All graduating students must meet with the Registrar for an Exit Interview to be sure that their files are complete and that each student has fulfilled all of MSL’s requirements for graduation.

What is needed for graduation?

An overall 2.0 (C) average is required for graduation. A student must satisfactorily complete 90 credit hours to graduate. 62 credit hours must be in required courses. A student must pass the Comparison course, which should be taken during his or her last semester. No credits are given for a failing grade. Graduation occurs only in December and June.

Required Courses & Credits

  • Business Entities (5)
  • Civil Procedure (4)
  • Comparison of Massachusetts & National Law (6)
  • Constitutional Law (4)
  • Contracts (5)
  • Criminal Law (3)
  • Criminal Procedure (3)
  • Evidence (3)
  • Legal Ethics (3)
  • Motions & Litigation Practice (2)
  • Property (4)
  • Writing and Legal Reasoning (3)
  • Writing, Research, and Trial Advocacy (3)
  • Writing and Legal Advocacy (3)
  • Torts (4)
  • UCC 2, 3, 4 & 9 (4)

MSLAW also requires students to take and pass Assessment Tests:

  • Following the completion of Civil Procedure, Torts, and Contracts at the end of the 1L year, 1L students are required to take and pass the Level 1 Assessment Test at the end of the exam period.
  • Following the completion of Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, and Evidence at the end of the 2L year, 2L students are required to take and pass the Level 2 Assessment Test at the end of the exam period.
  • Following completion of Civil Procedure, Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law & Procedure, Evidence, Constitutional Law, and Real Property, 3L students are required to take the Level 3 Assessment Test. The Level 3 Assessment Test will cover Civil Procedure, Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law & Procedure, Evidence, Constitutional Law, and Real Property.  
  • For the full text of the rule, Click here.

Academic Credit

Academic Credit for all courses must adhere to the credit hour standard below; the rationale for any rare exception for a particular course must be documented and approved in advance by the Dean. The definition of the credit hour, both at the Federal level and as applied by MSLAW, is below. Federal financial aid eligibility requires strict adherence to the awarding of academic credit for in class instruction, requisite preparation and study time per class, remote instruction, as well as awarding credit for internships, externships, clinical placements, and independent studies.

The Federal definition states that “A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

– One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks;

– Or at least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other activities as established by an institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work and other academic work leading toward the awarding of credit hours.”

MSLAW Equivalencies of the Credit Hour

The institutionally established equivalencies to the Federal definition of the credit hour at MSLAW are below.

For each semester hour of credit, classes that meet in a face-to-face format must include one 60-minute period with the instructor and two hours of outside of class work each week over the course of approximately 15 weeks. Examinations, reviews, assessment testing, weekly question and answer sessions, and workshops are all a vital part of student learning and contribute toward these times.

1 credit hour = 60 minutes contact + 120 minutes outside work over 15 weeks for a total of 2,700 minutes of student effort. 3 credit hours requires 8100 minutes of contact and preparation time. Students should note that this is the minimum suggested study and preparation time. The recommended study time per hour of class time is three hours outside of class for each hour in class with many successful students spending even more time than that.

Classes that do not have the required direct in person face-to-face contact time (for example, hybrid or online courses) meet the credit hour standard if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • The course covers the same material in the same depth as a face-to-face version of the same course with similar testing.
  • The course has been evaluated by MSLAW for content and rigor, and the Dean has approved the semester hour credit to be awarded in advance of any such course being offered.

The actual amount of academic work that goes into a single semester credit hour summer courses must be equivalent in both contact and outside work totals as the semester-length course with the equivalent content, rigor, materials, and assessment of student learning employed. This requires that one class credit hour represents 1 hour per week of scheduled class/seminar time and 2 hours of student preparation time. Most summer courses are awarded 3 credit hours. Over the summer semester, this formula represents 45 hours of class time and a minimum of 90 hours of student preparation per credit hour.

Similar rules apply to other courses and learning experiences offered by MSLAW.

  • One practice credit hour in a clinic, externship, or internship represents a minimum of 3 hours per week or 45 total hours of scheduled supervised or independent placement work for the equivalent of a 15-week semester. Student preparation time and in class workshops would also be available to satisfy the required commitment. Blocks of 3 practice credit hours, represent a minimum of 135 to 180 total hours of academic work per semester.
  • One independent study hour is calculated similarly to practice credit hours.