Frequently Asked Questions

Registering for Classes

Joint Degree Students

Exams

General Questions

Verification of Enrollment

Transcripts and Diplomas

 

Registering for Classes

How do I obtain a permission number for courses requiring special permission?

If you need a permission number for a course that requires special permission, you can request one by sending an email to lawreg@pitt.edu.  Please make sure to include the catalog and course numbers as well as your PeopleSoft number in your request.   The permission number will be emailed to you.

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Where can I find all of the various credit limits that apply to JD students?

Here are links to the descriptions on the Law School’s web site of the various credit limits that apply to JD students:

29-credit cap on study abroad

18-credit cap per semester (scroll down to “Credit Limits”)

10-credit per-semester cap on clinic credits

6-credit cap on non-law courses

6-credit cap on summer study at other law schools

4-credit cap on activities for credit (e.g., moot court and journal)

4-credit cap on externships (with the exception of the DC semester)

Please note that these are generally caps on the number of credits that can be counted toward the JD degree. Even if a course cannot count toward the JD degree, it will still appear on your transcript if it was taken at or through the University of Pittsburgh.

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Why did I get the error message "Requisites Not Met" when I attempted to register for a course that was not full during the registration appointment period?

This can occur for two reasons:

1)      Enrollment priorities may restrict registration into certain courses during the enrollment appointment period.  During the registration appointment period (the first two weeks of registration), eligible second- and third-year students can register for courses according to defined priorities on each course.  Third-year students can register for limited enrollment courses (3L priority) and general enrollment courses.  Second-year students can register for core courses (2L priority) and general enrollment courses. If you attempt to register for a course that has a priority assigned to it during the appointment period for which you are not eligible, you will receive an error message indicating that requisites are not met. That means you have to wait until the priority is lifted when open enrollment begins to attempt to register for the course. Priorities for individual courses can be found in the course description on the Law School web pages.

2)      If you are eligible to register for the course based on the priorities defined for it and you get the error message, the course may have a hard-coded prerequisite attached to it and you have not taken the prerequisite in a previous or the current term.  Please check the course description on the Law School web pages for defined course prerequisites.

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What error messages might I receive when trying to register for courses?

Depending on how the course is set up, other factors can affect registration into a course that otherwise has openings.  If you are trying to register for a course that will cause a time conflict with another course, you will get a “Time Conflict” error message. If the course requires departmental consent, you will get a “Departmental Consent Required” error message.  If you are trying to register for the MSL offering of the course, you will get an “Out Of Career” error message.  If a course has a hard-coded prerequisite attached to it, and you have not taken the prerequisite previously or in the current term, you will get a “Requisite Not Met” error message.  Class permission is required to enroll in any course that requires departmental consent, or that is outside a student’s career of study.  Please refer to the FAQ for instructions for obtaining permission numbers. Permission numbers will not be issued to students to register for a course that has a Time Conflict with another course.

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How do I obtain a permission number for a closed course?

As described on the Registration Services web page, students who are attempting to register for a course that is full should not contact faculty members for permission to register for the course.  In order to register for classes that are full, you must request permission from the Law School Registrar’s Office, as described below.  If permission is granted, you will be issued a Permission Number, which you will enter when you add the course.

As a first step in attempting to enroll in a class that is currently full, please monitor PeopleSoft and continue to attempt to add the course if an opening becomes available.  Only if you are unable to add the course by noon on the next to the last day of the open enrollment period, because it continues to remain full, should you then contact the Registrar’s Office.

To request a permission number for a course that remains full at noon on the next to the last day of open enrollment, please email the Registrar's Office at lawreg@pitt.edu.  In the email, please include your PeopleSoft ID, course title and 4-digit catalog number.  Requests for permission numbers are issued in the order that requests are received.

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How do I withdraw from or drop a course after open enrollment ends?

After open enrollment ends, you may only withdraw from or drop a course with the permission of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. To obtain permission, please send an email to the Associate Dean with a copy to lawreg@pitt.edu. In your email, please explain the circumstances surrounding your request, as permission to drop (as opposed to taking a monitored withdrawal from) a course is granted only in the presence of special circumstances.  If a request for a monitored withdrawal is approved, the University charges no fee for processing the request. If special circumstances exist and a request to drop a class is approved, then the University will charge a late add/drop fee.

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How do I register for an Externship?

With the exception of the Semester in D.C. Program, the maximum number of credits a student can earn for externships is 4. The credit maximum includes summer externship credits. Participation, or nonparticipation, in a clinic course or a practicum does NOT affect this limit on externship credits. Additionally, all credit hours may be earned with the same agency.

In order to receive credit for a summer externship, students must register for the course for the fall term.  Credits for summer externships are awarded in the fall term and DO NOT count toward the 18-credit maximum. Details regarding the credit maximum can be found hereRegistration for summer externships should be done during the first week of class in the fall, during final add/drop.  Adding the summer externship at that time ensures you have completed the work for the number of credits you are registering for and eliminates potential registration issues.

Registration for fall and spring externships takes place as part of the regular registration process for the term in which you are working in the externship and those credits DO count toward the 18-credit maximum.

All externships are departmental consent and require a permission number for registration.  Students who are attempting to register for an externship, should send an email to lawreg@pitt.edu AFTER their externship has been approved by Professor Nancy Burkoff.  Please make sure to include the catalog and course numbers as well as your PeopleSoft number in your request.   The permission number(s) will be emailed to you.

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How do I register for journal credits?

The journal editors will submit a list of students each semester to the Registrar’s Office and the Registrar’s Office will register students for the course.  Journal credits do count towards the 18-credit maximum per semester and are also subject to the cap on activities for credit.  In the case of joint degree students who are primary registered in their graduate career, the journal credit will be added to their graduate career registration.  Any credit cap imposed by the primary school for that term will be in effect and the student will be responsible for any tuition charges resulting from the registration.  Journal credits cannot be deferred to avoid additional tuition charges; however, students may, with the journal’s permission, work on a journal without receiving academic credit.

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How do I register for TA training?

Students who are TA’s will receive 1 credit per semester.  Students cannot self register for the course.   Faculty supervisors will submit a list of students at the beginning of each semester to the Registrar’s Office and the Registrar’s Office will then add the course to student registrations.  TA training credits do count towards the 18-credit maximum per semester and students should take that into account when planning their schedules. 

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Why is there an ADV hold on my account? 

ADV holds will be placed on all Joint Degree students.  This requires students to contact the Law School Registrar's Office before they register for any term so their account can be properly flagged depending on which program is going to be primary for that term.  It will ensure that they are registered and billed properly to avoid issues with loans or duplicate billing.

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How do I register for non-law courses offered by other schools at the University of Pittsburgh?

You can register for a course by completing the Permission to Register for Non-Law Elective form which can be found here: http://www.law.pitt.edu/files/attached/page/PermissionToRegisterNonLaw.pdf.   Once you have filled out the form, please bring it with a course description to the Registrar's Office so we can give it to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for final approval.  You will also need to contact the department offering the course to obtain a permission number from them to register for the course. 

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How do I register for courses outside the University (cross-registration or PCHE)?

Full-time students are permitted to register for a course at a PCHE institution in the fall and spring terms. The course, earned grade, and units will appear on your Pitt transcript but will not be included in your Law GPA.    Students who wish to cross-register must obtain the PCHE Form from the Law School Registrar's Office.  To begin the process, you must first obtain an authorizing signature from the host institution allowing you to take the course before you submit the form to the Law School Registrar's Office.  Once you have done that, submit the form to the Law Registrar's Office which will then give it to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for approval.  The registration process takes a few weeks to complete and students should allow ample time for necessary approvals before the registration is processed.  Additional information and a list of PCHE institutions can be found at this link:  http://www.registrar.pitt.edu/cross_registration.html.

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What does auditing a course mean and how do I register for it?

Information on auditing a course can be found here:   http://www.law.pitt.edu/students/policies/audited-courses. You may register for a course audit during the open enrollment period.  The open enrollment period begins two weeks after the registration appointments begin and runs through the end of the first week of class.

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Can I opt to take a course pass/fail?

It is possible to take a course pass/fail (S/U); however, you should think hard before electing that option.  Most employers expect to see a letter grade for courses (outside of externships and other activities that are routinely graded pass/fail for all students). If you have something other than the letter grade that they expect (and will see on the transcripts of your peers), you will need to be able to convincingly explain your rationale for taking the course on a pass/fail basis to them. In deciding whether this option makes sense, you might wish to touch base with the Office of Career and Professional Development for their advice on this question and to gauge their reaction to your reasons for considering this step. They should be able to give you a sense of how an employer would react to your explanation.

Please be aware that electing the S/U option may also have repercussions on graduation honors. For more information, see here and here for a discussion of the role of graded coursework in determining class honors and eligibility for Order of the Coif, respectively.

If you do choose to take the course pass/fail, the deadline for letting the Registrar's Office know is one month from the day on which the semester begins. You do not need any specific approval from the Associate Dean to do so.  If you wish to elect to have one or more of your courses graded on an S/U basis, please contact the Registrar's Office, either by stopping by the service window or emailing lawreg@pitt.edu.

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Where do I go for help if I'm having trouble with PeopleSoft ?

You can obtain technical assistance anytime by calling the University Technology Help Desk at 412-624-HELP [4357].  You can refer to the interactive demonstration (iDemo) video posted in My Pitt.  To access that, Click Learn More just below the Student Center link on your portal home page. You can also come to the Law School Registrar’s Office during business hours or email the Law Registrar’s Office at lawreg@pitt.edu.

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What are activities for credit?

Activities for credit include moot court competition and journal participation.  A student may earn a maximum of four academic credits through participation in students activities approved for academic credit.  A student may register for only one moot court per semester and may not receive credit for the same moot court activity in more than one semester.  Externship credits and TA Training are not activities for credit.

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How do I terminate enrollment for all classes?

If you plan on taking a leave of absence or are transferring out of the Law School, you should drop all of your classes through your my.pitt.edu account in PeopleSoft.  Classes can be dropped without penalty through the end of the open enrollment (add/drop) period. You can also drop all of your courses by contacting the Student Appeals Office.  Detailed information can be found here: http://www.cfo.pitt.edu/students/resignation.html.  You must also complete a Change of Status form and return it to the Law School Registrar’s Office.  The Change of Status form can be found here: http://www.law.pitt.edu/files/attached/page/ChangeOfStatus.pdf

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How and when do I register for coursework that will be completed over the summer?

 Any coursework taken at another law school over the summer will need to be approved by the Dean’s Office.  Once approval is granted for the coursework to count toward your law degree, you may register for the course(s) following the procedures of the sponsoring school.  Once the coursework is completed, an official transcript will need to be sent to the Law School’s Registrar’s Office so the credits can be posted to your academic record.  The course(s) will show as “Transfer Credits” only.   If the coursework is approved to fulfill any of the Law School graduation requirements, we will need an email or something in writing from the Dean’s Office authorizing the approval.  Only Law courses can be flagged on your degree progress report, and any transfer credits that will be used to fulfill a specific graduation requirement will not populate the specified requirement of the degree progress report, though the Registrar’s Office will have an internal record of the approval. 

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 What is the waitlist feature on PeopleSoft and how do I use it? 

The waitlist feature in PeopleSoft is only available for certain undergraduate courses at the present time.  While you may be able to select the waitlist function, you will not be able to use it.  No further decision has been made on when or how this functionality will be implemented for other careers beyond undergraduate, at this time.

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Joint Degree Students

What is a Joint Degree Update form and why do I need to complete one every semester?

The Joint Degree Update form assists the Law School in accurately tracking student’s plan of study and for such things as registration status, registration appointment assignments, anticipated graduation date, and distribution lists.  Joint degree students must complete the form every semester or an ADV hold will be placed on their account.  The ADV hold will not permit the student to register for courses and will be lifted only after we have received the completed form.  Students enrolled in joint degree programs will receive an email from the Law Registrar with the form attached to it for completion.  You can also download the form here.   If you do not complete the form and return it to the Registrar’s Office by the deadline indicated in the email, we cannot update your records accurately.  Subsequently, your registration appointment time may be negatively affected or, you may not receive an appointment time for the appropriate career which means you could have to wait until the open enrollment period begins to register for courses.  Failure to submit the form could also affect your graduation date in PeopleSoft, which may have an impact on financial aid or, your name being excluded from the correct email distribution list for the Law School.

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I am a joint degree student who is, or will be registered primary in my GRAD career this semester.  How do I register for a Law course?

As a joint degree student, you can register for Law courses when you are registered primary in your GRAD career.   Because LAW is its own career, PeopleSoft won’t allow registration in courses across careers without the requisite permission number from the other school offering the course.  To request a permission number, you will need to email the Registrar's Office at lawreg@pitt.edu .  Please indicate that you are a joint degree student and include your PeopleSoft ID, course title and 4-digit catalog number. 

At the appropriate time, the Registrar’s Office will issue the permission number via return email.  Because of enrollment priorities, it may be necessary to wait until after open enrollment for the semester begins before the Registrar’s Office can issue the permission number. When registering for additional Law credits, you should check with your other school to verify whether they have a credit cap that would cause you to incur additional tuition charges.  You are liable for any additional tuition resulting from the addition of Law courses on your GRAD career registration, as tuition charges for a given semester are determined by where you are primary registered. 

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I am a joint degree student who is, or will be registered primary in my LAW career this semester.  How do I register for a graduate course at my other school?

You will need to follow procedures set by your other school to obtain permission numbers from them to register for graduate courses when you are registered primary LAW in a given semester. There is no additional tuition charge when you register for graduate courses from your other school during a semester when you are registered primary LAW. Please be aware that the Law credit limits still do apply. Click here and scroll down to “Credit Limits” for additional information regarding the application of this limit to joint degree students.

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Exams

Under what circumstances can I reschedule an exam?

You can reschedule an exam under the two following circumstances: 1) if you have two exams that are scheduled for the same time or 2) if you have three exams back to back.  An example of this would be if you had an exam in the morning and afternoon on the same day and then had another exam in the morning the very next day.  Take home exams are not included in this rule.  If you have extenuating circumstances, you will need to contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to make arrangements.

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How will I be accessing my take-home exams?

For “traditional” take-home exams (i.e., those that you are permitted to work on for 24 hours or longer), you will access your exam through ExamSoft, using their web-based platform for accessing take-home exams. There is no special software needed to access and download take-home exams.  Once downloaded, you will work on the exam in the word processing program on your own computer and then upload your answer once you have completed the exam.

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Can I access my take-home exam over the weekend?