Degree Requirements

To obtain a Juris Doctor (JD) degree candidates must meet the academic requirements of Pace Law School and the residency requirements of the American Bar Association (ABA) and the New York Court of Appeals. For additional information, see Pace Law School’s academic policies.

Academic requirements

Candidates matriculating for the JD degree must successfully complete 88 credits to qualify for graduation. The degree is awarded upon recommendation by the faculty, as well as the satisfactory completion of:

  • All degree requirements
  • All required courses
  • The Upper Level Writing Requirement with Research and Citation Workshop
  • The Upper Level Skills Requirement
  • Professional Development Requirement
  • Administrative Law/Regulatory Process Requirement
  • Professional Responsibility course required

No credit is given for any course for which a grade of F is received. Candidates must achieve a grade point average of at least 2.30 at the time of graduation to receive a JD degree. A candidate who has fulfilled the requisite number of credits but has not, at the time of graduation, achieved at least a 2.30 GPA will not receive a JD degree.

Certification by faculty 

The Faculty of the Pace University School of Law semiannually approves certification of those students who have completed all of the requirements for their degrees in the preceding semester, subject to the following provisos:

  • The Law School shall only provisionally certify any student against whom an Honor Board proceeding is pending.
  • The Law School shall only provisionally certify any student who has received a disciplinary sanction as the result of an Honor Board proceeding until all terms of such sanction have been satisfied.
  • The Law School shall withdraw its certification of any student against whom an Honor Board proceeding is filed after the certification date, based on events alleged to have occurred during the preceding semester. A student provisionally certified pursuant to any of these provisos shall be certified without further faculty action immediately upon termination of all Honor Board proceedings without an Honor Board sanction, or upon satisfaction of the terms of sanction, provided that the student has otherwise completed all degree requirements and is qualified to graduate. For purposes of this rule, “preceding semester” means the fall semester at the end of which a December certification occurs or a spring semester at the end of which an April or May certification occurs.

Academic honors at graduation 

Students who achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and above graduate with honors, as follows:

  • Summa cum laude: 3.80 - 4.0

  • Magna cum laude: 3.60 - 3.79

  • Cum laude: 3.25 - 3.59

Residency requirements

Pace Law School requires students to earn the equivalent of 6 units of residency to receive a JD degree and become certified to take the bar examination.

  • Full-time students can satisfy this requirement by spending 6 full time semesters in residence. Students receive 1 unit of residency for every full-time semester. Over 3 years (6 semesters) this totals 6 units of residency.
  • Part-time students can satisfy the requirement by spending 8 part-time semesters in residence. Students receive .75 units of residency for every part-time semester. Over 4 years (8 semesters) this totals 6 units of residency.
  • Summer School students who take 4 credits in summer school receive .375 units of residency (half a part-time semester). Students who take 5 or more credits receive .5 units of residency (half a full-time semester). Students who take fewer than 4 credits receive no residency units.

Limitations on allocation of credits

Under Pace Law School's Academic Rules and Regulations, credits required for graduation are limited as follows:

  • A maximum of 20 credits of the credits required to graduate is allowed for "clinical credits" in live-client clinics, externships and guided externships. This number does not include "academic credits" awarded in those courses.
  • A maximum of 10 credits taken outside a law school, at another graduate school, either as a joint degree candidate or not, may be substituted for "clinical credits.” These 10 credits are part of the 20 clinical credit limitation.
  • A maximum of 4 credits of the credits required to graduate is allowed for co-curricular activities (Moot Court, Law Review), guided research, or continued clinical fieldwork.