San Joaquin College of Law offers a Three Year Program and a Four Year Program leading to the Juris Doctor degree.

Juris Doctor Degree Requirements

San Joaquin College of Law offers a flexible program leading to the Juris Doctor degree. The degree can be attained in three, four, or five years. Attainment of the degree requires:

  • Completion of 86 semester units: 68 units of required coursesand 18 units of elective courses. Not more than eight (8) elective units may be in clinical work.
  • A cumulative grade point aver - age of 65 or better. (Although transfer units may be accepted, only work completed at SJCL is credited toward a student’s cumulative GPA).
  • A minimum grade of 55 in all required courses.
  • Course attendance totaling a minimum of 16 semester units per academic year.
  • Completion of all graduation requirements within 5 years of initial enrollment, or 6 years from initial enrollment if the student was granted the right to repeat the first year, unless such limitation violates some state or federal, statutory or regulatory provision.

Four Year Program

San Joaquin College of Law’s Four-Year Program is designed for a diverse community. The curriculum is intended to accommodate the needs of working students, parents, commuters, and others who have substantial commitments outside of their studies. The program requires an average of ten classroom hours each week throughout the four years. A student should expect to spend approximately two to three hours in preparation time for each hour of classroom time. The program is designed primarily as a night program, but there are some daytime sections of classes offered depending on demand and availability.

Sample Four-Year Program Schedule

Three-Year Option

A student in the Four-Year Program who completes the first year with a minimum cumulative GPA of 70 can accelerate his or her studies by transferring to the Three-Year Option. Students who wish to transfer to the Three-Year Option are required to meet with the Director of Student Services, Academic Dean, or Dean for approval before transferring. If receiving financial aid, the transferring student must also meet with the Director of Financial Aid. The Three-Year Option requires students to take additional courses during the second and third year of the program and complete a minimum of four (4) clinical units. Any outside employment in excess of (20) hours per week is prohibited.

Sample Three-Year Option Schedule

Five Year Program

Students who must extend their education because of family or work commitments can reduce the per semester course load and complete the program in five years.

The Juris Doctor degree must be completed within a total of five years from the time of admission.

*Programs subject to change

SJCL Credit Hour Policy

The credit hour policy applies equally to courses of varying credits, duration, and modes of instruction.

One unit of credit in lecture, seminar, and discussion work should approximate one hour of direct faculty classroom instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work per week through one 15-week semester.

Additionally, where classroom work is supplemented by systematic outside reading or research and writing under the direction of the faculty, a reduction may be made in the actual classroom time as seems appropriate to the instructor with the approval of the Curriculum Committee so that a minimum of 45 hours of student work is expected for each unit of credit.

Alternately, if the time is wholly occupied outside the classroom, with either a field placement, clinical or internship, research or teaching assistantship, directed study, law review, or external moot court competition, a minimum of 45 hours of student work is expected for each unit of credit. All non-classroom credits received must be awarded by a faculty member who has reviewed the student work to insure both academic rigor and that the minimum number of hours for the credits awarded has been satisfied.

Periodic Compliance Review of Credit Hour Policy

Review of credit hour assignment for all classes shall occur every two years. All new courses, when reviewed and approved by the Curriculum Committee, shall also be expressly reviewed for compliance with this credit hour policy.