Student Handbook: Section II

Study Load, Course, and Work Limitations


§ 2.1  Maximum Credit Hours

Full-time Day Division students may register for a maximum of 16 credit hours per semester (17 if registered for Law Review and/or Moot Court Honor Society). Part-time Day Division students and Evening Division students may register for a maximum of 11 credit hours per semester in their first year, and for a maximum of 13 credit hours per semester after their first year. All students may register for a maximum of six credit hours during a Summer session. The maximum hour limitation applies to all courses the student is taking that are to be applied to the J.D. degree. For example, if a full-time Day Division student takes 14 credit hours of law courses, the student may not receive credit for more than two hours of graduate courses in the Stuart Graduate School of Business or in any other graduate school for credit toward the J.D. degree.

§ 2.2  Minimum Credit Hours

Full-time Day Division students must register for a minimum of twelve credit hours per semester, except graduating seniors who need fewer than twelve credit hours to graduate. Part-time Day Division students and Evening Division students must register for a minimum of eight credit hours per semester, except graduating seniors who need fewer than eight credit hours to graduate. However, senior students should refer to the residency requirements set forth in §1.5.

§ 2.3  Seminar Limitation

A student may not receive credit toward graduation for more than six credit hours of seminar work.

§ 2.4  Pass/Fail Election

A student in good standing may elect to take six credit hours on a pass/fail basis in accordance with the limitations of this section, provided that the student designates such an election by the end of the second week of the Fall semester, the end of the fourth week of the Spring semester, and the end of the first week of the Summer session. After the deadline, the student may not convert from the standard grading system to pass/fail. However, a student may revoke the pass/fail election and convert from the pass/fail election to the standard grading system. The Registrar, each semester, will set a date during the final week of classes by which a pass/fail revocation must be made, and will publish the date in the Record. A student may not revoke a revocation and re-elect the pass/fail option after the deadline for making the pass/fail election. No more than six credit hours taken under this election will count toward the graduation credit requirement. A student may submit election forms for up to six hours of pass/fail; forms submitted that exceed six hours are null and void. If a student goes on academic probation, all pass/fail elections the student made for the probationary semester are nullified.

In order to earn the grade of Pass in a course for which the pass/fail election has been made, the student must earn at least the grade of C. If a student earns a C- or lower, the student will be awarded the grade of LP (Low Pass). See also the requirements set forth in §6.6.

The pass/fail election does not apply to: (1) a course required for the degree, including Professional Responsibility; (2) a seminar, whether or not being taken to fulfill the seminar requirement; (3) a course that has been designated by the instructor before registration as unavailable for the pass/fail election; (4) a course offered only on a pass/fail basis, such as Law Review, Moot Court, and clinical courses; (5) LL.M. courses; (6) Appellate Advocacy and Trial Advocacy courses; or (7) any course being taken to fulfill the requirements of any certificate program.

Credits for which a student may only receive a pass/fail grade, such as Law Review, Moot Court Honor Society, clinical courses, Independent Research, or credits transferred from another law school, do not affect a student's right to elect six hours of pass/fail credits under this section.

§ 2.5  Law Review and Moot Court Credit Hour Limitation

A student may receive no more than five hours of credit toward graduation for participation in Law Review, and no more than one credit hour per semester, with the exception of the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, and Executive Notes & Comments Editor of the Law Review, who may earn additional credits (see Dean Sowle for details). A student may receive no more than a total of five credits toward graduation for participation in the Appellate Advocacy course, Moot Court Honor Society, BLSA Moot Court, Environmental Moot Court, International Moot Court, Intellectual Property Moot Court, and any other moot court program. With the exception of the Appellate Advocacy course, a student may take no more than one credit hour per semester of any moot court activity listed herein. A student may not take any moot court credits while enrolled in Appellate Advocacy. The Law Review and moot court credit-hour limitations are separate; a student may earn five credit hours for Law Review and an additional five credit hours for Moot Court.

§ 2.6  Clinical Courses and Externship Limitation

A student may receive no more than 24 credit hours toward graduation for clinical courses and externships combined.

§ 2.7  Pass/Fail Credits

There is currently no overall limit on the number of pass/fail credits a students may take. However, students should be careful to observe the limitations placed on certain types of credits as provided in preceding sections of this Handbook.

§ 2.8  Employment Limitation for Full-Time Day Division Students

A student, whether full-time or part-time, may not be employed for more than 20 hours per week during any semester in which the student is taking 14 or more credits. First-year full-time students may not work more than 20 hours per week even if they take fewer than 14 credits in a semester.

§ 2.9  Exceptions to Limitations

Subject to the limitations described below, the Assistant Dean for Academic Administration and Student Affairs may grant an exception to any of the provisions in this section if a student has compelling extenuating circumstances. To request an exception, a student must submit a petition to the Assistant Dean setting forth in detail the circumstances necessitating the exception. The faculty does not recognize a desire to accelerate the date of graduation as a valid reason to exceed the maximum number of credit hours in a semester.

The Assistant Dean for Academic Administration and Student Affairs may not grant an exception to the maximum credit requirement that would violate any applicable ABA accreditation rule concerning the maximum number of credits that students may take in a single semester.

§ 2.10  Hour Requirements for Financial Aid and Loan Deferment Purposes

See §13.1 for the number of hours required to be considered full-time or part-time for financial aid and loan deferral purposes.

§ 2.11  Legal Writing and Academic Support Program Teaching Assistant Limitations

A student may not receive credit toward graduation for more than four credit hours as a Legal Writing Teaching Assistant or for more than four credit hours as an Academic Support Program Teaching Assistant.

§ 2.12  Distance Education Limitations

A student may not receive credit toward graduation for more than 12 credit hours of distance education courses. A student may not earn credit for a distance education course until the student has completed at least 28 credit hours of coursework.