Skip to main content area Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to search Skip to section navigation

Certificates of Study

Over 65% of Penn Law students who graduated in 2017 pursued a Certificate of Study that will propel them along varied career paths.

Penn Law students can earn a certificate of study in one of several disciplines as part of their three-year JD degree. Typically, these programs require three or four courses in the granting department and one or two courses from a relevant topic area at the Law School.

Note: Penn Law allows students to take up to four pre-approved graduate level classes (12 credits) within the University. While Penn Law subsidizes the cost of the certificate with significant payments to partner schools for up to four outside courses, the certificate candidate is responsible for an administrative fee set annually with tuition.

How to Enroll

All law students must fill out a Certificate of Study Application and submit it online . Some partner schools/programs may also require their own short application.

There are no admissions requirements for Certificates of Study; all students who successfully complete the requirements are granted the certificate.

You may wish to meet with an advisor to plan out your program. Amanda Aronoff , Director of Cross-Disciplinary Programs and Academic Options and Dimitri Islam , Director for Student Development are available to help identify appropriate cross-disciplinary opportunities and assist with the enrollment process.

**An Application for Law School Credit must be filled out for each and every non-law class taken towards a Certificate. That application may be found here .

Certificates Offered

The Wharton School

Annenberg School for Communication

PennDesign - Kleinman School of Energy Policy

School of Social Policy & Practice

Institute for Environmental Studies

Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies at the School of Arts & Sciences

Fels Institute of Government

Center for Neuroscience and Society

Center for Experimental Ethnography

  • Graduate Certificate in Experimental Ethnography (new for 2019-2020)

International Studies at the School of Arts & Sciences

Ad hoc Certificates

LLM Program: Wharton Business and Law Certificate

JD Certificate of Study Partner Schools and Programs:

The Wharton School

Certificate in Management

The Wharton Certificate in Management (WCM) is designed to increase the business skills and leadership capabilities of upper-level JD students who aspire to lead key parts of a business, non-profit, agency, or firm and form the pool of future top leadership of any organization.

Participants will advance their strategic decision-making capabilities; deepen understanding of organizational dynamics; build capabilities for leading teams across functions; and develop knowledge in core areas of running an enterprise, including marketing, management, strategy and finance, particularly the understanding of how financial data is generated and reported. The focus will be on how these core areas connect to other disciplines based on current research and best practice. The WCM was designed by Wharton’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education, in conjunction with Penn Law.

Requirements: The WCM will be awarded upon successful completion of LAW550001 - Wharton Ex Ed: Management, a 3-semester-hour course offered by Wharton. This 3 credit course counts as 2 of the 4 outside courses that Penn Law allows its students to take.

This certificate is not recommended for law students who have undergraduate degrees and/or prior work experience in business or finance. It was developed to expose law students with minimal background and/or experience to these areas.

This certificate is only for JD students. If you are an LLM student, please see the information about the Wharton Business and Law Certificate below.

Related story: Brian Rocco L’17 performs a limerick praising the certificate’s new one week, intensive bootcamp format.

Certificate in Business Economics and Public Policy

The Certificate of Study in Business Economics and Public Policy (BEPP) will be granted by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania to Penn Law students who successfully complete its requirements. The BEPP Department reserves seats in its courses for Penn Law students each term. Seats are filled via a special lottery conducted by the Law School Registrar.

Requirements: Students must complete two credit units at Wharton in the Business Economics and Public Policy department, a one credit unit Wharton elective, and one approved Penn Law course, most often fulfilled through the first-year regulatory elective. Only one course at Wharton may be taken pass/fail. Learn more about this certificate.

Annenberg School for Communication

Certificate of Study in Communication and Media Policy

This certificate is for Penn Law students who are interested in adding a deeper and interdisciplinary understanding of communications and media policy to their qualifications.

Requirements: Students must complete five (5) courses in the general area of communication and media policy, earning a GPA of at least 3.5. Two (2) of the media policy courses may be taken at Penn Law; and three (3) must be taken at Annenberg from a list of pre-approved courses.

PennDesign - Kleinman School of Energy Policy

Certificate in Energy Management and Policy - NEW FOR 2016

This certificate is intended for law students interested in adding an understanding of energy policy to their list of educational qualifications. This certificate draws on the interdisciplinary nature of energy policy education at Penn, and draws from a comprehensive set of courses across several schools at Penn.

Requirements: This certificate is a five-course program (one foundation course; four electives) of which a maximum of two (2) courses may be at the Law School from the list of approved courses. Learn more about this certificate .

School of Social Policy & Practice

Certificate of Study in Nonprofit Leadership

This certificate is for Penn Law students interested in non-profit careers and leadership. It is a five-course program focusing on leadership, cross-sector collaboration, organizational structures, and social movements. As part of the Certificate program, students may earn a Leading Social Change Fellowship.

Requirements: The certificate requires a total of five courses - three (3) courses taken in the School of Social Policy & Practice’s Non-Profit Leadership Program and two (2) at Penn Law.

Institute for Environmental Studies

Certificate of Study in Environmental Policy

This certificate will be granted by the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania to Penn Law students who successfully complete its requirements.

Requirements: To qualify for the certificate, a student must successfully complete five (5) courses - two courses in Environmental Law or Policy from a list approved annually by Penn Law staff; and three (3) courses in Environmental Policy from a list approved annually by staff in the IES Program.

Certificate of Study in Environmental Science

This certificate will be granted by the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania to Penn Law students who successfully complete its requirements.

Requirements: To qualify for the certificate, a student must successfully complete five (5) courses - two (2) courses in Environmental Law or Policy from a list approved annually by Penn Law staff; and three (3) courses in Environmental Science from a list approved annually by staff in the IES Program.

Fels Institute of Government

Certificate in Nonprofit Administration

The Nonprofit Administration Certificate offers current and aspiring nonprofit leaders a practical education to running a successful organization. The certificate has a broad-based curriculum and covers the fundamental competencies of nonprofit management. Upon completing the certificate, students will be prepared to work in a wide range of nonprofits ranging from the arts to social service agencies to educational organizations.

Requirements: To qualify for this certificate, a student must successfully complete four (4) courses at Fels: two core courses (Leading Nonprofit Organizations and Financial Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations) plus two electives from an established list. Learn more about this certificate from Fels.

Certificate in Politics

The Politics Certificate offers current and aspiring leaders a practical education to working in the political realm. The certificate has a broad-based curriculum and covers the fundamental competencies of political management. Upon completing the certificate, students will be prepared to work in a wide range of spheres ranging from political consulting to elected office to politically-based governmental positions.

Requirements: To qualify for this certificate, a student must successfully complete three courses at Fels and one approved course at Penn Law. The two requisite core courses are 1) GAFL 502 (Public Communications) and 2) GAFL 632 (Policy Making and Public Institutions) OR GAFL 551 (Government Relations). The two electives come from an established list. Learn more about this certificate from Fels.

Certificate in Public Finance

The Public Finance Certificate offers current and aspiring public leaders a practical education to help them gain skills to manage companies, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.