Graduation Requirements

A student must complete all the following to be eligible for graduation from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. 

Additional graduation requirements apply for those students whose grade point averages place them in the bottom 15% of their class at the end of their first or second year.  

  • 88 Credits
  • 64 Credits earned in regularly scheduled class sessions
  • 6 semesters of full-time enrollment (minimum of 10 credits per semester)
  • All required first-year courses
  • Legal Profession (Ethics)
    Courses satisfying the Legal Profession requirement provide substantial instruction in the history, goals, structure, values, rules, and responsibilities of the legal profession and its members.
  • Upper-Level Legal Writing Requirement (ULW) This requirement is satisfied by a paper of at least twenty pages requiring the student to explore, based on significant research in legal sources, the interrelationships of issues presented in a complex context, and must be fulfilled through a seminar, legal writing independent study or other course designated explicitly as meeting the upper-level writing requirement. Only full-time faculty members may supervise papers to satisfy the ULW requirement. A paper must receive a B- or better grade to satisfy the ULW requirement.  
  • Experiential Learning 
    Every student must complete at least 6 credits of experiential courses that engage students in performing the experiential skills generally regarded as necessary for effective and responsible participation in the legal profession.
  • International/Comparative Law requirement
    Each student must complete an international law/comparative law course in the second or third year, choosing from a menu of courses that satisfies the international/comparative law requirement.  
  • Foundations of Legal Research (1 credit) 
    It must be taken during the second year. It is strongly recommended that you take the course in the Fall, but there is also a Spring offering. At least three sections of this course will be offered each Fall semester and one section in the Spring (if needed).
  • Writing Requirement ("W")
    This requirement is fulfilled by completing either
    1. a second/separate seminar, legal writing independent study, or course meeting the upper-level legal writing (ULW) requirement as described above or
    2. one course designated as satisfying the W requirement.

University Application for Graduation

All students must complete the University Application for Graduation. Joint degree students must submit a graduation application to both schools to receive the degree from either school. The Law School has its own criteria for honors


Certificate program students should verify with the Certificate Program Administrator that they have completed the requisites to be awarded the certificate upon graduation.