Over 65% of University of Pennsylvania Law School 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.
Pathways to the Profession: Lily Moran L’22
Lily Moran L’22 is from Reading, Pennsylvania. In her undergraduate program at Cornell University, Lily studied environmental science and policy and international relations. She is interested in environmental and energy law.
Wharton Certificate in Management Limerick
“Now we can better serve our clients,
And help us form an alliance,
With business interests that aren’t the simplest,
So we can become legal giants.”
– Brian Rocco L’17 performs a limerick
praising the new one week, intensive bootcamp format
Certificate in Management from the Wharton School
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 the Law School.
Certificate in Business Economics and Public Policy from the Wharton School
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 Law School 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 Law School 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.
Certificate in Energy Management and Policy from Penn Design’s Kleinman School of Energy Policy
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.
Certificate of Study in Nonprofit Leadership from the School of Social Policy and Practice
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 the Law School.
Certificate of Study in Environmental Policy from the Institute for Environmental Studies
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 Law School 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 from the Institute of Environmental Studies
This certificate will be granted by the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania to Law School 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 Law School staff; and three (3) courses in Environmental Science from a list approved annually by staff in the IES Program.
Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Graduate Certificate from the School of Arts and Sciences
The Graduate Certificate in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies (GSWS) provides graduate students with opportunities to think in an integrated fashion about gender and sexuality and to learn from a variety of methodological approaches such as critical feminist, race, and legal theory, cultural studies, and psychoanalytic theory, as well as traditional disciplinary methodologies.
Requirements: To qualify for this certificate, a student must take four (4) graduate-level courses that are approved by the GSWS department. The courses must be cross-listed with GSWS or (if at the Law School and not cross-listed) contain significant GSWS content. There is a paper required for the Graduate Certificate; a student may be able to fulfill this requirement with a paper written for another course, or may need to expand upon an existing paper. Students should also participate in four GSWS-sponsored activities. Learn more about this certificate from GSWS.
Certificate in Nonprofit Administration from the Fels Institute of Government
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 from the Fels Institute of Government
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 the Law School. 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 and Economic Development from the Fels Institute of Government
The Public Finance and Economic Development Certificate allows students to learn how to promote economic growth at the community, organizational, and policy levels, while also gaining fundamental competencies of effective financial management needed to work in public finance. Elective coursework focuses on advancing equity and inclusion in development, and how to use data and analysis to make informed financial decisions.
Requirements: The Certificate in Public Finance and Economic Development requires four (4) credit units, including two (2) foundational courses and two (2) electives: one (1) from the economic growth focus, and one (1) from the public finance focus. Learn more about this certificate from Fels.
SCAN Neuroscience Certificate from the Center for Neuroscience and Society
The Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) certificate will enable graduate and professional students preparing for a wide range of careers to work knowledgeably with neuroscience. The program’s aim is to enable graduate and professional students to incorporate the concepts and methods of neuroscience into their work. This program is ideal for law students interested in the many ways in which neuroscience relates to law, including the brain basis of self-control and anti-social behavior, drug policy, mental health parity, and the use of brain imaging evidence concerning competence, responsibility and truthfulness.
Requirements: SCAN is a four course program. SCAN students take two required courses (please note that these courses are offered only in the fall) -
- PSYC 547: Foundations of Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
- PSYC 747: Special Topics in Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
SCAN students also take two electives from the following categories: approved advanced neuroscience courses, neuroscience and society courses, or bridging courses. Qualifying electives offered by the law school include: LAW 705: Mental Health Law and LAW 981: Neurolaw.
For more information, please visit the Center for Neuroscience and Society online (applications are accepted on a rolling basis for law students).
Certificate in Engineering Entrepreneurship from Penn Engineering
The Certificate in Engineering Entrepreneurship (EENT) provides a foundation of knowledge and skills for pursuing high-tech entrepreneurial opportunities, and is intended to compliment the student’s graduate education and training in Penn Engineering’s master’s degree programs. On a space available basis, and depending on a student’s background and training, Penn Law students may apply for the EENT Certificate. This certificate requires the student to take four classes outside of the Law School (all of which will be counted towards the JD as per our general policy of counting four, pre-approved non-law classes towards the JD). For more information about the requirements, please see the Penn Engineering Site.
Graduate Certificate in Experimental Ethnography from the Center for Experimental Ethnography
The Center for Experimental Ethnography (CEE) seeks to amplify discussions regarding the emerging forms that scholarly research is taking in the humanities and social sciences, and to create institutional interventions related to extra-textual genres of research practice and dissemination. The Graduate Certificate in Experimental Ethnography is aimed at students who want to merge creative and interdisciplinary practice through multi-modal methods with their scholarly production.
Requirements: To qualify for the certificate, law students must take 4 courses (1 core course; 1 or 2 methods courses; and 1 or 2 topical seminars). Decisions regarding applicable courses are at the discretion of the CEE Faculty Steering Committee. Additional requirements include participation in specified workshops and the development of a research project with multi-modal component.
Graduate Certificate in Global Human Rights from the School of Arts and Sciences
The Graduate Certificate in Global Human Rights will give students working knowledge of the core international human rights documents, treaties and mechanisms. By taking a cross-disciplinary approach, students are challenged to look at similar topics or questions from difference approaches and given the opportunity to shape the certificate around their own specific interests within human rights.
Requirements: To qualify for this certificate, law students must take a total of five graduate courses (nor more of three of which can be LAW courses) relating to international human rights.
One of the five graduate level courses must be Human Rights (PSCI-558), International Human Rights Post 9/11 (LAW-992), Public International Law (LAW-660), or Developing Effective Public Health Programs. The remaining four courses should be selected from a list of approved offerings and students may petition for two of those four courses outside the preapproved courses list. Learn more about this certificate.
Certificate of Study in Middle East and Islamic Studies from the School of Arts and Sciences
This certificate is awarded by the University of Pennsylvania’s Middle East Center (MEC) to Penn Law students looking to engage in contemporary research on the modern Middle East or to study the area’s ancient and medieval languages and civilizations.
Requirements: To qualify for this certificate, students must successfully complete four courses in the general area of Middle East and Islamic Studies. Three of these courses are taken in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GAS) and must be primarily related to the study of Middle Eastern or Islamic societies. The fourth course is taken at the Law School and will ordinarily include a component involving Islam or the Middle East, but with special permission of the Dean of Students may be in the area of International Law. Maximum of two of the courses may be language courses at the 500 level or above.
Certificate of Study in East Asian Studies from the School of Arts and Sciences
This certificate is awarded by the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) to Penn Law students seeking to ground themselves in the political, cultural and historical issues of East Asia as a complement to their law degree.
Requirements: To qualify for this certificate, a student must take four courses in the general area of East Asian Studies. Three of these courses are taken in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GAS) and must be primarily related to the study of East Asian societies. The fourth course is taken at the Law School and will ordinarily include a component involving East Asia, but with special permission of the Dean of Students may be in the area of International Law. Maximum of two of the courses may be language courses at the 500 level or above.
Certificate of Study in Latin American and Latino Studies from the School of Arts and Sciences
This certificate is awarded by the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) to Penn Law students who wish to gain exposure in Latin America and Latino Studies in conjunction with their legal education. Students develop rich cross-cultural fluency in Latin American language(s) and culture and acquire specific knowledge about the history, social conditions, political challenges, and/or environmental issues affecting the region.
Requirements: To qualify for the certificate, a student must successfully complete five courses in the general area of Latin America and Latino Studies. Two of these are taken inside the Law School (one course must be Public International Law or International Business Transactions), and three courses are taken outside of the Law School.
Ad Hoc Certificates
Other certificate programs may be available on an ad-hoc basis. If, in examining the University’s website, you see any other certificate program of interest to you, please contact us to see about its availability to Law School students.
LLM: Wharton Business and Law Certificate
This program was redesigned for the LLM class entering in the summer of 2012 and is offered in alliance with Wharton’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education. It is designed for lawyers who wish to acquire:
- A strong grounding in business disciplines to better serve their clients, manage their practices, or expand their professional options beyond the practice of law.
- A robust business vocabulary that enhances workplace communication and an understanding of business culture in the United States.
- Enhanced skills for the sophisticated presentation of projects, ideas, or investment propositions to colleagues, clients and other professionals from the worlds of both law and business.
- A better understanding of the core management concepts that will increase their capacity to develop or professionalize a practice, department, firm or business enterprise.
This is a custom designed program for Penn Law LLM students taught by Wharton faculty and industry experts selected for their teaching skills, subject expertise and ability to offer applied concepts and examples to participants. All LLM students may participate in this program which runs concurrently with the LLM program. Those who successfully complete its requirements will earn a certificate awarded by The Wharton School’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education as well their LLM degree from the Law School. Wharton courses are held in the evenings in state-of-the-art teaching facilities at the Steinberg Conference Center on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia.
WBLC students choose three courses from among several areas of study, including accounting, corporate finance, human resource management, responsible business practices, and general management. This certificate program has been designed by the Wharton School’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education exclusively for mid-career professionals seeking to gain business expertise. This program should not be confused with an MBA program and does not include MBA students.