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Earning Credits from Another ABA-Accredited Law School

Ordinarily, it is expected that all full-time J.D. students will maintain full-time resident status during their six semesters at the law school. However, any student may apply toward their J.D. a maximum of 6 credits of non-required upper-level coursework offered at another ABA-accredited law school upon prior written approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. In a rare case, the student may seek an Academic Dean's approval to waive the 6 credit limit by demonstrating a compelling reason. Circumstances reasonably foreseeable to the student, such as the desire to seek employment elsewhere, to relocate to be closer to a significant other, or to lower the costs associated with attending the Law School, do not meet the standard. Law School required courses typically must be completed at Penn State Law. Additionally, students may not transfer credits from online courses offered by another law school, with the exception that for synchronous online courses offered by another law school to be taken during Spring Semester 2022, students may apply for permission to transfer credits from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Penn State law students attending another institution will be enrolled in VISAW 903 by the law school registrar's office. VISAW 903 provides the following benefits to the student: if applicable, financial aid can be awarded and processed, various enrollment reporting processes (i.e. health insurance, loan deferment) will report the student enrolled, and the student's Penn State Access Account will remain active. Penn State assesses a $50 flat fee for VISAW 903; this fee is in addition to any fees assessed by the other institution.

To receive credit for any course work completed at another law school, the student must receive a grade that corresponds to at least a C. Any credits earned at another law school are included on the student's transcript by reference only, and no attempt is made to convert grades to Penn State Law equivalents. Except for students who transfer into the second year, no credit will be awarded for a course taken on a Pass-Fail or similar basis when the student had the option of receiving a number or letter grade for the course.

It is the responsibility of the student to have an official transcript from the law school they attended sent to the law school registrar’s office. If the transcript is not received by the law school registrar in a timely manner, the VISAW 903 credits will convert to a NG (no grade) and eventually to an F.

Semesters of Residence