back to top »

Appendix ENRGP 4 – ENRGP Specialization Options and Requirements

Student candidates for the ENRGP LL.M., MRLS, or CS can be awarded their respective degree or certificate without a specialization or may choose to work toward one of several areas of specialization.
The respective regulations state:

  • 4.1 – A candidate for the [LL.M, MRLS, CS ] may elect to specialize anytime prior to the completion of the certificate requirements by notifying the Graduate Program; a candidate who does not so notify the Graduate Program shall be deemed to have elected a non-specialized course of study.
  • 4.2 – The [LL.M., MRLS, CS] transcript may, subject to 4.1 and the candidate’s completion of required core courses as set out in the specialization guidelines, be endorsed to indicate a candidate’s specialization within the program of study in [LL.M. & MRLS up to two] [CS – one] of the subjects noted in the schedule to these Regulations.

Eight specialization’s are allowed under the respective regulation schedules:

  • Environmental Law and Policy
  • Land Use Law and Policy
  • Mineral Law and Policy
  • Energy Law and Policy
  • Water Law and Policy
  • International Resources Transactions Law and Policy
  • Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy
  • Oil and Gas Law and Policy

A list of the courses required to earn a specialization designation can be obtained from the Assistant Director of Graduate Studies. Each specialization requires the completion of 4 “core” classes. In exceptional cases, the Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program may grant a waiver of a core course or substitute another course for a core course.

A Certificate of Studies student may not qualify for more than one specialization. A Master of Laws (LL.M.) or Master of Resources Law Studies student may not qualify for more than two specializations.

back to top »

Appendix ENRLP 5 – Individual Natural resources and Environmental Law Certificates: Regulations and Guidelines

  • General
    • A candidate for a natural resources law program course certificate shall be required to register for that course and pay any required fees.
    • The Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program shall issue course certificates to qualified candidates with the concurrence of the Natural Resources Graduate Degree Committee.
  • Admission
    • A candidate for a natural resources law program course certificate must have completed a bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution or in the case of a foreign candidate, obtained the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree, or such other professional qualification as may be approved by the Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, from an acknowledged institution of higher learning.
  • Qualifying Certificate Questions
    • All courses listed in the syllabus of approved natural resources law program courses which can be obtained for the Assistant Director of Graduate Studies and are taught in the University of Denver College of Law qualify as certificate courses.
  • Assessment
    • The courses of study referred to in Regulation 3 shall be assessed by written examinations, course work, continuous assessment of student performance, research paper, or a combination thereof, as specified by the course instructor.
    • No course certificate shall be issued to any candidate who has not obtained a course mark of 2.0 or higher.

back to top »

back to top »

Appendix ENRLP 7 – LL.M. Thesis Option

A candidate for the LL.M. in Natural Resources and Environmental Law and Policy may elect, with the permission of the ENRLP Director of Graduate Studies, to complete a thesis on a topic approved by the Director. Students seeking to undertake a thesis option should have strong and demonstrable research and writing skills. Students undertaking the thesis option must register for the thesis and pay the requisite hourly fee (6 credit hours). Any student registered for a thesis must complete and submit the thesis for marking no later than 3 months prior to the maximum time allowed for the completion of his/her LL.M program.

Three bound copies of the thesis should be submitted to the thesis supervisor.

The following limit is suggested for a thesis:

Degree Recommended # of Words Maximum # of Words Recommended # of Pages
LL.M. Thesis 10,000 15,000 40-50

In general, the layout of the thesis should be “professional” and conform to the following guidelines:

  • order of content
    • title page
    • executive summary
    • table of contents
    • list of tables, list of figures and illustrations (if any)
    • acknowledgments (if any)
    • chapters of text
    • reference/bibliography
  • consistent system of footnotes and references
  • consistent system of chapter, section, subsection numbering
  • 1 to 1 1/2 inch margins
  • 3 bound copies
  • approximately 250 words per page (about 28 lines per page)
  • clearly legible font
  • printing quality (clearly readable, 300dpi or better)

back to top »

Appendix ENRLP 8 – Thesis Research Supervision and Marking Guidelines

  • Policy Statement
    An LL.M. candidate may seek the permission of the ENRLP Director of Graduate Studies to undertake thesis research on an a topic approved by the Director. Students seeking to undertake a thesis option should have strong and demonstrable research and writing skills and the Director may require proof of such skills. The decision of the Director shall be final.

    Each student undertaking a thesis as part of their program of studies will be assigned a research supervisor. Supervision should include at least one staff member of the College of Law, either a fulltime faculty member or the ENRLP Director of Graduate Studies, who will act as the senior supervisor. Other co-supervisors may be approved by the Director from other Environmental and Natural Resources Law teaching staff (i.e., adjuncts), other Departments of the University or experts outside the University provided that at all times a resident senior supervisor is operative. The senior supervisor is responsible for monitoring the student’s work. Graduate students are responsible adults. Ultimately, they are responsible for their work. They are expected to take initiative and raise important issues with their supervisor(s). They should show discipline and commitment to work.

    The supervisor will assist the student in developing a research program timetable and plan of action, provide periodic guidance and monitoring and alert the Director in case problems arise. While supervision supports students in their research endeavors, it is not the supervisors’ task to direct or do the work the students should do themselves (apart from review, suggestions, guidance). This involves research finding literature, critical analysis, interviewing, outlining, writing and editing. The supervisor should be an adviser who asks questions, discusses problems, monitors progress, reviews and gives comments and advice. The ultimate responsibility for quality, content, success and failure is solely the student’s. The aim of research is for the student to develop and demonstrate the ability to reach, using acceptable methods of research, academically substantive results.
  • Thesis Supervision
    The supervisor will meet with the student three times:
    • initially to review and comment on the thesis proposal (a one page description prepared by the student covering the following headings: The Problem Addressed by the Thesis; The Main Issues; Research and Analytical Methodology; Availability of Source Material and a proposed outline (maximum 2 pages) listing all chapter and major section draft headings.
    • midterm review to discuss with the student the work in progress, to offer suggestions and comments and to identify whether the direction of research is “on track.”
    • after completion of the draft but before formal submittal, to discuss with the student his draft thesis and to make recommendations for possible revisions. When designing their research timetable, students should allow time for one rewrite of the draft thesis after this meeting to achieve a higher level of quality.
  • Special Principles
    The Program strongly encourages research both within and outside its own facilities. It is recognized that no one University’s library will contain all needed literature. Other facilities may need to be consulted in order to produce high-quality research. Also, research at other facilities opens up both contacts and access to materials. This will enrich the learning experience.
  • Thesis Committee and Marking
    A standardized marking system has been adopted to assess each thesis on a pass/fail basis. The mark shall be determined by a thesis committee agreed by the Director of Graduate Studies. The Thesis Committee shall consist of three members:
    • one full-time ENRLP faculty member or the ENRLP Director of Graduate Studies;
    • one full time faculty member from the College of Law who is not a member of the environmental and natural resources law program;
    • and one other person who may come, but not necessarily, from outside the College of Law fulltime faculty (i.e., adjuncts, faculty from other Departments of the University or experts outside the University).

Should a dispute arise concerning the mark to be awarded, a majority of two committee members shall suffice to determine whether the thesis is passed or failed. In the case of a marginal fail, the Committee may, at its sole discretion, take one of the three following options:

  1. award a fail;
  2. hold an oral examination to determine whether the student has obtained a sufficient understanding of the subject matter to warrant a pass;
  3. allow the student to make revisions to the thesis to be reviewed at a further thesis committee meeting.

The decision of the thesis committee shall be final.

back to top »

Appendix ENRLP 9 – Uniform Thesis Grading Sheet

Student’s Name:
Thesis Title:
Section 1: Content (80% of total) Section 2: Presentation (20% of total)
Logical Structure 20 References and Citations 10
Analysis 25 Language 10
Relative Originality 10 -
Total Number for Content: Total for Presentation:
Section 3: Deductions
Lack of Accuracy: (max. -20 pts.) Total to be Deducted:

Content Pass with honors: >85
Pass: 65-85
Fail: <65
Pass with honors, Pass, or Fail:
Presentation +
Total =
Committee Chairman: Date:
Other committee members:
  • Definitions for Uniform Marking Sheet
    “Content” refers to issues of an intellectual nature; “presentation” refers to the production of the paper.
    • Content
      • Logical Structure: organization of the paper which should enable the question under consideration to be answered in a logical and orderly manner.
      • Analysis: the ability of the candidate to use legal “tools of the trade” to develop the points contained in the structure to address the question.
      • Depth of Research: the extent to which the candidate has collected information relevant to the question.
      • Relative Originality: the extent to which the candidate has used his/her own ideas rather than simply repeated the professors or depended upon a small number of sources.
    • Presentation
      • References and Citations: the ability of the candidate to use references in an approved manner and in a way which supports the arguments in the paper.
      • Language: the correct use of English in the paper.
    • Lack of Accuracy
      The accuracy of any statements of fact contained in the candidate’s thesis. This is effectively a mechanism to penalize errors.

back to top »

Appendix ENRLP 10 – JD/ENRLP Concurrent Degree Program

J.D. and LL.M. in Natural Resources and Environmental Law and Policy, J.D. and Master of Resources Law Studies

This guideline describes the policies and procedures relevant to students who wish to pursue concurrent graduate degree programs for the Juris Doctor and either the Master of Laws in Natural Resources Law and Policy (LL.M.) or the Master of Resources Law Studies (M.R.L.S.), both of which are offered by the University of Denver College of Law. Within these programs the relevant faculty committees retain their authority and responsibility concerning curriculum course content, degree requirements, granting of degrees, and related matters.

  • Admissions
    The student wishing to pursue the two degrees concurrently shall make separate applications to the College of Law for admission to both the J.D. program and either the LL.M. or M.R.L.S. program.

    Note: an offer of admission to the LL.M. degree program is contingent on the LL.M. applicant having either been granted a J.D. degree or having accepted an offer to be admitted into the University of Denver College of Law’s J.D. program. An offer of admission to the M.R.L.S. degree program is not contingent upon the applicant having been granted a J.D. or having accepted an offer of admission into the University of Denver College of Law’s J.D. degree program.

    A student may make application for participation in the concurrent degree program prior to beginning either program or after he/she has begun work on either degree. A student may not apply for admission to the concurrent degree program after either degree has been granted. The provisions of this agreement are intended to apply only to students who are working concurrently on the J.D. and LL.M. degrees, or the J.D. and M.R.L.S. degrees at the University of Denver.

    As soon as possible after the student has accepted an offer of admission in both degree programs, the student shall notify in writing the Registrar of the Law School, and the ENRLP Director of Graduate Studies, that the student is accepted for both degree programs.
    • Advisement
      After acceptance of admission but prior to registration for the LL.M. or M.R.L.S. degree program, the student will consult with the Director of Graduate Studies in Environmental and Natural Resources Law program concerning the program requirements, course selection, recording of transfer credits, application for approval of unlisted courses, and similar matters.
    • Granting of the Degree
      The J.D. and LL.M. degrees need not be granted simultaneously unless student is pursuing a dual J.D./LL.M. Appropriate faculty and administration members can recommend the granting of either degree when all requirements for that degree have been met. A student must have completed all requirements for a J.D. degree in order to be granted the LL.M. degree. The J.D. must be granted concurrent with the granting of the LL.M. degree. Concurrent degree privileges only apply to work completed while at the University of Denver while the student is working toward either degree, but prior to receiving either degree.
  • Law School Provisions for the LL.M. Degree
    At the time of registering for a course the student shall in writing notify the registrar whether the course is to be applied toward the J.D. degree or toward the LL.M. degree. Approval by the Director of the Advanced Degree Study Program should accompany this notification. Course credits applied toward the LL.M. can be counted toward the J.D. requirement and course credits applied toward the J.D. requirement can be applied to the LL.M. requirement.

back to top »