Juris Doctor Program

Cardozo offers a traditional three-year program leading to the degree of Juris Doctor (J.D.). The program of study consists of 84 credits completed in three years. 

The first-year program consists of 30 credits, all in required courses. Second- and third-year courses are largely elective. However, all students must take Professional Responsibility, Advanced Legal Research, and one course that involves a substantial written project. In addition, students must meet minimal distribution requirements, taking at least two courses in each of three categories: Law and the Regulatory State, Private Ordering Through Law, and Adjudication and Systems of Justice, as well as one course of a jurisprudential, international, or comparative nature.

A normal course load during the second and third years is 13 or 14 credits per semester. Students must take a minimum of 12 credits per semester to qualify as full-time. Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.4. (A grade of "C" is equal to a 2.0.)

To graduate, students must complete all requirements within five years of the date of matriculation, excluding time lost for serious illness or service in the Armed Forces; must have the approbation of the faculty; and must file an Application for Degree during the semester prior to completing all requirements.

General Conditions of Enrollment and Graduation

The admission of a student, continued enrollment at the school, receipt of academic credits, and graduation are all subject to the disciplinary powers of the school, exercised through the dean or the dean's designee, and to the student’s maintaining high standards of ethical conduct. Students are expected to familiarize themselves and comply with the rules and regulations, academic and otherwise, of Yeshiva University and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. The Student Handbook, containing complete information on academic requirements, is available at orientation or from the Office of Student Services.

Change of Status: Leave of Absence and Official Withdrawal

Leave of Absence
A student who wishes to withdraw from Cardozo School of Law, but who thinks that s/he may wish to return at a future date should request a "leave of absence." Leaves of absence are granted only by permission of the Dean of Students. Such leaves are permitted for a minimum of one semester and a maximum of two semesters. In extraordinary circumstances, additional leaves may be permitted.

However, only in cases of serious illness or service in the Armed Forces are students permitted waivers of the requirement that they receive their degrees within five years of the date they are admitted to Cardozo School of Law.

A student who receives permission to take a leave of absence must "maintain status" by completing and obtaining the relevant signatures for a request for leave of absence form. The form must then be filed with the Office of the Registrar in order to maintain the student’s status at the law school. Depending upon the date of withdrawal, students may receive a “W” on their transcripts for such withdrawals. Students on leaves of absence are responsible for staying informed of Cardozo School of Law’s rules, regulations and deadlines, which are subject to change.

Depending on the date of withdrawal, students may be entitled to a partial refund of tuition. For information on refunds upon withdrawal, see the Office of Student Finance.

Official Withdrawal
A student who wishes to withdraw from Cardozo School of Law and is certain he or she will not wish to return at a future date should request an official withdrawal."= The student must meet with the Dean of Students and obtain a signature for the form. Depending on the date of withdrawal, students may receive a “W” on their transcripts for such withdrawals. The forms must then be submitted along with the student’s I.D. card to the Office of the Registrar.

Depending on the date of withdrawal, students may be entitled to a partial refund of tuition. For information on refunds upon withdrawal, see the Office of Student Finances.