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Concentration Core Requirements

The School of Law's concentration program organizes the curriculum by grouping courses in areas of law practice to enable students to tailor their course selections to further their career objectives.  The Juris Doctor degree does not depend upon the student fulfilling the requirements for a concentration, nor will the concentration be noted on the student's diploma.  The Law School issues a concentration verification letter to each student who fulfills the requirements for one or more concentrations.

The following core requirements apply to all concentrations:

1.   A "major concentration" requires a student to complete 14 credits from courses listed within a concentration, and a "minor concentration" requires 9 credits.

2.   A student must prepare a professional-quality paper or the equivalent within the field of the concentratoin, unless a similar written work-product substitute is noted within a concentration description.  The paper must attain a grade of a "B" or better.  This requirement can be satisfied by any of the following:

  • the paper written to satisfy the student's upper-level writing requirement, including articles written for one of the Law School's journals;
  • a publishable-quality paper written for a course offered within the concentration;
  • an Independent Research paper;
  • an appellate brief written for an external appellate moot court competition; or
  • a major paper prepared for one of the Advanced Legal Writing classes

3.   A student may count only 3 credits each from a clinic, Trial Advocacy, or a summer study abroad program towards any concentration, even if the course is credited more than 3 credits.

4.   Even though grades in a summer study abroad program are not factored into a student's overall GPA, a student must receive a minimum grade of a "B" to have those credits count towards the concentration credit hour requirement.  Papers prepared for such courses may not be used to satisfy a concentration requirement.

5.   A student must achieve a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.00 in the courses used to satisfy the concentration; no course may count towards a concentration in which the student's grade is below a "C."

6.   There is no bar to a student fulfilling more than one concentration, however, a concentration course may be used to satisfy only one concentration.

7.   Each concentration has at least one faculty member appointed to serve as a Faculty Advisor.  Advisors may permit a student to substitute one comparable 2-credit or 3-credit course for one listed in a concentration but unavailable during the student's final year in residence, with the approval of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.

8.   Students are permitted to apply up to 6 credits of course work in other graduate programs at the University towards the Juris Doctor degree and a concentration, subject to the advance approval of the concentration advisor.  Grades in non-law graduate courses will not count towards the student's law school GPA, but a minimum grade of a "B" is required for the credits in any such course to count the credits toward a concentration.  Credits from these courses count towards the 18-credit cap for non-classroom credits.

Specific concentration requirements can be found on our Curriculum page under Concentrations.