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Enrolling for Research Credits

Independent & Special Projects Research

Eligible students may enroll in research projects under the supervision of a faculty member who is willing to supervise such work.

JD Students

  • 1L students are ineligible (3rd Term summer starters ARE eligible)
  • Minimum current GPA of 2.0
  • Maximum of 6 earned credits in Independent Research
  • Limit of one (1) to three (3) credits per research enrollment

The credit to be given, as well as the scope and subject matter of the project, normally is determined by the faculty member in consultation with the student.*

Projects Over Three (3) Credits: The project and the completed product must be approved by a committee of three faculty members, one of whom must be the faculty member responsible for supervising the research.

MCL & LLM Students

  • (MCL & LLM) Maximum of six (6) earned credits in Independent Research
  • Limit of one (1) to six (6) credits per research enrollment

The faculty member determines the subject matter, project scope, and credit load.

Projects Over Six (6) Credits: The project and the completed product must be approved by a committee of three faculty members, one of whom must be the faculty member responsible for supervising the research.

Earning Over Six (6) Credits: Approval must be obtained from the Global Affairs Committee via the Assistant Dean for International Affairs.

* One credit of independent research should be roughly equivalent to one credit earned in a classroom (i.e., approximately 43 hours: representing roughly 13 hours in a classroom and 30 hours of work done outside the classroom, plus taking an exam). This traditionally has translated to roughly 20-25 pages of work product per credit. This range can vary depending on the nature of the assignment. For example, if the student spends a large amount of time conducting the research, the professor might require fewer pages of written work product. Conversely, if the research process is less time consuming, the professor might require the student to write a longer paper.

Enrollment Procedure

Students are not able to enroll themselves in independent study classes (900 Research and 992 Research: Special Projects). After the details for these classes are arranged, email Debby Hartranft (LawCurriculumCoordinator@umich.edu) using the subject line “900 Research” or “992 Research: Special Projects.”  The email must contain the following information:

  • Student’s FULL name
  • UMID number
  • Degree program
  • Professor’s FULL name
  • Credit (1, 2, or 3)
  • Term for enrollment
  • For Law 992 only: Title of the faculty-sponsored project, as listed in the Law 992 course description.

DEADLINE: Requests for 900 Research and 992 Research: Special Projects are due by the last day of classes for the term (unless an earlier date has been established by the professor).

Law Practicum Research & Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Foreign national JD candidates with F-1 visa status who wish to pursue work in the summer months must enroll for LAW 942 (Law Practicum Research) in order for it to be considered Curricular Practical Training by the Department of Homeland Security. Click here for more information.