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Charleston School of Law Juris Doctor Program Catalog and Student Handbook 2023-2024

Academic Catalog and Handbook

Course Registration

To ensure that students are able to take required courses in a timely fashion, students  follow a predetermined curriculum during the fall and spring semesters (for those students who enter in the spring, they follow a predetermined curriculum starting with the spring semester and first summer standard session). First-year students are pre-registered into their courses.  The Office of the Registrar may also pre-register upper-level students into required courses. Students are responsible for ensuring that they register for the necessary courses and credit hours.  

Students are advised that scheduling flexibility is not unlimited and that there will be certain instances where students in  the part-time enrollment option will need to arrange their personal and work schedules to attend certain required courses and other graduation requirements when the school schedules those courses and requirements. 

Course Load

Consistent with Standard 311(c) of the American Bar Association’s Standards of Approval for Law Schools, students may not take more than 17 credit hours in a semester. 

  • Full-time course load:  The standard course load for students in the full-time enrollment option is 13-16 credit hours per fall or spring semester. To take more than 16 credits in a fall or spring semester, permission of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is required. For students admitted for the spring start, the first summer standard session is required and the standard course load is 13 credit hours.
  • Part-time course load: The standard course load for students in the part-time enrollment option is 7-12 credit hours per fall or spring semester; for the required summer standard session for spring admit students, the standard course load is 10 credit hours. To enroll in fewer than seven credit hours, part-time students must first apply for and receive written permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Absent extraordinary circumstances, such approval will not be granted.
    • During the semesters in which the Academic Skills course, the Legal Skills course, Evidence, or Wills, Trusts and Estates is taken, a part-time student may register for a total semester course load of 13 credit hours without any additional tuition charge.

For reporting purposes, 13 credit hours is considered full-time, 10-12 credit hours is considered three-quarter time, and 7-9 credit hours is considered half-time. 

Maymester and Summer Session Credit 

The Charleston School of Law offers courses for academic credit during Maymester and summer sessions. The below information applies to these sessions:

  • General Information: Students in good standing are permitted to take one course in Maymester. Students on academic probation must consult with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs if they are interested in taking summer courses. All students should consult the Academic Probation Policy regarding summer course credit.
  • Full-time students may not take more than 11 credits in the summer session, regardless of whether they take a Maymester course or not. In any event, the combination of Maymester and summer session courses may not exceed 13 credit hours for full-time students.
  • Part-time students may not take more than 11 credits in the summer session, regardless of whether they take a Maymester course or not. In any event, the combination of Maymester and summer session courses may not exceed 12 credit hours for part-time students.

Summer Standard Session for Spring Admit Students

Students who are admitted for the spring are required to take courses in their first Summer Standard Session.

 

Changes in Course Schedule 

Once classes begin in any given semester or session, there is a scheduled period of time designated as “Add/Drop” in which students may make changes to their elective course selections. The dates for Add/Drop are reflected on the academic calendar. Students are responsible for ensuring that they register for the necessary courses and credit hours. Students may not withdraw from a required course in which they have been pre-registered without the express written permission of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  

Forms for add/drop can be found on the Office of the Registrar page.

Withdrawal from a Course after the Add/Drop Period

Students are not permitted to withdraw from a course or courses after the Add/Drop period without the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Withdrawals will only be approved for good cause. The Associate Dean may consult with the faculty member if she or he believes that the faculty member may have information bearing on the request for withdrawal. In any case, the faculty member will be notified by the Registrar before the student is informed that permission to withdraw has been granted. A student will receive either the grade of “W” or “WF” at the discretion of the Associate Dean.  

  • Students should be aware that withdrawal from a course or courses may have financial aid impact and should consult with the Director of Financial Aid.    

Forms for a late withdrawal can be found on the Office of the Registrar page. 

Auditing a Course

Currently enrolled students may be permitted to audit an elective course offered by the Charleston School of Law. In certain circumstances, students may audit a required course after they have satisfactorily completed the course.    However, a student who audits a course will receive no academic credit for the course and may not later take the course for a grade. Students who wish to enroll in a course for credit are given priority over students who wish to audit the course.

Students who have permission to audit a course must satisfy all requirements that the professor teaching the course determines are appropriate for a successful audit. Students must also comply with the Law School’s attendance policy. If a student exceeds the number of absences allowed for the course he or she is auditing, the student will be withdrawn for absences and will receive a grade of “WA” on his or her transcript for the course. A student who satisfies the professor’s requirements for the course for a successful audit and who complies with the attendance policy will receive a notation of “AU” on the student’s transcript. 

To audit a course, a student must take certain steps before the end of the Add/Drop period for the semester or session in which the student wishes to audit a course: 

  1. Students must obtain the permission of the faculty member teaching the course;
  2. Students must obtain approval from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who will determine whether there is space available in the course and whether there is a compelling reason for the student to audit the course. 

Students who enroll in a course for credit will not be permitted to change their status to "auditing” after the Add/Drop period without the approval of the Associate Dean. Such changes will be approved for good cause only as determined by the Associate Dean. The Associate Dean may consult with the faculty member if she or he believes that the faculty member may have information bearing on the request for the change. In any case, the faculty member will be notified by the Registrar before the student is informed that the change has been granted.