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    Oct 03, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Legal Studies Graduate Certificate

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.

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Graduate Certificate Type

Stand-Alone (earned terminal degree required)


Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • Since graduate certificates are university credentials, a student must apply through the Office of Graduate Admissions to the graduate certificate program.
  • Students must be admitted to the certificate program prior to completing six graduate credit hours toward the certificate.
  • Students must maintain a minimum 3.00 graduate grade point average once in the program and complete the requirements of the certificate program as stated in the Graduate Catalog to be awarded the graduate certificate.
  • Students must submit an application to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs prior to the commencement of the student’s final semester.

Academic Standards

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

Required Courses

NOTE: At least three (3) credit hours for the certificate must be earned outside of the requirements of the degree(s) and other certificates.

LAW 503  (2-3 credit hours)

LAW 504  (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.

Non-Course Requirements

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 credit hours at the College of Law unless an exception is approved by the Dean or the Dean’s designee.

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.