Joint Graduate Pathway FAQ

Am I eligible to pursue a joint graduate pathway?
Each joint graduate pathway has its own admissions and application requirements. Students interested in a joint graduate pathway should become familiar with the application and admissions requirements of the specific program that interests them. This can be done by contacting the Academic Programs Office 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 graduate pathway during their first year of law school. After being admitted into a joint graduate pathway, 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 graduate pathway after starting their second year of law school must obtain prior written approval from the College of Law, 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 the joint graduate pathway during their second year of law school. After being admitted into a joint graduate pathway, 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 graduate pathway option.

Interested students are encouraged to contact the Academic Programs Office 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 graduate pathway if you meet the minimum program requirements.

If accepted into a joint graduate pathway, 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 affect 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 a full-time status.

If I complete the requirements of one program 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 graduate pathway student must complete all of the requirements for both programs before their degrees will be awarded, and the student will receive both concurrently. Because both are conferred at the same time, students will not be able to graduate or be cleared by the university to sit for a bar examination until both programs are completed.

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

Is there a residency requirement for a student pursuing a joint graduate pathway?
Unless otherwise approved by both advisors and the College of Law associate dean for academic affairs, students enrolled in joint graduate pathways 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 other approved program area.

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

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

Am I allotted the same number of satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) credit hours while completing the joint graduate pathway?
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 below 2.25). Because of the reduced number of law school credits required for a joint graduate pathway, you have fewer available hours to take satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U). Please note that students must receive an “S” grade for a course taken in this fashion to be counted toward their J.D. course requirements.

As a joint graduate pathway student, am I allowed to take an additional six credit hours at FSU or FAMU to count toward my J.D.?
As a joint graduate pathway student, you are already taking non-law graduate courses 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 graduate pathway?
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.

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