The department made the proposal in a federal court filing, in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Vice News.
In the filing, department official John Hackett said that following a review of the emails, the department will post the releasable portions of the 55,000 pages on its website.
He said the review will take until the end of the year — and asked the court to adopt a completion date of January 15, 2016, to factor in the holidays.
That is just a couple of weeks before the Iowa caucuses and early state primaries that follow.
Clinton, the Democratic front-runner in the 2016 presidential election, has said she wants the department to release the emails as soon as possible.
The disclosure that she conducted State Department business on a private email account has been a controversy from the very inception of her campaign this year.