The Legal Studies Graduate Certificate is intended for working professionals and graduate/PhD students whose fields intersect with the law and who would benefit from legal studies but do not wish to pursue the JD or MLSD degrees. The certificate is available to individuals who are 1) pursuing other academic programs at the master’s or doctoral levels, or 2) post-baccalaureate and enrolled solely in a graduate certificate program.
Graduate Certificate Type
Stand-Alone (earned terminal degree required)
Students seeking admission to the Graduate Certificate must meet the admissions standards established by the Graduate Council and submit the online application for the certificate through the Office of Graduate Admissions.
A cumulative grade point average of 3.00 is required on all graduate coursework taken at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to remain in good standing and to receive any graduate degree or certificate from the university. Graduate Certificate students will be graded separately from JD students on a scale that correlates with the University’s grading policies for graduate students. The grades of any Graduate Certificate student in particular class will not be taken into account for purposes of determining any applicable required course mean or median.
Credit Hours Required
15 law credit hours
LAW 988 (2-3 credit hours)
LAW 986 (2-3 credit hours)
Additional Course Requirements
Students must complete the remaining 9-11 credit hours from other Law courses. Students are not permitted to enroll in the following Law courses: 811, 820, 905, 906, 907, 908, 911, 945, 946, 947, 948, 949, 950, 951, 952, 953, 982, 983, 987, 989, 991, 992, 995, 996, 997, 999. A student’s enrollment in upper-level Law courses (i.e., courses outside of the required curriculum for first year J.D. students) is subject to the approval of the relevant faculty member, who may also require completion of prerequisites that JD students would have completed prior to taking the class. Students pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies will register for classes after the registration periods for JD students (and MLSD students if applicable) have closed.
Students may pursue the Graduate Certificate on a full-time or part-time basis.
The course of study for the Graduate Certificate must be completed no earlier than 12 months and no later than 36 months after a student has commenced study at the College of Law. Any exception to these rules must be approved by the Dean or the Dean’s designee.
Students must earn all 15 hours at the College of Law.
Subject to final approval of and the College of Law offering the MLSD degree, students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate may, subject to approval and other applicable procedures, transfer to the MLSD program and may transfer up to 9 credit hours from the Graduate Certificate program toward the MLSD degree.
All courses must be completed within five years of admission to the certificate program.
To receive the certificate, students must:
1) complete the Graduate Certificate Course Verification Form (located on the Graduate School webpage under the Forms Central tab) and
2) through MyUTK, apply to graduate from the certificate program.