Academic Advising Frequently Asked Questions

I am enrolled in a clinic and the number of hours that I have worked is much more or less than the amount of credit that I registered for. May I adjust the number of credits for my clinic?

The University Registrar does not permit adjustments to the amount of credit after the close of the drop/add period. The amount of credit for a clinic is determined by the student and faculty supervisor together at the beginning of the semester, based on the case load that the student agrees to. Students who exceed the number of hours required for the amount of credit may count those additional hours as pro bono service.

I am enrolled in Duke in DC, or studying abroad, may I also enroll in an independent study for the semester?

Independent study is generally not permitted for students participating in Duke in DC or study abroad. Due to the intensive nature of project development for independent study, students should be in residence on-campus for the semester to have the full advantage of faculty guidance.

I am enrolled in Duke in DC, may I take a course at a DC-area law school as well?

No. A student may not be enrolled in programs or courses at more than one school, absent an inter-institutional agreement between the schools. Duke Law School does not have an inter-institutional agreement with any DC-area law schools.

May I use a paper that I write while studying abroad to fulfill the Substantial Research and Writing Project?

No. A research paper written for the Substantial Research and Writing Project must be supervised by a Duke Law faculty member.

My summer employer requires that I earn academic credit for my unpaid summer internship. How can I fulfill this requirement?
  • The ABA requires that a student’s educational achievement in field placements (externships/internships) be evaluated by a faculty member in order for the school to grant academic credit for the experience. Summer internship performance is evaluated by the employer/supervising attorney, and not by a Duke Law School faculty member. Therefore, we are unable to award academic credit for summer internships.
  • Dean Barnes can provide a letter of explanation to employers, and offer an alternative arrangement that might be suitable for the employer and the student.
May I enroll in an independent study during the summer?

No, Duke Law School does not have an available summer term for JD students to enroll in independent study.

I would like to take a course in another department of the University. How many credits will that count toward my JD degree requirement?

A one-unit course in another department of the University will count as three credits toward the 87-credit JD degree requirement.

Will the grade for the course be factored into my Law GPA?

No. The grade will show on your transcript, but it will not be factored into your GPA.

How do I register for a course at Fuqua?

Each semester, Fuqua will release a limited number of courses for enrollment by non-MBA students. The list of courses is provided to the registrar’s offices at the other Duke graduate and professional schools in July for fall registration and October for spring registration. The Law School Registrar’s Office publishes the list on the Registration Portal, along with links to additional registration information for Fuqua classes, and the registration permission form. The registration permission form must be signed by Dean Barnes and the Fuqua instructor (permission via email may be substituted for the instructor’s signature).

How do I register for a course at the Graduate School or another professional school on campus?

Registration information for the Graduate School and other professional schools is published by the Law School Registrar’s Office on the Registration Portal, along with a link to the non-law course permission form. The permission form must be signed by Dean Barnes. Non-law courses must be of suitable academic rigor. Courses at the 100 level or higher are presumed to be suitably rigorous. Foreign language courses at any level are presumed to be suitably rigorous.

I would like to take a foreign language course. How do I know what level to enroll in?

The Languages at Duke website has links to each department and program website, where you can find placement information for the individual language program(s). If you cannot easily find this information, call the main department number and ask for the number and/or email of the Director of Undergraduate Studies or Language Program Director or Coordinator, who should be able to assist you with placement.

Why do some course descriptions on the Course Browser include a sample syllabus, and others do not?

The posting of sample syllabi is a newly available feature of the Course Browser. Sample syllabi are posted at the discretion of the faculty member. Academic Affairs is working to get syllabi from as many instructors as possible.

Is there a limit to the number of ungraded credits that I can take?

No, except that to be eligible for Latin honors at graduation, 80% of your coursework must be in graded credits.

Does the Foundations of Law credit count toward the 87-credit JD graduation requirement?


Does the paper that I write for the Substantial Research and Writing Project have to be for a graded credit?


I am a JD student – may I attend the Duke-Leiden Institute in The Hague, the Netherlands

Yes, JD students are permitted to attend the Duke-Leiden summer institute. However, the credits earned at the summer institute will not be grounds for a waiver of the minimum course load requirement in a later semester.


Interested in taking a course outside the Law School?

The Registrar’s Office publishes a list on the Registration Portal of classes available at Fuqua, along with links and resources for other Duke courses and offerings at nearby law schools UNC and NCCU.

View courses outside Duke Law