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JD Requirements

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School JD candidates are required to complete 86 semester hours at graduation during 6 semesters in law school residence.  Each JD student is required to complete, in addition to the required first-year curriculum, one course in Professional Responsibility, 6 semester hours of experiential learning, the Pro Bono Requirement, and a scholarly research and writing project (the Senior Writing Requirement). The details of each requirement and restrictions on co-curricular credits are explained below.

Transfer Students

Students entering on advanced standing are reminded that in order to satisfy the 86-semester hour requirement for the JD, they must also:

  • Complete the Senior Writing Requirement;
  • Complete the Public Service Requirement;
  • Complete six-semester hour Experiential Learning credits;
  • Take no more than 12 semester hours of distance education credits; 
  • Be in compliance with the max co-curricular credit restrictions; 
  • Satisfy the Professional Responsibility Requirement in either your second or third year

You may also be required to complete first-year courses offered by this Law School if you have not already completed them in your first year. The credits for these courses, however, may be counted toward the credits required for graduation. You will receive a letter from the Registrar that will indicate your degree requirements and required courses, if any, that must be completed. The courses to be completed or waived are Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, and Torts.


A Continuing Duty to Report Conduct

Throughout the course of your enrollment at the Law School, you have a continuing duty to report to the Dean of Students any matters involving your interactions with legal authorities, legal actions taken by or against you, or charges brought by University disciplinary offices. Such actions include but are not limited to arrests, citations, lawsuits, subpoenas, traffic violations, or violations of Penn policies. At the time you apply for Bar admission, the Bar authorities in each jurisdiction will seek to determine that information in your Bar application is congruent with your Law School student file. In order to simplify your admission to the Bar at such time as you are reviewed for “character and fitness,” you must make any such activity known to the Law School immediately on occurrence.