Frequently Asked Questions
7. Does a dual degree student have to complete both a Boston College Law School Financial Aid Application/Validation Form and a Boston College Graduate Financial Aid Application/Validation Form for the same academic year when that student will be enrolled in the Law School one semester and the Lynch School the other semester?
What does the study of education law entail?
Education law is defined broadly. Elementary, secondary, and higher education institutions and the employees, students and families who work with those institutions face myriad legal and public policy issues. Education institutions become involved in legal matters that include (but are not limited to) civil rights, contract law, tort law, property law, constitutional law, employment and labor law, municipal law, intellectual property, copyright and trademark matters, administrative law, and environmental law. Additionally, an increasing number of local, state, and federal regulations and statutes apply to education institutions.
Not to be overlooked in this definition are the rights of individuals. In this regard, education law includes a limitless number of issues related to individual rights in education, including special education law, legal issues surrounding care and protection of minors, child welfare, juvenile justice, and representation for suspensions and expulsions in the education context.
The broad nature of education law is addressed in the course ED 705/LL 703 Education Law and Public Policy, which is required for all dual degree students, regardless of the specific education degree pursued. This course examines ethical, public policy, and legal issues surrounding elementary, secondary, and higher education institutions.
In addition to the required course in the program, Education Law and Public Policy and the specific degree requirements in the Lynch School of Education and in the Law School, students in the program are encouraged to take law school electives that will supplement their understanding of education law. Such courses include, but are not limited to, Civil Rights Litigation: Section 1983, Administrative Law, First Amendment, State Constitutional Law, Employment Law, Labor Law, and classes concerning the juvenile justice system.
What are the different education degrees that students can pursue through the dual degree program?
The program allows students to pursue the following degrees
- M.A. in Higher Education
- M.Ed. in Education Leadership
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction
Please check here for program descriptions and requirements
How long does it take to complete the academic work for both degrees?
Because students are able to apply some education credits to fulfill law degree credit requirements and vice versa, students are able to fulfill the requirements for both degrees in three years if they take summer course work or, in the alternative, an overload of course credits during the second and third years of law school.
Students in this program will most likely need to take five classes a semester (15-16 credits) to complete both degrees in three years. Furthermore, some students may need to take one or two classes over the summer.
Generally, students take one or two Education courses each semester during their second and third years of Law School.
What does the average dual degree program of study look like?
All students in the dual degree program, regardless of education degree sought, spend their first year exclusively taking the first-year law school curriculum. In subsequent years, students must enroll for at least one semester as a student in the Lynch School of Education.
During the second and third years, students will take a combination of education and law courses making sure that both degree requirements are fulfilled. This usually consists of taking three law school classes and two education courses for two semesters (one academic year) and four law school classes and one education course for two semesters (one academic year).
Depending on the program of study and the individual's choice of classes, education course work may need to be completed through a summer course or two so that both degrees can be completed in three years.
Finally, graduation from the Lynch School of Education mandates successful completion of either an oral or written comprehensive examination administered in the final year of the program.
Do dual degree students still have time to write for a journal or compete in moot court/mock trial competitions?
In the recent past, students participating in the program have been members of the Boston College Law Review, a member of a National moot court team, finalists in the Grimes Moot Court Competition, a Mock Trial Competition participant, and members of the Public Interest Law Foundation's Executive Board.
In addition, students in the dual degree program have successfully taken part in clinical programs based out of the law school, including the Juvenile Justice Clinic and the Judge and the Community Courts Clinic, as well as volunteering to tutor students in a Boston Public School classroom through the Lynch School.
Some members of the program have served as graduate research assistants to faculty in the Lynch School of Education for at least one academic year.
Are students required to pay double tuition for the two degrees?
Students in the dual degree program will pay Law School tuition for five of the six semesters of the program. Because every dual degree student is required to register officially as a student in the Lynch School of Education for one semester, students pay the Lynch School's tuition for this semester.
As a dual degree student, does the student have to complete both a Boston College Law School Financial Aid Application/Validation Form and a Boston College Graduate Financial Aid Application/Validation Form for the same academic year when that student will be enrolled in the Law School one semester and the Lynch School the other semester?
Dual degree students have to complete, sign, and submit only one application/validation for the academic year when they will be enrolled in either school that year.
Information provided in the application/validation will be used by the Financial Services area of the Office of Student Services to determine the student's Cost of Attendance budget for that year, as well as the student's eligibility for different types of federal financial aid assistance.
Will participation in the program impact Law School financial aid awards?
The Law School may withdraw its financial aid during the one semester of LSOE student status.
Is it possible for graduate students to be eligible for financial aid for the summer?
Students who enroll at least half-time (6 credits in most cases) for the summer in the Lynch School may be eligible to receive a Federal Stafford Loan for that enrollment period. It is very important that the student completes the summer enrollment questions of the Boston College financial aid application/validation form to assist in determining eligibility.
If a student receives a scholarship or assistantship from the Lynch School, will it affect any federal financial aid awarded?
Total financial aid awarded cannot exceed total calculated federal eligibility.
If a student's financial aid resources for that year, including tuition remission and stipends, exceed total calculated federal eligibility, an adjustment to awarded federal financial aid will be required.
Depending on the timing of the electronic notification from the Lynch School, it is possible that adjustments will be made any time after the start of the academic year, and these adjustments may require the repayment of loan funds already disbursed.
What have previous students done with the degrees from the program?
Since the program was founded in 1997, graduates of the program have gone on to
- private firms specializing in education law and civil litigation
- doctoral programs in education and education policy
- state and federal court clerkships
- General counsel's offices
- Attorney, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Educaiton
- School boards of local school districts and boards of directors of public community college
- Think tanks
Can students obtain educator licensure through this program?
The Dual Degree program is not specifically designed to help interested students obtain licensure as teachers or administrators and there is not ample time to take part in the required practicum experiences under the current structure of the program.
If interested in certification as a teacher or an administrator, please consult the Lynch School of Education for more information.