For the Spring 2021 semester, upperclass JD students may select one additional course for a targeted pass/fail option, which will not count against the seven-credit cap. This option is available even to students who have already used all seven credits. The Office of the Registrar will notify students when pass/fail selection for spring courses is available online in MyAccess.

If a student selects only one course for the pass/fail option, it will not count against the seven-credit cap. If a student selects two classes for the pass/fail option, the class selected first will count as the free pass/fail election and the second one will be counted against the seven-credit cap.  There is no maximum limit to the number of credits an individual course may have to be eligible for the pass/fail option that does not count toward the seven-credit cap.


Both the Handbook-provided and additional pass/fail option are subject to the following policy modifications:

  • Upperclass JD students may select a course for the pass/fail option and designate a target grade until the last day of classes, 5pm ET on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, and students may change prior elections before this deadline.
  • For courses for which all graded work is officially due before the last day of classes (such as many mini-courses and bookend courses) students may elect the pass/fail option and target grade until the last day of class for the course.  For mini-courses with exams, students may elect the pass/fail option and target grade until the day before the final exam.
  • A grade of C- or D will count as a passing grade when the pass/fail option is elected.

Two categories of courses that are ordinarily ineligible for the pass/fail option under the Student Handbook are eligible for this treatment in Spring 2021:

  • Any course that meets the Professional Responsibility requirement; and
  • Courses for which the faculty member has elected not to make the pass/fail option available, as indicated in the “Course Requirements” for the course in the Curriculum Guide.

The pass/fail option continues to be unavailable for the following categories of courses:

  • Courses in the required first-year program, including the first-year elective;
  • Upperclass legal writing requirement seminars;
  • Supervised Research projects;
  • Clinics;
  • Law Center graduate (LL.M. and SJD) courses that are not cross-listed; and
  • For students pursuing a J.D./LL.M. joint degree, any courses that are considered “specialization credits” pursuant to the LL.M. degree requirements (see the Graduate Programs chapter of the Student Handbook).

The other rules relating to the pass/fail option remain in effect and unchanged. To highlight only two: these options are not available to first year JD students, or students in the LL.M, MSL, MLT, or SJD degree programs; and courses taken on a mandatory pass/fail basis do not count as the exercise of either pass/fail option.