Fudan University Semester Exchange Program
Columbia University School of Law has established a semester exchange program with the Fudan University School of Law in Shanghai under which up to two Columbia Law students may spend a semester in Shanghai acquiring 11-13 credits toward the J.D. degree. Students may choose from a variety of courses offered at the undergraduate and graduate level. Fluency in Chinese is advantageous though there are a growing number of English courses available.
Dates and Location
Generally, sessions run from early September through mid-January, and from late February until July. Fudan may be willing to shorten the fall semester to allow students to return to CLS before the beginning of the spring term, and may shorten the spring semester to allow students to take the July bar exam.
Fudan University is located in Shanghai, the largest city in China and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. It is the center of commerce and finance in mainland China.
Eligibility and Application
Applications are accepted online in the spring semester prior to the year students wish to study abroad (e.g., 1Ls apply in the spring of their first year to go in the spring of their second year). As part of the application, students must submit a résumé and a 1-1.5 page statement describing their educational objectives and reasons for wishing to participate in the program. Students must also submit the name of a Columbia faculty member whom the Office of International Programs may contact with regard to the students’ qualifications. Selections will be made upon the strength of the statement, academic record at Columbia, and faculty recommendations. Interviews will also be conducted to assist in the selection process to make sure that each applicant’s aural and oral Chinese is up to par.
Course Load & Credit Hours
Students must take between 11-13 credits during the semester at Fudan. Credits are transferred on a one-to-one basis. The Columbia transcript will show the number of credits earned abroad, but not the courses taken or the grades received.
Columbia students will be allowed to take only law courses for the sake of counting credits toward the J.D. Students can take language courses and the like offered through different parts of the university, but these credits will not be applied to the J.D.
Student Performance & Grading
Whenever possible, Columbia will review all written work in examinations and papers from students’ semester at Fudan, and acceptance of any grade for any course taken in the program is subject to the determination by Columbia Law School. Students should be aware that foreign grading systems may differ significantly from those employed in the United States. Students will receive transcripts from the foreign institution reflecting grades earned, but the Columbia transcripts will only reflect credit for courses passed.
Please note that students must submit written reports on their coursework to the Office of International Programs every month (1 page per course).
Please note: Participation in a semester study abroad program does not exempt students from any requirements for the J.D. degree (i.e. profession of law, pro bono service, etc.).
Columbia students will continue to pay Columbia tuition, health insurance, and health service fees. Other Columbia student activity fees will be waived. Students may waive health insurance fees and health service fees at Columbia if alternative coverage is obtained.
Fudan University reserves 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 China, 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 required academic points in international, foreign, or comparative law. Students should contact the Parker School upon completion of the program to ascertain how many credits will be awarded for their foreign study.
Columbia University School of Law
Office of International Programs
6th Floor William and June Warren Hall (WJ)
Tel: (212) 854-8170; fax: (212) 851-7691