College Student Affairs
Joint Degree Program between The Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law (J.D.) and the College Student Affairs Program (M.Ed.)
Joint Degree Program
The Dickinson School of Law (DSL) and the College Student Affairs Program (CSA) are offering a joint degree program leading to a Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Master of Education (M.Ed.). in College Student Affairs.
The number of openings in the joint degree J.D./M.Ed program will be limited to students with an outstanding academic record who have successfully completed the first-year curriculum at the Dickinson School of Law. Applicants to the joint degree program:
- must have been admitted to the Dickinson School of Law
- should have successfully completed two semesters of course work at the Dickinson School of Law with a grade point average of 3.0
- must submit two letters of recommendations from the Dickinson School of Law faculty
- must submit a career statement
Note: students are eligible to start taking courses in the CSA program after successfully completing two semesters of law school work.
College Specific Admissions Requirements
DSL: A bachelor’s or equivalent degree from an accredited college is a prerequisite for admission; however, there is no standard prescribed undergraduate curriculum. An applicant should have acquired significant oral and written communication skills before entering law school. The following are required of applicants: a completed application form for DSL; submission of the results of the law school admission test (LSAT); completion of an LSDAS report; a one-page personal statement; employment records since high school; and two letters of recommendation.
CSA: The following are required of all applicants: a completed Graduate School application; submission of the results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Miller Analogies Test (MAT), or LSAT; an official undergraduate transcript or transcripts; a personal statement; employment records since high school; and three letters of recommendation.
All international applicants whose first language is not English or who have not received baccalaureate or master’s degrees from an institution in which the language of instruction is English must take the Test of English as a Second Language (TOEFL) and submit the results of that test with the application for admission. A TOEFL score of 550 on the paper test or a score of 213 on the computer-based test, or 80 points on the new Internet-based test with a minimum of 23 points on the new speaking portion; or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum composite score of 6.5 is required for admission.
An applicant must have received from an accredited institution, a baccalaureate degree earned under residence and credit conditions substantially equivalent to those required by Penn State. The individual’s junior-senior grade-point-average (GPA) must be at least 3.0 on a 4.0 system. The individual’s overall GPA must be at least 2.75 on a 4.0 system. Individuals who do not meet this requirement may request special consideration by submitting a letter indicating why the feel they deserve consideration.
If an individual has completed graduate course work prior to applying to the CSA program, his or her grade-point-average for this course work must be at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 system.
Students will normally spend four semesters in residence at DSL and as many additional semesters in residence as needed to complete the M.Ed. requirements for the CSA degree.
The department and faculty liaisons for DSL shall be the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the student advisor shall be the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or such other faculty member(s) as may be designated by the Dean. The liaison for CSA shall be the Professor-in-Charge (PIC) or such faculty member(s) as may be designated by the PIC.
DSL: All students in the J.D. program are required to take the first-year curriculum in DSL. In the second or third year, students must take CORE 934 (Professional Responsibility).
The fall curriculum for the first year consists of the following courses:
CORE COURSES (CORE)
900. Civil Procedure (4)
910. Criminal Law (3)
912. Legal Analysis, Research & Writing I (3)
925. Torts (4)
The spring curriculum of the first year consists of the following courses:
One three-credit Elective
CORE COURSES (CORE)
903. Constitutional Law (3)
905. Contracts (4)
914. Legal Analysis, Research & Writing II (3)
920. Property (4)
CSA: All students in the CSA program must take the following courses:
COLLEGE STUDENT AFFAIRS (CSA)
501. Introduction to Student Affairs (3)
502. Organization and Administration in Student Affairs (3)
503. Student Development in College Environments (3)
504. Research and Assessment in Student Affairs (3)
505. Capstone Seminar (2)
506. Campus Environments
507. Social Justice
595. Internship (student must take two 3-credit internships) (1-9)
596. Culminating Experience, Learning Portfolio (1-9)
COUNSELOR EDUCATION (CN ED)
501. Counseling Theory and Methods (3)
506. Helping Skills for CSA Professions (3)
HIGHER EDUCATION (HI ED)
545. Higher Education in the U.S. (3)
556. Higher Education Students (3)
Two three-credit Electives
Interprogram Transfer of Credits
DSL: A maximum of twelve credits of CSA course work may be transferred for credit toward the J.D. degree at DSL. Students must obtain a grade satisfactory to DSL for the course work to be credited toward the J.D. degree. The following courses offered by CSA may qualify for credit in DSL: (1) CSA 501 (Introduction to College Student Affairs); (2) CSA 502 (Organization and Administration in College Affairs); (3) CSA 503 (Student Development in College Environments); and (4) CSA 504 (Research and Assessment in Student Affairs).
CSA: What courses may be credited will be determined by the student’s degree program. Normally a maximum of nine credits of DSL course work will be counted for credit for the minimum requirements for a master’s degree, subject to approval by the Professor-in-Charge.
The sequence of courses will be determined by the students and their advisors.
Recommended Program of Study and Advising
All students in the program will have two advisors, one from DSL and one from CSA. Periodic interaction between the two advisors will be encouraged. A program of study will be developed for each student, taking into account the fact that some courses are offered on a rotating or intermittent basis. Many courses are offered every year but some are offered every two or three years. Advisors will have available a list of projected relevant courses or educational experiences in order to work with the student on an individualized program of study. The standard committee structure will apply to the CSA programs.
Students will be charged the applicable DSL tuition to cover the J.D. program and the applicable graduate tuition to cover the CSA degree program. DSL tuition will be paid for the semesters in which the student is registered for DSL courses, and graduate tuition will be paid for the semesters in which the student is registered for graduate courses. A student may take up to one course (3 credit hours) per semester in the program where the student is not primarily registered without any change in tuition, but must pay additional tuition to the program that the student is not primarily registered if he or she wishes to take additional course work pursuant to that program during the semester.
Financial Aid and Assistantships
Decisions on financial aid and assistantships will be made by each school according to that school’s procedures.
Fulfillment of Degree Requirements and Graduation
All courses in one program that will count toward meeting the requirements of the other program must be completed before the awarding of either degree. Students will be required to fulfill all requirements for each degree in order to be awarded that degree, subject to the interprogram transfer of credits. With respect to CSA program requirements for a learning portfolio, work done while at DSL under the supervision of a DSL faculty member may be appropriate for incorporation into the learning portfolio with the approval of the CSA degree program committee (in such cases, the committee should consider whether the credits afforded such work will be subject to the twelve credit maximum for interprogram transfers). A DSL faculty member must be a member of the committee).
If for some reason the student cannot complete the requirements of the J.D. degree, the student will still be allowed to count DSL courses already taken toward the M.Ed. in CSA, even if he or she is no longer in the joint degree program.
Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.