Academic Regulations

Graduate 

Benerd College 

Master of Arts in Education
Master of Arts in Leadership
Doctor of Education

McGeorge School of Law

Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Policy
Master of Science in Law

School of Health Sciences

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (Sacramento)
Master of Science in Athletic Training (Stockton)
Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition (Sacramento)
Master of Science in Nursing-Entry Level Program (Sacramento)
Master of Science in Nutrition Science (Sacramento)
Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (Stockton)
Master of Social Work (Sacramento)
Doctor of Audiology (San Francisco)
Doctor of Health Science (Sacramento)
Doctor of Medical Science (Sacramento)
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (Sacramento)
Doctor of Physical Therapy (Stockton)

Professional

Arthur A Dugoni School of Dentistry

Doctor of Dental Surgery (IDS)

McGeorge School of Law

Juris Doctor 
Master of Laws
Doctor of Juridical Science

The Academic Regulations on this page are for the following graduate programs on the Sacramento campus.

Benerd College 

Master of Arts in Education
Doctor of Education 

McGeorge School of Law

Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Policy
Master of Science in Law

School of Health Sciences

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (Sacramento)
Master of Science in Athletic Training (Stockton)
Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition (Sacramento)
Master of Science in Nursing-Entry Level Program (Sacramento)
Master of Science in Nutrition Science (Sacramento)
Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (Stockton)
Master of Social Work (Sacramento)
Doctor of Audiology (San Francisco)
Doctor of Health Science (Sacramento)
Doctor of Medical Science (Sacramento)
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (Sacramento)
Doctor of Physical Therapy (Stockton)

All graduate students are urged to read these general regulations carefully. Failure to be familiar with this section does not excuse a student from the obligation to comply with all the described regulations. [Note: These regulations do not apply to students in the following degree programs:  DDS, MSD, JD and PharmD. For students in these programs, consult the respective program’s academic regulations. ]

Note that these Academic Regulations articulate minimum standards for graduate students at the University of the Pacific. Individual programs and schools/colleges may have additional requirements, so it is important for students also to know the particular policies and requirements of their individual degree programs. Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this catalog, students are advised that the information contained in it is subject to change. The University reserves the right to modify or change the curriculum, admission standards, course content, degree requirements, regulations, tuition or fees at any time without prior notice. The information in this catalog is not to be regarded as creating a binding contract between the student and the school.

Academic Standing

All graduate students are expected to make satisfactory progress toward the academic degree for which they were admitted. Graduate students are required to maintain a cumulative minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 and earn a grade of P (Passing) on all course work  required for the degree to remain in good standing.

Students enrolled in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies, the Master of Laws (LLM), or the Juris Scientiae Doctor (JSD) programs should refer to the Academic Standing policies of their specific program.

Minimum grade requirement

Only grades of A, B, C, and P are acceptable for graduate credit.  N is considered acceptable with respect to the minimum grade requirement.  Grades of C-, D, F, or NC (No Credit), are not accepted for graduate credit at University of the Pacific. (For definitions and more detail, see “Grading Policy” below.)

Students in a credential-only program must maintain a GPA of 2.5 and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher to clear their credential. Students in a basic teacher education credential only program who wish to do directed teaching in an internship must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Academic standing is determined at the end of each term (or after completion of six units during summer) to be one of the following:

  • good standing
  • probation
  • dismissal

The criteria for these academic standings are based upon a combination of cumulative Pacific GPA and the term GPA. Criteria for the different academic standings are outlined below:

Probation:

Any graduate student who has completed six (6) or more course units of study and has a Pacific cumulative GPA below 3.0 or has earned a grade of NC in two separate terms is placed on academic probation. To be removed from probation, a student must achieve a cumulative 3.0 GPA (or higher GPA if required by the program) and not receive any grades of NC within completion of the next semester full-time course load (8 units or more).  For degree-seeking students, the courses included in the probation removal plan must be approved by the program faculty.  [Note: it is critically important for students to consult with the Financial Aid Office on the implications of academic probation on their financial aid].

Dismissal:

Students will be dismissed from their graduate program if either of the following apply:

  1. a student on probation fails to be removed from probation after the probationary period;
  2.  the GPA of a student who has previously been on probation falls below 3.0 or the student receives a grade of NC in any class.

A dismissed student may appeal for reconsideration and possible reinstatement on probation, within the same school.  Students who wish to appeal must follow procedures outlined in each program's policy.  If no program-specific procedure is outlined, students must submit a written petition to the Dean of their school.  Enrollment eligibility during appeals process is determined at the program level.

A dismissed student may not enroll in any graduate program for a minimum of 12 consecutive months (waiting period).  A student must reapply, meet current requirements for degree-seeking students, and be accepted by the University and the program to enroll for graduate studies following the waiting period.  Schools or programs may develop additional procedures or requirements related to re-enrollment following dismissal.  Some schools or programs may not permit reinstatement.  Please see the appropriate school or program sections of the catalog for specific requirements.

In addition to the academic standing, other academic and non-academic reasons can result in a student's dismissal from a graduate program.  Refer to each school's code of student conduct/responsibility or any program-specific guidelines.  In the absence of a school-specific code of conduct, the Honor Code in Tiger Lore applies.

Acquisition of Graduate Credit as an Undergraduate

Undergraduate students meeting all of the following requirements may apply by submitting the Application to Receive Graduate Credit as an Undergraduate Student to open a graduate transcript (i.e., receive credit in graduate-level courses toward a graduate degree) before the last day to add classes of the last semester as an undergraduate:

  • The student must be within 9 units of completing the baccalaureate degree.
  • The student must be in the last two semesters of the baccalaureate degree at University of the Pacific.
  • An Evaluation of Degree Requirements form has been submitted to the Office of the Registrar prior to the last day to add classes. This must be submitted before or with the Graduate Credit as Undergraduate application. (This serves as permission by the undergraduate advisor for the student to take graduate-level coursework.
  • The student has been accepted into a graduate or credential program.

Graduate credit can be received under the following guidelines:

  • The total number of graduate credits for the semester, including coursework completed at other schools, cannot exceed the maximum graduate course load for the department providing the graduate coursework.
  • The tuition rate for the entire semester is at the undergraduate rate.
  • No more than 12 units (16 units for student teachers) can be transferred from an undergraduate transcript into a graduate degree program.
  • Graduate credit will only be granted for graduate-level (200 numbered) courses and above.
  • Units cannot be retroactively transferred from an undergraduate transcript to a graduate program. Approvals for graduate credit must be obtained prior to the last day to add classes of the student's last semester.
  • Coursework will not count toward graduate credit if the student fails to complete the bachelor's degree by the second semester of taking graduate courses.
  • Graduate courses completed under this agreement will not be recorded by the Registrar as graduate coursework until the baccalaureate degree has been completed and matriculation into the graduate program has commenced. Grades from these courses will not be accounted in the undergraduate grade point average, unless the bachelor's degree is not completed. Students who do not complete the bachelor's degree by the second term when graduate courses are taken cannot start a graduate program and cannot take additional graduate coursework until the bachelor's degree has been awarded.
  • Students bear the responsibility of assuring graduate credits earned as an undergraduate student will transfer to or be counted as post-baccalaureate units by other universities or school districts.

Students are not classified as graduate students until they register for and begin graduate courses following the receipt of their bachelor’s degree.

Changing Degree Programs

Graduate students are admitted to University of the Pacific for a specific degree program.  With the exception of programs overseen by the same admission committee, if a student wishes to change a degree program, the student must submit a new application for admission, pay the application fee, and comply with all admission requirements.  No more than nine (9) units of coursework taken in non-degree seeking, certificate-seeking, or previous degree-seeking status may be applied to any Master's degree and no more than 12 units may be applied to any doctoral degree.  Students who wish to change degree programs overseen by the same admission committee may do so by using the Change of Program form available in the Registrar's Office.

Classification of Graduate Students

Full:  All students admitted with full graduate standing.

Conditional Admission: Students may be admitted to some of the graduate programs on a conditional admission basis.  See the Graduate Admission section of this catalog for additional information. 

Credential: Students admitted to do post-baccalaureate work that leads toward an initial teaching credential, specialist instruction credential or services credential.

Clinical Competency

Many of the graduate programs offered at the University include experiential coursework. Prior to taking a course that includes an experiential component, students are required to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills, aptitude and competencies to successfully complete the course. Faculty of departments that offer experiential courses have the discretion of denying or terminating enrollment in these courses to students evaluated as not possessing the necessary clinical competencies. Procedures used to assess clinical competency vary across programs. Students may obtain additional information from their Graduate Program Director.

Students who do not demonstrate adequate clinical and experiential competency can be dismissed from a degree program, regardless of academic standing.

Commencement

Master’s degree students who are near completion of degree requirements are eligible to participate in the May commencement exercises under the following conditions.

  • A completed Graduate Student Application for Graduation has been submitted by the fall deadline
  • All degree requirements will be met before the end of the last summer session of the same year. An approved plan of study that specifies all degree requirements will be completed in time and must be on file.
  • The Master's degree oral examination, which includes thesis defense or written examination (where applicable), will be successfully completed by the Spring semester deadline for Written/Oral Exam — Thesis/Dissertation Defense.
  • The student is in good academic standing.

On a case-by-case basis, special consideration is given for international students who complete degree requirements during the fall semester of the same calendar year. Approved Degree Evaluations must be on file by the spring semester deadline and the student must state they are unable to return to campus to participate in ceremonies in the spring following degree completion.

Doctoral degree students are ineligible to participate in graduation ceremonies until all degree requirements are met and the final dissertation has been approved.  However, on a case-by-case basis, special consideration will be given for international and domestic doctoral students who will complete degree requirements by the end of the fall semester of the same calendar year. Approved programs of study must be on file by the spring semester deadline, and the student’s Graduate Program Director must approve of the request.

Continuous Registration

All graduate students in graduate degree or credential programs must satisfy the Continuous Registration Policy of their respective programs from the time of admission until all degree requirements are met or their status as a degree- or credential-seeking student is terminated. This includes students who are completing preliminary or final examinations, or presenting terminal projects.  If degree or credential requirements are completed between terms, the student must have been registered during the preceding term.  International students may have additional registration requirements depending on their visa status and should consult with the Office of International Programs and Services to obtain current information.

Continuous registration is intended for students who have completed all required coursework. The Continuous Registration Policy can be met by registering for GRAD 200 (master's students) or GRAD 300 (doctoral students) through Inside Pacific at least one semester per academic year (Fall or Spring).

There is no limit to the number of times a student can register for GRAD 200/GRAD 300; however, Pacific’s Residency and Time Limit policies must be met.

Students enrolled in GRAD 200/GRAD 300 may utilize library facilities, but are not entitled to:

  • the use of other University facilities,
  • receive a fellowship, assistantship, or financial aid, or
  • take course work of any kind at the University of the Pacific. 

Students should also be aware that registration in GRAD 200/GRAD 300 or equivalent courses may cause existing student loans to come due. Please consult with the Office of Financial Aid.

Some programs may require courses other than GRAD 200/GRAD 300 (“equivalent courses”) to meet continuous registration requirements. Please consult individual program pages for additional information.

Failure to Meet Continuous Registration Requirements

A graduate student who fails to meet the continuous registration requirements will be inactivated. Students in good academic standing who were inactivated may petition for readmission to their original degree program by submitting the Application to Request Reinstatement.  Programs/Schools make the original admission decision and similarly make readmission decisions.  

Reinstatement will occur to current catalog. If reinstated, the student will be required to meet University and degree program admission and degree requirements that are in effect on the date of reinstatement, not the date of original admission.

Reinstatement requests must be accompanied by a plan for completing the degree within the maximum time allowed (see Residence and Time Limits).

A decision to reinstate a former student must be supported by the student's degree program.  The continuous registration requirement does not apply to students on approved leaves of absence (see below).

Course Audits

Eligible graduate courses may be audited only by students admitted to a graduate program who have the approval of the student’s advisor and of the instructor and dean (or designate) of the academic department where the course is offered. Audits are not available for courses in first-professional programs, unless by written permission of the program's dean. Students auditing a course must pay an audit fee and any special fees associated with the course. Audited courses cannot be retroactively converted to course credit unless officially changed to credit before the “Add Classes” deadline of the semester.

Course Loads

Course load refers to the number of units a student takes during a semester or trimester term.  While course-load requirements are program-specific (i.e., programs determine the minimum or maximum number of units students are required to take in a term), course load influences financial aid.  The following course load categories correspond to financial aid categories.

Full Time: 8 or more units per semester/trimester
Half Time: 4 to 7 units per semester/trimester
Less than Half Time: 1 to 3 units per semester

Students with teaching or other assistantships should check with their department for specific guidelines concerning unit requirements. Conditionally admitted students are not eligible for assistantships.

While the above Course Load categories are applicable to domestic students receiving financial aid, international students studying on an F-1 or J-1 visa must meet registration requirements for a “Full Course of Study,” as defined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education.  A “Full Course of Study” is defined on a semester/trimester basis, and students on F-1 or J-1 visas must meet at least one of the established criteria to obtain/maintain their visa:

•            8 units

•            6 units plus 20 hour per week assistantship

•            At least 1 unit of Internship, Research, Seminar, Thesis, or Dissertation

For additional information on “Full Course of Study,” please contact the Office of International Programs and Services.

Credit-by-Examination for Graduate Courses

A graduate student in good standing, or a student who has been accepted into one of University of Pacific’s graduate programs, which allows credit by examination, may request to take an exam in order to receive Credit by Examination (CbE) for one or more courses offered by a graduate program. Departments have the right to designate which, if any, of their courses are appropriate for CbE. This policy is subject to the following restrictions.

  1. A student may request CbE for a course covering material in which, through independent study, work experience, or work at another institution which was not accepted for transfer credit, the student feels prepared. It is the responsibility of the student to explain how the material was mastered.
  2. Students wishing to pursue CbE should not expect preparation support (tutoring, office hours, etc.) beyond a statement of the scope of topic coverage and expectations for passing the exam(s).
  3. A student wishing to pursue CbE for a course may not attend the class meetings of the course.
  4. A student cannot receive CbE for a course they have previously taken for academic credit.
  5. A student may not get CbE for a course in a structured sequence if the student has received credit for a higher level course in the sequence.
  6. A maximum of 9 units total may be earned by a student via CbE and/or transfer credit combined.

A student wishing to pursue the credit by examination option must:

  1. Complete the appropriate form from the office of the University Registrar;
  2. Obtain approval from his or her adviser, and the dean of the school or college offering the course;
  3. Pay the scheduled service fee.

Successful completion of the examination will be recorded on the transcript with a grade of Pass and will be made a part of the student’s academic record. This will occur in the semester in which the exam is taken, or in a subsequent semester as directed by the student’s graduate program, especially in the case where a candidate takes the exam before being a full-time graduate student.

Pending credit for having successfully passed the exam, can be used as justification for prerequisite overrides for courses which require the course to which CbE was earned. Appropriate tuition fees will be assessed.

Credit Limitations

Unless included in an approved dual degree or 2+3/3+3 accelerated program, a course can be applied toward only one degree, unless an exception is approved by the Academic Regulations Committee (ARC).Courses not applicable to graduate degrees:

  • Lower division undergraduate courses (001-099)
  • Courses in which a grade of C- or lower were received. Courses that receive a C- or lower must be repeated
  • Courses for the improvement of English language skills of foreign students
  • Directed teaching or prerequisite courses for directed teaching except for the Master of Education degree or the Master of Arts in Special Education degree.
  • Physical education activity courses.
  • Unclassified Status: No more than 12 units, no matter when they are earned, can be transferred from an “Unclassified” transcript into a graduate program.
  • Credit used toward a degree earned at another institution cannot be applied to a graduate degree at University of the Pacific.

Double-Listed Courses

In order to differentiate student responsibilities in courses double-listed between undergraduate/masters or masters/doctoral , there must be significant differentiation between the two levels with the more advanced course level evidencing additional rigor as denoted by higher level student learning outcomes and academic rigor with corresponding masters or doctoral level assignments and grading criteria indicated in the syllabus.  Masters students enrolled in courses double-listed as both undergraduate and masters level must register using the 200-level course number and complete all requirements in the course for masters level work.  Similarly, doctoral students enrolled in courses double-listed as masters and doctoral level must register using the 300-level course number and complete all requirements in the course for doctoral level work.

Grade Point Average

The Pacific grade point average is determined by adding the total quality points and by dividing the resultant sum by the total number of quality hours. As a general rule, the ratio is based on the number of letter graded units completed.

Grading Policies

Students enrolled in the LLM or JSD programs should refer to their program’s Grading Policies.

Symbols and Definitions

Graduate students are assigned grades in keeping with the following provisions.  Utilization of (+/-) is at the discretion of individual programs.

Symbol GPA Definition
A 4.0 Exemplary
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0 Satisfactory
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0 Marginal
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0 Unsatisfactory
F 0.0 Failing
I Incomplete work due to extenuating and hardship circumstances which prevent the completion of the work assigned within the regular time of the term. Each incomplete grade assigned must be accompanied with a contract statement agreed to by both instructor and student as to: a) what work remains to be completed, b) how it is to be evaluated, and c) a time indicated for completion within six months. If work is not completed within six months, the instructor can indicate a grade in lieu of the F/NC which automatically would be imposed with failure to complete the work. All incompletes must be made up before the last day of the semester in which the student intends to graduate.
Symbol GPA Definition
N Deferred grading for thesis, dissertation or research work.
NC No credit recognition. Represents unsatisfactory work under pass/no credit option.
NG No Grade Received from the Instructor. Please contact the instructor.
P Passing work on the pass/no credit system. Approved only for certain courses and program of a college or school. Note: Research for thesis or dissertation the department may determine whether letter grades or pass/no credit grades are to be given. In seminar or comparable courses, letter grades or pass/no credit may be used.
W Authorized withdrawal from courses after the prescribed period.

Leave of Absence

Students experiencing life changing or catastrophic events are encouraged to request a leave of absence, especially if the Residence and Time Limits policy will be impacted.  Consideration for request submitted after the degree time limit has expired will be impacted by evidence of successful continuous progress towards the degree, programmatic changes, and faculty availability.  A student who is in good standing may petition for a leave of absence of no more than one academic year and the maximum number of Leave of Absence requests is two.  Requests for a leave of absence must be approved in advance by the faculty advisor or Program Director and the Dean of the school.  Once the petition is approved, the registration requirement will be set aside during the period of leave.  Leaves will be granted only under conditions that require the suspension of all activities associated with pursuing the degree including use of university facilities and faculty mentoring/advice.

Counting of the time to the completion of the degree ceases when a leave of absence is granted and resumes when the student re-enrolls to continue the program.  A student who returns to the University after an approved leave of absence will not be required to submit an application for readmission.

Unapproved Leaves of Absence may result in the student being required to re-apply to their program.  International students should visit the International Programs and Services to find out how a Leave of Absence may impact their stay or re-entry into the U.S.

Students in the LLM program should consult McGeorge School of Law policies.

Registration

Registration is the means by which an individual officially becomes a student at Pacific. Registrants are further identified by school/college of the University, degree status, classification and major.

All students must register by the last day to add or drop. Students are held accountable to complete every course for which they register. If it is necessary to add or drop a course, the student must complete the appropriate registration transaction by the last day such activity is allowed as published in the University Calendar.

After the add/drop deadline dates has passed (but prior to the end of the term) requests to add or drop courses must be made by special petition to the student’s respective school/college.

Requests to drop courses after the term must be made to the Academic Regulations Committee (ARC). In either case, petitions are only approved if it can be shown that the request is warranted due to some special situation or hardship. Courses approved to drop after the deadline appear on the student’s transcript with the notation “W” but do not count in the units earned or in the calculation of the grade point average.

Any petitions approved after the deadline dates are subject to a service fee. Tuition and fee refunds are based on the date a withdraw form is initiated in the Office of the Registrar.

Registration - Individualized Study

To register for Individualized Study (Independent Study course, Internships, or Practicum) students must use the Individualized Study Request form. This form is a written contract between students and faculty that specifies the nature of the work to be undertaken and the method of evaluation.  The form must have proper approval within the unit and be filed with the Office of the Registrar. An independent study course may not be taken in the same term in which a regular course in the same subject is offered.

Repeating of Courses and Grade Replacement Policy

For courses in which the grade earned is C- or lower, the units are counted for GPA purposes in a student’s degree program, and -- if required for the degree -- must be repeated. Some departments or programs have established higher grading standards which must be met by students in those programs. All grades earned in courses taken as a graduate student at the University are counted in the cumulative GPA.

Only courses with grades of “B-” or lower can be repeated. Once a course is completed with a grade of B or higher, the graduate student cannot repeat that course or any prerequisites for the course. When a course is repeated, grades from both the original and repeated attempt appear in the official records and transcripts.  A course can only be repeated once and programs determine the exact number of courses that can be repeated (up to 25% of courses required for a degree). The grade received in the repeated course is used for calculation of the Pacific grade point average.

Requirements for the Master’s degree

In addition to the requirements above, the following requirements apply specifically to the Master's degree. Additional degree requirements may also be in place for individual programs, so students are responsible for also following the policies and requirements of their particular program.

Total Units

Most Master's programs at University of the Pacific require a minimum of 30 units of approved graduate credit.

Degree Candidacy

Successful completion of 12 units with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

Grade Point Average

Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all work taken as a graduate student, either at the University of the Pacific or any other institution.  See the Grading Policy and Academic Standing sections, in addition to program-specific guidelines.

Exit Requirements

Comprehensive Examination/Capstone Experience/Creative Project/Thesis

Most programs have a culminating experience.  In addition to successful completion of all courses required for graduation, students may be required to pass a comprehensive examination taken during their final semester of enrollment or, if specified by the program, successfully complete a capstone experience or creative project or defend a thesis.

The thesis must be checked for plagiarism and approved by the thesis committee prior to the defense.

Students must be enrolled the semester in which the defense/final examination occurs.

(See individual program sections for more information).

Requirements for Terminal Degree Programs (Ph.D., Ed.D, and JSD)

The goal of terminal degree programs at the University of the Pacific is to provide students with a comprehensive discipline-specific knowledge base and extensive training in the methods of research/creative activity.  The programs are designed to encourage students to make contributions that advance their field of expertise.

Students are expected to demonstrate an ability to conduct independent research, and the ability to express thoughts clearly in both verbal and written and/or creative formats.  In order to earn a terminal degree, candidates must successfully complete all degree requirements, demonstrate a high level of professional skill and performance in their academic work and their internship experience (if required), and submit a dissertation, acceptable to the student's committee.  Specific program requirements can be found in the appropriate sections of the catalog.

Degree Candidacy

Successful completion of approved candidacy requirements are defined by the degree program (e.g., qualifying scholarly activities or preliminary examinations). With the exception of the JSD, doctoral degree program directors are responsible for written requests of advancement to candidacy when requirements are met, and final approval is the responsibility of the Dean of the school.

Grade Point Average

Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all work taken as a graduate student, either at the University of the Pacific or any other institution.  See the Grading Policy and Academic Standing sections, in addition to program-specific guidelines.

Presentation of an Acceptable Dissertation

In order to be acceptable, the doctoral dissertation must be:

  1. a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge and
  2. a work of original and primary research.

Final Oral Examination

When the dissertation is completed, candidates present themselves for the final examination to an examining committee, which consists of the candidate's advisor (who shall act as chair) and such other examiners as the advisor shall approve.  The examination is oral and deals intensively with the field of specialization in which the candidate's dissertation falls, though it need not be confined to the subject matter of the dissertation.  In order to be considered satisfactory, the report of the examining committee must be unanimously favorable.

(See individual program sections for more information). 

Residence and Time Limits

The period of residence involves students in a total commitment to their graduate program.

Completion of a minimum of one academic year of “residence work” is required for all graduate programs; i.e., the student must be registered for at least 4 units per semester for two semesters. Two summer sessions of at least 4 units each are considered the equivalent of one-half year of residence.

Time Limits for Master's Degrees

The requirements for a Master's degree must be completed within five (5) years subsequent to admission to the program.  The five-year period begins the first semester students are enrolled and is calculated from the date of degree conferral.  Credit that is more than five years old will not be counted toward a Master's degree.  Exceptions, provided the courses were completed at this university, will require strong justification in writing from the student requesting the exception as well as revalidation plan.  Written approval from the department, and the Dean of the school/college at which the degree is offered are required.  See revalidation process below.

Individual programs may have additional residency and time limit requirements, so students must also consult the particular program’s time limits policies.

Time Limits for Terminal Degrees

The requirements for a terminal degree must be completed within ten years subsequent to admission to the terminal degree program.  The ten-year period begins with the first semester students are enrolled and is calculated from the date of degree conferral.  Students have a maximum of five years to advance to candidacy and a maximum of five years from candidacy to successfully defend the dissertation.  Students who exceed the candidacy deadline may request an extension.  Candidacy extensions will require strong justification in writing from the student and should be accompanied by a plan of study for timely completion of all requirements for advancing to candidacy.  The extension must be approved by the student's advisor, the Program Director, and the Dean of the school.

Courses taken ten or more years prior to the comprehensive examination (terminal degree programs) do not apply towards the graduate degree and must be repeated or revalidated to satisfy the degree requirements.

Individual programs may have additional residency and time limit requirements.

Revalidation Request

If revalidation of expired courses is requested, the faculty advisor or Program Director recommend a revalidation plan.  Revalidation will verify that the student's knowledge in a specific subject area is current and documented.  Options for course revalidation include a written examination, a scholarly paper, a project, an annotated bibliography, a course retake, or other equally rigorous academic means appropriate to the discipline to determine the student learning outcomes have been met.

Revalidation request should be submitted on the Revalidation Request Form and accompanied by a written justification, revalidation plan, and documentation used for revalidation.  All revalidation request and plans must be approved by the student's advisor or Program Director, and the School/College Dean.  The student's advisor/Program Director and College Dean are responsible for determining whether the student demonstrated sufficient course knowledge necessary for successful course revalidation.  Successfully revalidated courses may be included in the student's plan of study.  Failure to follow all designated requirements of the revalidation agreement may result in dismissal from the program.  Graduate students will not be permitted to submit more than 12 units of the program's courses for revalidation.  Courses beyond the 12-unit limit will need to be retaken.  Only courses completed at University of the Pacific are eligible for revalidation.

Thesis and Dissertations

Many master’s degree programs and all doctoral programs require the completion of a thesis (master’s degrees) or dissertation (doctoral degrees) as partial fulfillment of an advanced degree. The Center for Teaching and Learning makes available to faculty and graduate degree candidates instructions for the preparation of theses and dissertations. The instructions are to be applied to all theses and dissertations submitted at University of the Pacific. Theses and dissertations must be submitted by the deadline dates published in the Academic Calendar.

Graduate programs have specific courses that must be taken for work on a thesis or dissertation and are graded on a Pass/No Credit basis.

Thesis or Dissertation Committee

This section outlines the general requirements for thesis or dissertation committees. Units and colleges may adopt additional program-specific criteria and guidelines.

Thesis or dissertation chair: Faculty chairing thesis or dissertation committees must be regular, full-time members of University of the Pacific's faculty in the student's graduate program, hold a terminal degree, and have demonstrated expertise to serve as a thesis or dissertation chair. Faculty members without supervisory experience must serve for at least one year as a co‐chair with an experienced advisor before they may be recommended to independently supervise thesis or dissertation research. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the college or school Dean.

Thesis or dissertation committee: The Thesis or Dissertation Committee is composed of a Chair and a minimum of 1 (thesis) or 2 (dissertation) other committee members. The number of committee members depends on the degree objective. All members of the committee must hold degrees at least equivalent to the degree being sought or have demonstrated expertise in the student's field of study. In addition to the committee chair, who must be a University of the Pacific faculty member, the committee member(s) may be selected from within the student’s school or college, from another school or college, or from another institution or organization with recognized expertise in the field or industry.

It is recommended that the committee be formed after a student selects a chair for their research and the faculty member agrees to chair. The student, in consultation with the chair, is responsible for contacting potential members of the committee, inviting members to serve, and seeking approval from advisor, department chair, and college or school Dean.

The responsibilities of the thesis or dissertation committee members are:

  1. providing the student with guidance in their thesis or dissertation research, 
  2. monitoring the student’s research progress of their thesis or dissertation research, and
  3. approving the content of the final thesis or dissertation.

In order to fulfill the above responsibilities, the committee should hold at least one meeting each semester.

Transfer Credit

Coursework completed at University of the Pacific or at other regionally accredited institutions of higher education since completion of the baccalaureate can be evaluated for transfer credit work with the following restrictions:

  • Up to nine (9) semester units can be transferred at the Master's level and up to 12 semester units at the doctoral level.
  • Only courses that qualify for graduate or first-professional credit by the transferring institution can be transferred.
  • Only courses in which a grade of B or better are eligible for consideration of transfer credit.  Some departments set higher standards and there are identified by individual program catalog sections.
  • The course work must be less than five years old for Master's degrees and less than 10 years old for Doctoral degrees at the time the University of the Pacific degree is awarded. Credit used toward a degree earned at another institution cannot be transferred to a graduate degree at University of the Pacific.
  • Extension courses do not qualify for transfer credit with the exception of university-approved transfer agreements.

Grade points earned in those courses are not counted in the student’s Pacific grade point average.  This process is initiated using the Degree Requirement Adjustment Form and must be approved by the Director of the Graduate Program and the Office of the Registrar.

Some programs may have more restrictive transfer credit policies.

Unclassified Graduate Students

Students may take graduate level courses as an unclassified graduate student if they meet the following:

  • Have a bachelor's degree or the equivalent from a regionally accredited institution or other international institution of acceptable standing
  • Apply using the First Time Unclassified Application and submit it to the Office of the Registrar

A maximum of 12 units (16 units for student teachers) taken as an unclassified graduate student will count toward a graduate-level program at University of the Pacific. Upon acceptance to the university, resident and transfer coursework are evaluated by school/department for applicability to degree.  Some programs/courses have restricted enrollment and are not open for enrollment for unclassified students.

Withdrawal from a Term or the University

Students who intend to completely withdraw from a term or from the university have to initiate the process in the Office of the Registrar. The withdrawal date used by Financial Aid for return of Title IV Aid calculation and the effective date used by Student Accounts for tuition refunds are based on the date of your notification to the Office of the Registrar. If a student intends to withdraw from a semester after the last day to withdraw, the withdrawal must be approved by the Academic Regulations Committee. Courses the student was registered for after the last day to drop appear on that student’s transcript with the notation “W” but do not count in the units earned or in the calculation of the grade point average. A student who only withdraws from a semester, has one more semester to remain in continuing active status. A student who has completely withdrawn from the University, must file a Petition for Reinstatement Form (with a $50 fee) available on the Graduate Admission web site. The deadline is August 1st for fall admission or December 1st for spring admission.

An official withdrawal from the University is the termination of rights and privileges offered to currently enrolled students, which include, but are not limited to, early registration.

The Academic Regulations on this page are for the following professional programs on the Sacramento campus. 

Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry

International Dental Studies (IDS)

All students and residents are urged to read these general regulations carefully. Failure to be familiar with this section does not excuse a student or resident from the obligation to comply with all described regulations.

Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this catalog, students and residents are advised that the information contained in it is subject to change. The university reserves the right to modify or change the curriculum, admission standards, course content, degree requirements, regulations, tuition or fees at any time without prior notice. The information in this catalog is not to be regarded as creating a binding contract between the student and the school.

Academic and administrative policies set forth in this section are in force for students and residents during the academic year 2024-25. Students or residents who join a subsequent cohort for any reason are governed by the policies, requirements, and curriculum of the catalog in effect at the time of re-entry. The right to change academic programs, policies, and standards at any time without prior notice is reserved by the university. It is the student's or resident's responsibility to regularly consult this site for changes or modifications.

Catalog

A catalog is published annually in the Spring.  The catalog describes all graduate, undergraduate, and first-professional programs offered on the San Francisco campus and the first-professional, International Dental Studies (IDS) program offered on the Sacramento campus.

Unless otherwise noted, policies described below apply to all academic programs under the authority of the dean of the School of Dentistry: first-professional programs (36- month and 24-month Doctor of Dental Surgery), graduate programs (Master of Science in Dentistry in Orthodontics, Master of Science in Dentistry in Endodontology), fellowship programs (Dental Sleep Medicine), internship programs (Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery), and undergraduate programs (Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene).  All future programs housed in the School of Dentistry are governed by the policies presented here or, when warranted and approved by the dean, by policies developed locally.

Program abbreviations used in this section are:  DH (dental hygiene), DDS (36-month Doctor of Dental Surgery program), IDS (24-month Doctor of Dental Surgery Program), and MSD (27- month Master of Science in Dentistry in Orthodontics or Endodontology). The DDS and IDS programs are first-professional programs, DH is an undergraduate program, and the MSDs are graduate programs.  

Registration

Registration at the School of Dentistry includes payment of tuition and fees, enrollment in courses, submission of all required application materials (including one official transcript of academic record from each college or university attended through the last completed quarter, semester, or summer session), and submission of required medical examination and clearance forms.   

In order to receive credit for coursework taken during a term, a student or resident must be properly registered during that term. Barring a written notice of withdrawal or a dismissal from the school, registration is assumed for all students and residents.

All DDS, IDS, and MSD programs offered through the School of Dentistry are lock-step sequential cohort models: all students in a cohort are enrolled in the same “block” of courses each term.  Because enrollees have no choice in selecting classes or sections of classes, dental school programs use a “block scheduling” process.   Students enrolled in the DDS, IDS, and MSD programs are registered each term for the appropriate block of courses by the Registrar’s Office.  DH students also take classes on the "block" schedule. These students register themselves with guidance from the program. 

Similarly, and as a function of the lock-step curriculum model, students enrolled in programs under the authority of the dean of the School of Dentistry are not allowed to add or drop courses except in extreme cases (usually a complete withdrawal from the program, see Withdrawal policy). For this reason, the School does not use add/drop dates common in traditional graduate and undergraduate programs. 

Records & Transcripts

Upon written request by the student to the Office of the Registrar, an official transcript is issued to whomever is designated.  Students can request a transcript to be sent online, or by mail. The official transcript shows all work completed to date. On the dental school transcript the DDS program is divided into four program years (the structure of all other U.S. DDS programs) and the IDS program is divided into three program years; the MSD and DH programs reflect years of study in the traditional manner. Students can access their unofficial transcript any time through MyPacific, the university portal.

Official transcripts from other institutions become the property of the university and are not reissued or copied for distribution to other institutions. Copies of transcripts of work completed at other institutions must be obtained from the originating institution.

Operating and Instructional Hours

The instructional hour is 50 minutes, beginning on the hour and ending at ten minutes to the subsequent hour.  The instructional day (for class, simulation lab, and patient care) is from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted.  Pre-doctoral dental clinic hours extend until 8:30 P.M. on Monday and Thursday.  Departmental and administrative offices are open from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday.

Quarterly Class Schedule

The School of Dentistry curriculum committee approves class schedules for DDS, IDS, and DH programs each term.  Upon review and approval by the committee, class schedules are posted on the school website.   Schedules for the MSD programs are approved annually by the Associate Dean of Oral Health Education.  

Attendance Policy

Students and residents at the School of Dentistry assume professional obligations which include regular and consistent attendance at all learning activities. This includes classroom, laboratory, seminar, and remedial instruction; written and oral examinations, quizzes, and practicals; and patient care experiences. Regular and consistent attendance is an essential qualification of all students and residents. A student or resident who in the judgment of the school fails to meet this qualification may be dismissed from school.

Course directors (or program directors of residency programs) determine a reasonable attendance policy specific to their course (or program), and must provide students or residents a written statement of such policy in the course syllabus.  Attendance policies may vary by course and department, and even by course within department, and it is the student’s responsibility to be aware of and adhere to course attendance policies. 

The student or resident is responsible for making up all work missed due to an absence. Faculty have sole discretion in determining whether and under what conditions missed work is to be made up.

Examinations should begin promptly at the designated start time. Examination dates and times are scheduled at the discretion of the course director. Exams are scheduled for no more than 50 minutes and final exams are scheduled for 60 to 120 minutes. Final exams less than 120 minutes must be announced to students prior to the exam date.  Only students accommodated under the Americans with Disabilities Act are exempt from this time limit rule. Students are not allowed to take any exam if they are more than 10 minutes late (from the start of the exam time) or after the first student has submitted the exam, which ever comes first.

Final exams must be taken as scheduled during finals week. 

  • Do not schedule interviews, mission trips, externships, family events, etc. during finals week. 
  • In fairness to classmates, and to ensure test security, a make‐up exam will be offered only in cases of personal or family emergency, or illness; proof of which must be documented with the Office of Academic Affairs. 
  • In the event that the student is not present for a final exam due to a documented case of personal or family emergency, or illness, a make‐up exam will be offered on one date only, after the original final exam, no later than the first two weeks of the subsequent quarter. Date to be determined by course director.  All students who miss the final exam are expected to take the make-up exam at the same time, on that date. 
  • Make‐up exams will be of similar difficulty level. They may be offered in an alternative format to the original, to be determined by the course director. Example: oral, essay, short answer, etc. 

Examinations not in finals week: 

  • Attendance at all other examinations, exercises and opportunities for which points are earned during the quarter, is mandatory. 
  • For scheduled events such as interviews, mission trips, etc., make-up examinations may be offered. 
  • Advise course director two weeks in advance of planned absence. 
  • For unplanned emergencies, such as illness or family emergency, notification of absence must be made prior to the exam to academic affairs and documentation from a health care provider or student health services must be submitted within 24 hours of the missed exam to academic affairs.
  • Make‐up exam will be offered on one date only, after the original exam. Date to be determined by course director.  All students who miss an exam are expected to take the make up on that date. 
  • Make-up exams will be of similar difficulty level. They may be offered in an alternative format to the original, to be determined by the course director. Example: oral, essay, short answer, etc. 

Notification of Absence from School 

A student or resident who will be absent for all or part of an instructional day must notify the Office of Academic Affairs at dentalabsence@pacific.edu in advance of the absence or by 9:00 a.m. on the day of the absence. Absences must be communicated daily. In the event of an emergency, the student or resident must notify Academic Affairs as soon as reasonably possible. The Office of Academic Affairs will notify faculty promptly of the student’s or resident’s absence and will maintain a log of absences.  The log will be circulated quarterly, or upon request, to course directors, program directors, and chairs.   

Grades

Grades represent passing or failing performance:  in general, grades of A, B, C, and D represent passing performance, and the grade of F represents failure. More specifically, grades of A (excellent performance); B (good performance); and C (acceptable performance) represent unconditional passing performance; the grade D indicates conditional passing performance that must be remediated.  Special conditions on D grades must be specified in writing (disposition form) to the Office of Academic Affairs when grades are submitted.  Conditions may include additional instruction or evaluation before advancement to clinical practice or eligibility for national or clinical board examinations. Course directors are required to provide a grade for every enrolled student at the end of each term of instruction.

Credit (CR)

In clinical and nonclinical courses, CR signifies satisfactory completion of a course where reliable differentiation among passing grades is not possible.  A credit grade (CR) may be awarded in clinical courses to indicate overall satisfactory progress OR when it is determined that a student has not been assigned sufficient patients for clinical ability to be fairly assessed.  A CR grade is also used for DDS and IDS students to record satisfactory completion of the PIP experience. 

Incomplete (INC)

An incomplete grade (INC) is given temporarily when a student or resident is progressing satisfactorily but the course director has insufficient information because the student or resident has not completed all assigned coursework for reasons beyond the student or resident’s control. The course director determines the conditions under which and the date by which the deficiency that caused the INC must be removed, and communicates that to the Office of Academic Affairs on the disposition form and to the Registrar’s Office. If no completion date is stipulated, by default the end date of the subsequent term is the completion date. Failure to comply with stated conditions by the stipulated date will result in the INC reverting to the grade F, failure. No student may earn a diploma with a permanent INC or F in a core curriculum course. 

Grade Point Average

In computing a grade point average (GPA) numerical values are: A, 4 points; B, 3 points; C, 2 points; D or INC, one point; and F, zero points. Credit (CR) notations are not included in the grade point average calculation. Separate didactic and lab/clinic GPAs are used in the DDS and IDS programs. The dental school does not award "+" or "-" modification of grades and does not use the W grade.  A temporary placeholder ("^") is posted by the Registrar's Office in those courses where term grades are not received by the grade submission deadline.  The "^" placeholder is not included in GPA calculations. 

Change of Grades

Final passing grades (A, B, C, D, CR) are not subject to change on the basis of second examination or additional work completed after grades are submitted. Passing grades may be changed to correct an error in computation or when some part of a student's work has been overlooked within one term of issuing the final grade. A failing grade of F in a permanent course may be changed only on the basis of successful formal remediation or repeat of the course.  The decision to remediate or repeat is at the discretion of the course director or the Student Academic Performance and Promotions Committee.  Formal remediation at the conclusion of a course requires enrollment in a dedicated, unit-bearing, transcripted remedial course created and managed by the Registrar’s Office.  Upon successful completion of remediation, defined as a C or higher grade in the remedial course, the Registrar’s Office changes the F grade in the original course to a D (a pound symbol # precedes the D grade indicating the grade history in the course; see below).  No formal change of grade form is required. 

All grade changes and removals of incompletes needed to complete degree requirements must be on file in the Office of the Registrar within one month after the last day of finals in students' last term at Pacific. Corrections to academic records, including change of grade due to faculty or clerical error, are allowed only within thirty days following the granting of the degree. After this deadline records are considered official and no further amendments are allowed.

Academic Performance

Academic Progress

The Office of Academic Affairs reviews academic performance for all DDS, IDS, and DH students each term. In a course that continues through two or more terms, a grade is awarded each term to indicate interim progress, and the final grade for the entire course is awarded at completion of the last term of the course. However, the Academic Advisory and Student Academic Performance and Promotions Committees regard an interim grade in the same manner as a final grade with respect to promotion. 

Academic Good Standing

For DDS, IDS, and DH students academic good standing requires a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 for all didactic courses attempted or completed and for all laboratory and clinic courses attempted and completed, and no permanent D or F grades.  In some programs under the authority of the dean of the School of Dentistry, only a single term GPA may be used, in which case a minimum of 2.0 is required to be in good academic standing.

Students who are in good academic standing are automatically recommended to the dean for promotion by the Student Academic Performance and Promotions Committee.  The committee may recommend that a student who is not in good academic standing be promoted on academic probation with conditions of the probation clearly outlined (see Academic Probation section below).

Academic Probation

Academic probation is accorded to a DDS, IDS, or DH student upon receipt of a GPA below 2.0 for all didactic courses attempted and completed OR a GPA below 2.0 for all laboratory and clinic courses attempted and completed OR both; OR to a student with a permanent D or F grade. (Program directors in graduate, postdoctoral, and other first-professional programs under the authority of the dean of the School of Dentistry may adopt these policies or determine an appropriate review process for their respective program, which must be approved by the dean and communicated to students.) The GPAs reflected on the term report card are cumulative and include all courses attempted and completed.  Normally, the standard for good academic standing must be met within one term of being placed on academic probation. In circumstances where this time constraint cannot be met, e.g. for laboratory and clinic grades at the beginning of the second year, or when a course is repeated to remediate an F grade, a reasonable time period will be specified. 

The committee may recommend that a student who is not in academic good standing be promoted on academic probation with conditions of the probation clearly outlined.

I. Phase One Academic Probation: Intervention
  1. Cumulative didactic and/or lab/clinic GPA below 2.0 if the student was in good academic standing the previous term. (New incoming first-year students are assumed to be in good standing upon matriculation unless otherwise stipulated by the Office of Student Services or the program director.)
  2. Students who are repeating are placed on intervention at the beginning of their repeat year.
  3. Examples of interventions include:
    • meetings with advisor
    • assignment of tutors
    • inventory of outside activities, living conditions
    • diagnostic testing for suspected health, psychological, language, or learning problems
    • in-course remediation
    • alternative career counseling
II. Phase Two Academic Probation: Contract
  1. Second consecutive term of a cumulative didactic and/or lab/clinic GPA below 2.0, or
  2. Any permanent D or F grade.
  3. Examples of contract conditions include:
    • required weekly meetings with faculty member, Group Practice Leader, or advisor
    • restrictions on outside activities, living conditions
    • professional assistance with diagnosed health, psychological, or learning problems
    • tutors
    • assignment to scheduled supplemental courses
    • alternative career counseling
  4. No student on contract is eligible to take the Integrated National Dental Board Examination without approval from the Student Academic Performance and Promotions Committee.

Academic Disqualification

Academic disqualification may be recommended to the dean by the Student Academic Performance and Promotions Committee for a student who has failed to meet any condition of phase two probation (contract). When a student's cumulative academic record meets published criteria for academic disqualification, the SAPPC will provide an opportunity for the student to appear before it to ensure that all pertinent information is available before the committee makes its recommendation to the dean. This is the only opportunity for the student to present relevant information to the committee; if a student fails to provide all pertinent information at this opportunity, the student risks exclusion of information from the committee's deliberations. A student appearing before the committee has the option to: (i) select a faculty advisor; (ii) request and receive assistance from that faculty advisor with preparation of a statement to the committee; and (iii) request the faculty advisor attend the committee meeting with the student as a silent observer. A student may, at their discretion, take advantage of all or none of these opportunities. During the committee meeting, the student is advised to read aloud their prepared statement, but is discouraged from circulating copies or presenting evidence of academic performance.

If after consideration of the relevant information available to it, the committee judges that the student has the capacity and commitment to overcome their documented deficiencies and reach an acceptable level of performance, the committee may recommend (i) continuation on academic contract; (ii) extension of the program; or (iii) re-enrollment in a subsequent cohort. Similarly, the committee may also recommend re-enrollment only through the normal admissions process, after a careful review of the relevant information and as appropriate to the student's potential. If a student is offered and elects to re-enroll in a subsequent cohort, the dean's letter signed by the student electing the re-enrollment option suffices as evidence of readmission.

Exemption from Courses

If a student or resident has extensive educational preparation in a discipline, the student or resident may petition the appropriate course or program director for exemption from required coursework. Such exemption may be granted at the discretion of the course or program director who will award an appropriate final letter grade (A, B, C, D), or credit (CR) signifying completion of the required course.

Examination Review Policy

At a minimum, course directors in all programs housed in the School of Dentistry must report to students and residents their individual score, class average, distribution of grades, and the scale used for scoring.  Course directors must make this information available to students within 7 calendar days following an examination, quiz, or practical examination.  This may take one of three forms: release of the full examination to students; release of an individual Strength & Opportunities report (DDS, IDS, DH only); or an exam review session held at a reasonable time.  In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), if a student asks to see an examination at any time, and the examination is in possession of the course director or other administrative person, the examination must be produced. 

Academic Standards for Holding Student Office

In order to run for and/or hold elected or appointed office in the Associated Student Body or to assume a leadership position in an organization affiliated with and approved by the school, a student must:

  • be registered for a full-time course of study,

  • be in good academic and disciplinary standing (no recorded ethics sanctions)

  • maintain a cumulative combined Grade Point Average of 2.5 or higher

  • have no failing grades

  • not be repeating a course(s).

These conditions must be met throughout the entire period of time in which the student holds office. 

Failure to meet the academic standards outlined by this policy will result in a one quarter probationary period, during which the student is expected to meet the minimum cumulative GPA standard as well as the other academic expectations as outlined above.  Failure to do so by the end of the probationary period will lead to automatic resignation from office.


When one course is repeated by a student who remains with the original cohort, BOTH attempts are permanently recorded on the transcript.  Repeated courses are identified on the transcript with a "Y" in the repeat column, and the interim, if applicable, and permanent grade earned is INCLUDED in the Grade Point Average calculation (“grade averaging”).  The original course remains on the transcript and the repeated course appears in the term(s) it is repeated. 

When a student repeats an entire academic year, BOTH attempts are permanently recorded on the transcript.  Repeated courses are identified on the transcript with a "Y" in the repeat column, but interim, if applicable, and permanent grades earned in the first attempt are NOT included in the GPA calculation ("grade replacement").  Immediately prior to re-enrollment with a new cohort, the transcript is adjusted such that all courses taken during the original enrollment period are temporarily suppressed from the transcript until such time that grades, interim and permanent, are posted.

In the absence of a written agreement of exemption filed in the Office of Academic Affairs, students who join a subsequent cohort for any reason are governed by the policies, requirements, and curriculum in effect at the time of re-entry.

Withdrawal

A student who wishes to withdraw must must promptly notify the Office of Academic Affairs or the program director in writing.   A student's request for withdrawal becomes final only upon completion of the customary check-out process.  For predoctoral students, the student's academic standing at the completion of the check-out process will be recorded on the permanent record (transcript) as a transcript comment.  (The dental school does not use the W grade so as not to negatively impact future admission into a health professions program.)   The comment contains month and year of withdrawal and reference to academic standing at the time of withdrawal, e.g., Jun 15: student withdrew on academic probation.  

The transcript of a student who withdraws without formal written notification of intent to withdraw will record a dismissal in the transcript note: e.g. Jun 15: student disqualified for unauthorized LOA. A student who has met the published criteria for disqualification may not elect to voluntarily withdraw until the dean has rendered a final decision regarding promotion or academic standing. In these cases, the Office of Academic Affairs will inform the Registrar’s Office of the appropriate transcript designation.

Leave of Absence

Requests for a leave of absence are submitted to the dean or program director, who will designate the appropriate administrator to evaluate and respond to the request.  (A program director must consult with the Dean’s Office before granting a leave of absence.)  To request a leave of absence, the student must be in good academic standing and must submit a written request identifying persuasive reasons warranting the leave, together with documentation supporting the request. The dean or program director will notify the student in writing of the decision and, if approved, will stipulate the length of the leave and conditions for re-enrollment. The student assumes the responsibility of keeping the dean or program director informed of the intent to re-enroll by the specified date.  A student who does not re-enroll by the specified date will be considered to have withdrawn from the school. The decision to deny, grant, or set conditions for a request for leave of absence shall be in the sole discretion of the dean. Leaves of absence are rarely granted.  The Office of Academic Affairs will notify the Registrar’s Office of the details of an approved LOA so that an accurate transcript comment can be posted to the record.  

The dean has the authority to unilaterally place a student on interim or indefinite leave of absence after careful review of the facts of a case and to determine tuition charges in effect during the LOA. 

Graduation

In addition to all other requirements for graduation, the candidate must demonstrate competence to discharge the duties required of a practitioner of general dentistry or a dental speciality (orthodontics, endodontology). In addition to the skills, knowledge, and values expected of a beginning practitioner, this is interpreted to mean evidence of moral character compatible with the public interest and the practice of the healing arts, completion of all technical and clinical requirements prescribed in the curriculum, good academic standing, a passing score on the Integrated National Board Dental Examination (DDS students only), and compliance with all relevant policies of the School of Dentistry.  If, in the opinion of the Student Academic Performance and Promotion Committee or other certifying body, approved by the dean, the candidate for the degree has met all these requirements, it is authorized to recommend to the dean conferral of the degree. The committee may also recommend delay in the individual's graduation date and will stipulate conditions necessary to bring the student or resident to a competent level (tuition for extended students begins in the second quarter of extension; see Tuition & Fees section of this catalog). Students and residents who have met all degree requirements receive their diploma at commencement.   

Graduation Honors

Upon recommendation of the Student Academic Performance and Promotion Committee, predoctoral students who complete the didactic, clinical, and national board requirements for graduation and whose academic record qualifies them for election to Tau Kappa Omega are graduated with honors. Those who complete graduation requirements and whose record qualifies them for election to Omicron Kappa Upsilon are graduated with high honors. The valedictorian is graduated with highest honors.

Committees

Academic Advisory Committee (AAC)

Functions: reviews report cards of students on academic probation and determines appropriate intervention strategies; devises conditions of academic intervention and contract documents; and, when a student meets the published grounds for academic dismissal, make a recommendation to the Student Academic Performance and Promotion Committee on continued enrollment status.

Membership consists of the associate dean of oral health education, the director of academic affairs (chair), two Group Practice Leaders, one representative each of the biomedical science courses and preclinical technique courses, and one predoctoral student.

Dental Hygiene Academic Advisory Committee (DHAAC)

Functions: reviews transcripts of students on academic probation and determines appropriate intervention strategies; devises conditions of contract documents; and, when a student meets the published grounds for academic dismissal, make a recommendation to the Student Academic Performance and Promotion Committee on continued enrollment status.

Membership consists of the associate dean of oral health education, the director of academic affairs (chair), chair of periodontics, dental hygiene program director, one Group Practice Leader, and one dental hygiene faculty member.

Student Academic Performance and Promotions Committee (SAPPC)

Functions: reviews the academic performance and progress of students in the 24- and 36-month DDS program and dental hygiene program every term; determines satisfactory progress, overall competency, and eligibility for graduation; recommends to the dean students who are not eligible to graduate or should be dismissed for academic reasons with or without the option of automatic re-enrollment; meets with students who have met grounds for academic dismissal to evaluates the student’s capacity to continue in the program and likelihood for success; and proposes and causes to be designed and implemented remediation, enrichment opportunities, and assessment methodology geared toward supporting student learning and assessing overall competency.  The committee helps ensure enforcement of academic standards described in this catalog.

Membership consists of the associate dean of oral health education (chair), the associate dean for clinical services, the director of academic affairs, all Group Practice Leaders, all department chairpersons, and two representatives of the DH program. Should a clinical department chair be unable to attend the meeting, a single co- or vice-chair is invited.

Student Appeals Committee

Functions:  Reviews student-initiated challenges to faculty action on grading and promotion decisions to ensure due process.  The Student Appeals Committee (SAC) does not re-hear cases previously decided by the Student Academic Performance and Promotions Committee (SAPPC) and does not substitute its judgment for the academic judgment of faculty or of the administration. 

Process:  The chair evaluates whether all procedures of the SAPPC were maintained in the process leading up to the SAPPC decision.  This evaluation helps to confirm that the student has been afforded due process in the decision.  The Chair’s evaluation reviews all steps taken during the review process to ensure that all procedures and decisions based on the submitted documentation and testimony were applied in a manner consistent with the process afforded all student appeals filed with the SAC. The chair convenes the full committee to consider the appeal only if the chair decides a due process error was made that may have affected the SAPPC’s decision.  Since communication regarding the student’s education and patient care is necessary during an ongoing appeal, the following persons may be updated on the appeals process prior to a decision: the Dean, the Executive Associate Dean, the Associate Dean of Oral Health, the Director of Academic Affairs, the Associate Dean of Clinic, and the department chair(s) in which the student is enrolled during the appeal

Membership consists of three full-time elected faculty members (and four alternates) and four elected students (with class vice presidents serving as alternates): one each from the two predoctoral senior classes, one from the junior predoctoral class, and one from the DH program. Three faculty members and two student members constitute a hearing panel.  The chair does not vote in matters before the committee. 

Awards

Awards and prizes are presented annually at the graduate-alumni banquet honoring the graduating classes or similar venue. A detailed description of each award, including selection criteria, is available in the Office of Academic Affairs.

Academic Achievement

Dean's Valedictorian awards (DDS, IDS)
Dean's Salutatorian awards (DDS, IDS)
Dean's Award (third highest GPA)
Inesi Award in Physiology
OKU-Sutro  Clinical  Excellence  

Leadership, Professionalism, Scholarship, and Service

Dr. Sigmund Abelson Endowment award Academy of General Dentistry award
American College of Dentists, Northern California Section award American Student Dental Association Award of Excellence
Dr. Thomas R. Bales Family Endowment Good Samaritan Award
California Dental Association award
Delta Dental Plan of California Student Leadership award
Dr. Deric Desmarteau Endowment award
Dr. Kevin Campbell Alumni Association Service award
F. Gene and Rosemary Dixon IDS Endowment award
Pierre Fauchard Academy awards
Dr. William W.Y. Goon OKU award
International College of Dentists Student Leadership award
San Francisco Dental Society Ethics award
Dr. Charles, Charles Jr. and Joe Sweet Scholarship awards (for pediatric dentistry)
Dr. Herbert K. Yee Scholarship award

Outstanding Performance

Academy of Osseointegration award
Advanced Education in General Dentistry Outstanding Resident award
Dr. Eric B. Bystrom Memorial award
Academy of Operative Dentistry award
American Academy of Implant Dentistry award
American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology award
American Academy of Oral Medicine award
American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology award
American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology award
American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry award
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry award
American Academy of Periodontology award
American Association of Endodontics award
American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Dental Student awards
American Association of Oral Biologists award
American Association of Orthodontics award
American Association of Public Health Dentistry award
American College of Prosthodontists award
American Dental Society of Anesthesiology award
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of California award
Dentsply/American Dental Association Student Research Program award
Dr. Charles A. Ertola award (for removable prosthodontics)
Dr. Thomas B. Hartzell award (for periodontics)
International Congress of Oral Implantologist award
Lasky Family Endowment Pediatric awards
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology award
Quintessence Publishing Co. awards (one each for research achievement, periodontics, and restorative dentistry)
Warren Family Endowment award (for pediatric dentistry)

Honor Societies

Phi Kappa Phi

Each year DDS, IDS, and DH students who demonstrate the highest academic achievement are inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, a national multi-disciplinary honor society.

Omicron Kappa Upsilon

The Delta Delta chapter of the national dental honor fraternity, Omicron Kappa Upsilon, was organized at the dental school in 1934. Its purpose is to encourage scholarship and to advance ethical standards of the dental profession. Membership is limited to twelve percent of the graduating DDS and IDS classes, selected by a faculty vote on the basis of scholarship and character. OKU members are awarded the "high honors" distinction at graduation.     

Tau Kappa Omega

In 1927, the Alpha Chapter of an undergraduate honor society, Tau Kappa Omega, was organized for promotion of honor and service to the school. DDS, IDS, and DH students are elected to the fraternity on the basis of ideals and scholarship.  TKO members are awarded the "honors" distinction at graduation. 

Reservation of Powers

The School of Dentistry reserves the right to modify or change the curriculum, admission standards, course content, degree requirements, regulations, policies, procedures, tuition, and fees at any time without prior notice and effective immediately. Students who join a subsequent cohort for any reason are governed by the policies, requirements, and curriculum of the catalog in effect at the time of re-entry.

The information in this catalog is not to be regarded as creating an express or implied agreement between the student (or applicant) and the school, nor does its content limit the academic and administrative discretion of the school's administration.

 The Academic Regulations on this page are for the following professional programs on the Sacramento campus.

McGeorge School of Law

Juris Doctor
Master of Laws 
Doctor of Juridical Science

Institutional Learning Outcomes

At McGeorge, our learning outcomes are the lawyering skills that students are expected to obtain through the completion of a legal education. Consistent with ABA Standards, upon completion of a JD degree, graduates of the McGeorge School of Law will demonstrate mastery of the following student learning outcomes at the level needed for admission to the bar and effective and ethical participation in the legal profession as an entry level attorney. McGeorge School of Law has designed its curriculum to prepare students with the key skills and competencies needed to demonstrate these learning outcomes in the legal profession.

Each student will:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to identify and understand key concepts in U.S. substantive law, legal theory, and procedure.
  2. Apply knowledge and critical thinking skills to perform competent legal analysis, reasoning, and problem solving.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to strategize, develop, and conduct efficient legal research in U.S. law.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to identify and understand foundational concepts in international law and to perform international legal research.
  5. Demonstrate communication skills, including effective listening and critical reading, writing in objective and persuasive styles, and oral advocacy and other oral communications.
  6. Demonstrate professional judgment, ethics, and professionalism through conduct consistent with the legal profession's values, standards, and discipline.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to understand, collaborate, and engage with people of diverse backgrounds and experiences in a variety of legal settings and contexts.
  8. Demonstrate understanding of the legal profession’s commitment to access to justice.
  9. Demonstrate understanding of career options and steps toward defining and achieving career goals in light of personal values.

Full-Time and Part-Time Divisions

McGeorge School of Law offers programs leading to the Juris Doctor (JD) degree through a Full-Time Division and a Part-Time Division. The two divisions have the same curriculum, faculty, and methods of instruction; maintain the same scholastic standards and degree requirements; and adhere to the same objectives.

First-year required courses and second-year part-time required courses must be taken with the division in which a student is enrolled unless an exception is approved by the Assistant Dean for Student Services or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Upper-division electives and required courses may be taken during the day or evening hours, as individual schedules permit.

Changing Division

Upon satisfactory completion of the first year of study, students may apply for transfer between the full-time and part-time programs. Part-time students who wish to move into the full-time division are advised that the Assistant Dean for Students will consider academic performance to date in making her determination. Students with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA will be permitted to switch divisions. In the alternative, the student may submit a Grading & Advancement petition requesting an exception to this requirement if the student can establish that the change will help ensure academic success. A student who changes programs between the full-time and part-time Divisions carries forward on his or her transcript all final grades received prior to the program change.

To change his or her program from the full-time to the part-time Division or from part-time to the full-time Division, the student must consult with the Assistant Dean for Students or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to receive approval and program counseling. 

Academic Year

The academic year extends from May – the first day of the summer session – through May – the last day of the Spring Semester.

Academic Standing

All McGeorge students are expected to make satisfactory progress toward the academic degree for which they were admitted.

Good Standing

A student is in good standing with a cumulative GPA of 2.33 or above.

Probation

Under Grading & Advancement Rule 605, a student whose cumulative GPA falls within the range from 2.180 to 2.324 at the end of any academic year, other than the final year, may continue their enrollment on academic probation, under the conditions described below. A student on probation is not in good academic standing. The conditions of probation include:

  • All probationers must meet with the Assistant Dean for Students for program approval prior to the start of the probationary year. The approved program of study must include repetition of any required courses in which the student received a grade below a C+, unless, for clear and convincing reasons, the Assistant Dean for Students determines that repetition is not necessary for successful completion of probation. Probationers are required to participate in follow-up counseling sessions as deemed appropriate, as a condition of continued enrollment.
     
  • Unless grounds for exception are found by the Assistant Dean for Students, programs of study for full-time probationers will not exceed 13 units, 10 of which will be in required courses.  Programs of study for part-time probationers will not exceed 10 units, 6 units of which will be in required courses. 
     
  • Successful completion of probation requires achievement of a cumulative GPA of 2.33 at the end of the spring semester after placement on probation or the scheduled graduation date, whichever is sooner.
     
  • No student may repeat probationary status.  A student who has previously been on probation and thereafter has a cumulative GPA below 2.33 at the end of an academic year or at the end of a student’s course of study is not eligible to continue. Under G & A Rule 703(a), a student may petition the G & A Committee to be re-admitted to the law school after failing to satisfactorily complete probation on the ground that highly extraordinary circumstances warrant this result. Exceptions shall not generally be granted given that failure to complete probation satisfactorily represents two years of unacceptable performance, which is a poor foundation for further legal study at that time.

The effect of repeating classes while on probation on a student’s transcript and GPA is as follows:

  • The earlier grades the student received will not be removed from the transcript;
  • The new grades will be shown on the transcript; and
  • Only the new grades (in the case of repeat work, whether higher or lower than the earlier grades) will be considered for determining the GPA.  The new grades will be considered at full value without a "C+" maximum as provided in Rule 701.

Academic Disqualification

Under Grading and Advancement Rule 605, a first year student must have at least a 1.90 GPA at the end of the Fall semester in order to advance to the Spring semester. Students who do not meet the 1.90 GPA threshold after the Fall semester are academically disqualified. After the first semester, a student is disqualified when their cumulative GPA at the completion of an academic year falls below 2.18, or, for a student who was on academic probation, when their cumulative GPA falls below 2.33.

Under G & A Rule 703(b), a student disqualified in June from continued study by a GPA lower than 2.18 may petition the G & A Committee for permission to repeat the unsuccessful year.  Such petitions will only be received during April of the spring following disqualification. Requests to shorten the time for filing a petition to repeat the unsuccessful year are strongly disfavored and will be considered only if they satisfy the following criteria: clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner would receive no benefit and, in fact, would be uniquely and irreparably harmed by waiting for the period required this rule.

Under G & A Rule 703(c) student disqualified in January from continued study by a GPA lower than 1.90 may petition the G&A Committee for permission to begin law study again as a first year student. Such petitions will only be received on or before June 15th of the year of disqualification. Petitions to shorten the time for filing petitions pursuant to this rule are not allowed.

Any petition brought pursuant to 703(b) or 703(c) will only be granted upon a showing that: 1) a demonstrable condition impaired performance; 2) the condition has now been successfully addressed; and 3) there is convincing reason to expect successful repetition of the student's prior year of law study and successful completion of graduation requirements.

Registration

Registration is the means by which an individual officially becomes a student at Pacific. All students must register by Add/Drop Deadline. Students are held accountable to complete every course for which they register. McGeorge has annual registration, meaning that continuing students will register for the entire academic year (Fall and Spring) during late June. Registration for summer school takes place in mid-March. Incoming/first-term JD students will be pre-registered for their Fall courses by the Office of the Registrar during First Week. First-year students self-register for their assigned Spring courses a few weeks following the start of the Fall term.

Adding Classes

Students may add classes until the Add/Drop Deadline. No student will receive academic credit for any course unless they are officially registered in the course. Some courses have special enrollment procedures, such as an application process. A select number of courses require administrative approval to enroll. Late add requests must be submitted in writing to Assistant Dean for Students or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Closed Classes and Waitlists

Waitlists are formed after a class is full (“closed”); waitlists determine the priority for enrollment as seats become available. During the initial registration period, students confronted with a closed class should place their names on the waitlist immediately. Our waitlists often clear, so there is a good possibility that you will get into the course. Nonetheless, it is imperative that you have a backup option, in case you do not get in off the waitlist. If you are on the waitlist for a course, check your email daily. The waitlist system is automated and will send seat notifications, even while we are closed for weekends and holidays. Waitlist offers are only valid for 24 hours.

Dropping Classes

Students may drop any upper-division course without approval through the Add/Drop Deadline. It is the student’s responsibility to know the tuition and fee refund provisions. After the Add/Drop Deadline, classes may be dropped for good cause and only with the written approval of the Assistant Dean for Students or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and will result in a “W” on the student’s transcript. No class may be dropped after the last day of classes. First-year students may not drop classes except in extraordinary circumstances. When such circumstances exist, the Assistant Dean for Students may permit a full-time student to drop to the standard first-year part-time course selection. No other courses may be dropped. Students who stop attending a class and do not complete the formal drop process are subject to receiving an “F” grade and are liable for tuition. Students who do not take a final examination or complete required coursework will receive an “F” grade. Tuition and fee refunds are based on the date a withdrawal form is initiated in the Office of the Registrar.

Summer Session Add/Drop Deadline

Students may not add or drop summer session classes after the first day of a Summer Session without approval by the Assistant Dean for Students or Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Classes with Insufficient Registration

Classes with insufficient registration may be cancelled at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Course Time Conflicts

Students may not register for courses if meeting times overlap in whole or in part. Not even a one-minute overlap will be allowed.

Prerequisite and Concurrent Enrollment Requirements

Prerequisites and concurrent enrollment requirements for courses are listed in each course description; the responsibility for meeting these requirements rests on the student. The instructor may request that a student who has not completed the prerequisites be dropped from the course.

Holds

You will not be able to register for classes if you have an outstanding balance, unless you have made satisfactory payment arrangements with the University Business Office.

Prior Transcripts

All first-year law students are required to submit their official transcripts to the JD Admissions Office. There is an ABA requirement that we have your final degree-granting transcript on file by the start of classes. If no transcripts are submitted, the student will be withdrawn.

First-Year Registration

First-year law students are assigned to a specific section and may not register for classes from a different section unless approved by the Assistant Dean for Students or Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Approval will be granted only under extraordinary circumstances.      

Global Lawyering Skills Registration

Students should register for the same section of GLS II and same professor in the Spring term that they had for GLS I in the Fall if possible.

Intersession

McGeorge offers one-unit classes which start the week prior to the Spring semester. Spring tuition units are assigned to these Intersession courses.

Unit Defined

Consistent with the requirements of ABA Standard 310, a “unit” is an amount of work that reasonably approximates: (a) not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class student work per week; or (b) at least an equivalent amount of work as required in subparagraph (a) for other academic activities, including simulation, field placement, clinical, co-curricular, and other academic work leading to the award of units.

The Curriculum Committee, when granting provisional approval for a course, and the Faculty, when approving a course, will determine the number of units which may be earned for the course and will satisfy itself that the amount of work likely to be assigned for the course justifies the number of units approved. Each faculty member responsible for teaching a course will determine, in a manner approved by the Associated Dean for Academic Affairs, whether the work assigned in that course for the upcoming semester satisfies the requirements of this rule.

Assessment and Review Sessions

Faculty believe that regular assessment and feedback about academic progress is key to student success and therefore schedule assessments throughout the semester, particularly in bar-tested courses. Blocks of time have been designated for this purpose for first-year students and are labeled on the student’s schedule as “Assessment and Review.” Faculty will use this block of time on an as-needed basis; students should plan their schedules accordingly by reserving these blocks in their individual calendars.

Bar-Tested Courses

Although not required for everyone, all students are strongly encouraged to take Business Associations, Community Property, Criminal Procedure, Remedies & Principles of Law, and Wills & Trusts as these subjects are tested on the California bar exam. Because of their importance, these courses are regularly offered several times each year in both day and evening time slots. Additionally, PASS I and PASS II, which help students prepare to be successful on the bar exam, are highly encouraged for all students.

Coursework Taken Outside the McGeorge JD Program by McGeorge JD Students

Coursework Taken in Other McGeorge Programs

A JD student is allowed to enroll in up to 9 units in other McGeorge Programs with the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Assistant Dean for Graduate , Online, and International Programs or the Director of Public Policy Administration.

Coursework Taken at Other ABA-Accredited Schools

Under Grading & Advancement Rule 902, students enrolled at the School of Law who wish to take elective courses during the school year or summer session at another ABA-accredited law school must obtain approval in advance from the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Petitions requesting this opportunity should set forth the school, course description, instructor, and whether or not transfer credit back to the School of Law will be sought. Permission will not be granted in the case of required courses or clinics, field placements, internships, externships, or similar activities, nor for more than six (6) semester units of credit, total.

When transfer credit is granted from other institutions, only the units, and not the grade, will be credited. The course will be treated the same as a "Honors/Pass/Low Pass/ Fail" course for GPA purposes. For the purpose of counting 72 graded units, the course may be treated as graded units if it was graded when taken unless an equivalent course at the School of Law is ungraded.

Coursework Taken at Foreign Institutions by McGeorge Students

Students enrolled at the School of Law who wish to take courses at a foreign institution must obtain approval in advance from the Assistant Dean for Student Service in consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Requests for approval must include an educational objective, set forth the school and course descriptions, and indicate whether or not transfer credit back to the School of Law will be sought.  If transfer credit is sought, a statement of semester unit equivalents must be provided. Permission will be granted only to students with a cumulative GPA of 2.70 as of the last grading period prior to date of application, and only (i) for Full-Time students who have completed their first year of study at the School of Law, and (ii) for Part-Time students who have completed their second year of study at the School of Law. Permission will not be granted for students in their graduating semester. Permission will be not be granted for a credited period of more than one semester nor for more than fifteen (15) semester units of credit.  Required courses will not be waived and cannot be satisfied by any course taken at a foreign institution.

When transfer credit is granted, only the units, and not the grade, will be credited. The course will be treated the same as a "Honors/Pass/Low Pass/ Fail" course for GPA purposes. For the purpose of counting 72 graded units, the course may be treated as graded units if it was graded when taken unless an equivalent course at the School of Law is ungraded.

Working While in Law School

Full-Time law students may not engage in paid employment for more than 20 hours per week in any semester in which the student is enrolled in more than 12 course hours. Students are required to certify each year, during the registration process, that they understand this policy and agree to be bound by it.

Course Loads

The Full-Time Division course of study requires three academic years (six semesters) of full-time coursework. Full-Time Accelerated Honors Program students may accelerate their course of study and graduate in two-and-a-half years (five semesters, plus one summer session). Full-Time Division Students must enroll and earn credit for a minimum of 12 units each semester; the usual course load is 14 to 16 units per semester. Full-time students are expected to devote substantially all their working time to the study of law and are required to limit outside paid employment to not more than 20 hours per week during the academic year.

The Part-Time Division offers a reduced course load, which generally requires four academic years (eight semesters), plus two summers of part-time study. Course loads usually range from 8 to 10 units each semester, with a minimum of 8 units required per semester. Most Part-Time Division Students enroll in approximately 10 units of Summer Session courses spread out over two or three summers to reach the required 88 units. Schedule permitting, evening students may take these units during the academic year instead, such as by taking late-afternoon or weekend courses.

No JD student may enroll in more than 17 units per semester.

Full-Time Division

  • Minimum: 12 units*
  • Typical: 14-16 units
  • Maximum: 17 units
  • Summer School: Full-time students are encouraged to gain practical experience during the summer

Part-Time Division

  • Minimum: 8 units*
  • Typical: 9-11 units
  • Maximum: 11 if you are working more than 20 hours per week, otherwise 17 units
  • Summer School: 2-5 units

*Students who are in their final semester of law school and who need to complete fewer than the minimum number of units required for their division to graduate are permitted to submit a written request to the Assistant Dean for Students to take a reduced course load and be charged tuition on a per-unit basis.

Accelerated Honors Program

The Accelerated Honors Program allows Full-Time students to complete the JD degree in two and one-half years. The typical curriculum includes an additional one credit course during the Spring of a student’s first year, a 10-week honors externship during the summer, and a heavier load of 17 credits each semester after the first year. Program graduates may enter the job market six months sooner than those in a three-year program and save a semester of expenses.

Acceptance into the full-time Accelerated Honors JD degree program is competitive and requires completion of the McGeorge JD admissions application submitted through LSAC as well as an interview (in-person, phone, or online). Competitive students will have excellent academic credentials and distinctive life experiences to support successful completion of an accelerated JD degree. Students with a 157 LSAT score and a 3.3 or better undergraduate grade point average (UGPA) or a 156 and 3.5 or better UGPA presumptively will qualify for an interview. Students whose entrance credentials do not meet these prerequisites may qualify for an interview if their LSAT score and UGPAs are similar to these requirements and other aspects of their application justify further evaluation of their candidacy for the program.

Accelerated Honors JD students are eligible for all financial aid and merit scholarships available to students in the regular full-time program. McGeorge offers Yellow Ribbon full-tuition benefits to U.S. Veterans. Accelerated JD students may pursue Certificates of Concentration, Law Review, Mock Trial, Moot Court and similar academic opportunities, although there are some full year clinics that are not available.

Here is a sample schedule for an AHP student:

Year 1 - Fall

Global Lawyering Skills I (2)1
Torts (4)1
Civil Procedure (4)1
Contracts (4)1
Skills Lab (1)1
Total = 15

Year 1 - Spring

Global Lawyering Skills II (3)1
Property (4)1
Criminal Law (4)1
Statutes & Regulations (3)1
Legal Profession (1)1
Honors Elective (1)1
Total = 15

Year 1 - Summer

Honors Externship (7)2 (No Tuition)
Meets the Transformational Capstone Experiences requirement.
Total = 7

Year 2 - Fall

Global Lawyering Skills III (3)1
Constitutional Law (4)1
Professional Responsibility (2)1
Simulation or Practicum Course (3)2
Criminal Procedure (3)3
Elective (2)
Total = 17

Year 2 - Spring

Evidence (4)1
Simulation or Practicum Course (2)2
Business Associations (4)3
Community Property (2)3
Elective (4)
Total = 17

Year 2 - Summer

Summer Associate position recommended.

Year 3 - Fall

Remedies and Principles of Law (3)3
Wills and Trusts (3)3
Elective (3)
Elective (3)
Elective (3)
Elective (2)
Total = 17

February or July Bar Exam

1 Required Courses (after the first year there is flexibility as to when courses are taken, except for Global Lawyering Skills III)
2 Required Experiential Curriculum (minimum six (6) units of Transformational Capstone Experiences and five (5) units of other experiential units including simulation courses)
3 Recommended Courses (may be substituted for Elective Courses)

 

Academic Progression

The Office of the Registrar reviews each student’s academic progress at the end of each Fall and Spring semester to determine their class attribute level using the following table which is based on 33% (Day) and 25% (Eve) completion:

Full-Time Division

  • D1 - 1 unit min to 29 units max 
  • D2 - 30 units min to 59 units max
  • D3 - 60 units min to 88 units max

Part-Time Division

  • E1 - 1 unit min to 18 units max 
  • E2 - 19 units min to 41 units max
  • E3 - 42 units min to 66 units max
  • E4 - 67 units min to 88 units max 

Class Attendance, Preparation, and Participation

The School of Law subscribes to the policy of the American Bar Association's Section on Legal Education which considers student preparation and class attendance essential for a legal education.

Each professor shall consider a student's class attendance in assigning the student's final grade in a course. A professor may consider a student’s preparation, participation, and performance in assigning the final grade in a course. In flagrant instances of repeated absences, a professor may notify the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs that, by reason thereof, the professor is considering requesting the Associate Dean disenroll the student, or denying the student the right to take the final examination or the right to submit the final written assignment. Thereupon, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall notify the student in writing that unless the professor deems student's attendance after receipt of the notice satisfactory, they may be disenrolled from the course, or denied the right to take the final examination or denied the right to submit the final written assignment in the course.

If the professor deems the student's attendance following receipt of the notice is unsatisfactory, the professor may, with the concurrence of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, direct the Registrar to disenroll the student, or deny the student the right to take the final examination, or deny the student the right to submit the final written assignment in the course.  In assigning a final grade pursuant to this rule, no final grade shall be changed more than one-third of a grade (e.g. “B-“ to “C+”) without the concurrence of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. A professor may not alter a final grade under Rule 302 after final grades in the course have been submitted to students.

Classroom Conduct

The Code of Student Responsibility notes: “[l]egal education demands free debate, characterized by the quick interplay of ideas, skillful use of logic, and knowledge of precedents, all tempered by compassion.” Students are expected to act civilly, ethically, professionally, and respectfully towards one another and their professors, and to be sensitive and accommodating to the wide range of feelings and perspectives of our diverse faculty and student body.

Laptop Use

Laptop computers may be used in class only for appropriate academic purposes as determined by the professor. Some professors do not permit in-class laptop use; however, in some cases laptop use may be permitted as an accommodation for a documented disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Using a laptop computer during class for a non-academic purpose (e.g., browsing the internet) distracts other students and may violate the Code of Student Responsibility.

Religious Holidays

McGeorge is committed to diversity and inclusion and this extends to how we observe religious holidays. McGeorge respects the rights of all members of our community to observe religious holidays and our hope is that we can all work together— staff, faculty, and students—to find constructive ways to achieve this. Students are encouraged to be proactive in speaking with professors and others about possible conflicts early in each semester and working together to find suitable solutions, including recording classes (see the next page for more information). The Office of Student Affairs also works with students whose religious commitments conflict with classes and/or exams.

Faculty Office Hours

All faculty members have regular office hours referenced in their syllabi. They make every effort to honor these hours by being available at the times indicated. The approachability of our faculty is a hallmark of McGeorge, so do not hesitate to take advantage of this opportunity.

Policies of Individual Professors

Faculty members have the discretion to give students further information about how they interpret the rules concerning attendance, class preparation, class participation, and other subjects, and what consequences flow from violations of those rules.

Recording Classes

No student shall copy, display, download, upload, post, release or otherwise distribute or publish any recordings of any class given at McGeorge, nor shall any student use such recordings for any commercial purpose without the written consent of the instructor. Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action pursuant to the Code of Student Responsibility.

To request permission to record, email the Office of Student Affairs a minimum of 24 hours in advance. Once approved, students may self-record their classes.

Withdrawal/Leave of Absence

Class attendance is a fundamental aspect of the law school’s program. Thus, no law student will be allowed to take a leave of absence for a portion of a semester, including summer.

If extraordinary circumstances dictate that a student must take time off from law school, the student must withdraw from all courses in which they are enrolled in that semester. Students who withdraw, other than those in the first year of the full-time program or either of the first two years of the part-time program, may request to return as soon as the following semester, but in no event may the leave continue for more than two full semesters. Eligibility to return to the law school will be evaluated by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Assistant Dean for Students upon the written request of the student, including reasonable evidence that the student is ready to resume study.

A first year student in the full-time program or a student in either the first or second year of the part-time program who withdraws from the law school must reapply through the Office of JD Admissions. Eligibility to return to the law school may be denied based on academic performance as of the date of withdrawal.

Unapproved Leaves of Absence may result in the student being required to re-apply to their program.

International students should visit the Graduate and International Programs Office to find out how a Leave of Absence may impact their stay or re-entry into the U.S.

Involuntary Withdrawal

McGeorge School of Law may require a leave upon specified terms, terminate a student’s enrollment, or decline to award a degree if the Administration determines it is in the best interests of the law school or that a student is not qualified for admission to the legal profession because of factors other than academic standing.

Examinations

There shall be a comprehensive written final examination of suitable length and complexity in each course, with the following exceptions: (a) clinical and practical courses, which may be graded according to the professor's evaluation of the student's performance; and (b) other courses as approved by the Dean or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; such approval may be conditioned upon a writing requirement. 

Except in courses in which examinations are not required, final course grades shall be based on examination and other assessment scores together with class attendance, preparation, participation, and performance. Faculty members will announce in advance the graded assessments for the course and the weight assigned to each graded assessment used in determining the course grade. The minimum total time for final examinations in each course shall be two hours. This may be changed for a particular course offering at the discretion of the Associate Dean.

Exam Schedule

The tentative final exam schedule is published before registration. Students may not register for classes with conflicting exams.

Exam Instructions

Students are advised to read the exam instructions carefully; students are responsible for knowing and complying with all examination instructions.

Exam Materials

Unless an announcement is made to the contrary, students are permitted to have only pens, pencils, and a laptop computer with them in the examination room. If it is necessary to bring backpacks, etc., into the room, the items must be left either in the front or back of the room, as the proctor indicates, and not retrieved until time has been called for all students to stop. Additionally, only analog watches are permitted. McGeorge is not responsible for items left unattended during exam periods; leave valuable items at home.

Conduct During Exams

Students are expected to conduct themselves honorably and in a professional manner during examinations. Any breach of this standard may result in disciplinary action under the Code of Student Responsibility.

Submitting Questions & Exam Responses

Examination materials must be turned in as the proctors designate before the student leaves the examination room. The proctor will indicate whether the exam question may be taken or must be returned. Multiple-choice questions, if any, are stapled together and always must be returned at the conclusion of the examination; each page must be numbered with the student’s exam number and the packet is turned in.

Policy Regarding Rescheduling Exams

Exams must be taken at the scheduled date and time, unless the Assistant Dean for Students approves an exam change. Approved excuses are limited to the following circumstances:

  1. A bona fide illness, emergency, or personal tragedy,
  2. A provable, immovable, and significant work or family/personal obligation.
  3. A conflict with the student’s religious observance, jury duty, or National Guard obligations,
  4. Rescheduling is approved as an accommodation for a disability and timely notice has been provided to the Office of Student & Career Services, as described in the policy for students with disabilities,
  5. A student has a conflict between an exam and a required co-curricular activity (i.e., competition team travel), or
  6. A student has three consecutive exams. In such cases the second exam will be the one rescheduled. For example, if a student had the following three exams scheduled: Wednesday from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, Thursday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, and Thursday from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, the Thursday morning exam would be rescheduled.

Only the Assistant Dean for Students can approve a student to miss an examination or any portion of an examination. To maintain the anonymity of the grading process, a student may not contact their professor about exam scheduling or missed exams.

To reschedule an exam, contact McGeorge Student & Career Services at least four weeks prior to the examination (or as soon as the emergency arises). The Assistant Dean for Students will then review and either approve or deny the request. Full written verification of the details of such an event may be required. Grading and Advancement Rules 403-405 govern the specifics of how and when exams may be made up.

Grades and Grading

Grade Point Average

A student's GPA is determined by dividing his/her grade points earned by the number of units attempted, but not counting units attempted in "honors/pass/low pass/fail" courses in which a grade higher than "fail" was received.

Grade point values are awarded for letter grades (multiplied by the number of units for that course) as follows:

Symbol GPA Definition
A+ 4.33 Grade points per unit
A 4.00 Grade points per unit
A- 3.67 Grade points per unit
B+ 3.33 Grade points per unit
B 3.00 Grade points per unit
B- 2.67 Grade points per unit
C+ 2.33 Grade points per unit
C 2.00 Grade points per unit
C- 1.67 Grade points per unit
D+ 1.33 Grade points per unit
D 1.00 Grade points per unit
F 0.00 Grade points per unit and no unit credit

Grades will be reviewed to determine eligibility for advancement and graduation on the basis of grades received through the end of each semester.

Interpretation of Grades

Letter grades have the following subjective interpretations:

  • A = Exceptional, Outstanding Performance
  • B = Very Good, Skillful
  • C+ = Satisfactory Demonstration of Professional Competence
  • C = Unsatisfactory because of Some Deficiency in Knowledge or Analysis or both
  • D = Unsatisfactory, Showing Grave Deficiencies in Knowledge and Analysis
  • F = Failing, No Demonstration of Knowledge or Analytic Ability

Grading Scale

In the following courses: Torts, Contracts, Property, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Statutes and Regulations, The Legal Profession, and Global Lawyering Skills I and Global Lawyering Skills II, scores will be based on the following Scale, which is roughly equivalent to the following letter grades:

  • A+  100
  • A     95-99
  • A-    90-94
  • B+   85-89
  • B     80-84
  • B-    75-79
  • C+   70-74
  • C     65-69
  • C-    60-64
  • D+   55-59
  • D     50-54
  • F     Lower than 50

Scores do not appear on transcripts and do not represent a final grade in a course. All scores are subject to adjustment and finalization as set forth in Grading & Advancement Rule 501.

Range of Grades and Grade Distributions

Letter grades for graded courses shall include “A+” through “F”. All grades in required graded courses other than Global Lawyering Skills I, II, and III must meet the following grade distribution standard, in addition to the applicable targeted arithmetic mean set forth in subsection (3) below:

                         %             Max. %

  • A+ | Min. 0% | Max. 2%
  • A | Min.  2% | Max. 10%
  • A- | Min.  5% | Max. 15%
  • B+ | Min. 15% | Max. 25%
  • B | Min.  25% | Max. 35%
  • B- | Min. 15% | Max. 25%
  • C+ | Min. 5% | Max. 15%
  • C and below | Min.  0% | Max. 15%

In determining compliance with the ranges set forth above, fractions may be rounded up or down at the discretion of the instructor.  For example, in a class of 70 students, 5 % = 3.5 students and 15% equals 10.5 students.  The instructor may give between 3 and 11 grades of C+.

In courses in which both Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Science of Law (MSL) students are enrolled, only the JD students will be counted in determining compliance with the grade distribution and targeted mean.

The following arithmetic means are the targets, with .1 on either side of the mean being an acceptable variation, for the courses categorized below.

  • The following required courses: Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Profession, Statues and Regulations, Property, and Torts 2.9
  • The following bar-tested courses: Business Associations, Community Property, Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Professional Responsibility, Remedies, Wills and Trusts 3.0
  • Elective courses with 30 students or more on the last day of instruction 3.1
  • Elective courses with 16-29 students on the last day of instruction 3.2
  • Elective courses with 1-15 students on the last day of instruction 3.3

Global Lawyering Skills I & II classes shall have a targeted arithmetic mean of 3.0. Global Lawyering Skills III classes shall have a targeted arithmetic mean of 3.2. I both Global Lawyering Skills I, II, and III, a .1 difference on either side of the targeted mean is an acceptable variation. 

Faculty who believe that their course requires variance from the distribution and/or targeted means must obtain the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. They should submit a request detailing the reasons for the variance. The greater the variance, the more detail is appropriate.

The Associate Dean may contact a faculty member to discuss adjustment of grades or grading distribution in light of existing grading practices at the school and/or the Grading and Advancement rules.

Anonymous Grading

Grading in most courses at the School of Law is anonymous.  This means that the students are given a confidential exam number to use for assignments and exams.  The professor does not know what grade goes with which student by student name.  In some courses, however, grading may not be completely anonymous.  In those courses, students will use their confidential exam number for some assignments and exams and will use their name for some assignments and exams.  In other courses, grading is not anonymous at all- assignments and exams are graded using only the student’s name.

Additionally, professors can provide grade adjustments to any student per Grading and Advancement Rule 302.  In such cases, the professor will necessarily know a student’s name when making the adjustment.  Moreover, a professor may also opt to ascertain how a student performed on the assignments and exams in the course when deciding on an adjustment for that student.

Professors will inform students in writing of the anonymous or non-anonymous grading procedures for the assignments, exams, and grade adjustments in their courses.

Honors/Pass/Low Pass/Fail" Electives

Elective courses shall be "graded" or "honors/pass/low pass/ fail." At the discretion of the Professor, in consultation with the Curriculum Committee, before a course is added to the course catalog, a professor may decide to offer students an election between taking the course graded or “honors/pass/low pass/fail.” In those courses designated as "honors/pass/low pass/ fail", the following grading standards will apply:

  • "Honors" will be awarded for work performed at a superior level.
  • "Pass" will be awarded for work performed at an acceptable level.
  • “Low Pass” will be awarded for work performed at the “C,” ”C-“, “D+” or “D” levels.
  • "Fail" will be given to students whose work in the course was at the failing ("F") level.

Students earning the designation of "Fail" will not receive unit credits for the course.

Grade of Incomplete

A grade of "incomplete" may be entered in a course when the requirements for that course are not completed for reasons deemed acceptable by the professor. The work assigned in a course as to which a grade of "incomplete" is given under Rule 409 must be completed by the first day of classes of the second semester (including Summer Session) after the semester when the course ended.  If it is not, a grade of "fail" will be entered.

Re-Evaluation of Grades and Grade Changes

A student seeking review of a grade shall file a Grading & Advancement (G & A) petition within 15 calendar days of the date on which the final grade was announced. Where the petition simply alleges a dissatisfaction with grading of examinations taken anonymously, no relief will be granted.  When the petition alleges discrimination or abuse of discretion in assigning grades on other than an anonymous basis or where the petition alleges abuse of professional discretion in the evaluation of examination/assessment papers, and/or assigning of grades, G & A shall review the matter in consultation with the professor involved and may grant such relief as it deems appropriate. Individual professors shall have no authority to change grades, and they are expressly discouraged from re-reading any papers for the purpose of re-evaluation and grade change.  When requested to re-read a paper, the professor shall advise the student of the right to petition, and direct the student to the Assistant Dean for Students or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Repeat of Failing Work

A student who receives a grade of "F" or "Fail" in a required course shall be required to repeat the course. The "F" or "Fail" grade shall remain on the transcript, but once the course has been repeated only the repeat grade will be counted for GPA purposes.  However, the highest number of grade points credited to the student will be 2.33 per unit (the equivalent of a "C+" grade). Students shall not be permitted to repeat any elective courses nor any required courses in which they received non-failing grades, except as provided in Grading and Advancement Rules 605 (probation) and 703 (re-admission after disqualification).

Grades Earned at Other Law Schools

Grades earned at another law school and accepted towards a student’s McGeorge JD degree do not count in computing a student’s McGeorge grade point average. Only the units, not individual course grades, are recorded on a student’s McGeorge transcript.

Final Grades on Transcripts

Grades are subject to approval through the Office of Academic Affairs. Courses are graded early for seniors who are graduating in a given term. The remainder of the course may be graded later for all non-senior students.

The “in progress” section of transcripts will only show courses that are ungraded for the current term. Once the term ends, all “in progress” courses for the new term appear. Any ungraded courses at the end of a term will disappear from the “in progress” section on the transcript and will reappear in the appropriate term once the final grade is posted.

Class Rank

At the end of each academic year, JD students are ranked against students in their academic year and division based on cumulative GPA. Class ranks are emailed to students after sufficient time has elapsed from the publication of year-end transcripts so as to allow time for correction of any clerical or processing discrepancies. Ranking information is not provided by phone. Class ranks are calculated only one time per year. Students who change divisions are ranked with the class of the division in which they are enrolled during the Spring term. Students must complete the entire academic year (Fall and Spring) in order to be ranked.

Enrollment Verification and Good Standing Certificates

Registered students who need an enrollment verification may print their verification by logging onto insidePacific, then selecting the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) Link, then printing. Students may also obtain their good student standing certificate here.

Concurrent Enrollment

Students are cautioned that concurrent enrollment at the School of Law and any other school is prohibited unless permission has been obtained in advance from the Assistant Dean for Students or Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Students may be concurrently enrolled in the following joint degree programs: JD/MPP & JD/MBA with Sacramento State University's Executive MBA Program & University of the Pacific's MBA Program. 

Changing Degree Programs

Graduate students are admitted to University of the Pacific for a specific degree program. Non-JD students may not switch into the JD program; such students must apply to the JD program and re-start. McGeorge does not permit JD students to count any units earned prior to matriculation towards the JD degree. JD students who wish to move into the MSL, MPP, or MPA program are advised to consult the catalog or the admissions office of that program.

Commencement

McGeorge commencement exercises are held each year in May. Students who have earned their degrees in the previous Fall or Summer terms are welcome to participate, as are those who anticipate earning their degree in the following Summer or Fall.

Academic Honors

Dean’s List

Students who earn a 3.30 or higher annual GPA at the completion of an academic year are named to the Dean’s Honor List and will see a notation to that effect on their transcript. Students must be enrolled in both the fall and spring semesters in the academic year to receive Dean’s List Honors. Dean’s List eligibility may change at the discretion of the Dean.

Valedictorian Awards

The graduating student in each division with the highest grade point average in the division is presented a medal that recognizes the achievement.

Salutatorian Awards

The graduating student in each division with the second highest grade point average in the division is presented a medal that recognizes the achievement.

The Order of the Coif

The Order of the Coif is a national law school honor society founded to encourage legal scholarship and advance the ethical standards of the legal profession. Seniors whose academic records place them in the top 10% of the combined Full-Time and Part-Time division and who have completed at least 75% of their law studies in graded courses at McGeorge are eligible for election to membership.

With Great Distinction

Members of the graduating class whose cumulative grade point average is 3.50 or higher graduate “With Great Distinction.”

With Distinction

Members of the graduating class whose cumulative grade point average is 3.10 or higher graduate “With Distinction.”

Traynor Society

Students whose grades during any two academic years qualified them for the Dean’s Honor List are named members of the Traynor Society, named in honor of the late Honorable Roger J. Traynor, former Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court.

Competition Teams

Our student teams are top performers in some of the most prestigious national and international competitions. Through participation on a competition team, you can expand your courtroom or alternate dispute resolution experience, improve oral and written advocacy skills, and refine client counseling, negotiation, and arbitration skills. Team membership is based on a competitive application process.

Mock Trial Competition Team

All 2D, 3D, 2E, 3E, and 4E students not on probation are eligible to try out for the Mock Trial Team. Having completed or being concurrently enrolled in Evidence and Trial Advocacy is a plus but not a prerequisite to making the team. Once chosen to be on a team, students participate in a late-summer boot camp, culminating in an intra-squad competition at the beginning of the school year. During the year, students attend practices three times a week. Teams generally compete in one to two competitions in the Fall and again in the Spring. Team members are also required to participate in a full-year Mock Trial Evidence course where they learn how to apply the Federal Rules of Evidence in a courtroom setting. The Mock Trial Evidence class is 1 graded unit each semester. In addition to the units earned from Mock Trial Evidence, traveling teams earn 2 P/F units over the academic year, and scrimmage team members earn between 1 and 2 P/F units over the same period, depending upon the number of competitions in which they compete.

Moot Court Competition Team

Membership on the Moot Court Competition Teams is based on acceptance onto the Moot Court Honors Board, which is a student-run organization that is supervised by the Faculty Director of the Moot Court Program. Students apply for the program at the end of the Spring semester of their second year. All 3D, 3E, and 4E students not on probation are eligible to apply. Acceptance is based in large part on the work in the second-year Global Lawyering Skills III course, which includes the preparation of a full appellate brief and the presentation of a full appellate oral argument. All Moot Court team members are required to take the Advanced Appellate Advocacy course. That course is a two-semester, four-unit graded course.

ABA Negotiation Competition Team

The ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition provides an opportunity for law students to practice and improve their negotiating skills. The competition simulates legal negotiations in which law students, acting as lawyers, negotiate a series of legal problems. The simulations consist of a common set of facts known by all participants and confidential information known only to the participants representing a particular side. All of the simulations deal with the same general topic, but the negotiation situation varies with each round and level of the competition. Tryouts take place in the Fall; students earn one pass/fail unit per semester for participation on this Competition Team.

Client Counseling Competition Team

The ABA Client Counseling Competition is a unique competition in that it requires students to master knowledge of a particular area of law and use skills of interviewing, listening, and empathy to discern a client problem and to counsel the client on a path towards resolution of that legal problem. Judges are lawyers and counselors, and the student lawyers meet with various actors playing different client roles throughout the competition. The legal subject matters change from year to year, but they often involve torts, professional responsibility, and ethics. Students are selected for the ABA Client Counseling team that competes in the Spring through participation in the Client Interviewing and Counseling course offered in the Fall semester. Competition team members earn one P/F unit per semester. 

Mock Trial, Moot Court, and Other Advocacy Teams Participation Policy

McGeorge School of Law has approved moot court, mock trial and other similar advocacy programs, directed by full-time and adjunct faculty members, where the students are selected on a competitive basis. No student or team of students may enter any other moot court, mock trial competition, excluding intra-mural competitions, or any other advocacy competition without the approval of the director of the relevant program. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that any student or team of students seeking to compete in such competitions receives adequate instruction and coaching and that any such individual or team represents the law school in a favorable light.

First-Year Interschool Competitions

The Ben Frantz Mock Trial Competition and the First-Year Moot Court Competition take place each Spring semester and all 1D and 1E students who are interested in advocacy are encouraged to participate. These competitions help to identify talent for our teams, but are open to all students irrespective of whether they decide to try out for spots on the competition teams. The competitions are organized by upper-division students. Interested 1D and 1E students sign up to participate in one or both competitions and receive training and instruction in trial and/or appellate advocacy from the upper-division student-organizers. The competitions are designed and dates are selected to allow students to participate in both opportunities. All 1D and 1E students who sign up get to compete in the preliminary rounds. Those who score highly advance to the finals.

Journals

The University of the Pacific Law Review (UPLR) is a student-run, scholarly journal published on a quarterly basis, containing articles written by members of the bar and bench, legal analysis and commentary on cutting-edge transnational issues, student-authored comments, and student-authored reviews of recently enacted California legislation. Eligible students have two opportunities to solicit for UPLR membership:

Review of California Legislation (“Greensheets”)

Greensheets, named for the distinctive color of its pages, reviews recently enacted California legislation. The top 50% of students in the 1D/2E classes are eligible to compete for Greensheets membership through the solicitation process each March. Solicitation consists of a brief, closed-research writing competition. Members spend the summer writing articles about bills making their way through the legislature. Creditworthy articles are eligible for publication.

Comment

Entering 2D and 3E students who meet any of the following criteria and have not previously solicited for Comment are invited to participate in solicitation: top 50% of their class; Witkin award in GLS I or GLS II; current Greensheets member (upon successful completion of Greensheets assignments); transfer student in the top 50% of their former law school class. Solicitation consists of a brief, closed-research writing competition in July. Members spend the year writing persuasive comments on unique legal issues of their choosing. A select number of comments are chosen for publication the following year.

UPLR Editors

2D and 3E members of Greensheets or Comment are eligible to run for board or editorial positions for the following year.

Students may not opt out of receiving UPLR units.

Legal Clinics

Legal Clinics have been a hallmark of McGeorge for over 50 years. We have a broad array of clinical programs to meet our students’ learning needs and to serve our community’s legal needs. Clinical experience is one of the ways that our school shows its commitment to public service, social justice, and real-world work experiences for our students. We teach what can best be learned through experience: creative problem-solving and skilled advocating for clients. All of our clinics require an application. Students can only enroll in one clinic at a time. Students may participate in the Bankruptcy, Elder Law & Health, Homeless Advocacy, or Immigration Law Clinic for more than one semester, space permitting. If a student repeats the clinic, they will have the option of receiving 1, 2, or 3 graded units. Descriptions of our seven legal clinics may be found in the course descriptions section of this Catalog and on the McGeorge website.

Externships

Externships promote real-world practical experience by assisting students to think outside the box about their options, potential and goals. Approved General Externship, Semester-In-Practice Externships, and Judicial Externship opportunities allow students to earn academic credit, develop skills and legal knowledge, experience daily legal practice, and build resume and networking opportunities. Visit our Director of Externships, for approved Externship Sites at local, state, and federal courts, government agencies, and nonprofit entities.

Exchange Programs

Students may add a true international dimension to their JD experience by participating in an Exchange Program, spending a semester or year studying law at a university in another country. These Exchange Programs give students an opportunity to get first-hand knowledge of another country’s legal system and culture. Gaining a global perspective is essential in today’s legal practice. Approved classes taken at these universities will qualify for credit towards the JD degree.

McGeorge currently has exchange agreements with four universities:

University of Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg is located at the geographic and historic crossroads of Central Europe. Classes are held in the Law Faculty Building of the University of Salzburg, located in a renovated 16th Century palace in the heart of Salzburg’s historic Old Town. Courses are taught in English and focus primarily on the law of the European Union.

Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium

The entire town of Louvain-la-Neuve was built around the campus of this university in the French-speaking part of Belgium. Some courses are held in English, but to be able to participate in this exchange, a reasonable fluency in French is necessary. Applications for the Fall semester must be submitted by the previous May 31 and for the Fall semester by the previous October 31.

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

This University has been around for centuries and is located in the heart of Denmark’s largest city. It offers a full selection of law courses in English, so knowledge of Danish is not necessary to study there. Students must be nominated by McGeorge to participate in this exchange, and interested students should request to be nominated no later than May 31 for enrollment in either the following Fall or Spring semester.

European Summer Experience

Students may broaden their law school experience by taking advantage of McGeorge’s unique summer program in Salzburg, Austria. Salzburg has been the site of McGeorge’s annual Summer Program on International Legal Studies since 1974. The three-week program in Salzburg offers international and comparative law courses in public and commercial law fields. European and American faculty, as well as renowned practitioners teach courses.

In addition to the academic program in Salzburg, students may also enroll in one unit externships with legal offices abroad to be completed in advance of the Salzburg program. Participating in an externship provides practical legal education, as well as promotes networking globally with lawyers in other jurisdictions.

Please note that all students who participate in the Salzburg Summer Program must be enrolled students at an ABA-approved law school as of the first day of the program in order to participate, meaning that any student who is academically disqualified after the Spring semester will not be able to participate. Students with a Fall GPA below a 2.5 should consult with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs before enrolling in the program.

Summer Abroad Programs at other ABA Accredited Law Schools

McGeorge students may take up to six units of elective credit at another ABA-accredited law school. To request permission, submit a Rule 902 Application to the Office of Student Affairs. Upon approval, McGeorge will accept up to 6 units of credit earned with passing grades in elective courses (not Externships).

Directed Research

Directed Research provides the opportunity for JD students to engage in a comprehensive individual research project under the supervision of a full-time faculty member. The work product may take the form of a scholarly paper, empirical study, analysis of topical readings, or other creative format that demonstrates in-depth legal research and original analysis.

Advance approval of the research topic and unit credit is required. A student must submit a detailed written proposal of the research topic and obtain approval from a full-time faculty member willing to supervise the student’s research. The proposal and a completed “Directed Research Request Form” must then be submitted to the Registrar by the Add/Drop Deadline of the term in which the student intends to enroll in Directed Research.

Directed Research must be supervised by a full-time faculty member on a regular basis. Specifics regarding supervision of the course are left to the supervising faculty member, but the general expectation is that the student will provide an outline and draft of the project at established deadlines, and the faculty member will provide regular feedback to the student.

A student may enroll for either 1 or 2 credit hours (Honors/Pass/Low Pass/Fail) for Directed Research. A student is expected to put in at least 50 hours of work for each credit hour. If the resulting work product is a paper, as a general rule, the student should produce a paper of approximately 15-20 pages in length for 1 unit of credit or 25-30 pages in length for 2 units of credit. A student is not permitted to receive credit for Directed Research for a project produced for the student’s employer or for any other law school course or activity.

Other Sources of Information

Students must familiarize themselves with school policies, procedures, and regulations contained on the website and in other publications, such as the two highlighted below. Please visit the website at mcgeorge.edu/Policies_and_Handbooks.htm for a consolidated listing of McGeorge’s policies and procedures, including policies not discussed in this publication.

Grading and Advancement Rules, Regulations, and Procedures

The Grading and Advancement Committee (G & A) is the body duly authorized by the Faculty and Administration of McGeorge, to study, develop, adopt and apply rules, regulations and procedures pertaining to course requirements, examinations, grading, advancement, graduation, and related matters. The Grading and Advancement Committee Rules, Regulations and Procedures for the JD Program are located on the McGeorge website.

Any student who is affected adversely by the application of these rules, excepting Rules 703c and 703f, may file with the Office of Student & Career Services, a petition to G & A for relief or waiver setting forth the nature of the request and the reasons why it should be granted. Such petitions shall be filed within 15 calendar days from the date of notice of the application of the rule from which the student seeks relief. Notice may be provided by mail, email, posting, or other form of publication. No specific format is required for a student petition, the substance being more important than the form. G & A shall consider the written petition and grant, modify, or deny the relief requested. G & A shall be the final decision-making body in matters concerning student petitions unless the student-petitioner timely files a notice of appeal.

Any student submitting a petition to the Grading and Advancement Committee shall have the right to appear personally before the Committee. Such personal appearance by the individual petitioner shall be limited to the purpose of informing the Committee of any new facts which have a significant and substantial bearing upon the issue before the Committee or to answer any questions which the members of the Committee may have relevant to the issue before the Committee. In no event shall any inference, either adverse or beneficial, be drawn from an individual petitioner's failure to personally appear in support of his or her petition before the Committee.

A student may file a petition for reconsideration of the Committee’s decision only upon discovery of new evidence not available at the time of the initial petition. Petitions for reconsideration shall be filed within 10 calendar days from the date of notice of the decision on the underlying petition.  A petitioner-appellant has the right to appear before the committee. In no event, however, shall the Committee reconsider the same matter more than once, nor shall a denial of a petition for reconsideration be subject to reconsideration, except that the underlying matter maybe subject to appeal. The composition of the Executive Committee when considering a petition for reconsideration shall, to the extent practicable, be the same as when it decided the original petition. A student may file an appeal of the Executive Committee’s decision when there has been procedural error or bias or abuse of discretion by the Executive Committee as described in Rule 1108.

Students desiring information about the petitioning process should confer with the Assistant Dean for Students. A student may also discuss G & A Committee rules and procedures with the Chairperson of the Committee.

Student Handbook 

The Office of Student Affairs annually publishes a JD Student Handbook and a handbook for other degree programs which are reference guides for McGeorge students, containing detailed explanations and information about graduation requirements, academic policies, program descriptions, student life information, and more. These documents are located on the McGeorge website and provided to students during orientation.

Student Complaint Procedure (ABA Standard 510)

 American Bar Association (ABA) Standard 510 requires each law school to publish and comply with policies regarding student complaints that address the school’s program of legal education.

Any student at the law school who wishes to bring a formal complaint to the administration regarding a significant problem that directly implicates the school’s program of legal education and its compliance with the ABA Standards, should do the following:

  1. Submit the complaint in writing to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. The complaint may be sent via email, U.S. Mail, facsimile, or delivered in person to the Office of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. There is also a web-based form located online at https://www.mcgeorge.edu/forms/student-complaint-process.
  2. The complaint should describe in detail the behavior, program, process, or other matter that is at issue, and should explain how the matter directly implicates the law school’s program of legal education and its compliance with a specific, identified ABA Standard(s).
  3. The complaint must contain the complaining student’s name, his/her student ID#, his/her official law school email address, and his/her current mailing address.

When an administrator receives a student complaint that complies with the foregoing requirements, the following procedures shall be followed:

  1. The Assistant Dean for Students will acknowledge the complaint within three business days of receipt. Acknowledgement may be made by email, U.S. Mail, or by personal delivery, at the option of the Assistant Dean.
  2. Within 10 business days of acknowledgement of the complaint, the Assistant Dean for Students, or the Assistant Dean’s designee, shall respond to the substance of the complaint, either in writing or in person, and shall indicate what steps are being taking by the law school to address the complaint. If further investigation is needed, the complaining student shall, upon conclusion of the investigation, be provided with substantive response to the complaint within 10 business days after completion of the investigation.
  3. Any appeal regarding a decision on a complaint shall be brought before the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Any appeal from the decision of the Associate Dean shall be brought before the Dean of the Law School. The decision of the Dean will be final. Any appeal must be brought within 10 business days from the date of the response by the Assistant Dean or the Associate Dean.
  4. A copy of the complaint and a summary of the process and resolution of the complaint shall be kept in the office of the Assistant Dean for Students for a period of eight years from the date of final resolution of the complaint.

Reservation of Right to Modify

The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only and are subject to change.