Cross-registration provides a unique opportunity for the exchange of knowledge across the fields of environmental and energy law & policy and the social, physical, and biological sciences on the UC Berkeley campus. We encourage our students to explore the environmental and energy courses in other departments on campus. Likewise, students at other departments are invited to explore the course offerings here at Berkeley Law.

On this page you will find cross-registration information for law students and for students in other departments.

Info for Law Students

Classes in the following departments may be of particular interest to law students studying environmental and/or energy law:

A sample list of courses that may be of interest to law students from these departments and others is available here.



Qualifying classes and total number of credits
JD students may count towards their degree up to eight credits of work taken in classes offered by Berkeley departments outside the law school.  Those classes must be upper-division (100 series) or graduate-level (200 series) classes and must be taken for a grade.  JD students should also note that any credits for classes taken outside the law school will also be counted towards the maximum number of fifteen credits that can be granted for law journal, independent research, externships and clinical work.

LLM students cannot count courses taken outside the law school towards the 21 units required for the LLM  degree, but are permitted to cross-register to earn additional units.

The Petition Process
JD and LLM students should pick up a petition form from the Registrar’s office and fill it out with the relevant information.   Students will then need to receive approval from the Dean of Students for their petition.  The student will then need to take the petition form to the instructor of the non-law school class for their approval.

Calendar and Scheduling Issues
There are significant differences between the law school calendar and the calendar for other departments on the Berkeley campus that law students should be aware of.  First, following the standard campus calendar, classes in other departments usually start a week later than law classes. Following the standard campus custom, classes in other departments also generally start ten minutes after the hour and finish on the hour.  Accordingly, we do not recommend that JD and LLM students schedule a law school class immediately before or after a course in another department.

In the past, law students have taken the following courses in other departments:

  • ERG 100/200 Energy and Society
    Instructor: Dan Kammen
  • GSPP 290: Special Topics: Renewable Energy Policy in the United States
    Instructor: Steven Weissman
  • ESPM C103 Principles of Conservation Biology
    Instructors: Steve Beissinger and Clare Kremen
  • ESPM 160 American Environmental and Cultural History
    Instructor:  Carolyn Merchant
  • ESPM 161 Environmental Philosophy and Ethics
    Instructor:  Carolyn Merchant
  • ESPM 163AC Environmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment
    Instructor: Dara O’Rourke
  • ESPM 181  Wildland Fire Science
    Instructor:  Scott Stephens
  • ESPM 186 Management and Conservation of Rangeland Ecosystems
    Instructor:  Lynn Huntsinger



If you have any questions about cross-registering for environmental and energy courses outside the law school, please contact the Office of the Registrar at and/or Professor Eric Biber at

Info for Students in Other Departments



Students from other campus departments may only take law classes that are willing to accept non-law students. Some law classes may also cap the number of non-law students that may cross-register. Please note that the law school limits the total number of credits that a non-law student may take at the law school to eight.

Registration Process
Please note that the official list of environment and energy classes to be taught in the upcoming semester is posted relatively late – usually well after the beginning of the CalCentral registration process for other departments. Moreover, you will not be able to officially register for a law class until after completing the petition process to cross-register (see below), and that process does not begin until after the law class has actually begun. Accordingly, if you want to try and confirm in advance when a class is being taught and whether there is space in the class, you should contact the course instructor.

Petition Process
In order to register for classes at the School of Law, students in other departments will need to complete an Interdepartmental Application form that is available from the law school registrar’s office. The form must be approved by the instructor of the law class, the Dean of Students at the School of Law, and your home department.

In order to enroll in the law course via CalCentral, you will need to wait for the Registrar’s approval of the application form and follow the email instructions provided.

The application form contains additional useful information about the cross-registration process at the law school.

Calendar and Schedule
There are significant differences between the law school and other departmental calendars that non-law students should be aware of. First, law classes usually start a week earlier than most other programs’ classes. While some law school instructors are willing to have non-law students start a week into the semester, we nonetheless strongly encourage you to plan ahead and start your semester a week earlier, so that you do not fall behind in the class. If you think that you want to take a law school class but will not be able to attend class until a week into the law school semester, we strongly recommend you contact the instructor ahead of time to talk with him or her about your circumstances.

Second, law classes start on time, rather than ten minutes after the hour (as is common elsewhere on campus). Given this point, and the geographic distance between some campus departments and the law school, we do not recommend that non-law students schedule a law school class immediately after one in their own department.

Grading and Evaluation
Law classes often evaluate student performance in a very different way from other graduate courses. Many law classes rely on a single final examination for evaluation, with class participation providing a tie-breaker. Some law classes may allow you to write a paper under faculty supervision instead of taking the final exam.

While the law school does have a separate grading system and curve from the rest of the university, other graduate students who take law school classes will be graded on the their own departmental system and outside the standard law school curve.

Law courses taken by non-law students have included:

  • Law 271 Environmental Law & Policy
    Instructor: Holly Doremus, Dan Farber
  • Law 273.6 Public Lands and Natural Resources Law
    Instructor: Eric Biber
  • Law 271.2  Biodiversity Law
    Instructor: Eric Biber
  • Law 272.1 Water Law
    Instructor: Holly Doremus
  • Law 264.1 Ocean Law & Policy
    Instructor: Holly Doremus
  • Law 270.6 Energy Law & Policy
    Instructors: Eric Biber
  • Law 270.65 Energy Project Development & Finance
    Instructors: Scott Zimmermann, Todd Glass
  • Law 270.7 Renewable Energy Law & Policy
    Instructor: Grady Mathai-Jackson


Contact Information

If you have any questions about cross-registering for environmental and energy courses at the law school, please contact the Office of the Registrar at or Professor Eric Biber at