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3.7 Classes Outside of the Law School

This section of the Student Handbook does not apply to non-law students taking classes at the Law School, who are limited to six credits, governed by other Law School policies, and should consult the Law School Office of the Registrar and Section 3.13 Non-Law Students in this Handbook.

During their second and third years, J.D. students may take up to four classes for a total of 12 credits, not more than six credits per quarter, outside the Law School for credit toward their J.D. degree and quarterly residency requirement. 

Taking classes outside of the Law School is subject to the following conditions: 

  1. The classes must bear a relation to their future legal practice or to the study of law in general; 
  2. The class must be graduate level, although exceptions are made for undergraduate foreign languages that students have not previously studied or that students test into; 
  3. With the exception of Booth School of Business classes,[1]students must petition through the Office of the Registrar (see http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/petitions/nonlawcourse) and receive permission before enrolling in any class outside the Law School;
  4. Students may take no more than six credits outside the Law School during any given quarter;
  5. Students taking classes outside the Law School during their final quarter of study must explain the Law School’s grading deadlines to the faculty member and the faculty member must agree, in writing, to provide a final grade or a provisional pass (if taking a class at Booth) by the University deadline for submission of grades for graduating students;
  6. The class may not have substantial overlap with any class taken at the Law School; and
  7. Classes at other law schools or universities may not be substituted.  Satisfaction of these seven conditions is determined by the Dean of Students and the Office of the Registrar.  

Classes offered by other units/departments within the University that are cross-listed with the Law School do not count against the 12-credit limit, and law students do not need to petition to register in those classes. Law students registered in cross-listed classes must register for such classes using the LAWS-prefixed course number and also must receive a numerical grade. Under no circumstances may a law student register to take cross-listed classes for a letter grade nor Pass/Fail.    

Determinations about the appropriateness of a particular class for a particular student’s course of study should not be interpreted as universal approval of the class for all students in a given year or in subsequent years. 

Students may take classes in other departments on either a graded or pass/fail basis. Students and the instructor in the class will establish the conditions of the grade. If the graded option is selected, a letter grade will be recorded on the Law School transcript but will not be included in the calculation of grade point averages. 

Law students may only audit non-law classes informally and must contact the non-law department for additional auditing requirements in the other department(s). Law students may not be registered in a non-law class as an official auditor. 

LL.M. and M.L.S. students may take non-Law School classes with an approved petition, but the credits for courses taken outside of the Law School will not count towards the 27 credits required to graduate with the LL.M. or M.L.S. degree.  LL.M. and M.L.S. students must take and pass no fewer than six Law School credit hours per quarter.  Please note, however, that LL.M. students applying to the New York bar must complete 30 credits.  In addition to the 27 credit hours LL.M. students must earn at the Law School, the New York bar permits LL.M. students to take up to three additional credits in “other courses related to legal training” in another school at the University of Chicago.  For further information regarding New York bar requirements for LL.M. students, please consult with the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs.  

Please follow these steps to register for a class outside of the Law School in any unit/department of the University but Booth: 

  1. Go to my.uchicago.edu and click on the Class Search link.
  2. Choose a department from the list and set the course career to “Graduate.” 
  3. Review the list of classes offered by the department and select a graduate level class that you would like to take.  
  4. Email the instructor of the class in which you seek to enroll. You will need the professor’s approval to register, and you should establish with the professor whether you will be taking the class Pass/Fail or for a letter grade.
  5. Complete the online petition to take a non-Law School class for credit. The petition is available on the Law School website at: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/petitions/nonlawcourse.  
  6. Petitions may be submitted through the end of the first week of class. Petitions submitted thereafter will not be considered.
  7. After your petition is submitted, you will receive either an approval or denial from the Office of the Registrar via email. 
  8. If the petition is approved, the Office of the Registrar will enroll you and notify you once that process is complete.

The process and procedures for Law School students to take a class at Booth are established and implemented by Booth. Students interested in taking a class at Booth must follow the instructions detailed on the Law School website at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/petitions/nonlawcourse/booth. Please also review the Booth website at https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/taking-courses-at-booth. Credits for Booth classes count toward the 12 credit limit and the maximum of six credits of non-Law School classes per quarter.

As soon as the Booth registration is completed (typically during the first week of Booth classes), students will receive an email confirmation of their registration status. If students decide not to take the Booth class for which they registered, students must immediately notify Booth and the Law School Office of the Registrar (in no case later than the end of the third week of classes). Booth registration, course attendance, and grading are governed by all applicable Booth rules.

Booth registration information for non-Booth students, including links to course information, syllabi, exam schedules, and deadlines, is available online at:

Booth requires that students taking a Booth course who would like to elect Pass/Fail grading complete the Pass/Fail Request form in the Booth Dean of Students’ Office (typically by the Friday of the fourth week of the quarter). After this deadline, no changes can be made to a Pass/Fail request.  Students intending to take a Booth course Pass/Fail must make certain that it is permitted, as some professors do not allow the Pass/Fail option.

For additional information on taking classes across the Midway, please visit http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/acrossthemidway.

[1]Please see below for information on how to register for a Booth course.