Law Certificate Policy

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania will grant a Certificate of Study in Business Economics and Public Policy to Penn Law students who successfully complete its requirements.  To qualify for the certificate, a student must successfully complete four credit units in the general area of Business Economics and Public Policy chosen from the list below.

Course Requirements

Law School Courses

  • Students must complete a 1L Regulatory Elective
  • One credit unit from a pre-approved course list from the Law curriculum
  • Course Listing

Wharton Courses

  • Students must complete at least two credit units from the Business Economics and Public Policy Department.
  • Students will take one other credit unit (which could also be a BEPP course) from the full range of Wharton electives (excluding the Wharton core courses) that are available after the Wharton auction is complete.
  • Faculty may require some background or pre-requisite for enrollment in a course (e.g. experience in Economics).

Course Availability

  • The Business Economics and Public Policy department has reserved spaces for Law students in each of its elective courses.  These spaces are assigned by the Law School.  Students wishing to enroll in other courses do so during the non-Wharton registration period, which takes place about one week following the start of classes.   Students may attend classes in the interim, but a place in the class is not guaranteed.
  • Students may substitute other courses as appropriate.  The Law School Registrar must approve courses other than those listed above.


How do I apply for the Certificate?

For JD candidates, a formal application is required.  As detailed in the link below, a candidate for the Certificate in Business Economics and Public Policy must complete 12 law school semester hours (4 credit hours) in pre-selected courses.  This includes one regulatory law course, one Business Economics and Public Policy course and two additional courses from Wharton’s MBA curriculum.

Law Certificate Application

JD candidates can begin to take courses toward the Certificate in the second year. The Law School conducts a lottery each semester (for 3Ls) to fill reserved seats in several Business Economics and Public Policy courses. Information about the lottery will be sent out from the Law School in August and November. The lottery is administered through the Law School – NOT Business Economics and Public Policy. Please direct all questions about the lottery to the Law School Registrar’s Office at 215-898-6427;  215-898-6427; or

In March of 3L year, the Law School will email students and ask that they complete a qualifying form indicating the courses they’ve taken to complete the Certificate requirements. The Law School will conduct an audit to verify the information provided on the form and submit the names of those who’ve successfully fulfilled the requirements to the Business Economics and Public Policy department. Wharton will then issue the Certificate after graduation.

What do I do if I did not receive a seat in the lottery

If you are not able to get a seat through the Law School’s lottery, you can register on a first-come, first-served basis for open capacity during Non-Wharton MBA registration which takes place about a week after classes start.

Can I take courses toward the Certificate as a 2L?

Yes, 2L students can take courses at Wharton that can count toward the Certificate. The lottery, however, is open only  to 3L Certificate candidates.

What courses can I take at Wharton and when can I take them?

BEPP courses with lottery seats and/or Wharton electives which have open capacity.

If I want to substitute a Law course whom do I contact?

The pre-approved list of approved Law Courses are selected from a pre-determined list of regulatory courses; reflecting the pedagogical view that a regulatory course is a strong adjunct to the Business Economics and Public Policy courses. Requests for a substitution of the Law course can be directed to the Law School Registrar at 215-898-6427 or 215-898-6427.

If a course is offered at the Law School by a Wharton faculty member will the course count toward the certificate?

If the course is not cross listed with a Wharton or BEPP course, it will not count toward your three credit units at Wharton.

Will a course at the Fels Institute of Government count towards the certificate?

No, it will not.

May I waive a BEPP course and still qualify for the certificate?

No, you must take two BEPP, one Law and one Wharton credit units. The Wharton credit units may include additional BEPP credit units.

May I take a Wharton core course toward the certificate?

No, core courses are not an option. Only elective courses at Wharton may be taken.

May the prerequisites be waived for a course?

Prerequisites may only be waived with the written permission of the professor.

May I take the course for pass/fail?

A student may take one Wharton course pass/fail, as long as the professor of the course allows it as well.  The pass/fail option must be selected in the beginning of the semester before any graded materials are given in the class.  Once they have received any grades, they can no longer change their grading option.

When will I receive the certificate?

The certificate will be mailed to your home address after graduation.

Please contact the Advisor for more information.

Business Economics and Public Policy Department
The Wharton School,
University of Pennsylvania
300 Vance Hall
3733 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6301
Phone: (215) 898-3015
Fax: (215) 898-7635


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