MSU College of Law

Registrar's Office

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Current Students-General Information

Q: Where can I obtain a calendar of important dates?
A: Visit the Academic Calendar for term and commencement dates. Visit the Course Schedules & Descriptions page and select a given semester to find course and final exam dates and times. Visit the Law College Events Calendar for events and meetings.


Q: How do I reach a specific department, professor, or staff member? 
A: For the College of Law, visit the College of Law Directory. For the main University, visit MSU Find People.  


Q: How do I restrict my directory information?
A: Visit StuInfo: Directory Restrictions.


Q: Where can I find the tuition and fee rates?
A: Visit the Tuition & Fees page. 


Q: How many credits do I need to be full-time?
A: A J.D. student must be enrolled in 13 or more credits in a regular semester (fall or spring) to be considered a full-time student.

An LL.M./M.J. student that is not in the Global Food Law program (and began their program in Spring 2016 or later) must be enrolled in 9 or more credits in a regular semester (fall or spring) to be considered a full-time student.

An LL.M./M.J. student that is in the Global Food Law program must be enrolled in 5 or more credits in a regular semester (fall or spring) to be considered a full-time student. 


Q: How do I change my address or telephone number? 
A: Visit StuInfo: Addresses


Q: How do I change my legal name?

A: Submit a completed Request for Name Change to the MSU Law Registrar's Office.


Q: Do I have a hold on my student account?

A: Visit StuInfo: Holds to see if you have any holds on your account. 


Q: How do I obtain a copy of my transcript or grade report?

A: To obtain a copy of your transcript, submit a completed Academic Request Form to the MSU Law Registrar's Office. To obtain a copy of your grade report, visit StuInfo: Grade Report


Q: How do I obtain an MSU Student ID Card?

A: Visit the MSU ID Office in the MSU International Center (427 N. Shaw Lane, Room 170, East Lansing, MI 48824). Your first Student ID is free of charge. Replacement cards are $20.


Q: What is a preferred name?

A: You may prefer to be addressed by a name that is different from your legal name. MSU and MSU College of Law recognizes that many of its students use names other than their legal names to identify themselves and allows you to do this by establishing a preferred name.


Q: How do I establish or update my preferred name?
A: Visit StuInfo: Preferred Name


Q: Will my preferred name be used for everything at MSU and MSU Law?

A: No. The legal name will continue to be used for certain university or college records, documents, and business processes such as reporting, financial aid, official transcripts, and other records where use of legal name is required by law or university policy.


Q: Where can I find a list of registered MSU Law student organizations and their contact information?

A: Visit MSU Law Student Organizations


Q: How can I obtain verification of my current enrollment?

A: Submit a completed Academic Request Form to the MSU Law Registrar's Office. 


Q: How does an employer or lender find out my enrollment and/or graduation status?

A: MSU Law reports semester enrollment status and completed degree information to the National Student Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse provides data on a regular basis to governmental and private lenders. Prospective employers may call the Clearinghouse at (703) 742-4200 or visit their web site at www.studentclearinghouse.org to confirm degree information. If you have any questions or concerns with the National Student Clearinghouse, contact the MSU Law Registrar's Office.


Q: How do I amend my law school application or update my student file?
A: Visit Amendment to Law School Application/Update Student File Requests for detailed instructions. 


Q: How do I withdraw from MSU Law?

A: You should contact the Office of Student Engagement in order to schedule an appointment to discuss your withdrawal request with the Assistant Dean for Student Engagement. You must also submit a completed Leave of Absence or Complete Withdrawal Form


Q: How do I take a leave of absence from MSU Law?
A: You should contact the Office of Student Engagement in order to schedule an appointment to discuss your leave of absence request with the Assistant Dean for Student Engagement. You must also submit a completed Leave of Absence or Complete Withdrawal Form


Q: How do I obtain an I-20, OPT, or CPT form or advising?

A: Contact Lisa Willson (lwillson@law.msu.edu)SEVIS and Admissions Coordinator.


Back to Top


Current Students-Course Information & Enrollment

Q: The course description/course prerequisite(s) is different on the MSU Schedule of Courses site than on the MSU College of Law schedule. Which is correct?
A: The course description/course prerequisite(s) on the MSU College of Law schedule will always supersede the information on the MSU Schedule of Courses site. The MSU Schedule of Courses site has character limits so the entire course description/course prerequisite(s) may not be listed. If you have any questions regarding a course description/course prerequisite(s), contact the MSU Law Registrar's Office.


Q: What is an appointment time?

A: An appointment time is the date and time you may begin registering for courses for a given semester.


Q: When will my appointment time be published for the upcoming semester and how can I find my appointment time?
A: Your appointment time will be available at least one week prior to registering for courses. To find your appointment time, visit Schedule History and Enrollment Access on StuInfo and your appointment times will be listed under "Future Term Enrollment Access."


Q: How do I receive priority enrollment (an earlier appointment time than the general student population)?
A: Priority enrollment is reserved for part-time students, dual-degree students, veterans, active military, and potential graduates. If the student is not receiving military financial aid benefits, veterans and active military students should send proof of service to the MSU Law Registrar's Office. Veterans and active military students who receive military financial aid benefits will automatically receive priority enrollment. Potential graduates should visit the Priority Enrollment for Potential Graduates page for detailed information and deadlines. 


Q: How do I enroll for courses?
A: Visit the Course Schedules & Descriptions page to find enrollment instructions for the semester you wish to enroll in courses. Once you have read the enrollment instructions in their entirety, you can enroll in courses using the MSU Schedule of Courses site. The "subject" for all MSU College of Law courses is "LAW" on the MSU Schedule of Courses site. 


Q: Why can't I enroll?

A: Most likely one of the four scenarios will apply: 1) You may be attempting to enroll before your appointment time. To find your appointment time, visit StuInfo: Schedule History and Enrollment Access and your appointment time will be listed under "Future Term Enrollment Access." 2) You may have a hold on your student account that restricts your enrollment. Visit StuInfo: Holds to see if you have any holds on your account. 3) The course is at capacity or requires permission to enroll. 4) You have not satisfied the prerequisite(s) for the course. Visit the Course Schedules & Descriptions page and select the given semester schedule to find the prerequisite(s) for a course. Please contact the MSU Law Registrar's Office with additional questions or concerns. 


Q: How do I add/drop a course BEFORE it meets for the first time?

A: You can drop a course via the MSU Schedule of Courses site Monday-Friday 8 AM to 8 PM and from 8 AM Saturday to 8 PM Sunday (subject to availability). If you wish to drop a course but you have a hold on your account, contact the MSU Law Registrar's Office for assistance. 


Q: How do I add/drop a course AFTER it has met for the first time?

A: You should fill out the Drop/Add Form and obtain the proper signatures on the form. Scholarship students should note that the charge assessed for a course that is dropped after the 100% refund period has passed is NOT covered by scholarships. The student will be required to pay the full rate of tuition for the dropped course. 


Q: What is ULWR, and how do I declare it?
A: The Upper Level Writing Requirement (ULWR) is a J.D. graduation requirement that assures that every J.D. student who graduates from MSU Law has the experience of researching, analyzing and writing about legal issues on a more sophisticated and in-depth level than is generally possible during the first year of law school. Students must complete 29 or more credit hours before enrolling in a ULWR. More information about the requirement can be found on the Required Curriculum page. 

In order to declare your ULWR, you must submit the ULWR Declaration Form with your professor's signature and a copy of your grade report (visit StuInfo: Grade Report) to the MSU Law Registrar's Office by the end of the fourth week of the semester in the fall or spring semester, or the end of the second week in the summer semester. 


Q: When and how should I declare a directed study?
A: You should submit the Directed Study Form by the end of the first week of the semester. If you are using the Directed Study to fulfill your ULWR requirement, the Directed Study Form should be submitted at the same time as the ULWR Declaration FormA Directed Study is a course; therefore, enrollment is subject to the semester course enrollment deadlines. 


Q: What are the required courses for graduation?
A: J.D. students should visit the Required Curriculum page for detailed graduation requirements. LL.M./M.J. students in the American Legal System Program should visit the American Legal System Curriculum page for detailed graduation requirements. LL.M./M.J. students in the IP Law Program should visit the IP Law Curriculum page. LL.M./M.J. students in the Global Food Law Program should visit the Global Food Law Curriculum page.


Q: How many credits can I take in distance education (including online courses)?

A: No student may enroll in distance education courses qualifying for credit under the Online Course Enrollment policy until that student has completed instruction equivalent to 28 credit hours toward the J.D. degree. In any term, the College will not grant a student more than the permitted number of distance education credit hours as set forth in the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools, or as set forth in approved variances from the Standards. Students may not enroll in more than four credit hours of distance education without approval of the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs. No more than a cumulative total of 12 credit hours will be granted toward the J.D. degree for distance education courses. In compliance with federal regulation, for F-1 students no more than the equivalent of one distance education class or three credits per term may be counted toward the full course of study requirement if the class does not require the student's physical attendance for classes, examination or other purposes integral to completion of the class. More information can be found in the Student Handbook: Credit Hour Maximum per Semester & Course Enrollment Limitations.


Q: What is the maximum amount of credits I can take a semester?

A: During a regular semester (fall or spring), full-time J.D. students are allowed to enroll in a maximum of 16 credits without approval and a maximum of 17 credits with approval from the Assistant Dean for Student Engagement. If you would like permission to enroll in 17 credits for a given semester, please contact the Office of Student Engagement in order to schedule an appointment to discuss your request with the Assistant Dean for Student Engagement. Part-time J.D. students can only enroll in a maximum of 12 credits. More information can be found in the Student Handbook: Credit Hour Maximum per Semester & Course Enrollment Limitations.


Back to Top


Current Students-Exams & Grades

Q: Where can I find the dates and times for my midterm and final exams?
A: Visit the Course Schedules & Descriptions page and select a given semester to find midterm and final exam dates and times.


Q: If I have a medical condition or English is my second language, how do I request a special accommodation for my midterm or final exams?
A: Do not under any situation speak to your professor about your accommodation request. Law school exams are designed to be anonymous, and inquiring with your professor regarding such a request ruins that anonymity. 

For general accommodation questions, you should you should contact the Office of Student Engagement in order to schedule an appointment to discuss your request with the Assistant Director for Student Engagement. For specific questions or to request special accommodations for a medical reason, you should contact the Office of Student Engagement in order to schedule an appointment to discuss your request with the Assistant Dean for Student Engagement. If English is your second language, you should submit a Special Accommodations Request-Medical or ESL Form to the Office of Student Engagement by the end of the fourth week of the semester.


Q: If I have an exam conflict (such as two or more final exams scheduled at the same time) or a personal conflict with an exam, what do I do?
A: You should contact the Office of Student Engagement in order to schedule an appointment to discuss your request with the Assistant Dean for Student Engagement. You will also need to submit a Special Accommodations Request-Exam or Personal Conflict Form.


Q: If I have an approved exam conflict or a special accommodation, when will I receive detailed date and time information about my specific exams?
A: You will typically receive detailed information regarding your accommodations 1 week prior to the start of the exam period. Please contact the MSU Law Registrar's Office with additional questions or concerns. 


Q: What is an exam permit?
A: An exam permit is needed to enter your midterm or final exam room and includes your permit number, which ensures anonymity when your professors are grading your exams. 


Q: How do I retrieve my exam permit?

A: Exam permits will be available online approximately 1 week before the exam period. Students will receive an email from the MSU Law Registrar's Office when exam permits are available for downloading. Students may download their exam permit via Student Services by logging in with their MSU NetID and Password. 


Q: What is the Affidavit of Enrollment Status for J.D. Students?

A: The Affidavit of Enrollment Status is required each semester and is an affidavit to ensure students are in compliance with MSU Law’s Work Limitation Policy and Attendance Policy, as described in the Student Handbook. Students may complete the Affidavit via Student Services by logging in with their MSU NetId and Password. If you do not have a completed Affidavit for a given semester, there will be a hold on your exam permit. 


Q: What do I do if an emergency happens prior to an exam and it prevents me from arriving on time for my exam?

A: As soon as possible, contact the Office of Student Engagement at 517-432-6835, oselaw@law.msu.edu, or by visiting Suite 308. 


Q: When will grades be posted?
A: Grades are generally due approximately 1 month after the final exam period. During the exam period, the Registrar's Office will send out an email announcing the specific date grades are due. Students are strongly advised to refrain from contacting the Registrar’s Office to check on the status of grade submission and postings, as these inquires interfere with the Registrar’s ability to input grades in a timely manner.


Q: When will rank be posted?
A: Rank is generally posted approximately 2 months after the final exam period. 


Back to Top


Current Students-Honors, Graduation, and the Bar Exam

Q: What are the requirements to make the MSU Law Dean's List?
A: A J.D. student qualifies for the Dean's List every semester the student has a semester class rank at the 65th Percentile or above, and this distinction is noted on the student's transcript. LL.M./M.J. students are not eligible for the Dean's List.


Q: When and how do I apply for graduation?
A: It is strongly recommended that you apply for graduation at least one year prior to your anticipated graduation date. You can always resubmit a new application for graduation if your anticipated graduation date changes.

To apply for graduation, you must complete the Application for Graduation. If you are a J.D. student, you should complete the Application for Graduation for J.D. Students. If you are a LL.M. or M.J. student, you should complete the Application for Graduation for LL.M. and M.J. Students


Q: Is there a graduation requirements checklist for J.D. students?
A: Yes, the J.D. Graduation Requirements Checklist can be downloaded from the Registrar's Form page. Please make sure you select the appropriate checklist depending on when you entered. This checklist is for your own use and should not be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. 


Q: What are the requirements to graduate with honors for students entering prior to fall 2017?

A: LL.M. and M.J. students are not eligible for honors. J.D. students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher and subject to the Honors and Final Class Rank policy, will graduate with honors, as follows: 3.25 to 3.49 will graduate Cum Laude; 3.50 to 3.74 will graduate Magna Cum Laude; 3.75 to 4.00 will graduate Summa Cum Laude. For the purpose of calculating honors and class rank, students retaking a course will have the two grades averaged together.


Q: What are the requirements to graduate with honors for students entering fall 2017 or later?
A: LL.M. and M.J. students are not eligible for honors. J.D. students with a final class ranking at the 65th Percentile or higher and subject to the Honors and Final Class Rank policy, will graduate with honors, as follows: 95th Percentile and higher will graduate Summa Cum Laude; 85th through 94th Percentile will graduate Magna Cum Laude;  65th through 84th Percentile will graduate Cum Laude. For the purpose of calculating honors and class rank, students retaking a course will have the two grades averaged together.


Q: When will Commencement information be available?

A: The date for Commencement for the current academic year can be found on the MSU Law Academic Calendar. Commencement information will be sent to each degree candidate during his or her final semester. It is important to complete an application for graduation before your final semester, so you receive important graduation email communications from various MSU Law departments. For further information, visit the MSU Law Graduation Information page.


Q: When will my degree be conferred?
A: As soon as all graduation requirements are satisfied.


Q: If I did not graduate as planned, do I need to fill out another application?
A: Yes. If you are a J.D. student, you should complete the Application for Graduation for J.D. Students. If you are a LL.M. or M.J. student, you should complete the Application for Graduation for LL.M. and M.J. Students


Q: How do I get my diploma?
A: A few weeks before the end of semester you intend to graduate, you will receive an email from the Registrar's Office asking for an address to send your diploma. Your diploma will be sent to the mailing address you provide and will be mailed to you approximately six to eight weeks after the end of the semester that you graduate. 


Q: What is the size of my diploma?
A: MSU Law diplomas are 14” x 17”.


Q: How can I change the name on my diploma?
A: If your name has changed, you may have your diploma and records adjusted. Complete the Request for Name Change Form along with a Diploma Order Form


Q: How do I order a replacement diploma or additional copies of my diploma?

A: Complete a Diploma Order Form


Q: What is the best bar prep course?

A: MSU Law does not officially endorse any particular prep course provider for the bar exam. Contact the Academic Success Program, Room 230, for academic course recommendations and study tips to help you prepare for the bar. 


Q: How do I obtain a copy of my law school application?
A: In order to retrieve your law school application from LSAC, please follow the detailed instructions (PDF). This application will NOT include any updates/amendments you made after initially applying to MSU Law. To review your application with any updates/amendments you submitted, please contact the MSU Law Registrar’s Office.


Q: Where can I find my character & fitness and degree verification forms for taking the bar exam?
A: Most jurisdictions include these forms in the application packet or kit for the bar exam. Contact your jurisdiction if these forms are not in your application packet or on their website. 


Q: I need the Dean to sign a bar application form. Where do I submit the form(s)? 

A: Submit the form(s) to the MSU Law Registrar's Office.


Q: When should I submit my character & fitness and degree verification forms to the Registrar's Office?

A: It is strongly recommended that you submit these forms at least 3 months before you plan on taking the bar exam. 


Back to Top


Current, Prospective, and Former Students-General, Transcripts, and Lost & Found

Q: How do I order an official transcript or other academic records?
A: Submit a completed Academic Request Form to the MSU Law Registrar's Office. 


Q: How can I obtain the description of a course I took?
A: Go to the Course Descriptions page. If your course cannot be found there, contact the MSU Law Registrar’s Office


Q: Where is the Law College’s lost and found located?
A: The Dean’s Suite, Room 368. 


Q: Where can I buy MSU Law textbooks on-campus? 
A: The Spartan Bookstore located in the MSU International Center.


Q: What do I do if I lost my PAN number?
A: To request your PAN online, go to the online MSU PAN Request System


Q: What do I do if I lost my MSU NetID and password?
A: Go to NetID page. 


Q: What are my rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?
A: Visit Student Handbook: Privacy Rights Under FERPA


Q: What if my question is not answered here and/or I need further clarification on a question answered here?
A: Contact the MSU Law Registrar’s Office by visiting them in person, Room 309; by emailing them at regist@law.msu.edu; or by calling them at 517-432-6820. The MSU Law Registrar’s Office is open Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and also maintains extended hours throughout the entire final exam period.


Published July 12, 2017