Credit for Courses: Directed Study Credit Rules
Directed Study Approval Forms (PDF)
This is a faculty-initiated research opportunity. It is designed solely to provide faculty members with research assistants when the Law School cannot afford to pay for them. It is to be used only for ACADEMIC research experiences, not for administrative matters.
If a faculty member does engage a student for such a project, the following matters must be made clear to the student:
- The student may receive one or two hours of academic credit for the project. The expectation is that any product will involve an excellent academic experience.
- In order for a student to receive one hour of credit, the student must engage in substantial legal work for a minimum of sixty (60) hours during the semester. In order for a student to receive two hours of credit, the student must engage in substantial legal work for a minimum of one hundred twenty (120) hours during the semester.
- All of the student's work must be completed by the date that is agreed upon beforehand (but prior to the beginning of the next semester or session). This will be indicated on a form that is submitted to the Registrar; that form is available on-line.
- Both the faculty supervisor and the student must sign the form and submit it to the Registrar in order for the student to be able to register for the credit. In addition, that form must be counter-signed in all cases by the Associate Dean for academic matters.
- The student has the right to withdraw from this experience to the extent that a student may withdraw from any other course.
- If the student fails to complete any or all of the work by the designated date, the faculty member has the option to revoke his/her authorization by so notifying the Registrar. If this occurs within the normal time limits for change of registration, the student will receive an "EC" (nothing on the transcript); if after that date, the student will receive a "W" (which shows on the transcript but has no effect on the student's grade point average); if this occurs at or near the end of the semester, the faculty member has the option of awarding a "NC" ("no credit" - which appears on the transcript). Whether or not there is a tuition benefit will depend on the date of the cancellation of registration (per University rules).
- If for good reason the student fails to complete the work of a fall project by the beginning of the spring semester, or fails to complete the work of a spring project by July 1 of that year, the student will receive a "NC" as described above and the student's registration for that credit must and will be final (that is, it will not be erased from the student's transcript); students will not be allowed to "carry over" such a project into the next term. (The student and the faculty member can, of course, agree to have the student register for the project again in another semester; that registration, like all others, will also require the counter-signature of the Associate Dean for academic matters.)
- In the event that any work is not completed by the due date, the faculty member retains the option (regardless of whether the grade of "W" or "NC" is given) to initiate proceedings against the student under the Code of Student Conduct for failure to comply with his or her responsibilities.
- Students cannot register for more than two Independent Research or Directed Studies projects with the same teacher, total (that is, throughout the student's entire law school career).
- Students cannot register for an Independent Research and a Directed Study project with the same teacher in the same semester, in the absence of extraordinary circumstances.
- Students who register for Directed Study (or Independent Research) cannot receive any form of pay or compensation for the same or similar or related work.
- Students cannot receive credit for Independent Research (or Directed Study) for their work on articles for the Law Journal or the Consumer Law Reporter.
- Students cannot receive credit for Independent Research (or Directed Study) for their work in connection with seminars or other curricular or cocurricular activities for which they are receiving credit, unless the Independent Research project is substantially different from the other.
- In any event, the administrative work undertaken by students for a faculty member (e.g., in connection with supervision of cocurricular activities) should not be the basis for the granting of academic credit. Instead, students (preferably undergraduate work-study students) should be added to the payroll and paid by the hour for their work.