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academics-grad-req

Policies & Procedures: Graduation Requirements and Degrees

Juris Doctor (JD)

All JD degree candidates must apply for graduation in the Office of the Registrar, prior to the end of the fourth week of their next to last semester at MSU Law. Students must have achieved each of the following standards:

  1. 88 semester hours of credit.
  2. Earn at least 65 credit hours in attendance in regularly scheduled class sessions.  
  3. Cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better.
  4. Compliance with mandatory course requirements.
  5. Compliance with the upper level writing requirement
  6. In the case of students transferring from another law school, a minimum of 45 credit hours must be completed at MSU Law. .
  7. In accordance with ABA policy, the maximum time for completion of requirements is 84 months (7 years) after a student has commenced law study at the law school or a law school from which the school has accepted transfer credit.

Honors and Final Class Rank

In order to be eligible for class honors upon graduation, a student must have received at least 53 credits from classes taken at MSU College of Law, excluding those taken on a Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit basis.  The calculation of final class rank upon graduation shall not include any students who have not received at least 70 credits from classes taken at MSU College of Law, excluding those taken on a Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit basis.

Honors for Graduation

Candidates for the degree of Juris Doctor whose cumulative grade point average is 3.25 or higher and subject to the Honors and Final Class Rank policy, will graduate with honors, as follows:
3.25 to 3.49 will graduate Cum Laude
3.50 to 3.74 will graduate Magna Cum Laude
3.75 to 4.00 will graduate Summa Cum Laude
For the purpose of calculating honors and class rank, students retaking a course will have the two grades averaged together.

Master of Jurisprudence in Legal Doctrine and Analysis (MJ)

The MJ is an innovative degree that is primarily designed for students who choose not to complete their JD program.  The MJ could provide these with a credential that may enhance their marketability, particularly with employers who do not require a JD, but would prefer a candidate with some legal training.

While the MJ degree is unlikely to be salient to most employers for students earning their JD degree, it is recognized that these students have satisfied MJ degree requirements.  Therefore, an MJ degree will be awarded to a student who

  1. has completed the required first-year curriculum (29 credits) with a 2.0 minimum cum GPA, and is no longer pursuing a JD degree at MSU Law or any other law school, or
  2. is taking a mandatorily-imposed first-year reduced course load and has completed at least 24 credits after the satisfactory completion of the required first two regular semester (fall/spring), with a 2.0 minimum cum GPA, and is no longer pursuing a JD degree at MSU Law or any other law school, or
  3. satisfies all JD degree requirements.

Students who do not complete the JD program will be provided a complimentary MJ diploma.  Students completing the JD degree program will have the earning of their MJ degree noted on the record when the JD degree is conferred.  Only the Juris Doctor will appear on the diploma.  However, students completing the JD program who wish to also receive an MJ diploma may submit a diploma purchase request to the Registar's Office.

Master of Laws (LLM) and other Master of Jurisprudence (MJ) Degree Programs

Graduation requirements for the LLM and other MJ degree programs are found here.


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