Certificate in Intellectual Property Law for non-J.D. students

The University of Akron School of Law is proud to offer a Certificate in Intellectual Property Law for non-J.D. students. Our certificate program is designed for individuals who are not necessarily interested in seeking a full 3-year juris doctor degree, but who want to learn about intellectual property matters. It requires the completion of our 3-credit course Funda­mentals of Intellectual Property Law and an additional 9 credits of intellectual property courses. In sum, each student will take a total of 12 credits from our leading intellectual property curriculum. You must achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 to acquire the certificate. You can complete this program in one semester, or spread it out over the course of several semesters.

The certificate program is particularly useful for engineers, patent owners, patent agents, business leaders, inventors, entrepreneurs, artists, and individuals engaged in the entertainment industry. No specialized scientific knowledge is required for our intellectual property law courses. However, it is possible for those with engineering and science backgrounds to focus on patent-related courses and even prepare to become a patent agent. By studying intellectual property law at Akron Law, you can access important and relevant information in an increasingly important area without committing to an entire 3-year juris doctor degree, develop new connections, experience the world of intellectual property law, and become even more competitive in the marketplace.

Benefits of the I.P. Certificate for non-J.D. students

You will gain a better understanding of intellectual property law and how it affects various industries. This is particularly useful for individuals starting a new business, small business proprietors, inventors, technology managers, engineers, and patent agents. Your improved understanding of IP law will create opportunities for advancement in current employment while opening doors to new and exciting careers. Distinguish yourself by taking intellectual property courses from industry experts at a U.S. law school renowned for its intellectual property program.

You will develop the ability to identify and implement the initial steps necessary to protect inventions, creative works, brands, and ideas. Through our program, current and future professionals can acquire knowledge about protecting brands, original works, and inventions in both traditional and online settings. For scientists and engineers, better prepare to sit for the patent bar exam and become a patent agent. Our courses can provide you with the foundation necessary to become a successful patent agent and set you on a course that better prepares you to sit for the patent bar examination.

How do I apply?

You may start your studies in either January (spring semester) or August (fall semester). Our application deadline for spring admissions (January start) into the Certificate Program is Nov. 15, and our deadline for fall admissions (August start) is July 1. Late applications may be possible depending on space availability. Applications should be submitted as follows. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions Office at lawadmissions@uakron.edu or 1-800-425-7668.

Required components

Applicants for the Certificate in Intellectual Property Law for non-JD students must submit the following to be considered for admission:

  1. A complete application form.
  2. Transcripts for all college, graduate, or juris doctor work. At a minimum, a candidate must demonstrate completion of a Bachelor’s Degree (i.e., BA, BS, or foreign equivalent).
  3. A personal statement describing interest in the program, what the applicant hopes to obtain from it, and any background related to intellectual property. The personal statement may not exceed two pages.
  4. Demonstrated aptitude to succeed at a graduate level (can be demonstrated by having previously completed graduate level course work at an institution of higher learning; performance on a GMAT, GRE, MCAT or similar test; or other evidence of ability presented by the candidate (e.g., relevant work/life experiences).
  5. Resume.
  6. Two letters of recommendation.
  7. Non-native English speakers will be required to submit documentation of satisfactory results on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  Students in our certification program should be prepared to read and discuss legal materials.  Because class preparation and participation is demanding, students with English limitations may struggle.  For this reason, we utilize TOEFL or IELTS to ensure that you will not unduly struggle in the classroom.  Preferred scores for the TOEFL IBT (internet based test) is a 96 or PBT (paper based test) is a 590.  A preferred score on the IELTS is a 7.0.  Please note that, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee,  the TOEFL or IELTS requirement may be waived if (i) the applicant has a college degree from an institution in which the primary language of instruction was English or (ii) the applicant can show other circumstances demonstrating proficiency in English.


Professor Ryan T. Holte
David L. Brennan Associate Professor of Law
Director, Center for Intellectual Property Law & Technology
The University of Akron School of Law
150 University Avenue, Akron, OH  44325
Office: (330) 972-7187
Email: rholte@uakron.edu