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Take a Course Outside the Law School

Penn Law School is minutes away from some of the world’s greatest professional and graduate schools. Law students may take courses at Penn towards the completion of a Certificate of Study or Joint-Degree , or simply take courses at one of more of our graduate sister schools that would complement the student’s legal educational and career goals. 


Penn Law allows JD students to receive law school credit for up to four (4) pre-approved classes (12 semester hours) at a graduate school at Penn; LLM/LLCM students may receive credit for one (1) pre-approved class (3 semester hours).*

All non-law courses must be pre-approved and are subject to the following criteria:

  1. Course must be relevant to your legal education and career goals.
  2. Course must be of sufficient academic rigor to meet the exacting standards of law school education at Penn.
  3. Course must be graduate level (normally 500 level or higher). The Law School does not grant credit for introductory language study (“beginner” or “elementary” classes), but will consider petitions for intermediate or advance language courses.
  4. Course must not be duplicative or significantly similar to a course offered at the Law School.**
  5. You MUST submit an Application for Law School Credit (see below) for each and every non-law course you take (unless it is towards a joint degree program).

PLEASE NOTE: Courses taken outside of the Law School will not count toward the calculation of graduation honors (see also Grading Policies, below).

*Students taking more than 12 semester hours of non-law courses while they matriculate will be charged a course overload fee of 10% of full-time tuition per CU (3 law school semester hours) and the additional credits will NOT count toward graduation

**Examples of non-law courses that will not be approved because they are duplicative of Law School courses include, but are not limited to: Negotiations (GAFL610, LGST806, MGMT691) and Corporate Finance (FNCE611).

Applying for Law Credit:

Students interested in taking a course outside of the Law School for credit must submit an Application for Law Credit for Non-Law Courses . Students accepted into formal Joint Degree programs do not need to complete the form when enrolling in non-law courses required for their non-law degree if they have already submitted the Joint Degree Confirmation Form to the Registrar’s Office; candidates for Certificate and ad hoc joint programs do need to complete the approval form.

Please note that approval means only that the Law School will grant credit for your coursework outside of the Law School should you satisfactorily complete the course.  It does not ensure that you will actually be enrolled in the course.  Enrollment is determined by the University department controlling the course and is subject to availability. Failure to submit the form by the end of the add/drop period results in a tuition charge posted soon after add/drop concludes.

Enrollment and Registration: 

Each school has its own rules and procedures for you to follow to ensure successful enrollment. For example, to register for courses at Wharton, (Fall enrollment in Q1 and Full Semester classes), students must submit an instructor-approved Registration Authorization Request for Non-MBA Student on or before September 7th. See link in the gray box below for more information on Wharton Registration.

For other schools/programs, the department will typically require that you be in touch with them directly to register you in the course.  In most cases, the school will enter a “permit” which you must claim on Penn InTouch.  If add/drop is over and you no longer have access to Penn InTouch, please be in touch with the Law School Registrar’s Office ( and request that we claim the permit. This will complete your enrollment in the course. If you do not take this last step, you will not be registered.

Prior to the last day of Law School Add/Drop, Law Students enrolling in any non-law courses (not towards a joint degree) must review guidelines and fill out an Application for Law School Credit for a Non-Law Course here .

To review the course offerings across the University and school based registration procedures, please link to the University Course Timetable and Registration Information:

University Course Timetable & Wharton Registration Information

PLEASE NOTE:  Law Students interested in taking non-law classes at any sister school/program must check that school’s timetable to confirm when classes start.  Classes will likely begin on a different date (often earlier) than classes at the Law School.

If you have questions/concerns about registering in non-law courses after reviewing the program/school website, please contact: Amanda Aronoff, Director of Cross-Disciplinary Programs & Academic Options at or Sherita Ragins, Coordinator for Cross-Disciplinary Programs at

Tuition Matters:

There is a tuition charge for each course taken outside of the Law School, and in those cases where the student is receiving Law School credit, the Law School covers the tuition charge. Students who take courses for which they are not receiving Law School credit (because the courses do not fit the criteria noted above or have exceeded the maximum permitted) are responsible for the tuition for those courses. 

Grading Policies:

Students in courses taken outside of the Law School are guided by the rules, policies, procedures, and grade scale of the other department, except that disciplinary infractions are heard by the Law School’s Committee on Student Conduct and Responsibility.

Pass/Fail: If the class is 1 credit unit (or 3 Law School credit hours), the student must elect to take the class pass/fail before October 15th for the Fall Term or February 15th for the Spring Term.  If the class is .5 credit units (or 1.5 Law School credit hours), the student must elect to take the class pass/fail before the end of the drop/add period, the first-two weeks of class each term.