional skills encompassed by ABA Standard of Approval for Law Schools 302(a)(4). Courses that will fulfill this requirement are designated with "Requirement(s): Skills" in the course description or with "Law Professional Skills Course S" under "Attributes" in the class schedule.
The required courses for all JD students can be found in the following table.
|Courses Required in the First Year||Credits|
|Constitutional Law I*||4|
|Legal Writing and Research I and II||4|
|Courses Required Beyond the First Year||Credits|
|Tax I||3 (or 4)|
|TOTAL||6 (or 7)
|TOTAL REQUIRED COURSES
||34 (or 35) **|
*First-year Part-Time students take these courses in the second year
** Students who complete their first year with a GPA of 2.60 or below are subject to Academic Supervision and are required to take additional courses. Please see the Office for Law Student Affairs for more information.
JD Students must take additional elective courses to total 86 credits. Students may select their elective courses after the first year. For more information on elective opportunities and considerations, please refer to the JD Academic Advising web page.
These following cumulative limitations on electives apply.
|Elective Limitations||Maximum Credits|
|Independent Supervised Research, Journals, and Moot Court Combined||6|
|Non-USD Law Transfer Credit||6|