The permission of the Dean of Students may be required for you to receive academic credit for a particular class or to be granted an exception to an applicable academic rule. In such cases, you must complete an Academic Rules Petition (also available in the Registrar’s Office, or as a docusign) and secure the signature of the Dean of Students. The Academic Rules Petition covers the following circumstances:
Students may not enroll for fewer than 10 units or more than 16 without obtaining prior permission of the Dean of Students. A standard courseload consists of 10-16 units. (To complete the 85 units required for a JD degree, students must average 13-14 units per semester during their second and third years). An acceptable overload consists of 17 units and requires an explanation of the reasons for your request. Students cannot enroll in more than 17 units per semester. See Academic Rules, Rule 2.1 and Rule 2.2.
In order to graduate, students must complete six semesters of 10 units or more. Students who are in their last semester and require fewer than 10 units to complete their degree may be allowed to enroll in a minimum of 9 units with the Dean of Students’ approval. In all other cases, the 10-unit minimum applies. See Academic Rules, Rule 2.1 and Rule 2.2.
The Law School does not allow you to receive credit for courses that have overlapping class times. Please note that even if Cal Central allows you to enroll in classes with overlapping class times, you will not receive credit for both courses. See Academic Rules, Rule 7.
Obtaining Credit for a Non-Law Course on the UC Campus
Students may petition to receive a maximum of 8 units toward the J.D. for courses outside the Law School. Students will need to obtain the Dean’s approval and also the approval of the instructor and the non-law academic department. In some cases, the credit received may be less than that granted by the campus department. Generally, no credit will be granted for 290 series courses outside the Law School. Any credit received will come out of the maximum of 18 units allowed for non-law/non-classroom credit. Students must officially enroll in the non-law course for a letter grade and receive a grade of at least a B to receive the J.D. credit. See Academic Rules, Rule 4 and Rule 5.
Students may petition to receive up to 8 non-law units for foreign language study under the following guidelines:
- The student must attach a statement demonstrating a specific curricular or professional connection between the language and the J.D. program, listing all previous university-level course work in the language and the number of language credits received thus far for the J.D.;
- The course must be at an intermediate or advanced level (no credit will be given for beginning courses);
- The course must concentrate on the development of conversation and/or written skills;
- The number of units credited towards the J.D. will usually amount to half the units granted by Letters and Science. Students must obtain the approval of the instructor. Credit toward the J.D. will not be granted for self-paced language courses; and
- Students must officially enroll in the course for a letter grade and receive a grade of at least a B to receive the J.D. credit.
See Academic Rules, Rule 4.1.
Concurrent Degree Candidates
Students enrolled in approved concurrent degree programs can receive up to 10 units of credit for course work in their concurrent degree program. These units use up the student’s 8-unit non-law allocation, and all of them come out of the 18-unit limit. See Academic Rules, Rule 4.2.
Students may receive a maximum of 2 units of academic credit for participation on law journals, 1 unit per semester for up to two semesters during their second or third year of school. Students may receive up to 3 units of academic credit for moot court competitions (including the McBaine Competition) and up to 2 credits for positions on the Board of Advocates. See Academic Rules, Rule 3.1 and Rule 5.
Enrolling in a Course or Program at Another Law School
Students may petition to receive credit for work at other accredited law schools by demonstrating good cause for the request. Examples of good cause are: the student wishes to enroll in a course at another law school while on externship outside the Bay area; the student wishes to enroll in a course that is not generally offered at Berkeley Law; or the student wishes to enroll in a Study Abroad program that will offer courses not available at Berkeley Law. These units may be counted in the maximum of 15 units allowed for non-law/non-classroom credit. Students must enroll in the course for a grade and receive at least a C. For Study Abroad programs, students must enroll for a grade and receive at least a B. Courses taken at other institutions will not be counted toward academic distinctions or Order of the Coif. Berkeley Law’s Academic Rules apply to courses taken through other institutions. Requests to take classes at another law school will not be granted during a student’s last semester. Please consult the Dean of Students prior to the start of the semester. See Academic Rules, Rule 6.