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- Crossing Division Lines
- Dropping Courses
- Adding Courses
- Limitation on Out of Class Credits
- Directed Research
- Law Review and Journal Credits
- Internship Programs
- Other Law School Graduate Degree Programs
- Other University of Denver Graduate Courses
- Transfer of Credits
- Visiting Student Status
- Auditing Courses
Each semester the Registrar’s Office provides students with course information and registration procedures. Students generally register in November for the following Spring semester and at the end of March/beginning of April for the following Summer and Fall semesters. In order to register, students first must resolve all financial or other holds on their records. Students must register using MyWeb. Students receive registration time tickets approximately two (2) weeks prior to registration. Students receive registration priority according to the number of credit hours they have completed. A more detailed description of registration procedures follows:
- Full-Time Day Students:
The banner registration system caps full-time day students at 15 credit hours. If a full-time day student wants to register for more than 15 credit hours, the student must submit an Overload Petition to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for approval. Under no circumstances can a full-time day student take more than 18 credit hours in any semester. No student with a GPA of 2.6 or lower can take a credit overload. No student who works more than 20 hours per week can take more than 15 credit hours in any semester.
- Part-Time Evening Students:
The banner registration system caps part-time evening students at 12 credit hours. If a part-time evening student wants to register for more than 12 credit hours, the student must submit an Overload Petition to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for approval. Under no circumstances can a part-time evening student take more than 15 credit hours in any semester. No student with a GPA of 2.6 or below can take a credit overload.
- Registration Procedures
The Sturm College of Law bases registration priorities on the number of credit hours students have earned. We divide all students into groups based on their proximity to graduation, and those students closest to graduation have top priority. Day students have priority access to day courses, and evening student have priority access to evening courses. Students must pay close attention to their registration time. If a student fails to register during the designated registration period, the student may not secure the courses most valuable to him or her. No student can place himself or herself on a wait-list for any class during this normal registration period.
“Earned credit hours” for registration priority purposes include the credit hours in which students currently are enrolled. For dual degree students “earned credit hours” include the credit hours dual degree students have earned in their other degree program that count toward their JD degree. Earned credit hours also include courses that students have taken outside the law school that count toward their JD degrees.
- Wait List Registration and Policies
After normal registration has ended, wait list registration begins for closed classes that have reached their maximum enrollment and does not end until the beginning of the next semester. A student can wait list for up to 8 credit hours at any one time, but no more than 8 credit hours. The Sturm College of Law does not prioritize wait list registration, because the wait lists themselves are prioritized. In other words, a student ultimately is moved from a wait list and into a class based on the student’s number of earned credit hours.
If a student attempts to register for a closed class, the system prompts the student to place himself or herself on the wait list. The student must select this option from the drop-down box on MyWeb. The student then must submit the change. If a student does not register for the wait list for a specific class, the Registrar will not consider the student for registration in that class.
The Registrar removes students from wait lists and adds them to classes based on the number of credit hours the students have earned. No student can attend a class for which he or she has wait listed until the Registrar informs the student that the Registrar has officially registered the student for the particular wait listed class. A student whom the Registrar officially adds to a class will receive notification via their law school account. Students who do not receive such notification early in the registration process should remain on the chosen wait list until the end of the second week of classes, because class openings frequently occur during the drop/add period. The Registrar adds wait listed students to classes once each week during the registration period and will add wait listed students to classes each day during the two weeks prior, and the two weeks after, classes begin.
Crossing Division Lines
Upon completion of the first year curriculum, students can choose to register for classes in the day and/or evening division. However, day division students receive an initial priority for day classes and evening division students receive an initial priority for evening classes.
During the first two weeks of a Fall or Spring semester, students may drop courses from their schedules and receive a full tuition refund for the dropped courses. In the Summer Semester, students have a shorter period in which to drop a course and receive a full tuition refund. If a student drops a class after the official drop/add period has expired, the law school will not refund the tuition for that class.
Students must use MyWeb to make schedule changes during the drop/add period. After the end of the drop/add period students may drop courses [without a tuition refund] only by completion of a Drop Petition which requires the approval of the individual professor and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Moreover, after the end of the drop/add period students who drop a course will receive a “W” [withdrawal] on their transcript for the dropped course. Students can find Drop Petitions in the Student Affairs Office or here ».
Under no circumstances will the law school permit a student to drop a class after the last day of classes in any given semester.
During the first two weeks of a Fall or Spring semester students may add courses to their schedules. Students must use MyWeb to make schedule changes during this time. After expiration of the drop/add period, students cannot add a course without special permission from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. A student who wishes to add a course after the drop/add period has expired must complete an Add Petition, submit the petition to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and secure permission from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Students can find Add Petitions in the Student Affairs Office or here. In no case may any student add a class after the last day of the fourth week of classes.
Limitation on Out of Class Credits
Students cannot take more than a total of twenty-five (25) out-of-class credit hours from the following sources:
- The non-classroom component of clinical courses
- Moot Court (If taken for academic credit)
- Directed Research
- Courses in Law School Graduate Programs
- Graduate Courses Outside the Law School
Directed Research opportunities allow students in their second, third, or fourth years to study and write in any area of law under the supervision of a full-time faculty member. Adjunct professors cannot supervise a Directed Research project. Students may register for either two (2) or three (3) credit hours of Directed Research per semester. Students cannot take (1) credit hour of Directed Research. Students, however, may petition the Associate Dean for Student Affairs for permission to take four (4) or five (5) credit hours of Directed Research with the permission of the professor supervisor. Students can receive no more than five (5) total credits of Directed Research during law school.
Directed research projects satisfy the Upper Level Writing requirement.
Students can find a Directed Research form in the Registrar’s Office or here. Students should complete this form, obtain the signature of the professor who has agreed to supervise the Directed Research and submit this form to the Registrar’s Office. If the student is petitioning to take four or five credit hours of Directed Research, the petition should be signed by the faculty member and delivered to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs for his/her approval.
Ordinarily, students must complete the Directed Research project during the semester for which the student registered for the Directed Research. The supervisor faculty member, however, may waive this requirement in writing to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. The student must submit the original of their Directed Research project to the supervising faculty member for a grade and submit a copy to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, no later than the last day of exams for the semester in which the student has registered for the Directed Research.
Law Review and Journal Credits
Students can earn academic credit for work on the Denver University Law Review, Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, Water Law Review, and Transportation Law Journal. Students may register for the above journals and are allowed a maximum of 6 semester credit hours in total towards their JD according to the following rules:
A student may earn zero (0) or one (1) credit hour per semester as a staff member who verifies the accuracy of references made by authors but do not write publishable material of their own.
- Writing Staff
A student may earn zero (0), one (1), or two (2) credit hours per semester as a staff member who attempts to write a publishable article (usually case notes, comments or surveys) and who prepares multiple drafts of such a writing.
A student may earn zero (0), one (1), or two (2) credit hours per semester as an editor who supervises the work of staff members, performs substantive edits and works with authors.
- Editorial Board
A student may earn zero (0), one (1), two (2), or three (3) credit hours per semester as a Board member who solicits, reviews, edits work and performs administrative functions such as communications with publishers or maintenance of files and correspondence.
To receive credit for law review service, students must secure certification of such service from the Editorial Board of the relevant law review. The Editorial Board shall submit such certification to the Registrar.
Externships provide students with opportunities to earn academic credit while they gain practical legal experience. Student externs work without pay in a variety of legal settings. Examples of externships chosen by students include: Judicial, Criminal Defense, Criminal Prosecution, Nonprofit Organization, Private Law Firm, Corporate, Government Agency, Immigration, or other unique placements that students arrange on their own. Please note that prerequisites for externships vary. Students must pay tuition for their approved externship credit hours. Students cannot receive pay for any work they perform for a supervisor while the student serves as an extern for that supervisor. Moreover, a student cannot cannot receive credit as an extern for any supervisor who has paid the student for services within the preceding eighteen (18) months.
No student on academic probation can enroll in an externship.
Students may earn two to six (2-6) externship credit hours during an academic semester. A student cannot enroll in a one (1) credit hour externship. Students may earn no more than three (3) credits in a semester if their externship occurs outside the Front Range area (Fort Collins to Colorado Springs). A student cannot earn more than fifteen (15) hours of academic credit from externships during law school. Externship credit hours count toward the maximum of twenty-five (25) out-of-class credits.
Externship students must complete a classroom component related to their externship. Students must attend regular, weekly classroom meetings that may involve assigned exercises. Students must also submit weekly journals and time sheets and meet at least once with the externship department. Students who do not complete these externship requirements will receive a grade of F for the externship.
A student extern must work fifty (50) hours for each credit hour awarded. Students may start accumulating hours for their externship two (2) weeks prior to the start of the semester in which they have registered for the externship. Once a student has worked more than the number of hours required for an externship, the student may continue to volunteer time but the student cannot obtain additional academic credit for that externship. No more than six (6) credits may be awarded for any single externship without the permission of the Director of the Externship Program and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
Students receive pass/fail grades for all externships.
Students may not continue at the same externship for a second semester unless the student and the supervisor can satisfy the Externship Director that the work performed by the student during the second semester will differ SUBSTANTIALLY from the work the student performed during the first semester .
Individual professors may offer additional externship opportunities. Students should consult the course schedule and course descriptions each semester for these opportunities.
The rules governing externships are found in Appendix C.
Other Law School Graduate Degree Programs
The Sturm College of Law offers graduate degrees in the following programs: an LLM in Graduate Tax; a Master of Science in Legal Administration (MSLA); an LLM in International Natural Resources and Environmental Law and Policy; and a Masters of Resource Law Studies (MRLS). Students enrolled in law school may take up to eight (8) semester hours of approved course work from the above programs toward their JD degrees. Credit hours taken in these programs count toward the maximum of fifteen (15) credit hours that law students can take outside the law school.
Students who complete courses in these programs and then enroll in law school cannot receive credit for the courses completed in these programs toward their JD degrees.
Students with an interest in these advanced degrees should contact the directors of these programs.
Students enrolled in these programs should consult the Supplement to the Student Handbook for the policies related to their specific program.
Other University of Denver Graduate Courses
Students may take a maximum of eight (8) semester credit hours of graduate level courses in other schools or departments at the University of Denver for credit toward their JD degree under the following conditions:
- The student must have a cumulative law school GPA of at least a 2.6 and must enroll in the College of Law during the semester the student takes a graduate course.
- Prior approval from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. The student must submit a petition to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs that verifies the graduate level of the proposed course and that states how the proposed course relates to the intellectual and professional aspirations of the student. Students can find this petition in the Student Affairs Office or here »
Graduate level credit hours taken in other University of Denver graduate programs count toward the maximum of fifteen (15) credit hours that law students can take outside the law school. Students may receive credit for eight (8) semester hours of non-JD credit or ten (10) semester hours of dual-degree credit, but may not receive both.
Credits from University of Denver graduate courses will not appear on a student’s law transcript, but the courses will reduce the number of credit hours a student must earn to graduate (i.e., a student who takes eight (8) semester hours or the equivalent in other graduate courses must earn 82 credit hours from the College of Law to meet the 90 credit hour graduation requirement.)
Students who choose to take classes in other University of Denver graduate departments should consult the Financial Management Office to discuss financial aid options. Students cannot apply law scholarship funds towards non-law credits.
- Dual Degree Programs
The Sturm College of Law offers numerous dual degree arrangements in which students may work concurrently on a JD degree and an advanced degree in a related discipline. The programs offered exist in conjunction with other departments at the University of Denver or the Colorado School of Mines. Dual degree opportunities now exist in: Geography, Psychology, Computer Science, Business, International Management, Real Estate, Social Work, Economics, Mass Communications, Public Policy, Tax, International Studies and Mineral Economics (at the Colorado School of Mines).
Application for Dual Degree Programs are available through the Graduate Studies office or online at http://www.du.edu/ahss/mfjs/programs/graduate/dualgrad.html. Dual-degree credit hours taken in other University of Denver graduate programs count toward the maximum of fifteen (15) quarter credit hours that law students can take outside the law school. Students may receive credit for eight (8) semester hours of non-JD credit (see Other University of Denver Graduate Courses) or ten (10) semester hours of dual-degree credit, but may not receive both.
Before the Sturm College of Law will consider a student as a dual degree student, the student must secure separate admission to the counterpart program. After the student completes the required initial first-year law curriculum, the student may schedule courses in any combination allowed by the dual degree program.
Students must pursue both of the degrees in a dual degree simultaneously. While students are encouraged to complete courses from each field concurrently, in some cases, electives may be taken consecutively. Students have up to 18 months to complete the second degree. PLEASE NOTE: While dual degrees need not be completed simulatneously, the College of Law will not allow any student to take advantage of the ten (10) semester hour dual-degree credit until the second degree is complete. The College of Law cannot grant a JD degree if there is any possibility that a student will not meet all the requirements of the JD degree. Students cannot be certified to take any bar examinations until they have been awarded the degree of Juris Doctor.
If a student changes his or her plans and decides to earn only one degree, the student must complete the full requirements for that degree.
The normal arrangements between the Sturm College of Law and another university department usually consist of the following: The other department usually will accept ten (10) semester hours (15 quarter hours) from the Sturm College of Law, and the Sturm College of Law generally will accept fifteen (15) quarter hours (10 semester hours) from another department in satisfaction of their respective degree requirements. Students must consult with other university departments to confirm the number of credit hours that department will accept from the Sturm College of Law.
- JD/MSLA Program
A student may earn a JD/MSLA (Master of Science in Legal Administration). For further information please contact the MSLA department or visit the MSLA web site »
- JD/LL.M. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law
A student may earn a JD/LL.M. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. For further information, please contact the Environmental & Natural Resources Graduate Program or visit the ENRLP website.
- JD/LL.M. in International Business Transactions
A student may also earn a JD/LL.M. in International Business Transactions. For further information, please visit the IBT website.
- JD/LL.M. in Taxation
A student may earn a JD/LL.M. in Taxation. For further information, please visit the Graduate Tax Program website.
- Free Credits Above Ninety
Students registered at Sturm College of Law prior to Fall 2011 and who have taken all of their courses at Sturm College of Law (this excludes transfer students, visiting students, dual degree students and any students who have taken any credits toward their JD degree outside the College of Law) will not be charged for up to six credits beyond the 90 required for graduation. This opportunity is available only in the semester in which the student plans to graduate.
Any student who will graduate after May 2011 who wishes to take advantage of these potential “extra” credits in their last semester before graduation, must notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs before the end of the standard period for adding and withdrawing from courses. Every course for which a student registers, including those which are free, will be shown on the student’s transcript and will be reflected in the GPA and class rank calculations. Course withdrawals, after the standard period specified in the student handbook, will only be allowed in cases of hardship and upon approval by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
All students entering Sturm College of Law beginning Fall 2011 and after will be charged current tuition for all credit hours taken. Students who have completed the required 90 credits may audit law classes at no charge. See Auditing Classes in this section of the student handbook.
Policy revised January 2011
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Transfer of Credits from Other ABA-Accredited Law Schools
The Sturm College of Law may admit students with advanced standing at another ABA-accredited law school if they have completed the proper amount of coursework and have demonstrated academic proficiency indicative of success at the Sturm College of Law.
The College of Law may approve up to 45 hours of transfer credit from another ABA-accredited law school. Only courses for which a student receives a grade of C or better will be considered for transfer.
Every transfer student must complete the required curriculum for graduation from the Sturm College of Law. In the event that a transfer student has taken a required course at his or her original school, but has not completed all of the credit hours required by the Sturm College of Law for that course, the transfer student should consult with the Registrar. The Registrar, in conjunction with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, will determine whether the course taken at the transfer student’s original school satisfies the requirements of the Sturm College of Law for that course. During consultation with the Registrar on this issue, transfer students should provide to the Registrar the syllabus for the course and the official transcript that indicates the grade that the student earned in the course.
Transferred courses will be counted towards a student’s 90 semester credit hour requirement, but grades will not be factored into the student’s cumulative GPA.
Visiting Student Status
- Limitation of Visiting Credits
No student can apply more than a total of thirty (30) visiting credit hours from any and all sources toward their law school degree.
- Visiting Opportunities
A student in good standing at the Sturm College of Law may petition to take courses at another ABA approved law school. The petition must list the courses and course descriptions from the host school. The petition also must state legitimate reasons for the visit. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs must approve all visiting student petitions and has the authority to deny a visiting request. Students can find a Visiting Student Petition in the Dean’s Suite or online here.
The SCOL strongly discourages students from a visit with another law school during their last semester before graduation, because the SCOL will not transfer credit hours from any course in which the visiting student earns less than a C, irrespective of the student’s cumulative GPA.
In order to graduate from the SCOL, students who petition to visit another law school during a Fall/Spring semester must:
- Complete all required courses at the Sturm College of Law and
- Complete at least sixty (60) credit hours at the Sturm College of Law.
In addition, a student who visits another law school during a Fall/Spring semester cannot take more than eighteen (18) credit hours in one semester or more than thirty (30) total credit hours in one year at the other law school. The student must earn a grade of C or better in any course taken at the host school that the student wants to count toward his or her JD credit hours at the SCOL: the SCOL will not accept transfer credit hours for any course in which the visiting student earned a grade lower than a C.
Students who visit at another law school during a Fall/Spring semester must submit official transcripts to the Registrar’s Office each semester that show that the student remains in good standing at the host law school. A student who fails to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.3 at the host school must seek readmission to the Sturm College of Law with a petition to the Examinations and Standing Committee (See Appendix D ).
- Non-Sturm College of Law Study Abroad Programs (for more information on all Study Abroad, please visit the Study Abroad web-site)
Students interested in study abroad programs outside of the Sturm College of Law should refer to the list of ABA-approved programs and sites at: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/foreign_study/semester_programs.html & http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/foreign_study/foreign_summer_winter_programs.html & http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/foreign_study/cooperative_programs.html.
Students may earn a maximum of 8 credits by enrolling in a study abroad law program at another institution and transferring those credits to the Sturm College of Law under the following conditions:
- The student remains in good standing with a cumulative GPA of 2.3 or above at time of application;
- The ABA has approved the study abroad program (see: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/foreign_study.html );
- The student submits a Petition to Study Abroad online and secures approval of coursework from the Director of the International Legal Studies Program and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
- The student must submit all required materials (Petition, Letter of Good Standing, proof of ABA-Accreditation) to the International Legal Studies Program through the online petition process;
- At least 50% of the credits selected by the student to take as part of their study abroad program must be in courses that are not regularly taught at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law;
- REMINDER: No student can apply more than a total of thirty (30) visiting credit hours from any and all sources toward their law school degree (see above in “Visiting Student Status” section). The maximum number of credit hours a student can apply to toward their law school degree from study abroad course offered by another law school is 8.
At the student’s request, the Registrar’s office will provide letters of good standing (for proof of GPA) and any other required documentation.
A list of ABA-Accredited study abroad programs is found at the following web-sites: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/foreign_study/foreign_summer_winter_programs.html www.abanet.org/legaled/studyabroad/semester and http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/foreign_study/cooperative_programs.html.
In order to secure written approval of coursework, a student must submit a Petition, along with a brochure and/ or syllabus that describes the study abroad program and its curriculum. A student may find the petition, and all instructions regarding submission of documents, here. A flowchart outlining the process is found here.
A transfer student (who has completed up to thirty (30) credit hours at another law school) may also petition to enroll in a summer abroad law program at another institution.
In order to secure credit for study abroad credit hours taken at another law school the student must:
- Earn a grade of C or better in the courses or courses taken.
- At the conclusion of the program, assure that the Study Abroad Program submits a final official transcript that confirms the credits that the student completed to the Sturm College of Law Registrar at the conclusion of the program.
The study abroad credit hours that a student earns under the above conditions count toward the student’s JD degree, but the grades earned in summer abroad courses will not appear on the student’s transcript and will not factor into the student’s cumulative law school GPA.
Financial Aid seeking students should consult the University of Denver Financial Management Office with respect to Consortium Agreements with various schools that offer Study Abroad opportunities and to clarify other financial aid matters.
- Law Students
Sturm College of Law students may audit any course in their last semester with the advance approval of the professor. Students cannot earn credit toward their law degree from audited courses and the law school does not charge tuition for audited courses. Audited courses do not appear on student transcripts.
A student cannot convert an audited course to a course for credit after the end of the second week of classes. Likewise, a student who enrolls in a class for credit cannot convert that class to audited status after the second week of classes.
Alumni of the College of Law may audit classes at no charge subject to classroom capacity and professor approval.
Members of the bench, practicing lawyers, and persons who work in related fields may petition to audit a course at the Sturm College of Law. Such individuals can find an Audit Petition here. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs must approve all Petitions for Audit. The Sturm College of Law bases tuition for audited courses on the Sturm College of Law’s hourly tuition rate and the number of course credit hours. The Dean may waive tuition requirements in exceptional circumstances.
- All Auditors
Auditors cannot take course examinations and cannot receive academic credit for audited courses under any circumstances.
The Sturm College of Law will not keep, or maintain a record of, any auditor’s attendance in an audited course.