Certificate Programs

The Villanova Graduate Tax Program offers qualified professionals the opportunity to undertake a cohesive course of study involving the tax and practical aspects of estate planning or employee benefits practice.

Each certificate offering is designed mainly for attorneys, accountants and other qualified professionals who are not interested in entering the full-blown LLM or MT degree program.  However, matriculated graduate tax students can also qualify for the certificate, thereby treating it, in a sense, as evidence of an area of specialization in augmentation of their regular LLM or MT degree.

Further information about the certificate programs curriculum and course requirements are below.

Employee Benefits

The Employee Benefits Certificate program is available to attorneys, accountants and other highly qualified professionals.

All certificate students are required to attend the New Student Orientation.

Curriculum

Total Credits: 9

 

Required Courses:

NOTE: All courses are 2 credits with the exception of Employee Benefits Law which is 1 credit

Admission Requirements:

Attorneys Non-Attorneys

Same as the requirements for admission to the LLM program: a JD degree, regardless of when awarded, with an acceptable cumulative grade point average.

For non-attorneys, the admission decision will be weighted heavily toward significant experience and credentials in the employee benefits field.

Accountants:
(i) If the applicant has passed the CPA exam, there are no other requirements;

(ii) if not, then

  • an undergraduate degree in accounting with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average
  • plus the Graduate Management Admission Test with an acceptable score
  • plus at least one year’s professional tax experience.

Non-accountants: A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university plus significant experience and credentials in the employee benefits field.

Examinations and Grading

With the exception of the Employee Benefits Law course which is a one-credit pass/fail course, all certificate students will be examined and graded in the same manner as regular matriculated graduate tax students. As in the regular Graduate Tax Program, a cumulative 2.67 grade point average is required for the award of the certificate.

Certificate for Matriculated Graduate Tax Students

A regular matriculated LLM or MT candidate can qualify for the estate planning certificate, in addition to the regular degree, by taking all of the courses required for the certificate. Having done so, due to the 1 credit Probate Process and Practice course, the matriculated degree candidate will graduate with 25 credits instead of the regular 24 credits.

Tuition

Tuition for certificate students is the same per-credit amount as for matriculated degree students.

Completion of the Program

Given an appropriate sequencing of courses, a certificate student can finish the program in one three-semester year. But, to accommodate work-schedule and other time commitments, a certificate participant has three years within which to complete the program requirements. At the beginning of the semester in which coursework will be completed, the student MUST complete the Diploma Order Form.

Certificate Students Switching to the LLM or MT Program

Some persons who enter the certificate program may develop an interest in the regular LLM or MT degree. Since admission requirements for certificate participants generally are the equivalent of those for degree candidates, in most instances the transition to degree candidate poses no qualification problem.  Interested students must contact the Graduate Tax Office for approval.

Form of Certificate

The certificate awarded is a certificate of achievement that signals the successful completion of the limited course of study. Note that the certification is not an attestation as to the professional competence of the certificate holder, nor is it a formal degree.

Continuing Education Credit

CLE and CPE credit is available to attorneys and accountants who are certificate students.

Estate Planning Certificate

The Estate Planning Certificate program has two tracks, one for attorneys and the other for accountants and other highly qualified professionals.

In addition, all certificate students are required to register and take the six-hour Distance Learning Seminar on Professional Responsibility in Federal Tax Practice (no tuition is charged), and attend the New Student Orientation.

Curriculum

Total Credits:

Attorneys Non-Attorneys
11 11

Required Courses:

NOTE: All courses are 2 credits with the exception of Probate Process and Practice which is 1 credit

Admission Requirements:

Attorneys Non-Attorneys
Same as the requirements for admission to the LLM program: a JD degree, regardless of when awarded, with an acceptable cumulative grade point average.

For non-attorneys, the admission decision will be weighted heavily toward significant experience and credentials in the employee benefits field.

Accountants:
(i) If the applicant has passed the CPA exam, there are no other requirements;

(ii) if not, then

  • an undergraduate degree in accounting with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average
  • plus the Graduate Management Admission Test with an acceptable score
  • plus at least one year’s professional tax experience.

Non-accountants: A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university plus professional certification in the financial planning area (e.g., CLU, CFP), or extensive acceptable experience in individual business or financial planning, or both.

Examinations and Grading

With the exception of the Probate Process and Practice course, all certificate students will be examined and graded in the same manner as regular matriculated graduate tax students. As in the regular Graduate Tax Program, a cumulative 2.67 grade point average is required for the award of the certificate.

Certificate for Matriculated Graduate Tax Students

A regular matriculated LLM or MT candidate can qualify for the estate planning certificate, in addition to the regular degree, by taking all of the courses required for the certificate. Having done so, due to the 1 credit Probate Process and Practice course, the matriculated degree candidate will graduate with 25 credits instead of the regular 24 credits.

Tuition

Tuition for certificate students is the same per-credit amount as for matriculated degree students.

Completion of the Program

Given an appropriate sequencing of courses, a certificate student can finish the program in one three-semester year. But, to accommodate work-schedule and other time commitments, a certificate participant has three years within which to complete the program requirements. At the beginning of the semester in which coursework will be completed, the student MUST complete the Diploma Order Form

Certificate Students Switching to the LLM or MT Program

Some persons who enter the certificate program may develop an interest in the regular LLM or MT degree. Since admission requirements for certificate participants generally are the equivalent of those for degree candidates, in most instances the transition to degree candidate poses no qualification problem.

Form of Certificate

The certificate awarded is a certificate of achievement that signals the successful completion of the limited course of study. Note that the certification is not an attestation as to the professional competence of the certificate holder, nor is it a formal degree.

Continuing Education Credit

CLE and CPE credit is available to attorneys and accountants who are certificate students.

Tax Controversy Certificate

Curriculum

The Tax Controversy Certificate Program addresses the need for litigation training for tax lawyers and also provides an opportunity for direct experiential learning and an appreciation of the importance of pro bono representation in the legal profession. It is open to full-time LLM students who have or are seeking a JD degree.

The following schedule outlines the program:

Meets twice per week for two weeks in May, then a Friday and Saturday in early June. The first 4 sessions will be video-recorded and available for distance viewing.

Admission Requirements

The candidate for admission must have or be seeking a JD degree, regardless of when it was or will be awarded, with an acceptable cumulative grade point average.

Examinations and Grading

With the exception of the Probate Process and Practice course, all certificate students will be examined and graded in the same manner as regular matriculated graduate tax students. As in the regular Graduate Tax Program, a cumulative 2.5 grade point average is required for the award of the certificate.

Tuition

Tuition for certificate students is the same per-credit amount as for matriculated degree students.

Completion of the Program

Given an appropriate sequencing of courses, a certificate student can finish the program in one three-semester year. But, to accommodate work-schedule and other time commitments, a certificate participant has three years within which to complete the program requirements. At the beginning of the semester in which coursework will be completed, the student MUST complete the Prospective Graduation form.

Certificate Students Switching to the LLM or MT Program

Some persons who enter the certificate program may develop an interest in the regular LLM or MT degree. Since admission requirements for certificate participants generally are the equivalent of those for degree candidates, in most instances the transition to degree candidate poses no qualification problem.

Form of Certificate

The certificate awarded is a certificate of achievement that signals the successful completion of the limited course of study. Note that the certification is not an attestation as to the professional competence of the certificate holder, nor is it a formal degree.

Continuing Education Credit

CLE and CPE credit is available to attorneys and accountants who are certificate students.

Important:  Curriculum Changes Effective Fall 2014

Tax Research and Writing (LTX-3228)  and Law Governing Tax Practice (LTX-5000)  have been consolidated to create a new course  LTX-5005 Professional Responsibility of Tax Practitioners. This new 2 credit required course will be offered for the first time in Fall 2014.  LTX-3228 and LTX-5000 will no longer be offered.  For students matriculating prior to Fall 2014: If you have already taken either LTX-3228  or LTX-5000, you are not required to take this new course.  If you have previously taken Law Governing Tax Practice, you simply select a two-credit elective course in order to meet your credit requirements.

Contact Us

Email

Phone Numbers
Office: 610-519-7043 or
1-888-GRAD-TAX
Professor Vines: 610-519-4533
FAX: 610-519-8018

Office Hours
Spring and Fall:
M-Th 9:00 AM – 8:15 PM, F until 5 PM

Summer:
M-Th 9:00 AM – 6:30 PM, F until 12 PM