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Graduate Courses at Penn

Law Students - Take a Graduate Course @ Penn for Law School Credit

Students can take graduate level courses that are relevant to their legal education in departments throughout the University for credit toward their law degrees.

Contacts and registration procedures for departments on campus;
Wharton MBA Resource Guide and faculty authorization form

  • Guidelines:
  • Courses must be relevant to your legal education and must be of sufficient academic rigor to meet the exacting standards of law school education at Penn.
  • The course must be a graduate level course (normally 500 level or higher). The Law School does not grant credit for introductory language study, but will consider petitions for intermediate or advance language courses.
  • The course must not be duplicative or significantly similar to a course offered at the Law School.
  • Courses taken outside of the Law School will not count toward the calculation of graduation honors.
  • The decision about granting credit for non-Law courses is made by the Dean of Students. Accordingly, all students must complete a Law Credit for Non-Law Course form to ensure the Law School will grant credit for your coursework outside of the Law School. The form should be submitted during add/drop. Failure to submit the form during the add/drop period and be approved for Law credit results in a tuition charge posted soon after add/drop concludes.
  • JD candidates may receive credit for up to 12 semester hours of graduate level courses taken at the University during their combined 2L and 3L years. 
    • Students taking more than 12 semester hours 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. 
    • It is important to note that students will not be permitted to take more than two non-law courses in a given semester without the express permission of the Dean of Students.
  • LLM candidates may receive credit for up to 1 CU (3 law school semester hours) of grad-level course work in another department of the University.

Application Process

Students interested in taking a course outside of the law School for credit must submit an Law Credit for Non-Law Course form. Students accepted into formal Joint Degree programs do not need to complete the application form when enrolling in non-Law courses required for their non-law degree; candidates for Certificate and Ad Hoc joint programs DO need to complete the approval form.

Approval Procedure

  1. The Dean of Students will review the application and either approve or deny the request to enroll in a course outside of the Law School.
  2. Should you be denied approval to receive Law School credit for this course, please direct your inquiries to Dean of Students, Gary Clinton.

Enrollment Procedure

  1. Please note that approval means only that the Law School will accept the course credits toward your law degree 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.
  2. Once you receive your approval, you should complete the registration process with the other department. Each department has its own rules and procedures for you to follow to ensure successful enrollment. For example, to register for courses at Wharton, students go in person to 300 Huntsman Hall, at 3730 Walnut Street, on the date WH has assigned for open registration. You may wish to visit the department or call to speak with their Registrar to ensure that you are following their procedures correctly.
  3. The other University department will then either enroll you in the course or enter a “permit” [which you must claim by visiting Penn InTouch], reserving a seat for you in the course.
  4. If a permit has been entered, and you have access to Penn InTouch, you can visit the site to register. 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 in the course.

Tuition Matters

There is a tuition charge made for each course, and in those cases where the student is receiving Law School credit, the Law School pays that charge. Students who take courses for which they are not receiving Law School credit (because the courses do not fit the criteria noted above) are responsible for the tuition for those courses. 

Grading Policies for Courses Outside of the Law School

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

Certificates of Study

Penn Law has combined with departments throughout the University to offer certificates of study in a variety of areas. Students will study at the other department in combination with specific courses at the Law School and are granted a certificate of study with the conferring of the JD degree.

Students who wish to apply to a Certificate program must complete a Certificate Application form . We request that these forms be submitted to the Registrar’s Office during the fall of your 2L year. Upon receipt of the form, students will be charged a $200 administrative fee by the Law School. This fee is set each year and is subject to change. You should confirm this charge at the time of your registration.

More information on Certificates of Study opportunities.

Joint & Dual Degrees

We encourage all joint program candidates to meet with the Registrar and Dean of Students to review their plan of study. We will work with you to ensure you are on track to meet your Law graduation requirements. If you will NOT be enrolled in the Law school for a term, please let the Registrar’s Office know immediately! Joint degree students are required to complete a Joint Degree Confirmation form. Upon receipt of this form, students will be charged a $400 administrative fee by the Law School (exceptions apply for the JD/MBA and PhD programs).

More information on Joint and Dual Degree  opportunities.

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