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International & Comparative Law Certificate

The International and Comparative Law Certificate Program exposes students to international business legalities, as well as the legal principles governing the relationships of countries.

The program is offered in conjunction with the law school's Center for Law and Global Justice, which was established to expand the law school's commitment to international justice.

To receive the International and Comparative Law Certificate (ICL Certificate), students must complete all of the certificate requirements and all of the requirements for the JD degree. Students intending to complete the requirements for the International and Comparative Law Certificate are subject to the law school's academic policies, including rules governing enrollment priorities.

Course Requirements

To earn the International and Comparative Law Certificate, a student must complete at least 15 units of approved course work in the subject area, including at least two of the following core courses. Any remaining units (to reach the required total of 15 units) must be completed by taking additional core courses and/or courses from the list of approved ICL elective courses.

Note: the curriculum below is subject to change and not all courses are offered every year.

The International and Comparative Law Certificate Program exposes students to international business legalities, as well as the legal principles governing the relationships of countries.

The program is offered in conjunction with the law school's Center for Law and Global Justice, which was established to expand the law school's commitment to international justice.

To receive the International and Comparative Law Certificate (ICL Certificate), students must complete all of the certificate requirements and all of the requirements for the JD degree. Students intending to complete the requirements for the International and Comparative Law Certificate are subject to the law school's academic policies, including rules governing enrollment priorities.

Course Requirements

To earn the International and Comparative Law Certificate, a student must complete at least 15 units of approved course work in the subject area, including at least two of the following core courses. Any remaining units (to reach the required total of 15 units) must be completed by taking additional core courses and/or courses from the list of approved ICL elective courses.

Note: the curriculum below is subject to change and not all courses are offered every year.

Required Courses Units
Comparative Law3
International Business Transactions3
International Human Rights3
Public International Law3
Elective Courses Units
Asian Legal Systems3
Chinese Law2
European Union Law / Topics in European Union Law2
Frank C. Newman International Human Rights Law Clinic4
International Advocacy and Research2
International Civil Dispute Resolution2
International Criminal Law3
International Development Seminar3
International Economic Relations3
International Environmental Law3
International Intellectual Property2
International Taxation2 or 3
Legal Issues and Terrorism, Post 9/113

Plus qualifying international law classroom courses completed in:

  • USF School of Law summer abroad programs (Dublin, Prague, Mexico)
  • the one unit classroom course taken in USF summer abroad externship programs
  • courses taken in a USF international semester exchange program

Scholastic Requirements

International and Comparative Law Certificate recipients must achieve a grade of C+ or higher in each course applied to meet the certificate requirements and achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.700 or higher for all courses applied to the certificate.

A student achieving a cumulative grade point average of 3.500 or higher for all courses applied to meet the requirements of the certificate is awarded the certificate with honors.

All course work for the certificate must be taken for a letter grade except for any approved elective course in which credit/no credit or pass/fail grading is mandatory. For any course in which a letter grade is not provided, a "credit" or "pass" must be achieved in order for the course to be applied to meet the certificate requirements.

Writing Requirement

To earn the certificate, a student must complete a substantial research paper analyzing an issue relevant to international or comparative law. The paper must demonstrate the ability to identify, describe, and analyze the subject matter, and, if possible, should, where possible, propose a resolution. The paper must meet the standards for an Upper Level Research and Writing Requirement project and may be used to satisfy that requirement and/or the requirements of a course taken for credit.

Study Abroad

The University of San Francisco School of Law offers numerous summer study abroad opportunities. Participation is not required, but it is strongly recommended that certificate applicants participate in at least one of these programs.

Transfer Units

All course work must be taken at USF with the exception of one elective course (for a maximum of three units of credit). If a student wishes to apply a course taken at another law school to meet the requirements of the International and Comparative Law Certificate, prior approval must be obtained by the assistant dean for academic services. The student must take the course for a letter grade and earn a grade of C+ or higher for credit to be applied to the ICL Certificate.

A course taken at another law school will be transferred as "credit" only for purposes of determining the International and Comparative Law Certificate grade point average as well as for calculating the USF semester and cumulative grade point averages.

Applying for the Certificate

To be eligible to receive an International and Comparative Law Certificate, a student must submit an application to the USF School of Law Office of the Registrar. Applications will not be accepted until the student's last semester. Applications must be submitted on or before the last day to drop classes in that semester.

Students may obtain only one certificate. No student will be awarded more than one certificate upon completion of the JD degree, even if such student completed the requirements to more than one certificate program.

It is each student's responsibility to ensure that all requirements for the International and Comparative Law Certificate are satisfied in a timely manner.