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Degree Requirements & Graduation Checklist

Online Student Center 

Summary of J.D. Degree Requirements 

Below is a summary of J.D. degree requirements for students who started their studies at St. John's Law in or after 2020. You can also read and download the summary, along with a graduation checklist, as a standalone Word document

Students may take no more than sixteen (16) credits during the Fall or Spring semester, inclusive of pre-session courses.

Full-time students are required to take a minimum of 12 credits per semester; part-time students must take between 8-11 credits per semester.

After completion of the full 1L sequence, students must take an average of 14-15 credits per semester to complete the J.D. degree within three (3) years.

For registration priority purposes, students are assigned a time ticket based on the number of credits completed to date. Students should review their time ticket in UIS ahead of registration.

Important Registration Notes:

  • Students may take no more than one (1) pre-session course per semester
  • Upper-level students are strongly encouraged to enroll in no more than two (2) Core Elective courses per semester
  • Clinics (in-house and partner clinics) satisfy both the Applied Skills and Advanced Practice Writing Requirements
  • Students may not enroll in both the Externship Program and a Clinic in the same semester
  • Students may not withdraw from a Clinic once formally admitted
  • Once admitted from the wait list for a course, students will be notified and have twenty-four (24) hours to accept the open course seat

For a full list of the J.D. degree requirements, please consult the Student Handbook and the personalized DegreeWorks audit tool available through the Signon portal



J.D. Degree Requirements and Graduation Checklist

Past J.D. Degree Requirements

Students Who Began In 2018 and 2019


(1) 89 earned credit hours (36 credits in required courses; 53 credits in elective offerings).

(2) Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.1

(3) Required courses

  • Introduction to Law (2 credits)
  • Civil Procedure (4 credits)
  • Constitutional Law I (2 credits)
  • Constitutional Law II (3 credits)
  • Contracts I (3 credits)
  • Contracts II (2 credits)
  • Criminal Law (3 credits)
  • Legal Writing I (2 credits)
  • Legal Writing II (2 credits)
  • Property (4 credits)
  • Torts (4 credits)
  • Professional Responsibility (3 credits)
  • Professional Development (0 credits) (2 semesters)

Note:  Some students are also required to take Advanced Analytical Skills and/or Applied Legal Analysis I and II.

(4) Core elective courses

Pick at least 4 out of these 5 core electives.

  • Administrative Law (3 credits)
  • Business Organizations (4 credits)
  • Evidence (4 credits)
  • Taxation—Basic Federal Personal Income (3 credits)
  • Trust & Estates (4 credits)

(5) Scholarly Writing Requirement. Complete prior to entering final semester. 

(6) Experiential Learning Requirement. Complete all 3 categories for a total of at least 6 credits:

  • Lawyering (2 credits).  Taken during 1L January pre-session.
  • Advanced Practice Writing Requirement. Complete prior to entering final semester. 
  • Applied Skills Requirement. Take one of:
    • Any clinic (may also satisfy APWR)
    • Any externship
    • Any practicum
    • Pro Bono Scholars Program
    • Advanced Interviewing and Counseling
    • Advanced Trial Advocacy
    • Deposition Practice
    • Mediation: Representing Clients
    • Negotiation
    • Trial Advocacy

(7) Law School Residency Requirement (students applying for bar admission in New York should also inform themselves of the New York Court of Appeals’ residency rules)

  • Full-time students: 6 semesters of at least 12 credits each
  • Part-time students: 8 semesters of at least 8 credits each
  • Completion of degree within 84 months of enrollment at a law school (60 months for admission in New York)
  • Students transferring divisions must pay special attention to the residency rules.