- Academic Requirements
- Computer Facilities
- Course of Study
- Examinations and Grading
- General Information
- Graduation Honors, Prizes and Awards
- Graduation Procedures
- Office for Student Affairs
- Office of Career Development & Opportunities
- Personal Responsibilities
- Registering for Courses
- Registrar Transactions
- Scheduling of Events
- Student Bar Association (SBA)
- Student Health Information
- Tuition and Financial Aid
- Vision and Mission Statement
- Westminster Law Library
- Student Handbook Appendices
- The Semester System
- Unit Assignments
- Normal Schedule
- Online Courses
- Academic Overload
- Transfer Between Evening and Day Divisions
- Withdrawal/Leave of Absence
- Medical Leave of Absence
Course of Study
The Semester System
The Sturm College of Law schedules classes on the semester system. Each Fall and Spring semester contains fourteen (14) weeks. The summer term contains seven (7) weeks.
The Sturm College of Law assigns all incoming first year students to units. Students must attend only the classes scheduled for their assigned units. First year students cannot alter assigned units or class schedules. Full-time day division first year students who enter the Sturm College of Law must expect to take classes Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:30 pm and have an obligation to arrange their schedules accordingly. Part-time evening division first year students who enter the Sturm College of Law must expect to take classes Monday through Friday from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm and have an obligation to arrange their schedules accordingly.
First year full-time day division students take fifteen (15) credit hours during the first semester and fifteen (15) credit hours during the second semester. After the first year, full-time day students must complete an additional sixty (60) credits.
Full-time day students generally take fifteen (15) hours per semester during the last two (2) years of law school. More than fifteen (15) hours in any Fall or Spring semester constitutes an academic overload that requires approval from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and a cumulative GPA that meets or exceeds 2.6.
First year part-time evening division students take eleven (11) credit hours each of the first two (2) semesters. After the first year, part-time evening students must complete an additional seventy (70) credits.
After the first year, part-time evening students generally take eleven to twelve (11-12) credit hours per semester . More than twelve (12) credit hours in any Fall or Spring semester constitutes an academic overload that requires approval from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and a cumulative GPA that meets or exceeds 2.6.
No student in the full-time program who works more than 20 hours per week, may take more than fifteen (15) credit hours in any Fall or Spring semester.
In order to maintain eligibility for federal loans, students must take at least eight (8) credit hours per semester for the Federal Direct Loan Program and at least four (4) credit hours for the Federal Perkins Loan Program.
No student may take an on-line course for JD credit until the student has earned at least 30 credit hours of JD credits.
All students must obtain the written approval of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to register for an academic overload. The Associate Dean will not approve an overload in any semester or summer term for a student with a GPA below 2.6. The Associate Dean cannot approve more than 12 credit hours during a Fall or Spring semester for any day student employed more than 20 hours per week.
An academic overload for full-time day students in any Fall or Spring semester means more than fifteen (15) credit hours. Under no circumstances can a full-time day student take more than eighteen (18) credit hours in any Fall or Spring semester.
An academic overload for part-time evening students in any Fall or Spring semester means more than twelve (12) credit hours. Under no circumstances can a part-time evening student take more than fifteen (15) credit hours per Fall or Spring semester.
No student will receive permission to take an overload during the first year.
During the summer term, an academic overload means more than eight (8) credit hours. Under no circumstances may a student request more than twelve (12) credit hours during the summer term. To petition for an academic overload, a student must complete an Overload Petition available in the Office of Student Affairs or online. The Associate Dean of Student Affairs must approve the Overload Petition.
Transfer Between Evening and Day Divisions
A student in good standing may transfer from one division to another in August. A student must submit a written request to transfer between divisions to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs for approval. Please note that the American Bar Association requires day students to limit their employment to no more than twenty (20) hours per week during the academic year. Students can find transfer forms in the Student Affairs office or online.
Withdrawal/Leave of Absence
Any student in good standing may request a leave of absence for up to three (3) years. A student who plans to take a leave of absence or withdraw from the Sturm College of Law must submit a petition to the Office of Graduate Studies prior to withdrawal from classes or the school. Students who receive approval for a leave of absence must comply with the American Bar Association’s seven (7) year rule. This rule requires students to meet all of the requirements for their JD degrees no later than the end of the seventh year following their initial registration.
Day Division classes run from 8:00 am through 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Each Day Division student must assure that outside employment does not interfere with his or her academic performance or regular class attendance. In order to comply with the American Bar Association Standard 304 (f), no day student who works more than twenty (20) hours per week can take more than 12 credit hours during any Fall or Spring semester. In accordance with this standard, students must fully and completely disclose employment information during any semester they attend the Sturm College of Law. Further, the Sturm College of Law shall not employ or compensate any student in excess of 280 hours per semester. The Sturm College of Law will not adjust class or course schedules or examination times to accommodate outside employment.
The Sturm College of Law strongly discourages Day Division students from participation in outside employment while they engage in full-time study. First-year day division students frequently find satisfactory grades impossible to achieve while engaged in outside employment. The faculty of the College of Law strongly urges first-year students to devote their full time to the study of law.
Evening Division classes run from approximately 5:00 pm through 10:00 pm, Monday through Friday and sometimes on Saturdays. Evening division students may hold full-time outside employment, provided they have at least thirty (30) hours per week available for study and provided they do not take more than 15 credit hours in any Fall or Spring semester. Due to work and/or family responsibilities, evening division students are encouraged not to try to complete their law school education in less than four (4) years.
Medical Leave of Absence
Students may apply for a Medical Leave of Absence in cases of serious medical conditions. Generally, a student may request a Medical Leave of Absence a total of two times during his or her educational program at DU. Information regarding a Medical Leave of Absence can be accessed here.