It is the policy of the Law School that students shall normally earn at least 82 of their JD credits in residence. Accordingly, a request to attend any fall and/or spring semester at another institution (to "visit out") will be granted only under compelling circumstances that are beyond the control of the student and normally will be granted only for a visit at another ABA/AALS approved law school during the student's third year. Compelling circumstances are those that are both exceptional (i.e., shared by only a very small number of other students) and extremely serious (i.e., impose a substantial burden on the student that cannot be accommodated to any significant degree by the student's remaining at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law [hereinafter, the "Law School"]). Determination of whether this standard has been met will include consideration of, among other factors, whether the student's circumstances were reasonably foreseeable when the student entered the Law School. Compelling circumstances do not include the desire to obtain a job (either for the student or a significant other) in another locale, the desire to accompany a significant other who is employed or enrolled in an educational program in another locale, or the desire to study in another domestic locale.
Approval to visit out must be obtained in advance from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and a student must be in good academic standing to have such a request granted. A student must submit to the Associate Dean a written request for permission to visit out on or before May 15. The request must identify the school(s) the student seeks permission to visit and must set forth the student's reasons for requesting permission and include any relevant documentation to support those reasons. Because the student will receive the Juris Doctor degree from the Law School, all conditions and requirements (e.g., required credits, legal profession requirement, upper-level legal writing requirement, professional skills requirement) imposed by the Law School must be met. Accordingly, the request must set forth the graduation requirements that the student has yet to complete and the student's plan for satisfying those requirements at the host school.
If the request is approved, the student must submit the list of courses to be taken at the host school and descriptions of those courses intended for transfer of credit; the Associate Dean will review those courses for approval. The student also must notify the Law School Registrar's Office of his or her final decision whether or not to visit out by August 1. (See "Notice of Decision to Transfer, Visit Out, or Remain at the Law School." In addition, if the student visits out, it is the responsibility of the student to submit an official transcript of grades received at the host school to the Registrar of the Law School. In order for credit to be transferred, the student must earn a grade that meets or exceeds the grade average required for graduation at the host school, which generally means a "C" or better. All courses for which credit is transferred will be noted on the University of Pittsburgh School of Law transcript, but grades received at the host school will neither appear on Law School transcript nor be taken into account in calculating the student's grade point average. The student is responsible for ensuring that the Law School's Registrar receives the host school's grades in time to meet any relevant Law School deadlines. The student is responsible for any fee imposed to cover administrative and other costs incurred by the Law School. The student will be required to furnish an official copy of the transcript from the host school to the State Board of Law Examiners.
Students who have initiated the procedure to transfer or visit out must complete and submit a Notice of Change of Status Form whether they decide to stay at the Law School or not. More information is available at the Notice of Change of Status Handbook Page.