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Student Handbook: Taking Classes Outside the Law School

Taking Classes Outside the Law School

As full-time students in the Law School, law students may not take classes in any other program or institution, including, without limitation, any joint program(s),  without the permission of the Office of Academic Affairs. Law students who enroll in classes in any other program or institution must comply with all policies and procedures of both Villanova Law School and the other program or institution. Any student who engages in misconduct (whether academic or non-academic) will be subject to disciplinary proceedings and possible penalty under the Law School’s policies independent of whether or not action was taken and/or a penalty imposed by the other program or institution. Students must promptly notify the Office of Academic Affairs in writing if any incidents occur in connection with any course taken in any other program(s) or institution(s) that relate to misconduct (whether academic or non-academic). The Law School may at any time in its discretion notify, or require such student to notify, any other program or institution in which a law student is enrolled of any disciplinary proceedings and/or penalties and related misconduct of such student.

Graduate Tax Courses for J.D. Students

A J.D. student may take courses in the Graduate Tax Program (GTP) for credit towards the J.D. degree. However, the student must obtain the permission of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Faculty Director of the Graduate Tax Program. A letter grade and credit will be awarded, but the grade for the GTP course will not be included in the student’s J.D. grade point average. Transfer credit for the J.D. degree will only be awarded if the student earns a “C” or better.   GTP courses taken by students as part of the J.D. program will not count toward the LL.M. degree, unless the student later enrolls in the J.D./LL.M. program, and is formally accepted during the time they are enrolled in law school. 

Typically, a J.D. student who is not in the J.D./LL.M. program will be approved to take no more than two GTP courses for J.D. credit at no additional cost. Students who earned the J.D. within the last two years and who decide to apply for the LL.M. post-graduation may submit a written request to transfer up to 6 credit hours from either advanced J.D. tax courses or GTP courses into the LL.M. However, tuition for the remaining required coursework will be based on the per credit hour tuition rate for GTP courses.

Summer Programs Abroad

A student may receive up to six credits for attending an ABA-approved summer abroad program offered by an accredited American school of law, provided that a student achieves a grade of C, its equivalent or better, for each course for which credit is sought. The student must obtain permission from the Director of International Programs in advance by submitting a request detailing the program and the courses desired, using the on-line form. Typically, only courses that do not duplicate courses offered at the Law School will be approved, although exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the Office of Academic Affairs. Credit will be recorded and the course will appear on the student’s Law School transcript upon receipt of an official transcript from the host school, but any grade(s) earned in that program will not calculate into the student’s GPA. If the program abroad has an experiential learning component, the student’s request should also be approved by the Director of Experiential Learning.

Visiting Out

Students requesting permission to visit for a semester or a year at another law school must obtain permission from the Office of Academic Affairs. Permission will be granted only if the student shows the most compelling reasons for the visit, has completed all required courses, and has at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.

Graduate Courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

A J.D. student may take up to six credits of graduate-level course work in other colleges for credit toward their J.D. degree. Students would take such courses in their second or third year. For students interested in taking courses in Graduate Arts and Sciences, the following policies and procedures apply:

1.  Prior Approval

  • Law Students must obtain prior approval for the course from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the Law School.
  • Once approval has been granted, the student then submits a request to the Dean of Graduate Studies, who will seek the approval of the graduate program director. Students should specify which courses they seek to take and provide copies of the undergraduate transcripts so that the program director can evaluate whether the student has the necessary background for the course.
  • If the graduate program director and Graduate Dean approve the request, the Graduate Dean will contact the Registrar to have the law student registered in the course and inform the Bursar’s Office to coordinate the billing.
  • Because the Communication Master’s program is an entrepreneurial (self-financing) program, law students will not be permitted to take individual graduate courses in Communication. They may take courses in this program if they seek to earn a graduate certificate (five courses) or Master’s degree (ten courses), in which case they must apply to the program.

2.  Tuition

  • Tuition for a graduate course in Arts and Sciences taken by a law student is covered by the student’s Law School tuition, with no transfer of funds from the Law School to Graduate Arts and Sciences, as long as the course is taken in the fall or spring term.
  • Tuition for graduate courses in Arts and Sciences taken in the summer term are not covered by Law School tuition. Law students wishing to take a graduate course in the summer will be billed at the Graduate Arts and Sciences tuition rate.

3.  Grading: The Law School will allow the Graduate Arts and Sciences courses to appear on the transcript, but the grades will not affect the Law School grade point average (GPA). A “T” will appear on the transcript to indicate transfer credit. Students may request a separate transcript from the University Registrar for a record of the grade received in the Graduate Arts and Sciences course.

4.  Academic Calendar: Law students who take a graduate course are expected to follow the academic calendar used by Graduate Arts and Sciences.

5.  A J.D. student enrolled in a course in CLAS who engages in misconduct (whether academic or non-academic) will be subject to disciplinary proceedings and possible penalty under the Law School’s policies independent of whether or not action was taken and/or a penalty imposed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

6.  Students must promptly notify the Office of Academic Affairs in writing if any incidents occur in any course taken in the CLAS that relate to misconduct (whether academic or non-academic).