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.
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.
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 course 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
Student interested in taking courses at the School of Public Health should refer to the SPH website. The course schedule is available on the Student Link. For more information on SPH courses you may call 617-638-4640.
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. 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.
Can I take outside courses at Boston University for credit even if I'm not in a dual-degree program?
Yes, as long as they are graduate-level or, if they are open to both undergrads and graduate students, 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.
How do I get the outside course listed on my law schedule and transcript?
Can I take undergraduate courses at Boston University for credit toward my JD?
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.
Can I take law courses at another law school in the Boston area for credit?
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.
Will the grade for an outside course be included in my BU Law grade point average?
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.
Can I get credit for law-related outside work during a semester if I am not paid for that work?
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.
If I volunteer for a firm, government agency, or judge over the summer, can I get credit?
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 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.
Can work that I did for a journal be used for seminar or independent study credit?
No. Faculty policy prohibits independent study or seminar credit for work that is done as part of a student’s journal responsibilities.