FAQ about Cross-Registration

Q. What host schools can I cross-register into?

A. Harvard Law School students may enroll in courses offered by the other Harvard faculties, as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.  The only exception is all courses offered at  the Division of Continuing Education (Extension School) are not eligible for cross-registration.



Q. When do I cross-register?
A. Cross-registration takes place at the beginning of each semester.  Many of the Harvard schools have different cross-registration enrollment dates.  Please confirm when each school will begin accepting online petitions by looking at the Academic Calendar.



Q. How do I cross-register?
A. You must complete the online cross-registration through the University Cross-Registration website.  Once you have submitted your cross-registration petition, an automated email will be sent to the faculty member.  The faculty member may approve or deny your request, and you will be notified either way via email. It is important to note that faculty approval does not guarantee enrollment in the course.  If the faculty member approves, your request will be forwarded onto the host school’s Registrar’s Office. The host school’s Registrar’s Office will enroll you if there is available space in the course.  

All LLM students require advisor approval prior to cross-registration.  Upon submitting a cross-registration petition through the online catalog, an automatic notification will be sent to an LLM advisor in the Graduate Program for review. If approved, the petition will be automatically sent onto the faculty member. If denied, the student will be notified via an automated email.  It is important to note that if you're submitting a petition for a course at MIT or Tufts, you will need to follow up with the Graduate Program for advisor approval outside of the online cross-registration system.

Please note, advisor approval is not enforced for JD students.

If you decide you would like to drop a cross-registered course, you will need to notify your home school's Registrar's Office.  Upon processing the drop on their end, your home school will notify the host school of your drop request.  To request a drop, please send an email with the course information to our office at registrar@law.harvard.edu.  



Q. Can I start taking a course and then file my petition to cross-register later into the semester?
A. No, you cannot file a retroactive petition.  In order to enroll in a cross-registered course, you must submit your petition before the host school’s cross-registration enrollment period ends.

To confirm the cross-registration enrollment period for each school, you will want to review the Academic Calendar.



Q. There seem to be a lot of different deadlines. How do I know which one applies to me?
A. You should consult the Academic Calendar for the appropriate deadline for filing your cross-registration petition.

A few deadlines we suggest that you keep in mind:

  • The host school's cross-registration enrollment period.  You will not be able to enroll if you do not submit your petition during this time frame.
  • Your host and home school's drop deadlines.  You will be dropped with notation (WD), if you do not drop a cross-registered course by the earlier add/drop/change deadline.


Q. If I want to take a year-long course, can I just register during the fall semester?
A. If you register for the full-year course option in the fall term then you should not need to submit an additional petition in the spring term.  However, this is dependent on how each school lists their full-year courses in the catalog so you will want to confirm with the host school’s Registrar’s Office on what information is required to enroll in the course for both the fall and spring terms.



Q. I’m a 2L or 3L - how do I know if I’m eligible to cross-register?
A. If you’re a 2L or 3L, you may cross-register as long as you  have at least 8 HLS credits in your schedule in the semester in which you seek to cross-register, and the course you take is worth at least 2 HLS credits in order to meet the HLS 10-credit minimum residency requirement.



Q. I’m a 1L – may I cross-register?
A. As a 1L you may not cross-register in the spring semester as your spring elective requirement should be satisfied by an HLS course.  



Q. I’m an LLM – is there anything special that I have to do to cross-register?
A. All LLM students require advisor approval prior to cross-registration.  Upon submitting a cross-registration petition through the online catalog, an automatic notification will be sent to an LLM advisor in the Graduate Program for review. If approved, the petition will be automatically sent onto the faculty member.  If denied, the student will be notified via an automated email.  

It is important to note that if you're submitting a petition for a course at MIT or Tufts, you will need to follow up with the Graduate Program for advisor approval outside of the online cross-registration system.



Q. What is the maximum number of credits I’m allowed to take through cross-registration?
A. J.D. students may take up to 12 credits in total through cross-registration. LLM students may take up to 6 credits in total through cross-registration. LLM students do not receive credit for language courses at FAS, though they still may cross-register for them, pending approval of the Graduate Program. 

For all HLS students, there is a maximum of 6 cross-registration credits per semester.



Q. How do I know what courses are available to me?
A. The Harvard University Course Catalog allows you to filter for courses available for cross-registration.  Contact MIT and Fletcher for information about which of their courses are open to cross-registrants.



Q. I'm a J.D. student -- do I have to get approval for my cross-registered courses?
A. If you are a J.D. student, all courses at any of the other Harvard schools and MIT and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts are approved for cross-registration provided that they do not substantially overlap with any of your prior coursework.

Courses at the Division of Continued Education (Harvard Extension School) are not eligible for cross-registration.

Please also note that these rules apply to courses only.  Students may not cross-register into independent studies with faculty at other schools.  

If you have any questions regarding what courses may qualify for cross-registration, please consult the Registrar's Office.



Q. Do I have to do anything other than file the Cross-Registration Petition?
A.
Some schools require additional steps for cross-registration. In some schools you must participate in a lottery for courses, others require students to pay a materials fee and some FAS language courses require a placement exam.  Check the University's Cross-Registration website to find out more about a particular school’s cross-registration requirements.



Q. How do I know how many HLS credits I’ll get for a cross-registered course?
A. Per ABA regulations, cross-registration credits will be awarded for every 700 minutes of lecture hour/mandatory class time.  Please note, we are not able to round up when determining credits.  For example, if a course meets for 2,000 minutes, you will receive 2 credits.

It is important to note there are two exceptions to the 700 minute rule: FAS language courses and studio courses. For language courses, 2L/3L students will earn 2 credits per semester for courses meeting minimum of 2 lecture hours per week, 3 credits per semester for courses meeting minimum of 3 lecture hours per week, or 4 credits per semester for intensive courses only that are a full year of work in one semester.  LLM students will earn no credit for language courses.  Studio courses are limited to 2 credits.

For general credit information, see the University's Credit Conversion information.



Q. Can I cross-register for an Independent Study?
A. No, you are only able to cross-register for a course.



Q. Are there other limits on the courses I can cross-register for?
A. You cannot cross-register for a course that duplicates or overlaps work you’ve done in another course, including your undergraduate work.



Q. What about scheduling conflicts?
A. Your cross-registered course cannot conflict with anything on your HLS schedule. You must allow travel time between schools as well. You are responsible for understanding the schedule and rules at the school where you cross-register.  

Please note, you may not make arrangements with faculty at either school to leave early or arrive late in order to accommodate a cross-registered course.



Q. What if the exam in the cross-registered course conflicts with something in my HLS schedule?
A. You should plan to take the exam in the cross-registered course at the time that it’s scheduled and you should familiarize yourself with the host school’s examination policies. For this reason, you should be sure to arrange your academic, travel, and employment schedules to avoid a conflict.



Q. What if one of my HLS exams conflicts with the exam in my cross-registered course?
A. HLS does not allow deferral or rescheduling of examinations except as specified in the HLS Deferred Examination Policy.



Q. Will the grade from a cross-registered course appear on my transcript?
A. Yes, the grade from the host school is the grade of record that will appear on your transcript. It will not, however, be used in the calculation of honors. Grades are not converted between schools. Whatever grade you are assigned at the host school will appear on your HLS transcript.



Q. Can I ask the professor from the host school to let me take the class pass/fail?
A. The available grading options should be listed in the grade drop-down when completing your cross-registration petition.  Most graduate schools do not allow pass/fail grading, and you should not try to negotiate different grading with the professor.  If you have questions about the grading at the host school, please contact the Registrar’s Office there.



Q. I’m a joint degree student – are there different rules for me?
A. Joint degree students should check the credit requirements of their particular program online or with the Registrar’s Office (WCC 4007).



For more information about cross-registration, contact registrar@law.harvard.edu.

Last modified: October 24, 2014

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