Rule VIII: Independent Study and Other Credit

A. Independent Study

  1. Purpose. The purpose of an IS is to enable a second-or third-year student to pursue individualized or small-group research and study outside the established curriculum but under the supervision of a member of the full-time faculty. The amount of credit, the standards for earning it, and the aptness of topic shall be the same for IS as generally for course offerings in the curriculum.
  2. Faculty Responsibility. Responsibility for an IS lies solely with the supervising faculty member.
  3. Initiation. A student initiates an IS by securing the agreement of a full-time faculty member to be the responsible supervisor of it.
  4. Content to be Consistent with UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law Policy. No IS shall be approved that in purpose or effect is inconsistent with UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law academic policy. A student within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Academic Standing and Success must have its approval to undertake an IS.
    1. A Hybrid JD student may request an IS only in extreme and extenuating circumstances. Should an IS be approved, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will find a faculty member to supervise the student’s work.
  5. Notice of Prior Consideration of IS Proposals. If a substantially similar IS proposal is submitted to one faculty member after being rejected for any reason by another faculty member, the student shall disclose that fact as part of the submission.
  6. Registration. Registration for IS credit shall not be effective until the student proposing it has submitted to the Registrar the form, adopted for that purpose, that:
    1. Concisely outlines the purpose and scope of the IS;
    2. Indicates the number of credits for the IS;
    3. Is signed by the supervising faculty member;
    4. Contains a statement signed by the student listing any faculty members to which a substantially similar IS proposal has been or is being submitted; and
    5. States that the student is not within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Academic Standing and Success (CASS) or in the event the student is within the jurisdiction of CASS, is signed by the Chair of CASS.
    6. The proposal is received by the Registrar no later than the last day of the “add” period in any given semester.
    7. Any subsequent modifications to the proposal which substantially affect the basic agreement between the student and the faculty member must be reduced in writing, signed by the faculty member, and sent to the Registrar.

  7. S/O/U Grade. An IS shall be graded either S, O, or U. An O grade shall signify that the student’s work in the IS was outstanding. An O grade, like an S grade, and the credits in which it is earned, shall not be included in calculating a student’s cumulative grade average.
  8. Satisfaction of Requirements. The Registrar will regard a student as having earner an S or O grade in an IS, upon receipt of:
    1. A statement signed by the supervising faculty member identifying the IS and indicating the number of credits in which an S or O grade was earned; and
    2. A copy of the student’s written work product in an IS. The written work product shall be preserved in the same way and for the same length of time as the Registrar is obligated to preserve examinations and other work products submitted for academic credit.
  9. Credit Limitation. A student may count a maximum of four (4) credits of IS in each of the second and third years, not to exceed a total of eight (8) credits toward the total number of credits required for the J.D. degree. A student may have more than eight (8) credits of IS in direct proportion to the number of credits the student has in excess of the 85 credits required for graduation. A student within the jurisdiction of CASS must have the Committee’s approval in order to enroll in an IS.

B. Multiple Use of Work Product for Credit

A student who desires to submit the same work product for credit in more than one curriculum offering must prepare a written request to the professors or supervisors involved, disclosing that the work product has been or will be utilized in another course. The work product is regarded as the same work product when the research and application is substantially the same. Each faculty member decides whether such use is acceptable in the course.

C. Credit for Nonlaw, Graduate-Level Course Work

  1. A student who is eligible to continue as a degree candidate may petition the Assistant Dean of Students for permission to earn up to (8) credits of nonlaw, graduate-level course work toward the Juris Doctor Degree.
  2. An application for approval of nonlaw, graduate-level course work should be submitted to the Assistant Dean of Students at least forty-five (45) days prior to the first day of classes of those courses.
  3. In ruling on the application, the Assistant Dean of Students shall consider:
    1. The relationship of the proposed nonlaw course work to the educational objectives of the student and of UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law;
    2. The relationship of the level of performance demanded in the nonlaw work to the performance demanded for law school credit;
    3. The relationship of effort and time demanded to the credit to be awarded;
    4. The feasibility of the proposal in light of other demands upon the applicant; including the demands of the program at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law;
    5. The probability of successful completion of the course work in light of the applicant’s performance at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law.
  4. Upon the successful completion of the nonlaw courses and proper certification to UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law by the institution offering the courses, the course and earned credits shall be entered on the student’s transcript along with the grade earned. The provisions of UNH Law’s Rule on Transfer of Academic Credit affecting nonrequired courses must also be satisfied. (See Rule X.)

D. Maximum Credit for Clinical Offerings

  1. Not more than eighteen (18) credit hours of clinical work including Legal Residency credits shall be credited toward the eighty-five (85) credit hours required for the Juris Doctor degree. Only 15 of said 18 credits may be Legal Residency credits unless this cap is waived by the Assistant Dean of Students.
  2. A student may earn more than eighteen (18) credit hours for clinical work provided that the total number of credits earned exceeds eighty-five (85) hours by at least the number of credits of clinical work in excess of eighteen (18) hours.
  3. The determination of which programs and courses are clinical for purposes of this part is made by the Dean or the Dean’s designee.