Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to have completed my bachelor's degree by the time the Accelerated Option (AO) begins?
No, but you must have a completed bachelor's degree by the time the fall semester begins in August. The Accelerated Option's summer courses take place in the evenings and on weekends, allowing students the time needed to complete their bachelor's degrees before the start of the fall term.
If I am not admitted to the Accelerated Option, can I still be considered for admission to the traditional three-year JD program?
Yes, the consideration will be automatic, immediately following the initial decision.
Will the Accelerated Option cost me less in tuition than the traditional JD program?
Not necessarily, as the overall unit requirements are the same, and you will still be completing six terms of law school. The major financial benefits of the AO include earning income sooner and the possibility of limiting living expenses. If students plan carefully, they can arrange a schedule that will allow them to have a small tuition savings. This savings can be achieved by maximizing the number of units taken under the flat rate during the second year.
If I received a Dean's scholarship, how will this be applied, and what is the rule for renewal during the second year?
The Dean's scholarship is awarded for the fall and spring semesters. The scholarship for the first summer will be equal to an additional one-half of the total award. This prorated scholarship amount for the first summer will take the form of a forgivable loan. The summer loan will be forgiven as long as you remain enrolled through the fall semester of the first year. The award for fall and future semesters will be applied as scholarship.
The renewal stipulations are the same for both the AO and the traditional student.
Will I be able to earn any of the other certificates offered through the School of Law?
It certainly will be easy for a student in the AO to take the courses needed to earn the Certificate in Dispute Resolution. All of the certificate programs are available to the AO students, but the ability to earn the certificate will depend upon the student's ability to schedule the appropriate classes. The law school will work with students to explore the possibilities regarding such a schedule but cannot guarantee that such a schedule will always be possible.
Will I be able to participate in any of the National and International opportunities?
All of the National and International opportunities are available to AO students. Once again, it is worth noting that AO students must pay close attention to scheduling classes. There are courses in the Straus Institute that will easily be available for AO students who wish to travel. The official names of these courses are Current Issues in European Dispute Resolution (commonly known as the London/Geneva study tour) and Current Issues in Asian Dispute Resolution (referred to as the Hong Kong/Beijing study tour), and they can be taken like any other two-week course offered by the Straus Institute.
Will I be able to participate in the Global Justice Program initiatives?
Yes, you will be able to participate in many of the initiatives but perhaps not all, due to the need to enroll full-time during the second summer.
In addition to the required 6-unit externship during the second summer, will I have the opportunity to extern during the fall and spring terms?
Yes, in addition to the required 6-unit externship during the second summer, additional externship opportunities may be available during the fall or spring in the second year with careful course planning.
Will I be able to participate in On-Campus Interview programs?
Yes, AO students may participate in On-Campus Interviews during the spring semester of their first year and during the fall semester of their second year.
Will I be able to participate in journals and advocacy competitions as an AO student?
Yes, AO students are eligible to participate in the four School of Law journals: Pepperdine Law Review, Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal, Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary (NAALJ), and Pepperdine Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship, and the Law (JBEL). AO students also may participate in the advocacy competitions, including moot court competitions and trial teams.
How are AO students ranked?
A first-year rank will be calculated alongside the traditional students at the end of the first spring semester. The first summer's grades will not be factored in when calculating the first-year rank. After the fall semester of the second year, you will receive a rank alongside the third-year students, at which point your first summer grades will be included. A final rank will be calculated after the final spring semester.
If I no longer wish to pursue the Accelerated Option, is it possible to transition to the traditional JD program, and will I be penalized for doing so?
It is possible to transition, and this option provides an important safety net for the AO student. The Accelerated Option is an intensive program requiring a full load of classes both in the summer and during the regular year. It is possible that students may find the pace too strenuous, or they may decide to slow down their degree pace for other reasons. If that turns out to be the case for you, then you may switch to the traditional JD program. You would have the opportunity to finish law school in 2.5 years or 3 years. To transfer to the traditional program, you will be required to notify the Office of Admissions, Student Information and Services of your decision by filling out an official request to transfer programs. There are a few other considerations:
If you received a scholarship as an AO student, it would still only cover a total of six terms. For example, if you participate in the Accelerated Option the first summer, fall, and spring terms and then transition to the traditional JD program, your scholarship would not cover the final semester of your third year, which would be your seventh term. However, it may be possible to complete enough units to graduate in 2.5 years, and in that case, your scholarship would not be affected. If you chose to attend for the full 3 years, student loans would still be available for your last semester.
By transitioning to the traditional JD program, you would be subject to the same rules as the traditional JD students. For example, AO students are able to take a maximum amount of 12 units during the summer term, whereas the traditional JD students are only allowed to take a maximum of 9 units. If you are participating in a journal, AO students are required to complete two semester's worth of journal work, whereas the traditional JD students must complete four semester's worth of journal work. Your class ranking will be with the class with which you graduate.