Credit Hour Limits

Each Juris Doctor candidate must complete at least 90 semester hours of course work. In satisfying this requirement, students may apply no more than 25 total hours earned in the following courses:

  1. graduate courses in another college or school;
  2. externships;
  3. hours earned for extramural advocacy competitions;
  4. independent studies;
  5. hours earned for journal or law review; and
  6. clinics.

There are also specific maximum hours that can be applied to the degree from some of these activities, including journals, externships, study abroad and extramural advocacy. See individual topic sections for additional information regarding these programs and their credit hour limitations.

As per American Bar Association (ABA) guidelines, no more than 30 credit hours may be taken through online or distance education. Similarly, all students who began their work toward the JD at the Law School may earn no more than 30 credit hours towards the JD degree outside the Law School. This includes credit hours from foreign institutions, other ABA-approved law schools as a visiting student, and graduate-level courses taken outside the Law School.

Transfer students (those who began their work toward the JD at another institution) must complete at least 45 of their credit hours at the University of Louisville. In addition, 30 of their last 36 credit hours must be completed at the University of Louisville. No credit will be given toward a JD degree for coursework completed prior to matriculating to a law school.