Undergraduate Degree Transcript
Newly matriculated JD students must ensure that official transcripts from their undergraduate degree-granting institutions are on file with the Registrar’s Office at the beginning of their first term. Students will be notified if a transcript has not been received from the Admissions Office. JD students must have completed all undergraduate degree requirements before the first day of Orientation. JD students who do not have transcripts showing timely completion of undergraduate degrees on file will not be permitted to sit for final exams. Transcripts included in the CAS report from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) will suffice.
LLM and SJD students should consult the Graduate Law Programs chapter of this handbook.
Privacy of Student Education Records
- Students’ Rights Regarding Their Education Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the California Education Code afford “eligible students” certain rights with respect to their education records. Eligible students are those who are or have been in attendance at Golden Gate University. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the date the university receives a request for access.
A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and will notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, the official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. If the student cannot inspect the records at Golden Gate University’s San Francisco campus, copies of the records will be made available by regular mail at the cost of $0.25 per page, upon satisfactory proof of the student’s identity.
- The right to request the amendment of a student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
If the university decides not to amend the record as requested, the university will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from students’ education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
FERPA contains various exceptions to the general rule that the University should not disclose education records without seeking the prior written consent of the student. The following circumstances are representative of those in which education records may be disclosed without the student’s prior written consent:
- The University may release “Directory Information” upon request. Directory information is information that is not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. See the “Directory Information” section below for more information.
- School officials who have a legitimate educational interest in a student’s education record may review it. A school official is a person employed by Golden Gate University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position; a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside the university who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agency or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her duties. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the university.
- The University may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, upon request of officials at that other school.
- The University may inform persons including either parent(s) or guardian(s) when disclosure of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
- The University must provide records in response to lawfully issued subpoenas, or as otherwise compelled by legal process.
- The right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
- Directory Information
Golden Gate University has designated the following student records as “directory information,” and at its discretion may release this information without the student’s written consent:
- Full name
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Dates of attendance
- Enrollment status
- Program of study and concentration(s)
- Participation in officially recognized activities
- Honors (including Dean’s List)
- Degree(s) earned and date(s) conferred
- ID card photograph
As required by Section 99.37 of the FERPA regulations, this serves as annual public notice of which student records Golden Gate University classifies as “directory information.” Students have the right to withhold all “directory information,” but must notify the registrar in writing by completion and submission of the “Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information” form. Once a non-disclosure hold is placed on a student’s directory information, it will remain in effect until and unless the student removes it by submission of a written request to the registrar.
- Records Retention Policy
Student files are maintained for five years after graduation or last date of attendance, after which they generally are destroyed.
Selection of Courses and Registration
For current information on course selection and the courses scheduled for the upcoming semester, students should refer to the Course Schedule. The Course Schedule is made available around the middle of the prior semester, and may be found on the GGU website and on GGU4YOU. Registration procedures and information about the Academic Calendar, Tuition and Fees, deadlines, exams, and late fees are also available on the website and on GGU4YOU.
Course descriptions and course scheduling guidelines can be found on the Course Offerings page, GGU4YOU, and in the Course Descriptions and Academic Standards sections and Academic Programs of this handbook.
Both the Associate Dean and Director for Student Affairs, Law School are available for individual academic advising, as described in the Counseling & Advising section of the handbook.
Students who submit their registration requests after the “Last Day to register/add” as specified in the Academic Calendar, will be charged a Late Registration Fee of $100 in addition to the $40 Registration Fee. Courses that start after the first week of the term may be added prior to the second class meeting without the instructor’s approval and without incurring a Late Registration Fee.
Students will be assessed the Delinquent Registration Charges fee of $100 per semester/session if all tuition and fees are not paid in-full by the payment deadline for the term, as specified in the Academic Calendar.
Definition of Full-Time and Part-Time Status
All JD students are enrolled in either “full-time” or “part-time” academic programs. For academic purposes, full-time students must enroll in 12-16 units per fall or spring semester and must comply with the law school’s employment limitations set forth below. For academic purposes, part-time students should enroll in 8-12 units per fall or spring semester, but cannot enroll in more than 12 units without an approved overload (see Waiver of JD Program Rules below). These unit limits include units taken at other schools or in other programs; students in the JD/MBA program must keep the combined total of JD and MBA units within these limits. Students should consult with the financial aid office concerning how changes in enrollment may affect their financial aid and scholarships.
After successful completion of the first year, all students may enroll in day and/or evening courses on a space-available basis. However, in their second year, part-time students who matriculated in 2015 or later require approval from Student Affairs, Law School to enroll in more than the courses required for the second year of their program. Part-time students may receive priority enrollment for evening sections.
Waiver of JD Program Rules
Part-time students who want to enroll in more than 12 units during fall or spring semester must first complete a Petition for Waiver of JD Program Rules form and submit it to Student Affairs, Law School for approval. Students taking more than 12 units in a term must comply with the law school’s employment limitations described below. Students approved for the waiver will need to register for the overload unit(s) with a paper registration form, not online via GGU4YOU.
Full-time students are typically limited to a maximum of 16 units during the fall and spring semesters. In very limited circumstances, full-time students may receive approval to take one additional overload unit. Pursuant to ABA Standard 311(c), JD students may not be enrolled in more than 17 units at any time. Students wishing to take 17 units must first complete a Petition for Waiver of JD Program Rules form and submit it to the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School for approval. Registration for the overload unit will not be processed unless the approved petition form is on file with the Registrar’s Office. Students approved for the waiver will need to register for the overload unit with a paper registration form, not online via GGU4YOU. Students may not apply for overload units in the summer term.
Full-time students with more than 25 units remaining who want to take fewer than 12 units in a semester must seek approval from Student Affairs, Law School. Full-time students with 25 or fewer units remaining in their last year, or 12 or fewer units remaining in their last semester do not need to change to the part-time program, submit a Petition for Waiver of JD Program Rules, or seek approval from Student Affairs, Law School to take fewer than 12 units in a semester.
Students are well advised to speak with a financial aid counselor if they have questions about how their enrollment may impact their financial aid. Please note that these enrollment limits do not relate to the requirements for eligibility for financial aid or VA benefits. Financial aid and VA benefits eligibility is based on students’ term enrollment status classifications, not their program types. See Enrollment Status Classifications and Reporting below for more information.
JD Student Employment and Extra-Curricular Limitations
A JD student may not exceed 20 hours per week of paid employment during any week in which the student is enrolled in more than 12 semester units. Hours worked for clinic credit and unpaid volunteer work are not counted towards the 20 hours. First year full-time students are prohibited from being employed at all during the fall and spring academic terms. Honors Lawyering Program students are prohibited from being employed during the HLP summer curriculum. Exceptions to these rules may be made for students required to participate in training or other duties as part of active duty or military reserve obligations; documentation for such obligations must be provided to Law Student Support prior to exceeding the limits.
Exceptions to the first year work limitation may be granted in limited circumstances. The factors which will be considered include whether the student has full control over any work obligations (e.g., a dance instructor can decline a class), the anticipated time commitment (e.g., a couple of hours now and then), academic performance in the first semester, and the maturity of the student in understanding the demands of law school. The student must seek written approval from the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School. First year students are not prohibited from participating in extracurricular activities or volunteer opportunities, however, they should carefully manage their time to maintain the required focus on their academics. First year students may not participate in inter-school competitions such as mock trial, moot court, etc.
Other than those enrolled in an approved joint degree program, JD students may not be concurrently enrolled in other degree programs. Exceptions to this rule may be made in very limited circumstances with advanced written approval from the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School.
All students should strive to balance any extracurricular, employment, and volunteer commitments with their academics. Any student feeling overwhelmed with obligations outside of school should immediately consult with the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School.
Enrollment Status Classifications and Reporting
The law school classifies students’ enrollment status based on academic level and the number of units in which they are enrolled in a given term. These enrollment status classifications are used for verification of enrollment for loan deferment purposes, financial aid eligibility, and veteran educational benefits certification. It is possible for part-time evening students to be enrolled in 8 or more units for a given semester and therefore be classified as full-time for financial aid purposes.
|Fall & Spring Terms
||Less than half time
||5 units or fewer
|LLM & 1st Year
||3 units or fewer
||Less than half time
||9+ units (except HLP)
|| 2 units or fewer
||1 unit or fewer
* The three-quarter time enrollment status is used only for Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits determination.
The Registrar’s Office reports the enrollment status for all students enrolled in a given enrollment period to the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) on a periodic basis. The report includes the beginning and ending dates of each student’s actual enrollment period and their enrollment classification (e.g., half time, full time, less-than full time, withdrawn). The NSC makes this information available to lending institutions, prospective employers, verification agencies and others wanting to verify a student’s enrollment.
Veterans Affairs Benefits
Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits are administered by the Financial Aid Office. To initiate certification of enrollment, please contact the university certifying official at firstname.lastname@example.org or 442-7283.
Payment Policies and Plans
- General Policies
- Obligation for Payment
Registration constitutes a financial contract between a student and the University. Students’ rights to University services and benefits are contingent upon their making all payments as agreed upon. If students do not make payments of amounts owed to the University when they become due, the University has the right to cancel students’ registration; to withhold their grades, transcripts, diplomas, scholastic certificates, and degrees; to refuse admittance to exams; and to impound their exams. Students who fail to maintain good financial standing with the University may be denied participation in any deferred payment plans and/or some forms of financial aid. Failure to fulfill payment obligations by the due date may result in registration cancellation and may be reportable to relevant bar admission agencies.
- Prior Balances
Prior to registering for a new term, students are required to pay any outstanding balances from prior terms. Students who have not paid outstanding balances or made payment arrangements satisfactory to the University will not be allowed to register. If students register, and it is later determined they have not met their payment obligations from a prior term, their registration for the current term may be canceled.
Students with a history of delinquency, students who are dropped from classes for nonpayment, and/or students with a past due balance who wish to register for any additional units will be required to make payment in full for any past due balance and pay in full, at the time of registration, for any and all future registrations. Payment at the time of registration for these individuals must be in the form of a cashier’s check, cash, or money order.
- Time of Payment
In order to complete registration, law school students must either pay all tuition and fees within ten (10) business days of the start of the term (or at the time of registration if registering after the start of the term), or make other financial arrangements with Golden Gate University.
- Delinquent Term Charges Fee
Students will be assessed a delinquent term charges fee of $100 per semester if payment of all tuition and fees are not paid in full by the payment deadline for the term, as published in the academic calendar.
- Form of Payment
The University accepts payment in cash, personal check, travelers’ checks, credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), and wire transfers. All credit and debit card transactions incur a non-refundable service fee equal to 2.75% of gross charges. Credit and Debit Card payments may be made over the phone by calling the cashier at 442-7839. Checks should be mailed to: Golden Gate University, Student Accounting Services, 536 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105-2968 or presented in person to the cashier at the GGU Hub. The student’s school identification number (SID) must appear on all checks and money orders to ensure they are credited to the appropriate account. In addition to these forms of payment, the University offers deferred payment plans listed below. Some payment plans require verification of eligibility prior to registration.
- Returned Checks
If checks are returned by students’ banks, the payments are considered not made. If students’ checks are returned for any reason (e.g., insufficient funds, stop payment order, closed account, etc.), the University will charge a fee to their accounts.
- Financial Aid
Students who have applied and been approved for financial aid (i.e., scholarships or loans) will have their tuition and fees deducted upon disbursement of the funds to their accounts. To receive financial aid, students must have completed the following steps prior to registration:
- Submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
- Supplied additional documents requested by the Financial Aid Office;
- Accepted or declined their award offer; and
- Completed any and all additional loan application materials.
Students whose aid is insufficient to pay all registration charges, or who submitted materials too late to be approved prior to registration, must pay their balances in full or pay in accordance with one of the payment plans offered by the university. If students’ financial aid is denied or canceled for any reason, their account balances become due and payable immediately according to the “Time of Payment” policies above.
- Payment Plans
The University offers an installment payment plan through Tuition Management Systems (TMS, a payment plan management provider) to students in good financial standing. International students are not eligible for the installment payment plan in their first term at the University. Students may elect to have funds automatically debited from their checking accounts or credit cards. In order to participate in this plan, students must enroll with and pay TMS a nonrefundable processing fee each term. Students may enroll via the TMS website https://ggu.afford.com/, by calling 1-800-722-4867, or by visiting the GGU Hub on the first floor.
All applicable non-tuition charges must be paid directly to the University. The remaining tuition balance is due in two to five equal installments over the course of the term, depending upon the length of the term. Students may select the number of payments and when the first payment is due, within certain parameters. Installment payments are due to TMS on the first of each month. In all cases, the final payment is due on December 1 for the fall term, May 1 for the spring term, and August 1 for the summer term. Failure to make installment payments as agreed with Tuition Management Services constitutes delinquency and is subject to the General Policies regarding Obligation of Payment.
TMS mails statements to students enrolled in payment plans. Payments may be made via the TMS website https://ggu.afford.com/, or by calling TMS at 1-800-722-4867. TMS will assess a late payment fee of $40 per occurrence to students who submit payments late. The University will assess delinquent accounts a 1.5% finance charge per month beginning 30 days after the final due date for the term.
- Corporate Reimbursement Plan
The University offers a corporate reimbursement plan through Tuition Management Systems (TMS, a payment plan management provider) to students whose employers offer a tuition reimbursement program. To be eligible for this plan, students’ employers must agree, prior to registration, to pay for the students’ tuition and/or fees for the term. To demonstrate eligibility each term, students must complete and submit the Corporate Reimbursement Plan Authorization form along with the business card of the authorizing officer to the Office of Student Accounting Services. In addition, to participate in this plan, students must enroll with and pay TMS a $100 non-refundable processing fee. Students may enroll via the TMS website https://ggu.afford.com/, by calling 1-800-722-4867, or by visiting Student Accounting Services.
- Payments and Payment Due Dates
The payment due dates are: February 5 for the fall term, July 5 for the spring term, and October 5 for the summer term. TMS will mail an invoice 30 days following the end of the term, with payment due within 15 days. TMS will mail one statement to students enrolled in this payment plan. Payments may be made via the TMS website or by calling TMS.
- Students’ Responsibilities
The University is not responsible for billing students’ employers. If for any reason a student’s employer fails to reimburse the student, that student remains responsible for payment of the full amount of the tuition and fees. TMS will assess a late payment fee of $40 per occurrence to students who submit payments late. The University will assess delinquent accounts a 1.5% finance charge per month beginning 30 days after the due date for the term.
- Corporate/Agency Direct Billing Plan
The University offers a corporate/agency direct billing plan through Student Accounting Services to students whose employers agree to pay their tuition and/or fees up front, without grade or course completion limitations. The University will bill students’ employers directly for all authorized costs, and payments will be due 30 days after billing. Questions about corporate/agency direct billing should be directed to Student Accounting Services at 442-7839 or email@example.com.
To be eligible for this plan, students must be in good financial standing with the University and submit a completed Corporate/Agency Direct Billing form to Student Accounting Services. Forms must be submitted and approved prior to registration. Students whose employers/agencies authorize less than 100% payment of registration charges will be required to utilize one of the University’s other payment plans for the portion of the total charges that are not covered.
- Students’ Responsibilities
If for any reason, a student’s employer/agency fails to pay the University, that student remains responsible for payment of the full amount of the tuition and fees. The University will assess delinquent accounts with a late payment fee of $30 and a 1.5% finance charge per month beginning 30 days after the due date.
Withdrawal Tuition Credit and Refund Policies
- Withdrawal Tuition Credit Policy Registration constitutes a financial contract between a student and the University. Students are responsible for paying all registration charges by the due dates for the payment options they select, or their registration may be canceled. Failure to attend class meetings, participate in a course, or oral notification of intent to withdraw is not considered official withdrawal from a course. The following financial policies apply when students officially withdraw from courses. Students also may be subject to academic course withdrawal polices and should review them before attempting to withdraw from courses. For further information, refer to the “Fulfilling Course Requirements” section of this chapter.
Withdrawal from a course (commonly known as “dropping a course” if done by the end of the third week of the term) is official once the Registrar’s Office has been notified. Notification may be made electronically by “dropping” courses online via GGU4YOU or in writing by submitting a Registration Request form. Written notifications may be delivered in person, by standard mail, by fax, or by email. Email must originate from the student’s e-mail address on record with the Registrar’s Office. The date the written notice is received by the Registrar’s Office will be the official date of withdrawal. Oral notification of intent to withdraw is insufficient.
Students should refer to the Academic Calendar to determine the last day to drop courses without tuition charge. After instruction begins for a term, fees are not refundable except in the case of a course being canceled by the law school. Tuition credits remain on the student’s account. Refunds are issued by Student Accounting Services upon written request from the student. If a student receiving Federal Student Aid funds withdraws from all courses (considered complete withdrawal), that aid is subject to the Return of Title IV Calculation, which may result in balances due to Golden Gate University.
- Regular Courses
Regular courses are those that generally meet for the entire length of the term or for four or more weeks. Tuition will be credited as shown below.
|Official withdrawal prior to the start of instruction
|Official withdrawal during the first, second, or third week of instruction as stated in the academic calendar
|Official withdrawal after the third week of instruction
- Intensive Courses
Intensive courses are those that are shorter than four weeks in length and generally meet more than once a week. Tuition will be credited as shown below.
|Official withdrawal prior to the start of instruction
|Official withdrawal before the third class meeting for the course
|Official withdrawal after the third class meeting for the course
- Tuition Credits for First Year JD Students
The School of Law allows first year JD students whose first semester academic performance is below 2.3 to withdraw from their subsequent spring semester courses without financial penalty for a limited time. Funds for tuition and fees are restored to the payer (i.e., to the bank or institution that provided the financial aid or to the student). This option is available for a limited time (usually one week) after all first year fall grades are released. Students who want to exercise this option should consult the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School once they have received all of their fall grades.
- Withdrawal From Law School, Leaves of Absence, or Visiting Away Status
A student who decides to withdraw from the School of Law, take a leave of absence, or visit away at another law school must provide official written notification. See the sections below regarding procedures.
Students who received financial aid must see the Financial Aid Office to document the financial consequences of their change in enrollment status on their financial aid and student account balances. Students with balances due must see Student Accounting Services to pay their charges. Leaves typically will not be approved for students owing balances. However, in the event an exception is made, students will be required to pay their balances in full before they will be allowed to return from leaves of absence.
- Return of Title IV Calculation
Students receiving Title IV Federal Student Aid funds (i.e., Stafford, PLUS and Perkins loans) who withdraw from all of their courses for a term (complete withdrawal) must notify the Financial Aid Office after “dropping” their courses via GGU4YOU or by submitting Registration Request forms to the Registrar’s Office. In some cases, when students go on approved leaves of absence or withdraw from law school, the Financial Aid Office must return Title IV Federal Student Aid funds to their lenders. The calculations for return of such funds is based on the students’ official withdrawal date, as indicated on their Withdrawal or Request for Leave forms. If students do not submit the forms, their official withdrawal date will be determined from the date of complete withdrawal from all courses for the term. Students may be required to return funds for which they are no longer eligible based on this calculation. Up through the 60 percent point in each term, a pro rata schedule is used to determine the amount of Title IV funds students have earned at the time of withdrawal. After the 60 percent point of the term, students have earned 100 percent of the Title IV funds, and no return of federal student aid will be required.
The Federal Return of Title IV funds calculation is separate from the Golden Gate University School of Law Withdrawal Tuition Credit Policy. All students receiving Federal Student Aid are subject to this federal policy. In addition, students withdrawing from the School of Law or taking leaves of absence must complete online loan counseling exit interviews. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for specific information.
- Revocation of Institutional Scholarships
If institutional tuition scholarship recipients withdraw from school or drop all of their courses prior to the payment deadline, the scholarship will be reversed. Institutional tuition scholarships are to be applied toward existing tuition charges and at no time will they be refunded to students. See the Financial Aid section of this Handbook for more information.
- Refunds of Credit Balances
To receive refunds of credit balances resulting from tuition credits in accordance with the School of Law Withdrawal Tuition Credit Policy, students must submit written requests to Student Accounting Services. Requests may be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter. Refund checks will be mailed to students’ addresses on record unless a different address is noted in the request. Students who have requested Direct Deposit of refunds will have the refund directly deposited to the bank provided. Credit card refund requests must include the last four digits of the credit card number and the expiration date of the credit card that was used to pay the charges. To receive refunds for personal checks deposited within 60 days, students must submit proof the checks have cleared their banks, such as bank statements.
- Student Financial Petitions
Students who are confronted with unexpected circumstances that require them to withdraw from some or all courses after the drop deadline (generally the end of the second week of the term) may petition Student Accounting Services to reverse a portion of their tuition charges. To do so, they must submit a petition in writing to the Director of Student Accounting Services no later than 90 days after the last day of the term from which they withdrew.
Petitions should explain in detail the circumstances and the correlation between these circumstances and the need to withdraw from the course(s), and what actions are being taken to resolve or prevent such circumstances from occurring in the future. All petitions must be supported by detailed documentation of all facts and circumstances as to why an exception to the withdrawal tuition credit policy should be made. The Committee will not approve any petition that is undocumented or is based on a pre-existing condition. Financial Petition forms with additional instructions are available on the website. The forms should be submitted to Student Accounting Services by fax or e-mail.
The Financial Petitions Committee will respond to all petitions in writing within 30 working days of receipt. If the petition is approved, the University will apply credit balances toward future tuition charges within the next twelve-month period. In rare cases, credit balances resulting from financial petitions will be refunded to students. Credit balances resulting from petitions for students receiving Title IV funds will be returned to the appropriate financial aid program or lender. Students who owe balances, either because they did not pay their charges in full or because some or all of their Title IV funds were returned, will need to make payment arrangements with Student Accounting Services.
- Account Disputes
All disputes concerning students’ accounts should be submitted in writing to: Student Accounting Services, Golden Gate University, 536 Mission St. San Francisco, CA 94105-2968 or email@example.com. The University will respond within 30 working days of receipt.
The Registrar’s Office reports enrollment status information to the National Student Clearinghouse. Consequently, most lenders will be notified of students’ enrollment status and will update their records accordingly. Students whose lenders do not participate in the Clearinghouse, or those who need enrollment verifications for other purposes, such as rental agreements, may obtain them free of charge. Enrollment verification letters may be requested by submitting a Student Status Letter Request, available on the website. Loan deferment forms also will be processed free of charge.
Students who are visiting away at another law school should work with the Financial Aid Office and Registrar’s Office to ensure their enrollment statuses are reported correctly to their lenders.
Students who intend to participate in a recognized exchange program and need to complete foreign language instruction before enrolling in law courses at the host institution will be eligible to be reported as if they are enrolled at Golden Gate University during the time they receive the language instruction, provided it meets certain criteria. Specifically, the language instruction must be considered full-time, be organized rather than self-directed, and extend for a maximum of three months in duration. In order to be reported as enrolled at Golden Gate University, the student must obtain documentation from the institution providing the language instruction (in English) verifying the student’s enrollment and provide the documentation to the Registrar’s Office.
In instances where the law school is asked to verify students’ academic standing to an outside agency and where the law school has a continuing obligation to report any status changes, the Registrar’s Office will submit the appropriate notification. For example, if the law school has certified students’ eligibility for the California State Bar’s Practical Training of Law Students Program and the student subsequently leaves the law school, the registrar will notify the State Bar of this change in status.
Change of JD Academic Programs
JD students are enrolled in one of the following academic programs: the full-time day program, the part-time evening program, the Honors Lawyering Program, or one of the joint degree programs. Generally, students may request approval for a change of program after the end of their first academic year. Normally, students may change programs only once during law school.
Students who wish to request a change of program must submit a Petition for Change of JD Academic Program form and meet with the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School, who may impose reasonable conditions on the change. Students who wish to change to the regular JD program from the Honors Lawyering Program also must consult with the HLP Administrative Director.
Note that full-time students do not need to change their program status or submit a Petition for Waiver of JD Program Rules (see Waiver of JD Program Rules above) if they have 25 or fewer units remaining in their last year, or 12 or fewer units remaining in their last semester. Students are well advised to speak with a financial aid counselor if they have questions about how their enrollment may impact their financial aid and scholarships
Enrollment in Summer School
Summer courses are offered primarily at night to permit students to work during the summer. Students may enroll in a maximum of 8 units in the summer session, with the following exceptions: (1) those in the Honors Lawyering Program may enroll in a maximum of 11 units in the summer session; (2) those accepted in the Summer Litigation Program (1st STEP), who enroll in 11 units in the program’s summer term.
Students are not required to take summer courses except for Honors Lawyering Program students, 1st STEP students, and part-time program students who matriculated in 2015 or later, who must take the summer courses required for their respective programs.
Enrollment in Courses or in Study Abroad Programs Offered by Other ABA-Accredited Law Schools
- Transfer of Units for JD Students
Students who want to take courses at another ABA-accredited law school or through another ABA-accredited law school’s study abroad program must apply for approval from Student Affairs, Law School prior to registering in the courses by completing a Request for Transfer of Units and attaching descriptions of the intended program or course(s). Students may typically transfer no more than a total of 6 units from other ABA-accredited schools or programs (in addition to the 6 permitted from a consortium school, as described below). Courses included in the calculation of the JD Required Course GPA must be taken at Golden Gate University.
For information about other schools’ specific courses and programs, students should contact the law school in which they are interested.
With approval, students may qualify for financial aid from Golden Gate University to help pay the costs of courses taken at another law school. This requires a Financial Aid Consortium Agreement approved by both institutions. Students should contact the Financial Aid Office well in advance to arrange such financial aid and understand the implications of transferring in units.
- Transfer of Units from Bay Area Consortium Schools
Golden Gate University is part of the Northern California Law School Consortium, a cooperative arrangement entered into by Golden Gate University, University of San Francisco, Santa Clara University, University of California at Berkeley, and University of California at Davis. Under this arrangement, Golden Gate University students who obtain advance approval may enroll in one course during the fall and/or spring at another consortium school. The Consortium does not operate during the summer term. A maximum number of six units may be earned through the Consortium. These six units are in addition to the six units a student may transfer in from non-Consortium, ABA-accredited law schools or programs. In addition to the procedures below, the following policies also apply:
- Law students who have received permission to take courses through the Consortium must enroll in LAW-701 at Golden Gate University and pay tuition at GGU for the number of units they take at the other Consortium school.
- After obtaining permission to take a Consortium course and enrolling in LAW 701, students must complete the Northern California Law School Consortium form, available from the Registrar’s Office.
- Generally, host schools will accept cross‑registration from Consortium students shortly before the start of the term. Students should contact host schools to inquire about registration periods for visiting students and any other limitations or special requirements.
- Transfer of Units for LLM Students
LLM students should consult the Graduate Programs chapter of this handbook for details on transferring units to their programs.
- Procedures for Transferring Units
- a. Prior to registering for courses or a study abroad program at another law school, a student must submit the appropriate Request for Transfer of Units form along with program and course descriptions for all courses they wish to take, to the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School or LLM Program Director, as appropriate. A request to take a course at another law school will be denied if:
- The course is included in the calculation of the student’s JD required course GPA at Golden Gate University, or
- The course is an elective course offered at Golden Gate University that same semester.
- All courses taken at other schools must be taken for a letter grade, unless the school (like UC Berkeley) does not offer letter grades. If permission is given to take a clinic/seminar combination, where the clinic component is not letter-graded, transferability of all units will be determined by the grade received for the letter-graded component.
- For courses to be transferable, students must receive grades equivalent to a “C+” or better, as determined by the registrar at Golden Gate University. Grades equivalent to a “C” or lower are not transferable, and the units will not count toward graduation.
- Students must ensure their host institutions send official transcripts of all courses taken for transfer credit directly to the Golden Gate University Registrar’s Office, regardless of the grade earned. The transcripts must include or be accompanied by the other law school’s grading policy or system. Failure to provide an official transcript may delay graduation and/or certification for a bar exam. The deadline for receipt of transcripts is February 15 for courses taken during the fall term, June 15 for the spring term, and October 15 for the summer term.
- When the registrar receives transcripts from host institutions indicating transferable courses, a notation of “Transfer Credit, [X] University” and the number of units will be added to the student’s Golden Gate University transcript. However, the letter grades will not appear on the Golden Gate University transcript. Transferable units will be counted toward the total number of units required for graduation, but are not factored into students’ GPAs. Non-transferable courses will not be recorded at Golden Gate University. (Even though the letter grades will not be recorded on the GGU transcript or counted in the GGU GPA, the actual letter grades earned may be considered in evaluating students’ eligibility for financial aid.) Students needing proof of specific courses and grades for employers or others may present transcripts from the host institutions.
- Visiting Away at an ABA-Accredited Law School
In those rare instances where circumstances require a student to relocate during law school, the student should discuss with the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School the possibility of “visiting away” at another law school. This should be done as early as possible to allow for appropriate planning. The student must submit a statement of educational objectives, which describes the necessity for visiting away. The Associate Dean or Director has the discretion to grant or deny all requests to visit away and to impose conditions, subject to ABA and AALS restrictions. Students who visit away must be in good standing and follow all procedures described in the section above to transfer units from another ABA-accredited law school.
Students on “visiting away” status must complete all courses used to calculate the required course GPA at GGU, regardless of whether those courses are required at the host school. In extremely rare cases, Student Affairs may grant permission to take required courses while visiting away. Required courses will not be waived simply because a student does not plan to take the California Bar Exam.
- Study Abroad Not Sponsored by an ABA-Accredited Law School
In extremely rare cases, Golden Gate University students may receive approval to transfer units from a foreign law school that is not part of a program sponsored by an ABA-accredited law school. In these cases, the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School must verify that the proposed course of study follows the guidelines in ABA Standard 307.
Transfer and Visiting Students at Golden Gate University
- Transfer Students
Generally, Golden Gate University will only consider transfer applications from JD students who have completed at least one year of law school and who are currently attending and are in good standing at other ABA-accredited law schools. Exceptions for students who attended non-ABA accredited law schools which were approved by the State Bar of California’s Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) and exceptions to the requirement for current attendance may be made. If admitted, transfer students must provide complete syllabi (not just course descriptions) to Law Student Support at least two weeks before the first day of classes. The amount of credit transferred and whether the classes will satisfy GGU course requirements depend upon the grades earned (generally “C” and above) and whether the course is comparable to our curriculum.
A maximum of 43 hours of course credit from ABA-accredited schools or 29 hours of course credit from a CBE-accredited school may be transferred. If credit is not given and the course is required for graduation, the course must be re-taken at GGU. Transferable units will be counted toward the total number of units required for graduation, but are not factored into the student’s GPA.
Students wishing to transfer into a GGU LLM program should consult the Graduate Law Programs section of this Handbook.
- Visiting Students
Students enrolled in other ABA-accredited law schools who wish to visit at GGU for 6 or fewer cumulative units are required to submit a letter of good standing from their home institution, complete a disciplinary history questionnaire, and agree to terms and conditions of the GGU Law Student Handbook. Prospective visitors should request the registrar at their home school to send a “Letter of Good Standing” to the GGU Registrar’s Office. Prospective visitors may request the additional required forms from the GGU Registrar’s Office.
Prospective visiting students who want to take more than 6 units should contact the Law School Admissions Office to apply for admitted visitor status. All visitors taking more than 6 units at GGU must have their schedules approved by a Student Affairs advisor prior to registering at Golden Gate University School of Law.
GGU reserves the right to deny admission to visiting students at any time.
Visitors seeking to enroll in courses with prerequisites must also provide proof of having completed equivalent courses, either by inclusion of a statement in the “Letter of Good Standing” or by submission of an official transcript. These documents must be received before visitors will be allowed to register. Visitors seeking to enroll in LLM courses also must obtain the permission of the LLM Program Director.
Visitor registration begins one week before the start of the fall and spring semester. Earlier registration is available for the summer session. See the Academic Calendar to determine when visitor registration begins for each term. Visiting students may not register online using GGU4YOU. Instead, they must submit a Registration Request form.
During the fall and spring semesters, the law school participates in a consortium of five bay area law schools, including University of San Francisco, Santa Clara University, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley. Visitors from these schools seeking to take courses at GGU School of Law may submit a Consortium form in lieu of the “Letter of Good Standing” and tuition payment. The Consortium is not available during the summer session.
GGU transcripts for visiting students will not be automatically sent to their home schools. Instead, visitors must request copies of their transcripts from the Registrar’s Office and pay for them to be sent, regardless of whether they are visiting from a Consortium school. Visitors should verify all of their grades have been recorded via GGU4YOU before submitting transcript requests.
Visiting students are subject to the terms of the Student Handbook in effect during their enrollment, including the Standards of Student Conduct. Visiting students may request a picture ID from the Registrar’s Office, which is necessary for obtaining access to the law library. Students visiting from outside of the Bay Area and who are enrolled in a minimum of 8 units during a fall and/or spring term are entitled to utilize Office for Career Services.
Credit for Non-Law Courses
After completing all first year courses, JD students may seek approval to enroll in up to 6 credits for non- law graduate level courses. The courses (1) must be related to the student’s course of law study; (2) must not duplicate courses offered by the law school; and (3) must not duplicate other undergraduate or graduate coursework the student has completed. Students must obtain prior written permission from the course instructor and the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School. Students enrolled in the JD/MBA or JD/PhD joint degree program may not receive credit for non-law courses beyond their joint degree program. Students must comply with the rules and procedures in the Transfer of Units section of this handbook. In addition, students must submit course syllabi as well as a written statement of how the course(s) will enhance their legal education.
Policy on Continuous Enrollment
JD students admitted to the School of Law are expected to pursue, without interruption, the complete course of study leading to the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence. Enrollment in the summer session is optional except for HLP and 1st STEP program students in their program summer and those in the first and second years of the part time program. If students are unable to complete a semester or are unable to return for the next regular semester, they must submit a request for a leave of absence, described below. Students who fail to complete all or a majority of the courses in which they are enrolled for a term may be administratively withdrawn from law school.
In addition, JD, LLM, and SJD students on F-1 or J-1 student visas are subject to Department of Homeland Security rules that require continuous enrollment. Visa holding students must seek academic advising and the approval of the School of Law Designated School Official (DSO) if, for any reason, they will not attend on a full-time basis during a regular fall or spring semester. Visa holding students are not required to attend law school during summer session, though they are permitted to do so. Failure to receive prior approval for non-enrollment can cause a student to fall out of status and be subject to deportation. More information can be found in the “International Students ” section of this handbook.
Leaves of Absence for JD Students
If students are unable to complete a semester or are unable to return for the next regular semester, they must submit a Request for Leave of Absence or Visit Away Status form to the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School. A leave of absence will be granted only for expectant or new parents, exigent circumstances of a non-recurring nature, such as acute illness of oneself or a dependent, or for required military service; documentation is required. Leaves will typically not be granted for academic or financial reasons. Students are well advised to consult with Financial Aid regarding any impact this may have on their loan/scholarship eligibility.
The following rules apply to all leaves of absence for JD students. Except those who have student visas, LLM students are not required to be continuously enrolled.
- Leaves of absence may be granted for one or two regular terms and may not be granted for a period longer than one academic year, except in exigent circumstances. The year begins from the start of the first term on leave. First year students granted leaves may be required to be on leave for a full year due to the year-long first year program. JD students are allowed to take only one leave of absence during their time at GGU School of Law. Once students register for courses at the end of their leaves, they have officially returned from leave.
- In order to extend a leave of absence, students must submit written petitions for an extension to the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School before the expiration of their original leave. Students who wish to return to the School of Law before the expiration of their leave of absence must comply with the appropriate notice deadlines in the section below. Students who fail to provide timely written notice or to request an extension of a leave before the original leave expires may be denied permission to return to Golden Gate University and may be administratively withdrawn.
- Students who receive permission to take a leave of absence in the middle of a term must complete the appropriate paperwork concerning the courses in which they are enrolled, in addition to completing the Request for Leave of Absence or Visit Away Status. For each course, students must do one of the following: (1) complete the course requirements and earn credit or a grade; (2) withdraw from the course; or (3) request an incomplete grade. The Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs Law School determines what options are available for which courses depending on students’ individual circumstances and the nature of each course and its place in the JD curriculum. Students receiving any type of financial aid (scholarships and/or loans) must meet with a financial aid counselor regarding the impact of withdrawing or taking an incomplete grade in the middle of a term.
- When students plan to return from a leave of absence, they should submit a Notice of Intent to Return from Leave of Absence to the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School by the start of priority registration for the term in which the student intends to return from leave. Delays in completing this step may affect the availability of courses and/or the timing of financial aid disbursements.
To be considered to have officially returned from leave, a student must complete registration (i.e., pay in full or make other arrangements to pay registration charges) by the last day of General Registration for that term. Students are well advised to consult with Financial Aid regarding deadlines for applying for aid.
- All JD students returning from a leave of absence must receive approval of their schedules from the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School before being permitted to register. The Associate Dean or Director also may require documentation to show that the conditions necessitating the leave (medical or otherwise) have been resolved.
- JD students who have completed a minimum of two semesters and are on a leave of absence during the spring semester will be evaluated for academic standing following the completion of the first fall or spring semester back from leave.
Withdrawal from JD Programs
- JD Students Who Voluntarily Withdraw
JD students who decide for any reason to withdraw from the Law School must:
- Complete a Withdrawal form (available in the Registrar’s Office) and participate in an exit interview with a Student Affairs advisor; and
- Participate in an exit interview with the Financial Aid Office and complete the Official Withdrawal Process. (See the “Withdrawal Tuition Credit and Refund Policies” section of this handbook for more information.)
- JD Students Deemed to Have Withdrawn
JD students who do not obtain an approved leave of absence will be deemed to have withdrawn from the School of Law if they do any of the following:
- Withdraw from all courses during any fall or spring semester and fail to complete the steps for voluntary withdrawal, above;
- Fail to enroll in the next succeeding fall or spring semester without securing approval for leave of absence or visiting away status; or
- Fail to enroll following the end date specified for any approved leave of absence or visiting away.
Students who are deemed to have withdrawn will be administratively withdrawn from the Law School, and notations will be made on their transcripts indicating administrative withdrawal.
- Effect of Withdrawal from the School of Law
Students who voluntarily withdraw from the law school, or who are administratively withdrawn for any reason, must reapply for admission and be readmitted as entering first year students before they may enroll again in law school courses. Readmission of JD students who previously withdrew from Golden Gate is extremely unusual, and no assurances can be given that such students will be readmitted. Students who withdraw are encouraged to take a minimum of two years to resolve any issues which led to withdrawal or to prepare academically to succeed in law school. In most cases, JD students who are readmitted must restart their JD degree programs from the very beginning; units earned previously at GGU or other ABA-accredited law schools typically will not be applied toward graduation requirements. However, their prior academic history will continue to appear on their transcripts and will be considered in the review process for readmission to the law program. ABA Standard 311(b) mandates that a JD be completed no later than 84 months after a student has commenced law study at the law school or a law school from which the school has accepted transfer credit, except in extraordinary circumstances.
Fulfilling Course Requirements
Students are expected to complete all course requirements in a timely fashion. Except as provided below, each student enrolled in a course for which there is a final examination is required to take the examination at the time it is scheduled. If the course requirements include a paper, a series of papers, or reports, each student is required to submit such assignments at the time(s) specified by the instructor.
Students who do not take the final exam or who fail to complete all course requirements on time without first having officially withdrawn from the course, successfully petitioned for an incomplete, rescheduled the exam, or obtained permission for an extension of deadline, will receive a “WF” (Withdrew Failing) grade for the course, regardless of whether the student had elected to take the course CR/NC. For more information, see “Extension of Deadline to Complete Course Requirements” below and the “Examination Procedures” section of this handbook.
- Late Registration
Upper division JD and LLM students may add courses up until the published last day to add courses without instructor’s approval. After this date, upper division JD and LLM students may add a course only with the written permission of the instructor and a $100 late registration fee will be charged. Any student found to be attending more than two class meetings of a course for which they are not registered may be considered in violation of the Standards of Student Conduct.
- Withdrawal from (“Dropping”) Courses
Withdrawal from a course (commonly known as “dropping a course”) is official once the Registrar’s Office has been notified. Notification may be made electronically by “dropping” a course online via GGU4YOU or by submitting a Registration Request. Oral notification is insufficient. Written notifications may be delivered in person, by standard mail, by fax, or by email. Email must originate from the student’s email address on record with the Registrar’s Office. The date the written notice is received by the Registrar’s Office will be the official date of withdrawal. Students should refer to the Law School’s Withdrawal Tuition Credit Policy and the Academic Calendar to determine the effect of withdrawals on their accounts.
- Permission to Withdraw
First year JD students may withdraw from courses only with the permission of the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School, and only in exigent circumstances. With the exception of the Lawyering Electives, absent exigent circumstances, first year JD students are prohibited from switching course sections.
Upper division JD students on academic supervision or academic probation must obtain permission for any changes to their schedule from the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School. Withdrawal will be subject to normal tuition forfeiture policies. Students must complete Constitutional Law I and Constitutional Law II during their second year and may not withdraw from those courses without permission from Student Affairs, Law School All other upper division JD students may withdraw from upper division courses without permission for any reason until the end of instruction. Students cannot “drop” courses online via GGU4YOU after the end of the second week of the term, but instead must submit a Registration Request form to withdraw from courses.
Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the end of instruction also must obtain the approval of the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School or their LLM Program Director, depending on their academic program. Upon approval, students may withdraw from exam-graded courses until the last business day before the exam, and from non-exam-graded courses until the last business day before all work upon which the student will be graded is due.
- Withdrawal Notations on Transcripts
The Registrar’s Office will record “W” (Withdrawal) grades on students’ transcripts for courses from which students withdraw after the “drop” deadline (the end of the second week of the term). The Registrar’s Office will record “WF” (Withdrew Failing) grades for courses from which students do not withdraw by the deadlines stated above and which are not completed or approved for incomplete grades. “WF” grades count as “F” grades in GPA calculations.
Students must obtain approval from the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School before registering for a course in which they previously received a “W” or “WF” notation on their transcripts.
- International Students
International students with F-1 or J-1 visas may not drop below full-time status without the approval of an international student adviser. Full-time status is defined as eight (8) semester units for LLM students and twelve (12) semester units for JD students in the fall or spring semesters. The summer term is considered a “vacation term,” and no minimum enrollment is required.
Incomplete Course Attempts
Where circumstances prevent students from completing the requirements of a course in a timely manner, the students may request an Incomplete grade by submission of the Petition for Incomplete Course Attempt form. The rules governing Incomplete grades vary depending on the type of course, as described below. Note that Incomplete grades may have an impact on students’ financial aid and eligibility for Dean’s List.
- Extension of Deadline for Independent Study and Externship Courses
Students who are unable to complete externship hours or their Independent Study papers before the last day of the final exam period may seek a revised deadline directly from the instructor. Students must submit the Petition for Incomplete Course Attempt, including the instructor’s signature and the revised due date, to the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School prior to the last day of the final exam period. The Petition must be approved by Student Affairs, and students are well advised to consult with Student Affairs as soon as they realize that they might not finish on time. Students must be able to articulate compelling reasons for the inability to complete the course requirements in a timely fashion.
If a student receives a revised due date to complete course requirements during the term after which the student intends to graduate, the student must resolve the incomplete course by January 15 for fall; June 15 for spring; and September 15 for summer.
By the revised due date, the student must:
- complete all course requirements; or
- secure permission from Student Affairs to extend the incomplete; or
- withdraw from the course.
Failure to do so may result in a “WF” (Withdrew/Failing) grade for the course.
The incomplete course is deemed to be resolved when the instructor submits the final grade to the Registrar’s Office.
If a Petition for Incomplete Course Attempt in an independent study or externship course is denied, students have the right to withdraw from the course up until the last business day before all work upon which students will be graded is due. The withdrawal will be subject to normal tuition forfeiture policies.
- Extension of Deadline for Classroom Courses Without a Proctored Final Exam
All papers, series of papers, assignments, or take home finals must be completed and submitted at the time specified by the instructor, which is no later than the last day of the final exam period, according to the academic calendar, for the term in which the student is to receive credit. Students unable to fulfill the course requirements prior to the last day of the final exam period must secure approval for a revised due date from the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School before the assignment is due. Such extensions of deadline will be granted only for documented exigent circumstances, i.e., circumstances beyond the student’s control, such as illness of oneself or a dependent. Students may not request from the instructor a revised due date for after the last day of the final exam period. The Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School may consult with the instructor of the course and will inform the student of the decision. If the instructor or Associate Dean or Director determines that exigent circumstances exist but that an extension of deadline is inappropriate in a particular case, the student may be granted an Incomplete grade with permission to re-enroll in the course. This Incomplete grade will be subject to the applicable rules specified below for Incomplete grades in courses which have a proctored final exam.
If a student receives an extension of deadline to complete course requirements during the term after which the student intends to graduate, the student must resolve the incomplete course by January 15 for fall; June 15 for spring; and September 15 for summer.
By the revised due date, the student must:
- Complete all course requirements; or
- Secure permission from the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Law School or LLM Program Director to extend the incomplete; or
- Withdraw from the course.
Failure to do so may result in a “WF” (Withdrew Failing) grade for the course.
The incomplete course is deemed to be resolved when the instructor submits the final grade to the Registrar’s Office.
If a petition for an incomplete grade in a course without a proctored final exam is denied, students have the right to withdraw from the course up until the last business day before all work upon which students will be graded is due. The withdrawal will be subject to normal tuition forfeiture policies.
- Incomplete Grades for Courses Which Have a Proctored Final Exam
- Approval for incomplete course attempts is granted only for exigent circumstances, which must be documented and attached to the Petition for Incomplete Course Attempt. JD students must obtain the signature of the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School. The Associate Dean or Director may consult with the instructor of the course and will inform the student of the decision. Incomplete grades in courses with a proctored exam are granted with permission to re-enroll only, not for an extended deadline. (See Examination Procedures, below, regarding the limited circumstances under which a student may be eligible to reschedule a final exam. All exams for a term must be administered by the last day of the examination period for the term.)
- The Petition for Incomplete Course Attempt must be submitted by the date of the last class meeting. However, a Petition may not be submitted after all work upon which students will be graded is due. Failure to request an incomplete by the appropriate date results in an automatic waiver of the right to request an incomplete
- Students do not receive a refund of tuition for a course in which they receive an incomplete grade, but in most cases do not have to pay again upon re-enrollment. See below for re-enrollment information.
- If a Petition for an incomplete in a course with a proctored final exam is denied, students have the right to withdraw from courses up until the last business day before the exam. The withdrawal will be subject to normal tuition forfeiture policies.
- If students wish to request a second incomplete grade for the same course, a new Petition for Incomplete Course Attempt form must be submitted. If students’ subsequent petitions are denied, they may re-enroll in the course but will be subject to the tuition rate in effect at the time of re-enrollment.
- Re-enrollment to Resolve an Incomplete
- Students who intend to resolve an incomplete grade in a course with a proctored final exam should not register for the course but should submit a Notice of Intent to Complete Course to the Registrar’s Office. This form should be submitted during the time period for which the student is eligible to register for courses for that term. Note that students are not guaranteed enrollment if their preferred sections already are full. Where appropriate, the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School may require re-enrollment with a different instructor from the original course attempt. Students who have received an incomplete grade more than once for the same non-required course may be required to resolve the incomplete with an alternate course.
- In most cases, students are not charged tuition upon re-enrollment when completing an Incomplete. Students who are only re-enrolling in courses for which they were granted an incomplete and not in any new courses will be charged the fees for the term, but no tuition. Students must advise the Financial Aid Office when they are re-enrolling for a course. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the Financial Aid Office regarding the impact that re-enrollment may have on their financial aid.
- All incomplete courses must be completed within one academic year of the end of the initial course. For example, an incomplete course initially attempted in the fall term must be completed by the last day of the exam period of the following fall term. If a student fails to resolve an incomplete course within this time frame, or fails to secure an extension of the deadline, the incomplete may automatically convert to a notation of “WF” for “Withdrew/Failing.”
- The law school does not guarantee that every course will be offered every academic year, so re-enrollment may not be an option. The deadline to resolve an incomplete course may be extended by the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law School if a student is unable to re-enroll in the course because it is not offered or there is no space available prior to the expiration of the incomplete grade. See below for completion deadlines.
- Course Substitution: In limited circumstances, the student may seek written approval from the Associate Dean or Director for Student Affairs, Law school to substitute another course of equal or less unit value. If the substitute course is of less value than the original course, the student is not entitled to a refund of tuition.
- Upon re-enrollment in a classroom course, the student must comply with all course requirements as established by the instructor, including attendance and assignments. In other words, the student is ‘starting over,’ regardless of when, during the original term, the incomplete was granted.
- Notation on Transcript: When the Notice of Intent to Complete Course form is received by the Registrar’s Office, the student will be enrolled in the new course attempt subject to seat availability, and the incomplete grade for the original attempt permanently will be changed from an “I” for “Incomplete” to a “W” for “Withdrawn.” When the instructor reports a final grade, it will be recorded for the term during which the student completes the course. If a student fails to resolve an incomplete course within the relevant time frame, secure an extension of the deadline or withdraw from the course, the incomplete may automatically convert to a notation of “WF” for “Withdrew/Failing.”
The Registrar’s Office begins recording grades in the student information system after the end of the exam period. First year grades are not recorded until all instructors for all sections have submitted their grade rosters to the Registrar’s Office. Once grades are recorded, students may view them on GGU4YOU. Grades will not be released to students over the telephone. Grade reports will not be automatically mailed to students but are available upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Grade reports also may be held for students to pick-up at the Registrar’s Office. Reports will be mailed or be made available for pick-up one business day following receipt of the request.
Grades are recorded section by section as the instructors submit their grade rosters. Larger sections generally take more time to grade-sometimes a month or more. If a student is graduating, and his or her grades are needed to certify him or her for a bar exam, the Registrar’s Office will contact that student’s professors to alert them to the urgency of submitting the grades for that course section and will obtain a temporary “CR” grade if necessary in order to certify the student, as long as there are no conduct issues pending.
Students will receive one of the following grades for each course in which they are enrolled: (1) a letter grade; (2) “CR” (Credit) or “NC” (No Credit); (3) “I” (Incomplete); (4) “W” (Withdrawn); (5) or “WF” (Withdraw/Failing). “WF” grades are assigned when a student fails to withdraw from the course before the published deadline. “WF” grades are assigned whether or not a student elected credit/no credit, or if the course was graded on a credit/no credit basis.
Although instructors are encouraged to review exam answers with their students for educational purposes, the instructor is not permitted to change a grade after its submission to the registrar because of a substantive re-evaluation of the quality of an exam, paper or work in a clinic. An instructor may change a grade after its submission to the registrar only if the grade was incorrect because of a mathematical or clerical error by the instructor. Any grade change request must be initiated by the instructor, who can request the appropriate form from the Registrar’s Office.
The determination of the grade assigned to each student will be made by the instructor for each course, and his or her determination is final. However, if the Academic Standards Committee determines that the exam, assignments, exercises or clinical work on which the grade is based or its administration was unfair or improper, it may direct the registrar to change a grade. Requests to the Academic Standards Committee (other than petitions for reinstatement) must be submitted within 60 days of receipt of the grade, conclusion of the course, or receipt of information that raises a question about a grade or course.
The Dean’s List is intended to recognize law students who perform at a superior level. The Dean’s List is compiled for the fall and spring semesters and the summer session. The eligibility rules below apply to both semester and session academic periods.
To be named to the Dean’s List, students must complete the specified minimum number of units and must achieve a 3.0 or higher grade point average for the term. Students who complete 10 or more units for a term must complete at least 8 letter-graded units. Students who complete fewer than 10 units for the term must complete at least 8 units, of which 6 must be letter-graded units. The determination of which eligibility rule applies is based on the student’s enrollment for the term, not whether the student is enrolled in a full or part-time program.
Students also must have no Incomplete, “NC,” or “NR” grades for the term to be eligible for Dean’s List. If one or more of a student’s grades is changed at a later date, such as having resolved an Incomplete, and the student wishes to be re-evaluated for Dean’s List, the student should contact the Registrar’s Office.
Only GGU law school units are included in the Dean’s List determination for joint degree students. Units taken at other schools or through study abroad programs are not included in the calculation of Dean’s List eligibility.
A notation will appear on the official transcripts of students named to the Dean’s List. After the end of the term, names of award winners may be posted in Law School News and on the Law School’s website. Students who have requested non-disclosure of directory information (see the FERPA section of this Handbook) will not appear on the published Dean’s List, but a notation will be made on their transcripts. Students may not note “Dean’s List” on their resumes until they receive official notification from the law school of this achievement.
Witkin & Cali Awards
The Witkin Award may be given in any letter-graded JD course with an enrollment of ten or more students. Nominations for this award are given at the discretion of the instructor and are based on the highest letter grade in the course. In the event of a tie for the highest grade, the instructor should select a single winner by considering other factors that the instructor feels warrant special recognition, such as extraordinary class participation or special contributions made to the class by a student.
The CALI (Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction) Award may be given, at the discretion of the instructor, to one or two students in each JD course. CALI Awards may be given in small courses and/or courses graded credit/no credit. The CALI Award is given to the most outstanding student(s) in the class, which may be determined by academic achievement, class participation, special contributions made to the class by students, or other appropriate factors as determined by the instructor. Instructors are encouraged to award the Witkin and CALI Awards to different students.
Students who are nominated for a Witkin or CALI award will receive certificates in the mail within three to four months. In addition, a notation will appear on students’ transcripts. After the end of the term, award winners may be posted in Law School News and on the Law School’s Web site.
Students who have requested non-disclosure of directory information (see the FERPA section of this handbook), will not have their names be posted on any award lists. A notation will, however, be made on their transcripts.
JD Class Rank
The registrar ranks continuing students twice a year after both the fall and spring semesters based on their cumulative GPA. The purpose of ranking first and second year students is to approximate students’ final graduation class rank. All matriculated JD students with active degree programs at the time of the ranking are ranked. Students who were not enrolled in courses in the most recent semester, but are otherwise active in their programs, such as HLP students who are engaged in their apprenticeships and those on approved leaves, are ranked.
December graduates are ranked following the fall semester, despite having graduated, in order to give them a more accurate rank prior to their final graduation class rank (see below). Students who were academically disqualified with no immediate right to petition for reinstatement and those who withdrew from the law school prior to ranking are not ranked. First-year first-semester students who withdrew from the semester, or took leaves of absence before the semester’s examination period, are not ranked.
The registrar sends notices to continuing students of their class rank to their email addresses on record. Class rank will not be released to students in person or over the telephone but can be obtained by sending an email message to email@example.com from the student’s email address on record. Class rank is calculated once at the end of each semester. Class rank is not recalculated for continuing students based on some students withdrawing from the law school after the ranking is prepared. A student’s class rank will be recalculated upon request if the student receives a grade change.
After the fall semester, students are ranked in three groups: (1) August (non-transfer) matriculated students; (2) the current academic year’s graduation class members (including December graduates); and (3) all other continuing students who are not members of the current academic year’s graduation class. After the spring semester, students are ranked in two groups: (1) the prior August (non-transfer) matriculated students; and (2) all other continuing students who are not members of the current academic year’s graduation class. See below for information regarding JD Graduation Class Rank.
JD Graduation Class Rank
A JD graduation class consists of those who earn their degrees in December, May, and July of the same academic year. Following the release of final grades for summer graduates, the registrar will calculate a graduation class rank for all members of the class. (See JD Graduation Class Rank and Honors below for more information.) The graduation class is not ranked following the spring semester. Members of the graduation class should continue to use their final fall semester rank until their final class rank is provided. Since the graduation class rank includes the students who graduate after the summer session, the ranking is typically not calculated until late September.
Since LLM students are not graded under the same standards as JD students, their GPAs are not comparable. Therefore, LLM students are not ranked.
Students may not note their class rank on their resumes until they receive official notification from the law school. Students may never ‘round up’ their class rank.
Students are not permitted to retake courses unless instructed to do so by the Academic Standards Committee or LLM Program Director. Students who receive “F” (Failing) or “WF” (Withdrew Failing) grades in required courses are placed on academic probation and required by the Academic Standards Committee to repeat those classes. The Academic Standards Committee may require students whose GPAs place them on academic supervision or probation to retake courses in which they performed poorly, as determined by the Committee. Students who retake courses based on these criteria are required to register for the courses and again pay tuition and fees for them. Once the grades for the retaken courses are recorded, they replace the original grades in students’ GPA and unit calculations. However, the original grades for courses that are retaken permanently remain on students’ transcripts. For further information, refer to the “Academic Standards ” section in this Handbook.
A graduation class consists of those who earn their degrees in December, May, and July of the same academic year. The academic year begins with the fall term and ends with the summer term.
Commencement is held in May. The ceremony is usually held off campus in San Francisco. While participation in graduation is voluntary, all graduates are encouraged to attend.
- Application Submission Deadline
To be considered a candidate for graduation, students must apply for graduation online through GGU4YOU. Applications are due by December 1 of the year prior to the commencement ceremony for their graduation class. Students planning to graduate must submit this form whether or not they expect to attend the commencement ceremony. Only students who are in good academic standing and good financial standing will be eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony. Students visiting away at another law school during their last academic year still are required to apply for graduation by the deadline. Completing the application allows the Registrar’s Office to order a student’s diploma and ensures that the student will receive mailings and/or email updates regarding commencement throughout the spring semester. Completing the application form does not include ordering regalia, which is a separate process.
- Required Graduation Regalia
Graduates are required to wear a cap and gown (to be reserved through the GGU Bookstore) if they wish to participate in the commencement ceremony.
- December Graduates
Students who graduate in December are considered members of the class of the next calendar year, and they are expected to attend commencement in May of the following calendar year. However, individuals who will graduate in December may apply to “walk early” and participate in the commencement ceremony held the year prior to the one scheduled for their class. Students should submit an application online through GGU4YOU by the deadline for the year they wish to participate. The registrar will confirm that a student who has submitted an application is likely to graduate in December, without being in overload status in the summer or fall terms, and is in good academic and financial standing. Students may participate in only one commencement ceremony.
- Graduation Communications
Members of the graduation class receive information about graduation (e.g., cap and gown ordering information, ticket information, and diploma name confirmation) through email. Only students with current contact information who have submitted a graduation application will receive these materials and messages. Failure to submit an application by the deadline will result in the student missing important and time sensitive information. Graduation information is available through monthly e-newsletters and Law School News.
- Graduation Fair
Members of the graduation class are required to attend the annual Graduation Fair. At the Graduation Fair, students complete necessary activities (reserving cap and gown, receiving tickets, diploma name confirmation, etc.) to ensure they are able to participate in the commencement ceremony. If graduation candidates are unable to attend the Graduation Fair, it is their responsibility to contact Student Affairs, Law School and complete all activities on their own before they may obtain their tickets. December graduates who are planning to attend the Commencement ceremony are encouraged, but not required to attend the Graduation Fair the year they will walk. December graduates should handle all matters before leaving campus.
Participants in the graduation ceremony do not receive their diplomas the day of commencement. Instead, the Registrar’s Office mails (or holds for pick-up) diplomas to graduates after certifying that all degree requirements have been completed and all tuition and fees owed the University have been paid. Due to the fact that diplomas are printed by an outside company, graduates usually do not receive them until several months after their graduation date. In addition, because honors and high honors rankings cannot be determined until all members of the JD class, including July graduates, have been awarded their degrees, honors diplomas may be delayed by as much as six months after the graduation ceremony. Students should be aware that changing their profile data in GGU4YOU, or by submitting a Profile Change Request form, will not update the address to which your diploma will be sent. That change request must be submitted separately and clearly marked as a change in diploma information.
JD Graduation Class Rank and Honors
At the time of the commencement ceremony, students graduating at the end of the spring and summer semesters will not have received their final grades. Therefore, the commencement program will list Jesse Carter Society members (top 15%), Honors (top 10%) and Highest Honors (top 5%) based on GPAs at the end of the fall semester. Following the release of final grades for summer graduates, the registrar will complete a graduation class rank for all members of the class. Jesse Carter Society, Honors and Highest Honors will be re-computed based on this final ranking. Honors and Highest Honors will be reflected on transcripts and diplomas thereafter. Consequently, it is possible for a graduate to be listed as having earned honors in the commencement program but to end up not having earned honors once the final ranking is completed. In that case, the graduate’s transcript and diploma would not list him or her as an honors graduate. It also is possible for the opposite to occur.
Official Academic Transcripts
An official academic transcript is a legal document, and therefore, a student’s legal name must appear on the student’s Golden Gate University transcript. Students may change their legal names by submitting the Student Information Change Request form along with supporting legal documentation, such as a birth certificate, marriage license, divorce decree, diver license, passport, or court order.
An official academic transcript is a copy of a student’s permanent academic record, which includes all graded academic work attempted and/or completed while in residence at GGU or accepted as transfer credit from other law schools, honors received, and degrees or certificates earned. Only those courses completed in residence at GGU will appear with letter-grades and are used in the student’s grade point average calculations. Academic records are listed chronologically by Semester. Transcripts are issued only in their entirety. However, separate transcripts are issued for a student’s School of Law academic records and those pertaining to GGU’s business schools. Consequently, students who complete the JD/MBA program will be issued two separate transcripts. GGU does not issue unofficial transcripts.
Golden Gate University has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse to provide transcript ordering online at studentclearinghouse.org. Students can order transcripts using any major credit card; the credit card will only be charged after the order has been completed. The Clearinghouse website will walk students through placing of the order, including delivery options and fees. Students can order as many transcripts as they like in a single session. A processing fee of $2.25 will be charged per recipient. Order updates will be emailed to the student. Students can also track the order online.
Transcript orders should be submitted online through GGU4YOU using the link on the “Student” menu. Students who do not have a GGU4YOU account may submit requests online at studentclearinghouse.org. Students unable to submit an online request may submit a written offline request for an additional charge. Offline requests should either be mailed or faxed to the Office of Records and Registration, Golden Gate University, 536 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-2968; phone 415-442-7200; fax 415-442-7223. E-mailed requests will not be accepted. The student must sign and date the request and provide payment in the form of cash, check or money order (made out to “Golden Gate University”) or a credit card number with expiration date and billing address. The university offers two processing services:
- Regular service - mailed out within 10 business days
- Rush service - mailed out by the next business day via overnight delivery (two-day delivery to PO boxes and international addresses) Requests must be received by 4 pm Pacific time to receive rush service the following day. Rush service fulfillment time may extend up to five business days for students who attended before 1985, as records prior to that year are manually archived.
Each transcript is $10 if requested online (plus $2.25 per recipient) and $15 if requested offline. Rush service requests will be charged an additional $20 per recipient address or hold for pick-up or $30 per non-US recipient address.
The Office of Records & Registration will mail out, free of charge, one transcript per student to all degree recipients upon graduation. This copy cannot be requested or individually expedited. Students wanting a copy of their transcript before receiving their free copy must submit a request and pay the requisite fee.
Transcripts are not released for students with any unresolved obligations to the University, the Golden Gate University Bookstore, or any other company that operates a concession or service on behalf of the University.
California Bar Application Procedures
- First Year Students
First year students are encouraged to register with the State Bar of California as law students within 90 days of starting law school if they intend to take the California Bar Exam upon graduation. Students may register online at the State Bar of California website, admissions.calbar.ca.gov/. A registration card with a registration number will be mailed to each registered student within four weeks from the date of approval of his or her registration. Students must use this number on all subsequent applications and correspondence with the State Bar of California.
- Second Year Full-Time & Third Year Part-Time Students
Students who plan to take the California Bar Exam are required to file an Application for Determination of Moral Character. The application is lengthy and may require applicants to locate historical information and documentation. It is recommended that applicants begin the process at least eight to ten months prior to the time they intend to practice law in California and at least 180 days prior to being admitted to the bar. The application may be accessed on the State Bar’s website at admissions.calbar.ca.gov/. A student may file this application any time after completion of his or her first year, and it is valid for up to 24 months after the date of a positive moral character determination.
- Graduating Students
Students who plan to take the California Bar Exam must apply to take the exam prior to the deadline specified on the State Bar’s website for that exam. Students must apply online at the Bar’s website www.calbar.ca.gov/Admissions. All applicable fees and deadlines are listed on the State Bar website. Students should carefully review the instructions for applying for an exam and retain copies of all forms, documents, and correspondence sent to or received from the State Bar of California.
Students who wish to seek disability accommodations on any state’s bar exam should contact the Disability Services to obtain advice regarding the request process. Such students should begin the application process at least ten months before the date of the bar exam. Information about requesting California Bar Exam accommodations can be found at: www.calbar.ca.gov/Admissions/Examinations/Testing-Accommodations.
LLM or SJD students who wish to take a bar exam should contact the Program Director for the US Legal Studies program to obtain advice on the special requirements for foreign trained lawyers to take a US bar exam.
After the California Bar Examiners determine a student’s eligibility to sit for the exam, they will mail an examination certification list to the registrar. Certification by the registrar involves confirming that a student has earned a JD degree. Graduating students are certified in early to mid-January for the February bar exam and in early to mid-June for the July bar exam. The registrar will not certify students whose accounts are delinquent or who are required to complete financial aid exit interviews but have failed to do so.
- Multi-State Professional Responsibility Exam
Students are required to take the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) as a part of the California State Bar admission requirements, and for most state jurisdictions. This exam is administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) three times a year, in November, March, and August. Students generally take the Professional Responsibility course the semester they plan to take the MPRE exam. Most commercial bar review courses offer a short MPRE review course prior to the administration of the exam. Students may register for the MPRE on the NCBE website at www.ncbex.org.
If required by a state other than California, official copies of transcripts can be ordered online through the National Student Clearinghouse. More information is available online at http://www.ggu.edu/enrollment/academic-records/, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 415-442-7285. (The registrar automatically sends graduates’ transcripts to the California State Bar Office of Admissions as part of the certification process described above.) The office will not release the transcripts of students whose accounts are delinquent or who are required to complete financial aid exit interviews but have failed to do so.
Students who wish to seek disability accommodations on the MPRE should contact the Disability Services to obtain advice regarding the request process. Such students should begin the application process several months before the date of the exam. Information about requesting MPRE ADA accommodations can be found at www.ncbex.org/exams/mpre/ada-accommodations/.