Vanderbilt Law School Background Image

J.D. Requirements

Each candidate for the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) must:

  • Pursue full-time (enrolled for a minimum of 10 credit hours each semester), resident study at Vanderbilt Law School for a period of six semesters (or, in the case of students requiring more than six semesters, the equivalent).
  • Complete, with a grade point average of 2.0 or above, 88 semester hours of credit:
  • No more than 5 credit hours may be earned by participating in credit-bearing extracurricular activities;
  • At least 65 credit hours must be earned in regular Law School classes. (Students must complete at least 66 graded hours to be eligible for Order of the Coif);
  • Earn a passing grade in all required courses, which includes all first-year courses, Constitutional Law I, Professional Responsibility, a professional skills requirement, and a substantive research paper;
  • It is the student's sole responsibility to plan a schedule that ensures the completion of 88 semester hours and all other requirements for the J.D. degree.
  • Pay all financial obligations due to Vanderbilt University.
  • Be of good moral character, according to the standards of personal and professional integrity traditionally associated with the profession of law.
  • The law faculty may remove a student from the J.D. program at any time for failure to meet the standard of good moral character required for the degree, or impose sanctions other than suspension or expulsion.
  • Receive the favorable recommendation of the faculty for the degree.