Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the common questions that students have during the registration process. If you have a question not listed here, start by asking your faculty advisor.

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  • What is an Independent Study?

    An Independent Study is a course in which a student completes a writing project under the supervision of a professor. You can learn more about this course here.

  • What is a Research Assistant?

    A Research Assistant works with a professor on research and drafting related to a course or scholarly project. Students can complete this work for course credit or pay. You can learn more about RA work here.

  • Can I audit a law school class?

    Students may audit a law school class with the permission of the instructor.  You can find more information about auditing a class here.

  • Can I take an undergraduate class?

    Law students can enroll—for credit or as an auditor—in an undergraduate course with the permission of the professor teaching the course. Students should complete a Cross School Registration Form which is available from the Registrar’s Office. 

    The undergraduate course will appear on the student’s law school transcript but the credits earned will not count towards their J.D. or LLM degree. Nor will the non-law credits impact the student’s law GPA. Although the credits will not count towards a J.D. Degree, and will not impact the student’s law GPA, the credits will count towards the max-credit load for each semester, which is 17 credits. Thus, if you are taking 15 credits in a given semester, you can only take an undergraduate class that is the equivalent of 2 credits or less. (Note: undergraduate courses are rated by units, not credits. One unit is worth 3.5 credits.)

    Keep in mind that there a few courses offered outside the law school that do count towards your law degree. These are courses that offer instruction on topics appropriate for a J.D. or LLM degree. These courses will all be “cross listed,” meaning they will have an undergraduate course number (e.g. HIST245) and a law course number (e.g., LAWE675). An easy rule of thumb to remember is that, if the course has a law course number, it will count towards your J.D. or LLM degree. 

  • How will studying abroad affect my path to graduation?

    If you study abroad for a semester, you will only have three semesters instead of four to satisfy your graduation requirements. Completing your requirements in three semesters is entirely feasible, it just requires a bit of planning. Once you’ve decided the semester you want to spend abroad, check out the J.D. Degree requirements and plan the three semesters accordingly. 

    There is no strict rule on which semester a student may choose to study abroad, but students who study abroad typically do so in the fall of their third year. Studying abroad in the spring of your third year is usually unwise because it risks delaying your graduation./p>

    You can find out more information about studying abroad here.     

  • What should I be considering if I’m pursuing a dual degree?

    The Law School offers five dual degrees. Pursuing a dual degree decreases the number of law credits you need to obtain your J.D. degree (and thus allows you to obtain both degree in a shorter amount of time than if you pursued them separately), but it does not waive any degree requirements. Thus, you need to carefully plan your coursework to make sure that you are completing the degree requirements in the shorter amount of time.

  • Can I take summer courses?

    Yes.  Each summer, the Law School offers classes through its Cambridge Program as well as a small selection of Independent Study and Research Assistant courses.  Keep in mind that students taking summer coursework will incur a summer tuition charge (though that charge is substantially reduced for the Cambridge Program). 

    Taking summer courses can be a good way to lighten your credit load during fall and spring semesters but, unless you take nine or more credits, it will not allow you to graduate early because of the six-semester full-time status requirement.

  • Can I take classes at another law school?

    It depends. The most common situation in which this is allowed is for summer courses taken at different law school. We don’t encourage this, but students occasionally face scheduling challenges that can be alleviated by taking a summer course that is not offered at UR but is offered elsewhere. Before enrolling in a summer course at a different law school, the student should check with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs to make sure the course content will qualify for transfer towards the UR J.D. degree. In addition to course content, credits are only transferrable if the course is taken for a letter grade (not P/F) and the student earns a C or better.   

    Taking classes at another law school during the academic year is not permitted, absent unforeseen circumstances that impose a significant hardship on the student.

  • Can I take a class twice?

    Generally, no. If you passed and received credit for a course, you cannot take it a second time for credit. However, there are a few courses (mainly experiential courses) that students can repeat—though only if the exercises in the class are different from year to year. If you wish to repeat a class, check with the Associate Dean of Academic affairs.    

  • Is there a limit to the number of P/F courses I can take?

    No, there is no limit to the number of pass/fail courses you can take. 

  • One of my classes was cancelled. Why?

    On rare occasions, a class may be cancelled shortly before the semester begins. This most commonly occurs because the enrollment for the course is insufficient to justify offering the entire course. If this occurs, the Dean’s Office works with students in that class to find alternative courses.

  • What does "Departmental Approval Required" mean?

    Most courses are open to any and all students who want to register. Some courses, however, provide an educational experience that is tailored to students with specific interests and backgrounds. For these courses—which are mainly clinical courses—students must obtain permission from the instructor to enroll in the course. Those courses are designated in BannerWeb with the notation “Departmental Approval Required.” If the instructor approves the student for enrollment, the student will be automatically enrolled by the Dean’s Office and need not enroll themself during the registration period.

  • Why are some courses in the curriculum not offered every semester or every year?

    Our curriculum consists of all the courses that the faculty has approved as satisfying the requirements of a J.D. or LLM degree. Just because a course has been approved, however, does not mean that it will be offered every semester or year. Courses with limited student demand, for example, are typically offered only once a year or once every other year. Additionally, a class may not be offered in given year because a faculty member has taken a temporary leave. 

    For 2Ls who plan on taking a particular course during their third year, it is wise to check with the professor teaching that course to make sure that the professor is planning to teach it.