The Faculty of Canon Law is primarily open to future members of the diocesan clergy. However, they are also open to religious men and women and lay persons, provided they meet the required qualifications (Sapientia Christiana, art. 31 and UST-Ecclesiastical Faculties’ Statutes, art. 21).
To be admitted to the Faculty, clerics and religious must present a written permission from their respective Ordinary or Superior. Laypersons seeking admission to the Faculty should present a certificate of good moral character and a letter of recommendation from their respective Local Ordinary (Statutes, art. 18, n. 2).
The regulations for admission in the Faculty of Canon Law, in accordance with the latest provisions of Sapientia Christiana are the following:
- Those who have no previous training in philosophy or theology, including those who already hold an academic degree in civil law, must complete the first cycle, lasting for four semesters or two years (cf. Norms, art. 76). “Students who prove they have studied some of the subjects of the first cycle at an appropriate faculty or university institute may be dispensed from them” (cf. Norms, art. 57, 1).
- “Students who successfully completed the philosophical-theological curriculum in a seminary or in a theological faculty can be admitted immediately into the second cycle, unless the Dean deems it necessary or opportune, prior to their admittance, to require that they take a preliminary course in Latin or in the fundamental concepts of Canon Law” (cf. Norms, art. 57, 1).
- “Students who hold an academic degree in civil law may be dispensed from some courses of the second cycle (such as Roman Law and Civil Law), but may not be exempt from the three-year curriculum of studies for the Licentiate” (cf. Norms, 57, 2).
It is a requirement for admission that the applicant has a good command of the English language and a suitable knowledge of the Latin language.
All applicants must present valid credentials testifying their previous studies including their training in philosophy and theology. All new students must submit upon admission, other than the written recommendation of the Major Superior or Ordinary, the following documents: a) Certificate of Good Moral Character and/or Honorable Dismissal from the previous school; b) Official Transcript of Records.
All applicants to the Faculty of Canon Law, unless they have already earned a degree from the other two Ecclesiastical Faculties, must take and pass the entrance examination. The entrance examination is normally composed of the Mental Ability Test, English Test, Latin Test, and Essay Test (two theses on Theology). Other items may be added depending on the recommendation of the Admission Committee.
No student may be admitted into the Faculty of Canon Law to work for a degree simultaneously with another academic degree from another faculty (General Statutes, University of Santo Tomas, 2000, art. 63, no. 4).
The admission of students to the Faculty is processed by the Admission Committee, whose functions are the following (Statutes, art. 18, no. 3):
- To evaluate the academic records and other pertinent credentials of applicants;
- To administer the entrance examination when deemed opportune;
- To propose to the Dean who, among the applicants, may be admitted after due verification of their qualifications.
The Admission Committee is composed of the Dean of the Faculty as Chair, and one Faculty member elected by the Faculty Council, and the Secretary of the Ecclesiastical Faculties as members. In the admission of diocesan resident seminarians, the Rector of the Central Seminary should also be a member of this Committee.