Juris Doctor Degree Requirements

Full-Time Three-Year JD Program

The Juris Doctor Degree program is a full-time day curriculum requiring three academic years of study. A complete description of all the JD degree requirements is available in the Academic Regulations section of the JD Student Handbook. Please use the Graduation Requirements Worksheet to assist you with your course selection to fulfill all graduation requirements.

Graduation Requirements

Completion of the following JD degree requirements is mandatory for graduation:

  • Earn at least 85 passing credits.
  • Elect and complete a minimum of 26 credits in any one year and a minimum of 12 credits in any one semester.

First-Year Requirements

Complete and achieve a passing grade in all first-year courses:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Property Law
  • Torts
  • Lawyering Skills I & II
  • Moot Court

Second- and Third-Year Requirements

Beyond the required curriculum, you may choose from approximately 200 elective courses, seminars, and clinical programs. After the first year, you may earn up to 12 semester credits toward the JD degree by taking courses in another graduate or professional school at Boston University or at Boston College School of Law. With permission, you may also take courses at other universities and schools of law. You are expected to comply at all times with Academic Policies and Disciplinary Regulations of both the law school and of Boston University.

Assigning Credits to Academic Offerings

A.  Minimum Requirements for Assigning Credits to Academic Offerings

  1. All academic offerings that confer credits must meet or exceed 42.5 hours total work on the part of the typical student per credit awarded. As per ABA guidelines, in satisfying this requirement, each 50 minutes spent in class or in an exam counts as one hour toward the 42.5 hour requirement. (For time spent in an in-class exam, a maximum of one 50-minute hour for each course credit can be counted towards the 42.5 hour requirement.) Each 60 minutes of out-of-class work counts as one hour towards this requirement. Examples of out-of-class work include, but are not limited to, preparation for class or for an exam, outside writing, meetings with the instructor, take-home exams, simulations, and fieldwork.
  2. Except for courses covered in Part B, all courses must meet at least 55 minutes per week for 13 weeks (or at least 715 minutes per semester) per credit and must have an exam of at least 35 minutes (or require equivalent work) per credit. (Note: Courses are defined as requiring regular meetings with the instructor and other students in a classroom or similar setting. Thus this provision does not cover non-course academic offerings, such as moot court, journals, practicums, and Supervised Research and Writing. However, non-course offerings still must conform to Part A, Section 1.)
  3. The fieldwork components of externships and clinical courses require at least 42.5 hours of fieldwork per semester for each credit of fieldwork.

B.  Exceptions to Part A, Section 2:

  1. 3-credit seminars with a writing requirement must meet at least once weekly for 110 minutes per week for 13 weeks (or at least 1430 minutes per semester.)
  2. 3-credit simulation courses must meet at least once weekly for 110 minutes per week for 13 weeks (or at least 1430 minutes per semester.)

(Note: Offerings covered by Part B still must conform to Part A, Section 1.)

Work requirements for approved academic offerings may exceed these minimum requirements and are determined in the usual approval process. The instructor is expected to assign sufficient work to satisfy these requirements.