WEBINAR RECORDING: Graduate Tax Online Information Session
Originally presented February 25, 2016
This 20-minute session recording provides an overview of Villanova University’s Graduate Tax Online Programs, curriculum, admissions requirements and application process.
Joshua Scofield, Enrollment Advisor, Online Graduate Programs in Taxation
Speaker 1: For those of you that have just joined us, welcome to the Villanova University Graduate Tax Online Information Session. Thank you again for taking the time out of your busy schedules to join us. My name is Annie and I will be the moderator for tonight’s session. We will be covering a number of topics to provide you with further information about Villanova University and the Graduate Tax Online Program. Before we begin, I would just like to go over a few logistics for the presentation. All participants are in listen-only mode in order to cut down on the background noise so you can hear us, but we cannot hear you. Everyone is encouraged to ask questions and please do so by typing them into the Q&A box and hit send. We will answer as many questions as we can throughout the presentation. If your question was not answered during the session, one of our enrollment advisors will follow up with you directly and we will be holding a Q&A session just at the end of this presentation.
And lastly, a recording of today’s presentation will be available shortly after the event and we will email you the link to the email you provided when you registered for the webinar. With that I would like to introduce our presenter for tonight, Josh Scofield. Josh is an enrollment advisor for Villanova University Online Graduate Tax Program. Many of you may already have the opportunity to speak with Josh and Josh’s background includes over 10 years of experience in recruitment, training and management. He has extensive experience with certificate bachelors, masters and LL.M candidates and he hold an MBA. So, now let’s get started. Josh will let you take us through our session agenda for today.
Speaker 2: Thank you so much, Annie. Ladies and gentleman, welcome. On the agenda for tonight, we will discuss the Graduate Tax Online Programs including curriculum and faculty. We will review topics such as the structure of the Online Graduate Tax Program, learning out comes and expertise of the faculty. I will be discussing the application process and some helpful hands to keep in mind when completing your application, we’ll also discuss important dates and deadlines for our upcoming semester and as Annie mentioned we will finish off with a Q&A session at the end where some of your questions will be answered. As a reminder, there is a Q&A chat box that you can also submit questions as well. Once again, as you type in your questions in the chat box on the right side of the screen we will get to those at the end.
Now, we’ll start off with some program highlights for the Villanova University School of Law and the Online Graduate Tax Program. Villanova University is a prestigious private institution with an established and highly respected tax program. The online option for our Graduate Tax Program mirrors the campus-based option and reflecting the high quality curriculum and industry experience professors some of whom we will touch on today. The program takes a practitioner-oriented approach while keeping class size a small and providing a flexible learning environment for students. Villanova’s Graduate Tax Program offers both a Master of Laws LL.M in taxation as well as the Master of Taxation. The LL.M is targeted at those who hold a Juris Doctorate from an ABA Accredited School of Law. The Master of Taxation is for those with a Degree in Accounting and who have either completed the CPA exam or can submit a GMAT or GRE score with their application.
The duration of the program is 100% online and can be completed in as soon as 18 months for LL.M candidates and as soon as two years for those pursuing the Master of Taxation. The Online Graduate Tax Program affords those who are accepted the same level of rigor as those pursuing the program as a campus-based student. The program is designed to bridge the theoretical to the real world so the graduates are able to apply these concepts in their daily roles. The program is comprised of 24 to 30 total credits spread across 9 to 12 courses depending on program. Next up, we will review the curriculum. Basically, the programs are made up of core and elective courses. As you can see in front of you, the core courses include survey of tax, taxation one, taxation two, taxation of corporation and shareholders, professional responsibilities in tax with research in writing and partnership tax. The classes included within the electives are tax procedure, wealth tax, employee benefits and executive compensation, taxation of corporate acquisitions and reorganizations, state and local tax and lastly, but not least [ph] international tax.
Next up, we’ll take a look at a couple of the professors within the Graduate Tax Program here at Villanova. First off, Mr. Edward A. Liva, is the director of the Villanova University Graduate Tax Program and Professor Practice. Some of Mr. Liva’s background includes teaching partnership, taxation and survey of tax. He has been the national industry leader for KPMG’s real estate tax practice and partner in charge of KPMG’s northeast real estate tax practice and he is a frequent speaker and panelist on taxation of real estate investment. Also in the program is Mr. J. Richard Harvey, distinguished professor of practice. He teaches survey of tax. Mr. Harvey’s background includes being the Senior Government Official in the US Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service during the Reagan, Bush II and Obama administrations also tax partner and leader of Price Waterhouse Cooper’s US Banking and Capital Markets Tax Practice.
Additionally, teaching in the program is Joy Sabino Mullane, Professor of Law. She teaches Wealth Tax and her background includes Judicial Clerk for Honorable Susan H. Black United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and having worked at both Davis & Harman LLP in Washington DC as well as Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker in Atlanta. Also within the program is Mr. Leslie Book, Professor of Law. His background includes being the National Authority on Tax Procedure and issues affecting the low-income tax payer community, being a frequent speaker and panelist at Bar Associations and Public Interest Organizations and teaching areas including Introductions of Federal Income Tax, Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders and Tax Policy.
Next, we would like to discuss the rankings and accreditation of Villanova holds. Villanova University is consistently ranked among the best in the nation. Some of those rankings include being on Forbes ranking Villanova University in the top 100 of their America’s Top Colleges. The National Law Journal ranks Villanova University of Law in their top 50 of their 2014 Go-To Law Schools List. Villanova University School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association and Villanova University School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advanced Collegiate Schools of Business or the AACSB. Next, I would like to pass it back to Annie to provide an important reminder.
Speaker 1: Okay. Thank you so much, Josh. Again, we just want to remind everyone if you have questions throughout the presentation, you can feel free to type them in the Q&A box and hit send and we’ll address them at the end of the session for as many questions as we can. Now, Josh will review the admissions requirements as well as some important dates to keep in mind.
Speaker 2: Thanks, Annie. Now, let’s take a few minutes to speak about the application process and the admissions requirements for the program. First, you will need to start your application by accessing our online application either the Andre logins or myself, your enrollment advisors, can send you the link to the application if you do not have it already. Regarding the admissions requirements they are as follows: For those applying for admissions into the LL.M Program you should hold a Juris Doctorate from a US School of Law that is ABA Accredited or have completed all requirements to practice law in a foreign country. For those applying for admissions into the Master of Taxation, you should have a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from an accredited institution and pass either all four segments of the CPA exam successfully or be able or willing to provide a GMAT or GRE score as part of the application process.
All applicants will need to submit official transcripts from all institutions attended, one letter of recommendation, however individuals can have multiple letters of recommendations submitted if they would like, a current and up-to-date professional resume and a personal statement. Along with those, applicants do need to complete the application with a $50 nonrefundable application fee. International students will need to submit total scores and evaluation of all foreign transcripts and complete an interview. We do have three start dates per year. Our most upcoming at this juncture would be the summer 2016 semester beginning in May, our fall semester would begin late August and our spring semester would begin in January of next year and you are welcome to start whichever semester works best for you. Do keep in mind the things are filling up for the summer as the admissions process is rolling. It is a best practice to submit the application items well in advance of the deadline.
Some helpful tips to make the process smoother for yourself include starting the application by creating your online profile. You can save your progress as you finish each section and submit it when you have everything complete. If needed, scheduling your GMAT or GRE if you’ve not done so already and requesting your scores be sent to Villanova School of Law and requesting an official copy of your transcripts to either be email to your advisor or mailed to our offsite processing center. Some important dates and deadlines to keep in mind, our summer semester starts on May 9th and the form of deadline to have all of your application documents submitted for a consideration is April 1st.
Speaker 1: Thank you, Josh. For those still listening in if you have any questions at this time, you can type your question into the Q&A box now and click send and we’ll cover as many questions as we can now at this time. We do have a few questions that have come in and I’ll go ahead and serve those up to you Josh. The first question that came in was: What’s the difference between the LL.M and the MT Program?
Speaker 2: Great question. So, in essence it is a point of entry difference or differentiation. The LL.M is for candidates who hold a Juris Doctorate. The Master of Taxation or MT would be for individuals who hold a Degree in Accounting maybe if completed the CPA exam and once a person would be accepted into the program individuals are actually setting in the same classes though at the end of the day it really is a point of entry differentiation.
Speaker 1: Okay, thank you. Another question is: Is the program all online or would I ever have to go on campus for anything?
Speaker 2: So, the program is 100% online with no residency requirements. That in essence means the students will never be required to be on campus for any portion of the program, but in saying that I do like to let folks know that if a person were to apply and get accepted into the program, you would be a student here at Villanova. So, if you ever wanted to come on campus, we would be more than happy to see you.
Speaker 1: The next question is: What is the main difference between the on-campus and online program?
Speaker 2: At the end of the day, it would be modality of the delivering that. The campus-based program students would be going into a physical classroom. For the online program, there is a live component included in the individual classes each week and everybody is able to meet virtually instead of be in a physical classroom. The other key components of the program online is very similar to the campus-based program as far as the courses, the corresponds between the two, the professors, the teach the individual classes and most notably and most importantly the level of rigor between the two.
Speaker 1: Wonderful. Another question that was asked was: If I need to take a break due to work or family, is that something that’s possible?
Speaker 2: It is. There is a level of flexibility build into the program. For the LL.M, individuals can complete it in as soon as a year and a half, however folks do have up to five years to complete some of the program. For the MT folks, can complete in as soon as two years and once again have up to five years to complete some of the program. So, if a person encountered a situation where they needed to step away for a semester, there is that flexibility built into the program.
Speaker 1: Okay, thank you. The next question is: I have completed all the testing requirements for the CPA license. Am I still be able to bypass the GMAT?
Speaker 2: Excellent question. Short answer is yes. So long, as a person has successfully completed all four segments of the CPA exam you would be able to wave the need to submit the GMAT or GRE scores part of your application. You would simply just need to submit the document that shows your score for each of the segments proving that you have thus completed all four segments successfully.
Speaker 1: Okay. The next question is: Are there requirements to be online at a certain day of day?
Speaker 2: So, as I had mentioned previously there is a live component included in the individual courses each week. Basically, the classes included asynchronous work and just live portion and for the life component it is usually in the evenings on either Wednesday or Thursday and the professors generally expect folks to attend and highly encouraged it for obvious reasons. If, however, for some reason a person had a conflict and couldn’t attend a given week, there is a flexibility that the live part — the live component is recorded so a person would still have the ability to take in the information that was discussed and the questions that were asked later on. The key of course is keeping that line of communication open with your professor to let them know that you would not be able to attend.
Speaker 1: Okay, thank you. The next question is: Does Villanova allowed transfer credit?
Speaker 2: So, there is the opportunity for a transfer credit. Some of the key things to keep in mind, however, are any potential transfer credits would need to have been taken within the last two years. It would need to be graduate level tax course work and a person would need to have received at least of the or better in a class that would be applicable to the Graduate Tax Program. Of course the folks do have any additional questions about potential transfer credit they can of course reach out to their enrollment advisor either be Andre or myself.
Speaker 1: Okay, thank you. The next question is: Am I able to attend Villanova for graduation?
Speaker 2: In short, absolutely. Once again, the program can be completed 100% online and there is no residency requirement, however, as I mentioned previously if you are accepted into the program you are a student here at Villanova. So, if you did want to come on campus for graduation, we would highly encourage that you do so.
Speaker 1: Okay, thank you. The next question is: How are the tests within the program administered?
Speaker 2: So, primarily there is a final exam for each of the individual courses and it’s not a situation where a person would need to go a proctored location rather everything is completed within the class website. So, the final week of your class, the eighth week of class, there will be a date and time for the final and a person can take that from home or wherever they have a strong reliable connection to the internet.
Speaker 1: Thank you. You have a couple more questions that we will be able to address on the session. One question is: On average, how many hour per week do I need to dedicate to the program?
Speaker 2: Great question. So, the program is made up of both three credit and two credit-hour classes and it’s been suggested that for the two-credit hour classes students should be prepared to dedicate at least 15 plus hours per week and for the three-credit hour classes individuals should be prepared to dedicate up to 20 plus hours per week.
Speaker 1: Thank you, Josh. And our last question is: Do your professors have meeting hours dedicated to online students?
Speaker 2: Absolutely. So, part of the weekly class experience is the professors do have weekly office hours. So, students will still have the opportunity to chat with your professor one-on-one if you need that one-on-one time with your professor.
Speaker 1: Okay, thank you. Thank you everyone for your questions today. If your question was not addressed on our Q&A session that we just went through, one of our enrollment advisors will be able to follow up with you after the session and now Josh will be able to provide important contact information.
Speaker 2: Well, first and foremost thank you all for joining us today. Our contact information is on your screen now. If you have any questions about anything we covered, may not have covered, or you think it is time to apply, do feel free to reach out to your enrollment advisor either the Andre login or myself and we’ll gladly assist you through the enrollment process.
Speaker 1: Thank you. Thank you very much, Josh, for your time today and this concludes today’s webinar. Thank you everyone who was able to join us today and please note you will receive a follow up email message shortly after the event with a recording of today’s presentation which will be again sent to the email you provided when you registered for the webinar and please feel free to reply to that email with any questions you may have as well. Thank you and have a great evening.