Villanova offers one of the broadest and most comprehensive arrays of courses of any graduate tax program in the country.  Students take at least 12 credit hours of required courses that cover the major substantive areas of the Internal Revenue Code and tax practice and procedure.  In addition, each student must enroll in one transactional planning course.  The required courses provide a foundation for the more advanced elective courses.

The required courses are tailored to the backgrounds of LLM and MT candidates.  In order to provide a common body of knowledge when students enter the more advanced and elective courses, the first several required courses must be taken in a designated order.  For the same reason, some courses have prerequisite or co-requisite requirements that must be satisfied.

Most elective courses are offered at least once each academic year.  Depending on student demand, a few electives are offered less frequently; those generally repeat within a six-semester cycle.  As the direction of federal tax law changes, new courses may be added, or the content of existing courses altered, to keep pace with those changes.

Required Courses

All required courses are worth two credits each, with the exception of The Law Governing Tax Practitioners which is worth one credit.

Note: Courses that are numbered must be taken in that order or may be taken simultaneously.

1. Survey of Tax Practice 1. Survey of Tax Practice
2. Tax I 2. Tax I    
3. Tax II 3. Tax II                              
Tax Procedure Tax Procedure
Partnership Taxation Partnership Taxation
Tax Research and Writing Tax Research and Writing
Taxation of Corporations
and Shareholders
Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
Law Governing Tax Practitioners Law Governing Tax Practitioners                     
Planning Course: Choose one planning course marked with an * on the elective course list.

Elective Courses

Planning courses, one of which is required for graduation, are marked with an *. All courses are worth 2 credits each except as noted.

NOTE: An unpaid competitive internship with the Office of the Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service is available to qualified graduate tax students. The qualifying student may elect whether or not to participate in the internship for academic credit. If credit is elected, tuition is charged. Inquire at the Graduate Tax office.

Prerequisite Courses

To ensure that students have appropriate foundation knowledge when entering a course, certain courses in the curriculum are required as prerequisites for others. The Core Curriculum is a prerequisite for all other courses. Students are ordinarily not permitted to register for a course if its prerequisites have not been satisfied. However, depending on the circumstances, the Director of the Graduate Tax Program can permit a student to take a course’s prerequisite as a co-requisite.

LLM Core:  Survey of Tax Practice, Tax I, Tax II, Tax Procedure, taken in that order.

MT Core: Survey of Tax Practice, Tax I, Tax II, Tax Procedure, taken in that order.

Required Courses

Course Prerequisite
Survey of Tax Practice
Tax I None
Partnership Taxation Core Curriculum
Tax II Tax I
Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders Core Curriculum
Tax Procedure Tax II
Tax Research and Writing Four Prior Courses

Elective Courses

In limited circumstances, upon application of the student, the Director may waive or defer a required or prerequisite course.

Course Prerequisite
Advanced Tax Issues - Bankruptcy
Benefit Aspects of Business Transactions
Compensation Planning Core Curriculum
Consolidated Returns and Affiliated Corporations Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
Corporate Tax Planning Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
Digital Security for Tax Practitioners Core Curriculum
Drafting Fundamentals for Estate Planning Documents Wealth Tax
Electronic Commerce Core Curriculum
Employee Benefits Core Curriculum
Employee Benefits Law None
Estate Administration
Exempt Organizations Core Curriculum
Federal Wealth Transfer Taxation Core Curriculum
International Taxation I Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
Fundamentals of Testamentary Estate Planning Techniques 
(Estate Planning I)

Wealth Tax
Fundamentals of Lifetime Estate Planning Techniques (Estate Planning II)
International Taxation II Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
Internship - Office of the Chief Counsel, IRS Core Curriculum
Introduction to Digital Law Core Curriculum
Negotiating and Drafting Tax Provisions in Corporate Acquisition Agreements Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
Probate Process and Practice None
Qualified Pension and Profit Sharing Plans Core Curriculum
State and Local Taxation Core Curriculum
Tax Planning for Investments Partnership Taxation
Tax Planning for Real Estate Development
Tax Policy Seminar Core Curriculum
Tax Prosecutions and Penalties Core Curriculum
Taxable Acquisitions Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
Taxation of Investment Entities and Their Shareholders Core Curriculum
Taxation of Real Estate Transactions Core Curriculum
Taxation of S Corporations Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
Taxation of Tax-Exempt Healthcare Organizations Core Curriculum
Taxation of Trusts and Estates Core Curriculum
Tax-Free Reorganizations Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders

Law Governing Tax Practitioners

The course uses a distance learning approach designed to teach rules of conduct, ethics, and discipline for attorneys and CPAs acting as advisors, advocates, adversaries, clients and government officials.  The 13 hours of prerecorded presentations are subdivided into modules covering a wide range of topics. The format will include lectures, discussions, and demonstrations of the issues and course material described in the syllabus, led by one of the three professors teaching this course.  The material will include PowerPoint presentations and posted readings.  Discussion Board and Chat features of Blackboard will be used to facilitate discussion.  Each module will be hosted by one of the professors with whom students may chat during each of two live weekly broadcasts.  Students will be tested throughout the semester, and they will be graded on their performance on those tests and their class participation via Discussion Board and Chat.  Students will receive one credit hour upon completion of this course.

Contact Us


Phone Numbers
Office: 610-519-7043 or
Professor Vines: 610-519-4533
FAX: 610-519-8018

Office Hours
Spring and Fall: 9:00 AM – 8:15 PM
Summer: 9:00 AM – 6:30 PM