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When is Wintersession?

This year’s Wintersession will offer a combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning opportunities, with the former to be completed during winter break (before spring semester courses begin on Wednesday, January 20, 2021), and the latter to take place the weekends of Friday, February 19 – Sunday, February 21, 2021, and Friday, March 12 – Sunday, March 14, 2021.

Courses may continue to be added and updated over winter break, so please continue to check the website and DukeHub regularly for information.

Who can take Wintersession courses?

With the exception of Law 844, all other courses are open to 2Ls, 3Ls, LLMs (including LLMLEs), and SJDs. First-year students may take any of the asynchronous courses, or The Counselor & The Client (Law 844); Spanish for Legal Studies; Counseling & Creating a New Entity; Civil-Military Relations; Insurance Law; Life or Death: Decision-Making in Death Penalty Cases; Leadership & Communication in the Law; or Introduction to Research for Public Interest Practice.

First-year dual-degree students may take a full credit (either two courses, or Law 825, Practice and Strategic Development of International Transactions, which is a full credit). First-year JD/LLMLE students are required to take The Way It All Works: Investing, Negotiating, and Operating in the Real World.

Do I get credit for Wintersession courses?

Yes. With one exception (Law 825), each course will be worth a half-credit.

To receive credit for an asynchronous course, documentation of completion of these courses must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, January 19, the day before spring semester begins.

To receive credit for a synchronous course, students must attend all six hours of class (three hours on each of two days), and complete any in-class or out-of-class assignments given. Law 825 is worth a full credit and will require enrolled students to attend class for a total of 12 hours over the February and March weekend dates.

Can I take more than one class?

Yes. Upper-level, international LLM, and first-year dual-degree students may enroll in courses totaling up to one full credit; first-year JD students may only take a half-credit, from the list of approved courses.

Either/both asynchronous and synchronous courses will count against the one-credit limit students are permitted to take in Wintersession. In other words, you may take either two asynchronous courses, an asynchronous and a synchronous, or two synchronous courses (or just Law 825, which is the only full credit offering), but the credit limit is the same as past Wintersessions, regardless of format. You may also structure the schedule of your courses however works best for you, i.e., entirely over winter break, entirely during one of the weekends, or any combination thereof.

How do I register for Wintersession?

Shopping carts for Wintersession courses open on Friday, December 11, 2020. For the purposes of registration in Duke Hub, “Winter”session will be known as “Session 2” in Spring 2021. Registration begins with the 3Ls on Monday, December 14, and continues until the end of drop/add at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, February 3.  With the exception of the asynchronous courses, the Drop/Add period will extend until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, February 3; all decisions about taking Wintersession classes must be finalized by that time. Please note that dropping a class after this date will result in a mark of “WF” for that class on your transcript.

Will the synchronous courses be in person or on Zoom?

As indicated in DukeHub and on the Wintersession schedule, if conditions permit, we do plan to offer some of the synchronous WIntersession courses in person, though that is subject to change in the future. For registration purposes, you should register for an in-person class only if you will be in Durham and feel comfortable attending both sessions in person. If not, there are many virtual opportunities to earn credit. No Wintersession classes will be available as a hybrid or mixed option; they will all be either fully in-person, or fully virtual, so please register accordingly. Please note, too, that as with the regular semester, classes with very low enrollment might be cancelled. If that happens, we’ll work with you to find another course.

How will the asynchronous courses work?

If you register for one of these asynchronous courses, you will receive instructions about accessing the materials and documenting your completion, either at the end of registration next week, or an ongoing basis for those of you who wait to register later. Documentation of completion must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, the night before the spring semester begins, to receive credit for the course.

Because that deadline is prior to the end of drop/add, if you fail to submit the documentation, you will be dropped from the course with no penalty—and permitted to enroll instead in one of the February or March weekend synchronous courses, if you still want or need to earn credit. No extensions will be given to complete the asynchronous courses.

Do all Wintersession courses count towards the experiential learning degree requirement?

No, only those Wintersession courses that are sufficiently simulation-based count for experiential learning credit. To see a list of which courses count, please use the “JD – experiential learning” search parameter under the drop-down list below “JD Course of Study” in the course browser.

Please note that, for the asynchronous courses offered as part of Wintersession 2021, they will not count as experiential learning credits.

Is there any cost associated with taking a Wintersession course?

No. Wintersession courses will be considered part of the Spring Term for tuition purposes.

Who will be teaching Wintersession classes?

Some Wintersession classes will be taught by current faculty, but the majority of the classes feature alumni practitioners coming back to Duke for the program. This makes Wintersession a great opportunity for you to network and to meet successful practitioners in your field of interest.

How will this impact spring semester course-loads?

Wintersession classes will count toward the Spring semester course load only if that is beneficial to you. Thus, if you need one credit from Wintersession to count so your Spring course load qualifies as full-time, it will count toward the Spring. If you are planning to take the maximum credits in the Spring, and the Wintersession credit would put you over the limit, then the Wintersession credit will not count toward the Spring.