Reduced Course Load

For students who feel they are unable to take on the full standard first-year course load, Brandeis Law offers a reduced first-year course load option. Students may choose to take a reduced first-year course load of 9 credit hours per semester rather than the usual 15. Students who continue to take a reduced course load throughout their time in law school would complete the JD program in four to five years rather than the usual three.

Students who take the the reduced first-year course load take three full-year course sequences:

  • Contracts I (Fall) » Contracts II (Spring)
  • Torts I (Fall) » Torts II (Spring)
  • Lawyering Skills I (Fall) » Lawyering Skills II (Spring)

Because first-year courses are sequenced, students must maintain their course load, whether standard or reduced, for the duration of their first year of study. However, a student taking the reduced course load may request permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to add Civil Procedure I (3 additional credit hours) to their Spring semester course load, if their schedule allows and if they have performed sufficiently well in the Fall semester.

After the first year, students may increase or decrease their course load in subsequent semesters as they see fit.

Students taking the reduced course load are not a separate cohort and attend the same class sessions as students taking the standard course load. All first-year classes and other mandatory programming are held on weekdays during the day, and if necessary, course faculty may hold make-up sessions at different times than classes would normally meet. As such, students taking the reduced course load, especially those who plan to work while enrolled, must ensure that they will be available to attend classes.

Students who take 10 or more credit hours in a given semester are billed at the standard full-time tuition rate, while students who take fewer than 10 credit hours in a given semester are considered part-time for tuition purposes and are billed by the credit hour. For the 2023-2024 academic year, the part-time tuition rate is $1,270 per credit hour for eligible Kentucky residents and $1,520 per credit hour for nonresidents.