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College of Law

Florida State University

 

Joint Degree FAQ

When considering a joint-degree program at Florida State University College of Law, there are a number of factors to consider. Here you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

 

Am I eligible to purse a joint-degree?
Each joint-degree program has its own admissions and application requirements. Students interested in a joint-degree program should become familiar with the application and admissions requirements of the specific program that interests them. This can be done by contacting the Office of Admissions at the College of Law or by contacting the program director in the department, school or college that handles the particular program of interest.

When can I apply and when would I start taking non-law classes?
Applicants normally begin their study at the College of Law and then apply for the non-law program and the joint-degree during their first year of law school. After being admitted into a joint-degree program, students would start taking non-law courses in the summer or fall semester (depending on program requirements) immediately following their first year of law school. Students who wish to apply for a joint-degree after starting their second-year of law school must obtain prior written approval from the College of Law program faculty advisor, unless the non-law program allows applicants to apply during their second year of law school. Students transferring to the College of Law from other law schools are permitted to apply for the non-law program and a joint-degree during their second year of law school. After being admitted into a joint-degree program, transfer students would then start taking non-law courses in the summer or fall semester (depending on program requirements) immediately following their second year of law school. Cases where a student has been admitted to and/or has started one of the other programs prior to beginning law school will be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine the viability of the joint-degree option.

Interested students are encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions to get additional information about applying. We will be happy to talk with you further and assist you in applying for the non-law program and the joint-degree if you meet the minimum program requirements.

If accepted into a joint-degree program, would I be taking law courses and non-law courses at the same time?
The number of credits required to complete a program, and how different programs schedule their courses can effect when a student will take courses in a given program area. Some programs are set-up so that courses will be taken in only one program area (law or non-law) during a semester, and some programs are set-up where courses will be taken in both program areas (law and non-law) in the same semester. At times a student may also need to take courses in both programs during a given semester to maintain full-time status.

If I complete the requirements of one degree prior to the other, can I graduate and receive the degree from that program? If I complete the requirements for my law degree first, can I also sit for a Bar exam at that time?
A joint-degree student must have completed all of the requirements for both degrees before either degree will be awarded and the student will receive both degrees concurrently. Because both degrees are conferred at the same time, you will not be able to graduate or be cleared by the University to sit for a Bar examination until both degrees are completed.

How long do I have to complete the joint-degree program?
While the number of required credits varies by program, all joint-degree programs must be completed within seven calendar years. Most students complete their joint-degree in four years.

Is there a residency requirement for a student pursuing a joint-degree?
Unless otherwise approved by both advisors and the College of Law Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, students enrolled in joint-degree programs must earn a minimum of seven semesters of residence credit. Based on the College of Law formula for determining residency, one semester of residency credit is earned for every 12 credit hours of courses taken in law and the student’s approved joint-degree program area.

Can transfer credit be applied to a joint-degree?
The application of transfer credit toward the completion of a joint-degree is at the discretion of the College of Law and the participating joint-degree program. Students must still meet all of the requirements of the joint-degree and the residency requirement.

I already have a graduate degree. Can any of my credits be used toward the completion of a joint-degree?
Credit from graduate degree programs completed prior to matriculating to the College of Law may not be applied toward a joint-degree.

Am I allotted the same number of pass/fail credit hours while completing the joint-degree?
You are required to complete the same number of graded credit hours as stipulated by the College of Law bylaws. This number is currently set at 66 hours (72 hours if your GPA is 72 or below). Because of the reduced number of law school credits required for a joint-degree, you have fewer available hours to take pass/fail.

As a joint-degree student, am I allowed to take an additional six credit hours at FSU or FAMU to count toward my J.D.?
As a joint-degree student you are already taking non-law graduate classes that count towards your law degree. Therefore, you are not able to count any additional classes towards your J.D. degree.

How will my GPA and class rank be affected by choosing to do a joint-degree?
No grades received outside of the College of Law will be used in determining your law school grade point average (GPA) or class rank. Your final law school rank will be calculated with the graduating class at the time your degrees are conferred. If you graduate in December, you will be ranked with the spring graduating class of the following year. If you graduate during the summer, you will be ranked with the prior spring graduating class.