The policies and procedures set forth below apply to students who are taking the Certificate in Estate Planning program on a stand-alone basis. For students who are taking the Certificate in Estate Planning program in conjunction with the LL.M. in Taxation program, the policies and procedures for the LL.M. in Taxation program apply.
The Graduation Requirements/Procedures set forth below also apply to students who are taking the Certificate in Estate Planning program in conjunction with the LL.M. in Taxation program, except that such students have within five years of enrollment to complete all degree and certificate requirements.
Class Participation Requirement
Class participation is a primary obligation of each LL.M. in Tax, M.S. in Tax, and Certificate in Estate Planning student (collectively, “Graduate Tax Program student”), whose right to continued enrollment in the course and to take the examination is conditioned upon a record of class participation sufficient to the professor. Graduate Tax Program students are not subject to the General Attendance Policy for JD students described in the UB School of Law Student Handbook, but are subject to the participation requirement described below.
Failure Due to Insufficient Participation
A Graduate Tax Program student who fails to participate in the minimum number of classes provided below (approximately 80 percent of classes) may be compelled to withdraw from the course, or may be barred from sitting for the final exam. Students who are forced to withdraw for exceeding the allowed absences may receive a grade of FA (failure due to excessive absence).
A student participates in a class by either (i) attending a class in person, (ii) attending a class synchronously online, or (iii) engaging in a substantive interaction with the professor for a class; as determined by the professor. A substantive interaction with the professor for a class may include posting questions about a class on a discussion board or via email, providing a summary of the content of a class in writing, or successfully completing a quiz administered for the class, among other possibilities.
Total Class Sessions
Minimum Number of Classes
Required to Participate
28 23 14 12 8 7 7 6
Academic Integrity Policy
Students in the Certificate in Estate Planning program are governed by the University of Baltimore Academic Integrity Policy. This policy covers all students participating in the program, even those not seeking a degree.
Grading and Exam Policies
The Certificate in Estate Planning program uses a letter grading system. Students receive grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, or F. To graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 (B) or better.
A grade of W (withdrawn without prejudice, no grade point designation) is assigned when the student drops a course after the end of the add-drop period and either before the deadline for withdrawal or with the permission of the program director.
A grade of I (incomplete, no grade point designation) is given when a student cannot be rated as passing or failing because of a quantitative deficiency caused by illness or other excusable condition. An I grade cannot be assigned for a qualitative deficiency to allow the student to do additional work to raise a grade. Students who find they must take an I in any course must complete an Application for Incomplete form, available in the Graduate Tax Program office. An I grade received in the fall semester must be removed by May 1 of the following spring semester, and an I grade received in the spring or summer semester must be removed by Dec. 1.
Upper Level Required and Open Enrollment Courses
Grades for upper level required and open enrollment courses shall average between 3.00 and 3.50 if the course has 11 or more enrolled. For courses with fewer than 11 students, this grading average is recommended. For upper level required/open enrollment courses with 21 or more students, grades shall be distributed within the course as follows: a minimum of 20% shall be grades of A- or higher and a minimum of 7% shall be grades of C- or lower. In applying said curve, the number of minimum grades in an applicable course shall be determined by (i) multiplying the applicable percentage by the number of students in the course and (ii) rounding the product to the nearest whole number using standard conventions (e.g. 2.01- 2.49 is rounded to 2 and 2.50 – 2.99 is rounded to 3). For such courses with enrollments of 20 students or less, the minimum grade percentages are recommended but not required. The minimum grade percentages do not apply to LLM US law or graduate tax classes (even if such classes are open to JD students).
Limited Enrollment Courses
Grades for upper level limited enrollment courses except clinics shall average between 3.00 and 3.67 if the course has 11 or more enrolled. For courses with 10 or fewer students, this average is recommended.
Grade Submission Policy
All final grades shall be submitted by each faculty member by entering grades on MyUB no later than 21 calendar days after the last course final exam for fall and springs semesters, and no later than 18 calendar days after the last course final exam for summer and winter terms.
Reasonable Accommodations in Taking Exams
Students with disabilities within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act and who seek accommodations when taking exams must be certified by the Office of Disability and Access Services. Once certified, students may be entitled to reasonable accommodations. Students may request accommodations for exams pursuant to the guidelines published by the School of Law’s Office of Academic Affairs each semester.
Final Exam Deferral Procedures
Examination deferrals may be granted for the following situations only:
Two examinations at the same time. If two exams are scheduled at the same time on the same day, the exam in the required course must be taken and the other deferred. If both are electives, one must be taken at the scheduled time.
Two exams scheduled to start within 24 hours. If two exams are scheduled to start within 24 hours, the exam in the required course must be taken and the other deferred. If both are electives, one must be taken at the scheduled time. For purposes of this rule, two exams that start at the same time (e.g. 9am) on two consecutive days do not start within 24 hours of each other and are therefore not eligible for a deferral.
Religious reasons. Deferrals for religious reasons must be supported by a letter from a minister, priest or rabbi (written on appropriate letterhead) and submitted within the deferral request period.
No deferrals shall be granted for reasons related to student employment, graduation and/or weddings. Only in class examinations may be deferred. Take home exams cannot be deferred.
Emergency Deferrals During Examination Period
If an emergency arises during the examination period, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the School of Law must be contacted and proper documentation presented to arrange a deferral. If the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is unavailable, the student shall contact a staff member of the Office of Academic Affairs or the Head Proctor in the Exam Room. Emergency deferrals will be granted provisionally by phone but must be supported by a written request and supporting documentation within 48 hours unless extended by the Associate Dean or his or her designee.
Failure to Appear for an Exam
In the absence of a documented emergency, students who fail to take a final exam during the scheduled time will receive a grade of F. Decisions about what constitutes a documented emergency are made by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the School of Law. Students should not contact faculty about missed exams.
Use of Computers When Taking Examinations
Students are expected to use computers with the designated exam software for their in-class final exams. Students may not use computers for final exams where a faculty member expressly prohibits such use unless it has been approved as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.
Students are only permitted to use laptops during a final exam if they are using the exam software. Students who are handwriting exams are not permitted to use laptops, except for the express purpose of entering answers to multiple choice questions. For open book exams, all students must print out and bring with them any materials they plan to use.
In order to determine whether the professor has expressly given permission for the use of computers, the student should check with the professor. Students using their laptops to take their exams, both open book, limited source and closed book, must use the exam security software that is provided through the School of Law’s Office of Academic Affairs.
Exams for Certain Remote Students
With the online delivery of most Certificate in Estate Planning courses, certain remote students have the option to take their exams using a local proctor for courses for which online delivery is available. If you live more than 50 miles from the University of Baltimore, you are eligible to take your exam using a local proctor in your area. Proctors would need to be professionally associated with an educational institution or library. Potential proctors include administrative staff at community colleges or universities, staff at local or university libraries, or staff at testing centers such as Kaplan or Sylvan. A particular proctor may charge a fee for their services, and you will be responsible for paying this expense. Exams taken using a local proctor must be taken on a computer using the University provided software; handwritten exams are not permitted under this procedure.
All students enrolled in the Certificate in Estate Planning program are assigned a blind grading identification number to use instead of their names or social security numbers on law school exams. Blind grading identification numbers are confidential and available prior to the start of exams online using MyUB. Where necessary, students are assigned blind grading identification numbers for midterm examinations, and are notified of the midterm numbers via UBALT email. Midterm and final blind grading identification numbers are not the same.
In classes in which exams are the primary means of evaluation, faculty members assign grades without knowing the identity of the test taker. After faculty members turn in the "blind" exam grades, they have the opportunity to match student exam numbers with student names. Faculty members are permitted to adjust the raw exam grades to reflect class participation according to the guidelines set forth in the course syllabus, but in no event may class participation be considered more than one full letter grade up or down. The final grade students receive in the course may differ from their blind exam grade to the extent that professors take into account class participation or other factors as outlined in the syllabus.
In other courses grading is not anonymous and the professor determines the basis on which grades are awarded. Students who wish to verify final grades may request an official transcript from the University Records Office.
Repeated Courses Policy
While a student in the Certificate in Estate Planning program may repeat any course in which he or she has received a grade of C+ or lower (not B- or higher), the student may replace only one grade. If a second attempt is made to replace a grade, the replacement grade will be calculated into the student’s GPA regardless of whether it is higher or lower than the original grade. The grade for the replacement attempt will appear on the transcript within the semester in which the course is repeated.
Students who repeat courses to replace grades do so at their own risk. For example, a student repeating a C-graded course who receives an F for the second attempt will lose the points earned for the C, and the F grade will be the grade that will be computed into the GPA. Further, if the student receives a W (withdrawn) for the second attempt, the W will not replace the original grade.
If a second attempt is meant to replace a grade, a student must file a repeat course form at the time he or she registers for the second attempt. Failure to obtain the dean’s approval and to file the repeat course form will result in both the original and repeated grades being computed into the GPA.
Grades of C+ or lower earned at the University of Baltimore dictate that the class must be repeated at the University of Baltimore. Grades will not be changed on the basis of work taken elsewhere. The repeated course must be the original course; a substitute course will not be acceptable for a grade change.
If a student repeats a course for a purpose other than replacing a grade, a repeat course form does not need to be filed. In such cases, the grade achieved in the original course as well as the grade(s) earned in the re-taking of the course will be calculated in the student’s GPA. Students should be aware that earning C+ or lower grades that are computed into the GPA may result in their placement on probation, suspension or academic dismissal.
Students must repeat a required course in which he or she received a grade of F. Unless the course is retaken pursuant to the repeat/replace policy discussed above, the grade of F received in the original course as well as the grade earned in the retaking of the course will be calculated in the student’s GPA.
The credit value of any repeated course will be counted one time only at the University of Baltimore to satisfy UBalt graduation requirements.
Grade Appeal Policy
Students taking Certificate in Estate Planning program courses are subject to the School of Law Grade Appeal Policy.
Academic Probation, Suspension and Dismissal Policy
Any Certificate in Estate Planning program student who has a cumulative GPA below 2.80 after the completion of any semester will be placed on academic probation for the following semester, except that a student will not be placed on academic probation for the semester immediately following the student’s first semester in the Certificate in Estate Planning program. A student will remain on academic probation until the student’s cumulative GPA is at least 2.80.
A student will be suspended from the program for one semester if (i) the student is on academic probation both during a particular semester and immediately after the completion of the particular semester and (ii) the student receives a grade below a B during the particular semester. The suspension will take place during the semester immediately following the particular semester.
After being suspended for one semester, a student may resume taking courses in the program. A student will be academically dismissed from the program following the completion of a particular semester if (i) the student is on academic probation during the particular semester, (ii) the student’s cumulative GPA is below 2.80 immediately after the completion of the particular semester, (iii) the student receives a grade below a B during the particular semester, and (iii) the particular semester is after a semester during which the student had been suspended from the program.
For purposes of this policy, the term “semester” means the fall semester, spring semester or summer session.
Graduation Requirements/ Procedures
To graduate from the Certificate in Estate Planning program, students must:
- Successfully complete 12 credit hours of courses, including all required courses, plus Trusts & Estates and Federal Income Taxation or Fundamentals of Federal Income Tax I if these courses were not taken in the student’s J.D. program
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of not less than 3.00
- Complete all certificate requirements within two years of enrollment
Information about course requirements and curriculum is available at http://law.ubalt.edu/academics/post_jd_graduate_programs/certestateplanning/requirements.cfm.
Responsibility for completing graduation requirements rests with the individual student. Students who are candidates for graduation must submit a formal application to the Records Office at the beginning of the semester in which they expect to graduate. The application is used to prepare graduation lists, check graduation requirements, and order diplomas.
Applying for Financial Aid
The University of Baltimore recognizes that financial assistance may be required to meet the cost of higher education and provides loans through federal, state, and institutional sources to help eligible students meet these needs. Funds may be used to defray direct educational costs, such as tuition and fees, and indirect costs, such as room and board, books, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses. Funds are awarded primarily on the basis of need and are disbursed as applications are received. For information, contact the Financial Aid Office.
Students who withdraw from a course or from the University must file a written notice of withdrawal with the Records and Registration Office before they can receive a credit or refund of tuition. Discontinued attendance or notification to the instructor or any other office does not constitute an official withdrawal. In all cases, responsibility for withdrawing officially rests with the student. Any refund is based on the date of the formal notice of withdrawal, not when the student stopped attending classes. Questions concerning the computation of a refund must be directed to the University Bursar's Office. The amount of a credit or refund of tuition is based on the Refund Schedule published by the Bursar's Office..