Cross-Registration

University Policy

School of Law Policy

Within the University

Please check the JD Handbook for the most up-to-date information, as this policy was up for review after publication of the 2016–2017 Bulletin.

Excerpt from Article IV of 2016/2017 Academic Regulations

3. Credit for graduate-level, non-law courses taken during the regular academic year. A maximum of 12 credits for graduate-level, non-law courses, with no more than 4 credits for any one course, may apply toward the JD degree as provided in this section. If the course is open to both graduate and undergraduate students, the student must secure the instructor’s assurance that the student will be held to graduate-level standards. Permission to apply credits from courses open to both graduate and undergraduate students, or courses not offered at Boston University, must be obtained in advance from the Dean or the Dean’s designate.

a.    Dual degree students. Students enrolled in a dual degree program may apply credits from a maximum of two non-law courses in their dual degree program in any one semester.
b.    Other students. Second- or third-year students not enrolled in a dual degree program may apply, in any one semester, credits from one non-law, graduate-level course taken at Boston University or elsewhere (or, with the advance approval of the Academic Standards Committee, two such courses).
c.    Tuition, fees, and permission from other schools. For courses taken at Boston University, no additional tuition or fees will be charged. For courses taken outside Boston University, the student must show that both the outside school and the instructor have given permission for the student to take the course. Any tuition and fees must be borne by the student.
d.     Completion and grades. The grade received will be recorded on the student’s transcript but not included in the student’s average. Otherwise, the course will be treated the same as BU Law courses for purposes of Articles I and III. The student is responsible for ensuring that BU Law’s Registrar receives the grade in time to meet BU Law deadlines.

With Other Universities

Excerpts from Article IV of 2016/2017 Academic Regulations

4. Credit for courses taken at other Boston-area law schools during the regular academic year. Students may earn credits for courses taken at other Boston-area law schools during the regular academic year as provided in this section. The grade received will be recorded on the student’s transcript but not included in the student’s average. Otherwise, the course will be treated the same as BU Law courses for purposes of Articles I and III. The student is responsible for ensuring that BU Law’s Registrar receives the other school’s grade(s) in time to meet any relevant BU Law deadlines.

a.    Courses at Boston College Law School. Students may take selected courses at Boston College Law School. A list of such courses is available from the Registrar. Notice of intent to enroll in such courses must be filed with the Registrar within five days after commencement of the semester’s classes at BU Law. No tuition or fees will be charged by the Boston College Law School.
b.     Courses at other Boston-area law schools. Courses substantially different from those presently offered at BU Law may be taken at other Boston-area law schools with the approval in advance of the Dean or the Dean’s designate. Petitions for permission to take such courses must be submitted within five days after the commencement of classes at BU Law, and they must show that both the outside school and the instructor have given permission for the student to take the course. All tuition and fees must be borne by the student.

6. Credit for summer courses taken at another law school. Students may receive credit for summer courses as provided in this section. Grades for such courses will be recorded on the student’s transcript but not included in the student’s average. All tuition and fees must be borne by the student. The student is responsible for ensuring that BU Law’s Registrar receives the grade in time to meet any relevant BU Law deadlines.

a.    Students who have been permitted to take a reduced schedule. With advance approval by the Academic Standards Committee, students who have been permitted to take a reduced schedule may receive credits for summer courses taken at another ABA/AALS-approved law school. The committee will consider the strength of the student’s academic record, as well as the strength of the outside school and the nature of the course. The committee also will consider whether such credits are reasonably necessary for the student to avoid a semester beyond the usual six required for the JD. If authorized and earned, these summer credits, up to a maximum of 6, will count toward the 85 credits required for the JD degree. The professional responsibility requirement may not be satisfied through a summer course.
b.     Students who have failed to satisfy degree requirements by the end of the third year. Under Article III, section 10, students who have failed to complete degree requirements by the end of the third year must propose a specific plan for completing these requirements. In its discretion, the faculty may permit outstanding requirements to be completed through a summer course or courses. The faculty may consider the overall strength of the student’s academic record in deciding whether to permit completion of requirements through a summer course or courses.
c.     Other students. With advance approval by the Academic Standards Committee, students other than those described in paragraphs (a) and (b) above may receive credits for summer courses taken at another ABA/AALS-approved law school or through another school’s ABA-approved foreign-study program. Such credits, however, shall neither count toward the 85 credits required for the JD degree nor reduce the minimum credits required for a semester, but they may reduce the credits required for the next academic year to 24. The professional responsibility requirement may not be satisfied through a summer course.

7. Permission to take a semester or year at another ABA/AALS-approved law school. 

a.    A student who has compelling personal reasons to take a semester or year at another ABA/AALS-approved law school may petition the Academic Standards Committee for permission to apply residence and course credits toward the BU Law degree. The petition must be submitted prior to commencement of the work, and it must set forth the name of any school to which the student intends to apply and the reasons for the request. If the number of credits that the student would earn at another law school results in the student exceeding the allowed maximum of 17 non-grade point average (GPA) credits, then the student must include in the petition a request to exceed that maximum.  The Academic Standards Committee will consider the totality of circumstances in determining whether to grant requests to visit another school and to exceed the maximum non-GPA credits.
b.     For personal reasons to be “compelling” within the meaning of the prior paragraph, they must be both exceptional (i.e., shared by only a very small number of other students) and extremely serious (i.e., impose a burden on the student that cannot be accommodated to any significant degree by the student remaining at BU Law). The Academic Standards Committee will consider also, among other factors, whether the student’s reasons were reasonably foreseeable when the student entered BU Law. Engagement or marriage to a person living or planning to live elsewhere will not necessarily be deemed “compelling.”
c.     If permission is granted, the student must secure, as soon as possible, approval for the proposed course of study. The student must satisfy academic requirements at both the other school and BU Law. Grades received will be recorded on the student’s transcript but not included in the student’s average. The student is responsible for ensuring that BU Law’s Registrar receives the other school’s grades in time to meet any relevant BU Law deadlines. The student is responsible for any fee imposed to cover administrative and other costs incurred by BU Law.

8. Credit for courses taken at foreign universities during the regular academic year. Credits earned in fall- or spring-semester courses at foreign universities may apply toward the JD degree only as provided in this section. The requirements for credits for summer courses taken at BU Law apply. Please refer to Article IV, section 5(c) of the JD Handbook for details.

a.    Programs offered through BU Law. Credits earned through foreign programs sponsored by BU Law may apply toward the JD degree, subject to the rules developed for the particular program.
b.     Other schools’ ABA-approved “semester abroad” programs. Students may petition the Academic Standards Committee for permission to participate in, and receive credit for, fall- or spring-semester courses in another school’s ABA-approved “semester abroad” program. The petition must specify the particular program and must be presented before the semester of proposed study. The committee may allow the student to apply toward the JD degree a maximum of 12 credits earned in the other school’s program, if either (1) that program is located in a country different from those in which BU Law conducts its own foreign-study programs, or (2) in a previous semester the student unsuccessfully applied to a foreign-study program sponsored by BU Law. Students who establish either of these two circumstances are eligible for, but not necessarily entitled to, committee approval. Other factors the committee may consider include the strength of the student’s academic record, the extent to which that record demonstrates an interest in international study, the reasons given in the petition for pursuing foreign study, and the number of students pursuing foreign study under this paragraph.
c.     Other programs. Students seeking fall- or spring-semester credit for foreign study outside the programs covered in paragraphs (a) and (b) must obtain advance approval from the Academic Standards Committee. This approval will be forthcoming only in exceptional cases. Students should obtain information from the Graduate and International Programs office before petitioning the Academic Standards Committee.