Part-Time Program

How long will it take me to complete my J.D.?

When taken part time, the J.D. will take four to five years to complete, unless you choose to accelerate the time with a heavier course load. In no case may a student take longer than seven years.

Am I eligible for a scholarship as a part-time student?

Yes, part-time students are considered for scholarship aid. Any scholarship awarded to you would cover a percentage of your tuition for the total credits needed (88 credits) so long as you continue to make progress toward your degree.

How does the financial aid process work for part-time students?

You are eligible for federal loans for any semester in which you enroll for six or more credit hours (or three or more in a summer term). Please contact Chad Nosbusch for more information on financial aid.

Is there a minimum number of classes I must take per semester?

Most part-time students will finish their J.D. in four years, though some will complete the degree over the course of five years. Based on 88 total required credit hours, you should plan to average 22 credit hours per year if you intend to complete in four years.

May I pursue a joint degree or concentration as a part-time student?

Possibly, though this would be difficult due to ABA requirements and the rules of other academic programs. If this is something you're interested in learning more about, please contact a member of our admissions staff.

May I take J-term and/or summer classes as a part-time student?

Yes. You have access to our full range of course offerings. 

May I switch to full-time status after I've started the program?

Yes. You have the flexibility to move between full- and part-time status throughout the program. 

Will I have a mentor each year of law school?

Yes. As a part-time student, you will be able to participate in our #1 ranked Mentor Externship Program, with academic requirements in your first year and your final two years.

Must I complete the typical 1L courses in a certain timeframe or sequence?

Yes. Please see the degree map on the part-time J.D. page for more detailed information. 

May I participate in a clinic as a part-time student?

Yes. As a part-time law student, you will have equal access to our diverse clinical offerings. The point at which you are eligible to apply for clinic will vary depending on your course load.

May I participate in a journal as a part-time student?

Yes. As a part-time law student, you will be eligible to apply for the University of St. Thomas Law Journal. The point at which you are eligible to apply for journal will vary depending on your course load.

May I run for Student Government as a part-time student?

Yes. You have full access to all of our student support and student life offerings.

Will I take classes as part of a cohort of part-time students?

No. You will take classes at your own pace, resulting in a lesser load of the courses available to our full-time students. Because St. Thomas Law is a close-knit community, you will see familiar faces in the classroom and will get to know your peers very well. 

May I study abroad?

Yes! Our students have studied in several countries including: Chile, Germany, France, England, India, Netherlands, Greece, China, Argentina, Ireland, Mexico, Malta, Hungary, South Africa and Italy. Click here to learn more.