The Catholic University of America
DEGREE AND GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

GENERAL

For comprehensive information about the degree requirements for the J.D. and LL.M. programs, please review the Academic Rules published in these Announcements. Many of these rules have been adopted in order to meet the accreditation standards set by the American Bar Association.

To be eligible for the degree of Juris Doctor, a student must hold an undergraduate degree, earn at least 84 semester hours of credit while maintaining the minimum average outlined in the Academic Rules, and satisfy both parts of the upper-class writing requirement. In addition, the three-credit course in Professional Responsibility and a Professional Skills course is required. For students joining the program in the Fall 2013 semester or subsequent, a Transition-to-Practice course is required. A day-division student must attend at least six semesters, and an evening-division student must attend at least eight semesters. Part-time students may accelerate graduation by attending the summer sessions with the permission of the assistant dean for academic affairs and must comply with the residence requirements. Residency requirements are described in Academic Rule i.e.

A day-division student may not enroll for more than 16 or fewer than 12 credit hours each semester; an evening-division student may not enroll for more than 11 credit hours or fewer than eight credit hours each semester.

To be eligible for the Master of Laws degree program (LL.M.), students must complete 24 credits. Students may enroll full-time or part-time. Full-time students can complete the program in one academic year while part-time students can complete the program in one-and-a-half to two years. Students may enroll in an array of upper division courses, seminars, directed research and writing tutorials, legal externships, skills training, and clinical courses. At least 16 of the required credits must be directly related to the concentration area, while remaining credits may be earned by taking general electives. As part of their coursework, LL.M. students with a U.S. or Canadian first degree are required to take at least one course with a writing component.

International students must take a legal research and writing course, which will familiarize them with the American legal system and ensure proficiency in American legal analysis and writing. International students may be required to take a first-year common law course and they are strongly encouraged to select at least one upper-division course that requires completion of a paper or other written work product. Students who successfully complete all academic requirements receive a general Masters of Law degree with a concentration in a specialized course of study.

To be eligible for the nonresident Master of Laws (LL.M.) Program with Jagiellonian University, students must earn 22 credit hours. The program comprises three parts:

  • At least six credits earned in three courses taken within the International Business and Trade Law Program offered by CUA in Cracow from mid-June through the end of July during the first summer in which students are enrolled in the program. LL.M. students study with American law students and students from several law schools in Poland.
  • At least nine credits earned in the School of American Law held at Jagiellonian University in Cracow during the academic year between October and May.
  • Six to seven credits earned during a two-month stay in Washington, D.C., from mid-May through the end of July during the second summer students are enrolled in the program. Students enroll in one three- or four-credit classroom substantive law course. In addition, students receive credit for a course in advanced legal research and writing, which assists them with the preparation of a required directed research paper.

RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS

Residency requirements are described in the Academic Rules.
To receive residence credit for a semester, a full-time J.D. student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours a week for 14 weeks and a part-time J.D. student must be enrolled in a minimum of eight credit hours a week for 14 weeks. If a student fails to receive credit for the minimum number of hours specified, residence credit may be granted only in the ratio that the credit received bears to the minimum specified.  Residence credit may be earned during Summer Sessions and may be transferred between divisions.


^top