Special Note: This program descriptions is currently being revised. Please be sure to check back soon! (September 2015)
University of Paris II — Assas Semester Exchange Program
Columbia University School of Law established a program with the Université de Paris — Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) in 1995, under which up to four Columbia Law students fluent in French may spend their third-year fall semester in Paris while earning up to 13 credits toward their J.D.
Students may choose from a number of courses offered in the DEUG, Licence, and Maîtrise programs along with certain seminars offered in the D.E.A. program.
The program is conducted at Paris II, located in the heart of the Latin Quarter next to the Luxembourg gardens. There are approximately 18,000 students attending Paris II each year, and about 600 officers of instruction. Within the Faculty of Law, Maîtrise and D.E.A. degrees are offered in private and public law with specialization in international law, intellectual property law, history of law, philosophy of law, environmental law, and criminal law, among many others.
The fall semester at Paris II is 13 weeks long, commencing the first week in October and ending mid-January, with a two-week break for Christmas. The seminars (travaux dirigés) begin in the third week in October. A special session to take final exams prior to the Christmas holidays is generally arranged so that students may return to the United States before the beginning of Columbia's spring semester. Therefore, the semester in Paris for Columbia students is shorter: it begins in early October and finals are held in mid-to-late December, making it only 11 weeks long.
Eligibility & Application
Columbia students in their second year of study who are fluent in French may apply for this program. The application is available online early February and is due early March. As part of the application, students must submit a résumé, transcript and a statement describing their educational objectives and reasons for participating in the program. In addition, interviews to determine French fluency and appropriateness for the program are arranged. Selections are made upon the strength of the statement, academic record at Columbia, faculty recommendations, and French fluency.
Description of Courses & Credit Hours
Students must take a minimum of 15 credit hours in Paris. Students will be expected to take 4 three-hour courses plus a mandatory introductory course on French law taught by the Director of the program, Professor Bernard Audit (1-1/2 credit hours), and a research seminar (travaux dirigés) of 1-1/2 credit hours to equal 13 CLS credits. (A French credit equals roughly .91 CLS credits.) The listing of course offerings from previous years is available for review from the Office of International Programs. In addition, graduate seminars in the D.E.A program are sometimes made available to those students who have had previous experience in the given subject. Final registration takes place upon arrival in Paris. All class schedules must be approved by Columbia Law School.
Requirements for Student Performance & Grading Methods
Classes are conducted as both lectures and seminars (travaux dirigés). Classroom attendance is crucial for successful completion of courses and may be mandatory for some courses and seminars. Students in this exchange program receive letter grades from Paris II. Columbia grants credit only for those courses passed with a C or above. While students receive grades from Paris II, the Columbia transcript reflects only credit awarded for foreign study abroad. Students must submit written reports on their coursework to Columbia every four weeks. Students who fail to comply with this requirement will not receive credit regardless of the grades received at Paris II.
Participation in an exchange program or semester study abroad does not exempt students from any requirements for the J.D. degree (i.e. Profession of Law, pro bono service, etc).
Students continue to pay Columbia tuition, health insurance and health service fees. Other Columbia student activity fees are waived. Tuition fees at Paris II are also waived.
Paris II reserves the right to cancel any course for reasons of insufficient student registration. Students will receive due notice to that effect. If changes are announced prior to a student's departure 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 at Paris II, substitute courses must be selected and submitted for approval to the Dean of Comparative and 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 (WJ)
1125 Amsterdam Avenue, 6th Floor
Université de Paris — Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) www.u-paris2.fr