Special Note: This program descriptions is currently being revised. Please be sure to check back soon! (September 2015)
Central European University Semester Exchange
Columbia University School of Law has established a semester exchange program with Central European University (CEU) under which up to two Columbia Law students per year may spend a semester in Budapest, acquiring up to 13 credits toward the J.D. degree.
This is an English-language exchange program focusing on advanced legal studies in three major fields: Comparative Constitutional Law, International Business Law, and Human Rights Law. Columbia students are not required to follow a particular track, and may take offerings from all three fields.
CEU is located in the center of Budapest, the political, cultural, intellectual, and economic center of Hungary. The city and the university offer a wide variety of activities to students.
CEU's program is divided into six 5-week modules. Columbia students can participate in the second and third modules in the fall, or the fourth, fifth and sixth modules in the spring. No credit is given for the first module. While the fourth module focuses on research, there is a limited number of courses for which students may register.
The approximate dates for the six modules are as follows:
Module I: Late July - Early Sept. (no credit)
Module II: Mid Sept. - Late Oct.
Module III: Late Oct. - Late Dec.
Module IV: Late Jan. - Early March (classes end)
(Research Module continues to early April)
Module V: Early April - mid-May
Module VI: Late May - Early July
Eligibility & Application Procedure
Applications from full-time Columbia students are accepted online from early February through early March for the following academic year. Preference will be given to students entering their third year. Previous studies in European law are highly recommended, but not mandatory. As part of the application, students must submit a resume, Columbia transcript, and a statement describing their educational objectives and reasons for participating in the program. Selections are made based upon the strength of the statement, academic record at Columbia, and faculty recommendations. Final acceptance to the program is subject to CEU approval.
Description of Courses & Credit Hours
Course offerings are conducted as courses or seminars and all are conducted in English. During each module approximately 4 to 8 offerings in each of the three main subject areas are offered (Comparative Constitutional Law, International Business Law, and Human Rights Law). One course credit may be obtained by attending 14 50-minute classes and complying with assessment requirements for that course. Columbia students may select and mix from all three subject areas. In order to earn 12 credits, students must take 12 course credits. If students are attending only two modules, they must register for six credits per module. Course descriptions and a schedule of classes are available from the Office of International Programs as well as from the CEU website: www.ceu.hu
As with all of the Law School's foreign programs, students earn credit only for those courses that are offered through the faculty of law.
Requirements for Student Performance & Grading Methods
Regular class attendance is a requisite for taking exams. Students who are absent more than one class per credit may be excluded from the course. Students may submit a "short thesis" (8,000-16,000 words) during the research period. The grading system at CEU follows more or less the American grading system of letters (A, A-, B+, B-, C+, F). Columbia grants credit for only those courses passed with a C or above. Acceptance of any grade for any course taken in the program is subject to the determination by Columbia Law School.
It is important to note that students are required to submit written reports on their course work, to be reviewed by the CLS faculty sponsor, every four weeks. Students who fail to comply with this requirement do not receive credit regardless of their grades at CEU. Transcripts are provided by CEU to Columbia. However, students' Columbia transcripts reflect only credit for classes passed.
Please note: Participation in an exchange program or semester study abroad program does not exampt students from any requirements for the J.D. degree (i.e. pro bono service, writing credits, etc.)
Columbia students continue to pay Columbia tuition, health insurance, and health service fees. Other Columbia student fees are waived. Students may waive health insurance and health service fees at Columbia if alternative coverage is obtained. Students are responsible for a nominal fee charged by CEU for a student ID card. In addition, a $200 security deposit at the CEU finance office is required upon arrival, which is returned upon departure.
CEU has reserved the right to cancel any course for reasons of insufficient student registration. If changes are announced prior to a student's departure from the U.S., and the student is unable to identify satisfactory substitute courses, the student may choose to withdraw from the program. If cancellation occurs after the student has arrived in Hungary, substitute courses must be selected and submitted for approval to the Office of International Programs of Columbia Law School.
Parker School Recognition
Students participating in a semester study abroad program are eligible to receive up to 7 of the 10 academic points in international, foreign or comparative law required for Parker School recognition. Students should contact the Parker School upon completion of the program to ascertain how many credits will be awarded for their foreign study.
Contact Individuals & Application
Office of International Programs
Tel: (212) 854-8170; fax: (212) 851-7691
Columbia Law School
435 W. 116th St
New York, NY 10027
Columbia Law School's Office of International Programs is located at:
William and June Warren Hall
1125 Amsterdam Avenue, 6th Floor.
Central European University Department of Legal Studies
Nador u. 9, 1051 Budapest, Hungary
Tel. 36-1 327-3000; Fax: 36-1 327-3007
Central European University New York Representative Office
400 W. 59th Street New York, New York 10019
Phone: 212 548-0616; Fax: 212 548-4664