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Student Handbook: Joint Programs

Joint Programs

Students may enroll in only one joint degree program while enrolled in Law School. Students may not enroll in a concentration if enrolled in a joint degree program.

J.D./LL.M. Joint Program in Taxation

Students accepted into the J.D./LL.M. program may work toward an LL.M. degree in Taxation while completing their J.D. degree. The J.D./LL.M. program provides students with a broad based and advanced skill set in taxation, which will promote employment opportunities for students interested in a career in Tax Law. J.D./LL.M. students who take Graduate Tax Program (GTP) courses prior to the fall on-campus-interview sessions will enhance their prospects for tax related summer internships or full time offers. In addition, the J.D./LL.M. program offers summer semester evening and online courses, which J.D./LL.M. students can attend without interfering with summer internships or employment.

The J.D. degree is awarded upon the completion of six semesters of full-time study, and the LL.M. degree is awarded when the 24 credit hour requirement for the LL.M. degree is completed. During the regular three years of law school, J.D./LL.M. students may complete the LL.M degree with a combination of GTP courses and approved J.D. Tax courses. Up to 12 credits of the combination of GTP courses and J.D. Tax courses can count both as elective credits toward the J.D. degree, and credits toward the 24 credit hour requirement for the LL.M. degree. The remaining 12 credits from GTP courses will count towards the LL.M. degree only. For the 12 credit hours that double count towards both degrees, the grade from a course will only be counted towards the cumulative GPA for one degree. For example, a student enrolled in the J.D. Introductory Tax course will receive credit for the course on the J.D. and GTP transcripts, but the course grade will only be included in the grade point average of the J.D. transcript. Similarly, a student enrolled in a GTP course will receive credit for the course on the J.D. and GTP transcripts, but the course grade will only be included in the grade point average of the GTP transcript. J.D./LL.M. students must obtain the permission of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Faculty Director of the Graduate Tax Program to enroll in more than 12 credit hours from GTP courses during the regular three years of law school. Students will need to meet with the Law School Registrar to confirm the additional GTP courses will not negatively impact J.D. requirements or degree completion. Any such credits earned from GTP courses in excess of the 12 credit hour limit will only count toward the GTP degree and GPA, and will be billed as additional GTP tuition.

Students must have a minimum cumulative J.D. GPA of 2.67 as a prerequisite for admission to the LL.M. program, and must request and submit official college transcripts to the Graduate Tax Office. Prospective students are encouraged to meet with the Faculty Director of the Graduate Tax Program prior to applying, and admitted students are expected to meet with the Director of the Graduate Tax Program once a semester to discuss course selection and registration. To optimize the benefits of the program, a J.D. student should consider applying for the joint degree no later than the beginning of the spring semester of the 2L year. Further information is available from the Graduate Tax Office, Room 183.

J.D./LL.M. International Studies (Abroad)

Students accepted into this J.D./LL.M. program receive their J.D. degree from Villanova and their LL.M. (or other approved degree) in a general or specialized area of international law from a host law school located abroad, usually in a total of three to three and one-half years, depending upon which law school abroad the students attend. The students spend the first two years at Villanova, during which time they must successfully complete all first-year courses and graduation requirements. During the spring of the students’ second year at Villanova, they may apply for admission into the J.D/LL.M. International Studies program. Admission is highly competitive, and enrollment is limited. Admission is based upon a student’s application and academic record (including classwork, grade point average, and professors’ recommendations, discretion of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Dean). Eligibility to apply will be determined by Villanova, and admission will be determined by the host school abroad. If admitted, the student will spend the third year of law study at the host law school abroad. Students must earn at least two-thirds of the credits required by Villanova for graduation before studying abroad for their third year.

Awarding of the J.D. and LL.M. degrees is conditioned upon successful completion of all courses at Villanova and all courses and requirements, including successful completion of any thesis or dissertation requirement, at the host law school abroad. That is, the courses taken at the LL.M. host law school count toward the Villanova J.D. degree. Because it would normally take at least four years to complete both degrees, an overall cost savings typically results. Students who participate in the program will be eligible to graduate from Villanova with Latin honors (i.e., summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) based upon their cumulative grade point average earned during their two years of study in residence at Villanova Law School, when compared with the three-year cumulative grade point average of their original graduating class. Students in the J.D./LL.M. program will also be eligible for membership in the Order of the Coif. However, students admitted into the J.D./LL.M. program should understand that because they will not be enrolled in courses on the Villanova Law campus during the third year, and because the academic year of the host school abroad may run for twelve months beginning in August or September, they will not be eligible for membership on the editorial board of one of Villanova’s law journals or on the Executive Board of the Moot Court Board. Students are, however, permitted to serve on the staff of the Law School’s law journals, at the discretion of the journals. Although the students may complete the LL.M. degree after their original class graduates from Villanova, it is possible for the students to walk with their class at graduation. Please note: due to the variation in schedules between Villanova and the host schools, students enrolled in the program must confirm their understanding that they may not be able to take the July bar examination that would have followed their original graduation date. Specifically, students enrolled in the J.D./LL.M. International Studies program may not be able to take a bar examination until, at the earliest, the February following their completion of both the Villanova and host school portions of their programs.

Students who transfer to Villanova Law after completing a year of study at another law school are not eligible to enroll in the J.D./LL.M. International Studies Program.

For more information, please contact the Director of International Programs.

J.D./M.B.A. Joint Program in Business Administration

Students accepted into the J.D./M.B.A. Program receive their J.D. degree from the Law School and their M.B.A. degree from the School of Business. The J.D. will be awarded upon satisfactory completion of 6 semesters in residence at the Law School and all J.D. requirements (including credits earned through the M.B.A. program which apply toward the J.D. program). J.D./M.B.A. students must complete the first year of law school in the regular course. After successful completion of the first year, they may begin taking M.B.A. courses while remaining full-time students at the Law School.

J.D./M.B.A. students must take at least 10 credits in every semester (including those M.B.A. courses which count toward the J.D. degree). They may take no more than a combined total of 18 credits counting toward the J.D. degree, considering courses taken in both schools, during any semester. Any student wishing to register for more than 18 credits (including credits earned toward both the J.D. and M.B.A.) must obtain approval from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. In no case, however, will a student be permitted to take more than a combined total of 21 credits in any semester.

The Law School will accept 12 credits for courses taken at the School of Business, and the School of Business will accept a maximum of 9 credits taken at the Law School, providing the courses are selected from the list of courses approved for joint credit published by each school. Contact the J.D./M.B.A. Faculty Advisor, Andrew Lund, for specific information.

J.D./M.P.A Joint Program in Public Administration

Students accepted to the J.D./M.P.A. Program receive their J.D. from the Law School and their M.P.A. from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Twelve Law School credits will count towards the J.D./M.P.A Program and twelve  M.P.A. credits will count towards the J.D./M.P.A Program Only students enrolled in the J.D./M.P.A. Program may have twelve credits in each program double counted as described above.

The M.P.A. Director and the School of Law’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs identify the Law and M.P.A. courses that may count in each program. The School of Law will accept the twelve M.P.A credits toward the J.D/M.P.A. Program as long as the students earns a “C” or better.. The School of Law will allow the M.P.A. courses to appear as a Law courses on the transcript, but the grades for those courses will not affect the Law School grade point average (GPA). The Arts and Sciences Graduate Dean will accept twelve Law credits toward the M.P.A.so long as the student earned a “C” or better. The Registrar will list the Law courses as Law courses on the M.P.A. transcript, but the grades will not affect the M.P.A. Program GPA. In short, the Law courses will be treated as “transfer” credits. Students must maintain a 2.75 GPA in the School of Law and a 3.00 GPA in the M.P.A. Program in order to remain in the J.D./M.P.A. Program. Students may complete one of Villanova’s joint graduate programs. For example, students may complete the JD/MBA or the JD/MPA, but not both. While completing the J.D. degree, students must complete at least the twelve M.P.A. credits that will count only in the M.P.A. Program and the twelve M.P.A. credits that will count in both programs. The remaining twelve M.P.A. credits may be taken after completing the J.D. degree. The M.P.A. degree must be completed within the normal timeframe stated by Graduate Studies. Students may not take M.P.A. courses at another institution to complete the degree. If a Law student works an externship approved by the Law School and by the M.P.A. Director, then M.P.A. 8010 will be waived. Otherwise, the student must complete an internship for an additional 3 M.P.A. credits.

Misconduct and the Continuing Obligation of Disclosure

A J.D. student enrolled in a joint program who engages in misconduct (whether academic or non-academic) in the non-Law School part of the program 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 authorities at the other school.

Students involved in joint programs must promptly notify the Office of Academic Affairs in writing if any incidents occur or information develops in the non-Law School part of the program, including while in attendance at partner schools, that relate to character and fitness, as laid out in the policy on Candor and Disclosure under the General Information C tab in this Handbook.