Taking Courses Outside of Law School

Please remember that if you are planning on taking a course at another school in the University that the class must be a graduate level course (level 500 or greater) to receive law credit. Students who are interested in taking a course at the 500 level (500–599) must also provide the Registrar with documentation from the professor that they will be held to a graduate standard of work. All students who register for a graduate-level course must add the course to their law schedule at the Law Registrar’s Office during the add/drop period if they wish to receive law credit. All students are reminded that you are responsible for any additional tuition charges should you exceed 18 credits in a semester.

** Students should keep in mind that, under ABA rules, the School of Law can grant credit only for the number of contact hours per week provided by the course in question, regardless of how much credit the other school may grant for the course. For example, if the course meets for two hours per week, the School of Law will grant it only two credit hours, even if the other school grants the course three or more credits. (Fifty minutes is considered one contact hour.) **

Dual degree students should check for special policies to accommodate their programs. Dual degree students are reminded that they must add non-law courses to their LAW schedule during the add/drop period in order to receive LAW credit.

Registration Information

Questrom School of Business

The Graduate School of Management is now the Questrom School of Business. Students who would like to enroll in management courses should go to the Graduate Programs Office at the Questrom School of Business, 595 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 104. The spring 2016 schedule is available on the Student Link. Questrom course descriptions are also available in the BU Bulletin. Non-degree candidates may register two weeks before the start of classes. For more information on business and management courses you may call 617-353-2673.

School of Public Health

To enroll in SPH courses students may file an SPH registration form in the Law Registrar’s Office or stop by the SPH Registrar’s Office at 715 Albany Street, Talbot Building, Room 210. View the 2015-2016 SPH course schedule. For more information on SPH courses you may call 617-638-4640.

Physical Education

Students who would like to take PE courses can register at the University Registrar’s Office, 881 Commonwealth Avenue, second floor. You may not take a physical education course for LAW credit. Copies of the course schedule are available through the Student Link. Information is also available in the BU Bulletin.

College of Communication

To enroll in communications courses, students should go to the appropriate department at the College of Communication, 640 Commonwealth Avenue. Copies of the course schedule are available solely via the Student Link. Course descriptions are available in the BU Bulletin. For more information you may also call 617-353-3450.

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Students who would like to register for graduate-level CAS or GRS courses may pick up a registration form at the Law Registrar’s Office. View CAS/GRS courses that welcome law students. (Note that not all courses are eligible for law credit.) For additional course information students should go to 705 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 112 or visit the Graduate School website. Schedule information is available via the Student Link. Students who would like to register for Preservation Studies, International Relations, or Philosophy courses must obtain signed approval from the appropriate department and may submit the signed registration form to the Law Registrar’s Office.


Yes, as long as they are graduate-level or, if they are open to both undergrads and graduate students, if students obtain the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs’ permission (room 1070H) and if the professor certifies to the Law School Registrar’s Office (in writing) that you will be held to graduate-level performance. Also, the other school must allow you to take the course as a guest student. If you are not in a dual-degree program, you may apply up to 12 credits total for graduate-level, non-law work at BU, and may apply no more than four credits for any one outside course in a semester.

**Please note: that when determining how many credits the School of Law can grant toward the JD degree for an outside course, we must follow ABA requirements which mandate 700 minutes of in-class time per credit. To calculate credits, we multiply the number of hours per week that an outside course meets times the number of weeks of instruction and then divide by 700. If that calculation results in, e.g., 3.2, we only give 3 credits for the course toward the JD (We do NOT round up).

Because the Law School has a registration system separate from the University’s system, to register for a non-law, BU course, you must follow the registration procedures of the other BU school/department, PLUS you must fill out a paper add form at the Law School Registrar’s Office to have that course put on your Law schedule and transcript. You cannot use WebReg to get the outside course listed on your Law schedule.

Again, to comply with American Bar Association accreditation requirements, please be sure to confirm with the Law Registrar’s Office how many Law credits you may receive for a non-law course, since the number may differ from what the other school grants for credit.

Not unless the course is level 500 or above. If you are still interested in taking an undergraduate course at Boston University (i.e., a physical education class or a foreign language class), your tuition covers up to 18 credits per semester; as long as you don’t exceed 18 credits in a semester, you can take an undergraduate course but you won’t receive JD credit for it. Students who exceed 18 credits in a semester will be responsible for the additional tuition charges.

Note that some undergraduate courses, such as gym classes, may require that you go to every class or else you will fail the class. If that is a problem, you may want to audit the class; however, audited classes are counted toward the 18 credit maximum that your tuition covers. For the procedure for auditing classes at BU, check with our Registrar’s Office.

Possibly. BU Law has an arrangement with Boston College Law School whereby our students can take selected courses at BC Law School. See Article IV, section 3.a. of our Academic Regulations in the JD Student Handbook for the procedure to follow. To take courses at Boston-area law schools other than Boston College Law School, students must comply with Article IV, section 3.b. of our Academic Regulations.

The grade for an outside course for which you receive BU Law credit is listed on your BU Law transcript; however, that grade is NOT factored into your BU Law grade point average.

The only way students currently may receive credit for outside work is through one of our clinical programs, including the Legal Externship Program. The reason is that it is hard to monitor the quality of outside work experience, plus the faculty wants to ensure that students receive faculty supervision.

This is governed by Article IV, section 7. With advance approval of the Dean or Dean’s designate (Associate Dean Gerry Muir in this case), students can receive up to 2 credits per summer for certain externship experiences if he/she does not get paid. However, those credits may not reduce the minimum credits required for a semester or year, nor will they count toward the 84/85 credit requirement for graduation. The reason is that summer externships are not faculty supervised, and they vary tremendously in terms of supervision and the type of work experience that students receive.

See Dean Muir in the Student Affairs Office, for details if you are interested in doing this.

No. Faculty policy prohibits independent study or seminar credit for work that is done as part of a student’s journal responsibilities.