Charleston School of Law Academic Program

The Charleston School of Law offers a full-time and part-time course of study leading to a Juris Doctor degree.  It is expected that students enrolling in the full-time program will graduate in three years and those enrolling in the part-time program in four years. Students accepted for the spring will begin classes in early January. Full-time students who start in the spring semester will be on track to graduate in 2.5 years; spring start students are required to take summer courses during their first summer of enrollment.

Pursuant to Standard 311 of the American Bar Association’s Standards of Approval for Law Schools and Charleston School of Law policy, all graduation requirements must be completed no earlier than 24 months and, except in extraordinary circumstances, no later than 84 months after a student has commenced study at the Charleston School of Law or at a law school from which the School of Law has accepted transfer credit.

For more information, please follow the links below:

Course Load

Consistent with Standard 311(c) of the American Bar Association’s Standards of Approval for Law Schools, students may not take more than 17 credit hours in a semester.

  • Full-time course load:  The standard course load for full-time students is 13-17 credit hours per fall or spring semester. For students admitted for the spring start, the first summer standard session is required and the standard course load is 13 credit hours.
  • Part-time course load: The standard course load for part-time students is 7-12 credit hours per fall or spring semester; for the required summer standard session for spring admit students, the standard course load is 10 credit hours. To enroll in fewer than seven credit hours, part-time students must first apply for an receive written permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Absent extraordinary circumstances, such approval will not be granted.

For reporting purposes, 13 credit hours is considered full-time, 10-12 credit hours is considered three-quarters time, and 7-9 is considered half-time.

Maymester and Summer Session Credit

The Charleston School of Law offers courses for academic credit during Maymester and summer sessions. The below information applies to these sessions:

  • Full-time students may not take more than 13 credits in a combination of Maymester and summer session courses.  Students in good standing are permitted to take one course in Maymester.  If a student takes a 1-credit hour Maymester course, that student may take up to 12 credits in the summer session; if a student takes a 2-credit hour Maymester course, that student may take up to 11 credits in the summer session. Full-time students may not take more than 11 credits in the summer session.
  • Part-time students may not take more than 12 credits in a combination of Maymester and summer session courses.  Students in good standing are permitted to take one course in Maymester.  If a student takes a 1-credit hour Maymester course, that student may take up to 11 credits in the summer session; if a student takes a 2-credit hour Maymester course, that student may take up to 10 credits in the summer session.
  • Please note: Any student on academic probation during the immediately preceding spring semester will be ineligible to register for any Maymester course. Any student on academic probation during the immediately preceding spring semester will be ineligible to register for any summer course for academic credit. Students on academic probation must consult with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs if they are interested in taking summer courses.

Students interested in Maymester and Summer courses should also consult with the Academic Probation Policy.

*For information about the Charleston School of Law’s Admiralty and Maritime Law LL.M., please click on this link.

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