Credit for Courses at Other Law Schools

Formal Request: Any WCL student who seeks approval to study at another law school must submit a completed form to the WCL Registrar’s Office (Suite C107).  Such programs must be ABA approved and offered for credit.

Statement of Purpose: Students also must include a statement of purpose and demonstrate how this law program and the courses offered therein meet their goals and are not duplicative of any WCL program.

Extraordinary, Compelling Circumstance: Permission to study as a visiting student at another law school will be granted only on the basis of extraordinary, compelling personal circumstances and for no more than one academic year.

Supporting documentation: Supporting documentation, e.g., copies of military orders, must be included with the request.  Not only the law school program, but also specific courses must be approved. 

Official Transcript Required: After completion of the program, an official transcript must be sent to the WCL Registrar’s Office, at registrationservices@wcl.american.edu or Suite C107, 4300 Nebraska Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20016-2132.

Degree Credit and Grades:  Students will receive credit only for those classes in which they earn passing grades.  These grades will not be included in the calculation of cumulative grade point average and course titles will not appear on law school transcripts.

Limitations:  No more than 1/3 of the credits required for the degree at WCL may be taken at another law school or combination of schools.  Students must satisfy WCL graduation and residency requirements.

Read the rest of the policy in the Catalog.

Credit for Courses in Other Schools of the University (AU)

Pre-Approval Required (except dual degree students): Law students may take up to 6 credits of work toward their JD degree requirements in other schools of the university. The courses must be pre-approved by the Office of the Registrar. 

Credits for non-law classes are included in the 12 non-classroom credits (18 for students enrolled in the law school’s dual degree programs within American University) allowed toward the JD degree.

Formal Request: Before undertaking such work the student must demonstrate the appropriateness of the particular course and obtain the written permission from the Office of the Registrar.

In determining whether a course is “appropriate,” consideration is given to the relationship the course bears to the study of law and to the student’s intended area of practice.

Degree Credit and Grades: Only the credit hours earned and not the grade are accepted for credit toward JD degree requirements.

Graduate Level Courses: Generally, non-law courses taken under this policy must be graduate-level courses. Law students enrolled in one of the college’s dual degree programs may only transfer non-law courses for JD credit in accordance with the regulations of those programs.

Language Course Approval Process

The American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) has partnered with the American University College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) to offer limited upper-level language courses to law students. In order to qualify, students must review the information below and submit the necessary documents to the AUWCL Office of the Registrar for approval.

To receive approval for language coursework, students must:

  1. Take an online placement exam and place into the intermediate or advanced level of one of the languages currently offered at AU. The exams can be found at https://www.american.edu/cas/wlc/placement.cfm and are administered through the Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition & Research (CLEAR)
  2. Select an intermediate or advanced level course (no “topics” or elementary courses are allowed) from the AU Schedule of Classes https://www.american.edu/provost/registrar/schedule/
  3. Submit the following to registrationservices@wcl.american.edu.
    1. Language placement results
    2. Preferred class from the class schedule, and
    3. Brief statement as to how this language course will complement your overall course of study at the law school.

The email should include the student’s name and AU ID number with the subject line “Language Course Approval Request” for review by the Deputy Registrar and Associate Director of Academic Advising and Policy Development.

If approved, you must:

  1. Register for 1 credit of CAS-600 Tool of Research and pay the associated 1 credit of WCL tuition. This process will be done manually by the College of Arts and Sciences. If you are a full time student, tuition for the language course will be included in the 12-17 credit flat rate. Part-time students will pay the current AUWCL credit rate.
  2. Take the class Pass/Fail.
  3. Abide by all posted American University drop and withdrawal dates.
  4. Participate in class meetings, assignments, and final assessments for the class section selected.

Important Information:

  • The course cannot be taken for a letter grade or audited
  • The course will not count towards your JD, LLM, or SJD degree requirements nor will it factor into your GPA
  • This course is charged at the WCL tuition rate
  • The required documentation can be submitted any time after pre-registration begins but MUST be finalized before the start of classes
  • Students are limited to 2 semesters of language coursework per student
  • Students who place beyond the intermediate or advanced level may be eligible for advanced level individual tutoring through the CLEAR program. If approved, students will be registered for CAS-025 Tool of Research for 0 credits. These tutoring sessions are charged a flat rate of $500 for the semester and are limited to three 30-minute sessions of tutoring per week starting the 3rd week of classes and continuing through the last date of classes.
  • Availability of seats in any given section or through the CLEAR tutoring program are not guaranteed and are subject to availability each semester