FAQ for JD Transfer Students

Admissions

Q. What are the requirements for admission as a transfer student?

A. To be considered for transfer, you must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an approved institution and successfully completed your first year of study (minimum of 19 units) toward a Juris Doctor degree at a law school approved by the American Bar Association. Students from law schools that are only state bar approved or who have been disqualified from their current law school are not eligible for transfer admission.

Q. What is the application procedure?

  1. A completed and dated admission application with transfer indicated for entering status
  2. A personal statement and current resume
  3. A non-refundable $50 application fee which may be waived by emailing jdinfo@sandiego.edu and requesting an application fee waiver
  4. Official Law School transcript(s) forwarded by your current school’s registrar
  5. Letter of good standing and class rank forwarded by your current school’s dean
  6. Official CAS report (from LSAC)

Q. What are the deadlines?

A. USD uses a “rolling admissions” process. However, the priority dates are as follows:

  • Fall Admission- July 15
  • Spring Admission- January 2

Q. What criteria do you consider in making the admission decision?

A. Your LSAT and undergraduate GPA are no longer the primary determining factors for admission. The main considerations are your class ranking and performance in each class at the school you are currently attending. To be competitive, you should have at least a 3.10 GPA or be in the upper 33rd percentile of your first-year class.

Q. Is there a disadvantage to spring admission?

A. No. However, if you plan to attend your current school during the fall semester, it is unlikely that we will have your fall semester grades and class ranking in time for a decision since we usually start the spring semester in early January.

Q. How do I obtain an application fee waiver?

A. You may contact the Admissions Office at jdinfo@sandiego.edu to request an application fee waiver.

Q. Does USD encourage minority and other non-traditional applicants?

A. Yes, the University of San Diego School of Law seeks to enroll a highly qualified and diverse student body. We consistently strive to ensure academic excellence and enrichment through the participation of students with different perspectives and backgrounds.

Q. Do you grant personal interviews?

A. Due to the large number of applications, it is not possible to grant personal interviews. You should highlight pertinent information about your experiences in your personal statement.

Q. Once I submit my application, when will a decision be made?

A. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis. Generally, the admission committee will consider an application shortly after all materials including the first year transcripts are received. In some cases, an offer of provisional admission made is made based on academic performance during the first semester.

Q. Do I need to choose between the Full Time or Part Time Program? 

A. When you apply you must indicate which program you are applying to. If you have interest in either program you are permitted to note that in your application.

Q. Do you offer any concurrent degree programs?

A. USD offers concurrent degree programs with MBA (Master of Business Administration), IMBA (International Master of Business Administration), and MA (Master of Arts in International Relations). The Master’s Degree programs require a separate entrance exam and separate graduate admissions application. Many students apply for these programs in their second year of law school.

Q. Is there a limit to the number of classes that can be transferred?

A. USD will typically accept those credits earned in the first year of law school, provided students have earned a “C” or better in those courses. Typically this will equate to 30 transfer credits but USD will accept up to 36 transfer credits. Upon admission, you will receive a letter indicating which classes will be accepted for transfer. For information on which courses may or may not transfer, please contact lawstudentaffairs@sandiego.edu.

While at USD

Q. Besides first year classes, what other classes are required by USD School of Law?

A. In the first year, USD students* take the following courses:

  • Civil Procedure - 6 credits (two semesters)
  • Legal Writing & Research - 3 credits (two semesters)
  • Property - 4 credits (one semester) 
  • Contracts - 4 credits (one semester)
  • Torts - 4 credits (one semester)
  • Criminal Law - 4 credits (one semester)
  • Constitutional Law - 4 credits (one semester)

*Evening students take a modified schedule in the first year

*In addition, students are required to take the following courses after the first year:

  • Professional Responsibility - 3 credits
  • Tax I - 3 credits

This leaves USD students with 50 elective credits to fulfill the degree.

Q. Can transfer students participate in Career Services programs?

A. Absolutely. Once enrolled, transfer students have full access to Career Services and are treated as if they had always been USD students. In order to maximize your career opportunities, you should contact the Career Services office once you enroll. You can then connect with our online and live programs and find out how to participate in resume uploads and other recruiting programs. You will need to obtain a transcript from your original school for first-semester recruiting programs.

Q. What is the best way to ensure I'm well positioned in the legal market? 

A. Take advantage of all that Career Services offer. Meet regularly with the office’s experienced attorney career advisors to create a personalized strategy for effective career advancement. Participate in fall and spring USD recruiting programs, national and regional recruiting programs, mock interview programs, application material workshops, attorney panels and alumni networking events. Use the online job board, reciprocity privileges, employment data and comprehensive resource library. By taking such advantage, you will be well positioned in the legal market.

Q. Can transfer students participate in USD Law Review and Journals?

A. Transfer students can participate in the write-on competition for the San Diego Law Review, the San Diego International Law Journal and the Journal of Climate & Energy Law. This competition usually begins in late July.

Financial Aid

Q. What is the tuition cost at the University of San Diego School of Law?

A. For current tuition rates please visit www.sandiego.edu/law/tuition.

Q. How do I apply for other financial aid? What is the deadline?

A. Although there is no deadline, students who wish to be considered for financial aid should file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by the March 1 priority filing date. The FAFSA may be filed as early as January 1. You may file the FAFSA online at www.FAFSA.ed.gov or order a form by calling 1-800-4FEDAID.

Q. Should I file for financial aid prior to being admitted?

A. You should not wait until you are admitted to file your FAFSA. We recommend that you file your FAFSA as soon as you can after January 1. You can list multiple schools on your FAFSA. Be sure to list the USD School of Law code G06976.

Q. How do I apply for scholarships?

A. Transfer students who are admitted to the law school are automatically considered for incoming merit-based scholarships. Transfer students are also eligible to apply for endowment scholarships each Fall and they will be eligible to compete based on their USD grades for tuition scholarships going into their third year

Q. When can I expect to receive a financial aid offer letter?

A. Once your financial aid file is complete, the Financial Aid Office will prepare your tentative award based on the evaluation received from the Department of Education. This process usually takes two to three weeks from the file complete date.

Q. Besides the FAFSA, are there any other forms I will need to provide to be considered for financial aid?

A. Once you are admitted, you will receive an Institutional Financial Aid Application to complete and return. If you are selected for the verification process or have incomplete information, you may be required to provide additional documents such as your most recent federal income tax return.

Q. Can the aid I received at my previous school affect my award for USD Financial Aid?

A. USD uses the summer term as the start of the academic year. If you receive a Federal Direct Loan or a Federal Perkins Loan at your previous school during the summer and/or fall terms before you transfer to USD, the amount of federal loans that you are eligible to borrow at USD may be reduced so that you do not borrow more than the maximum allowed for the academic year. However, you may be eligible for private loans to make up the difference.

Q. How much can/should I borrow?

A. As a graduate student you may borrow $20,500 each academic year from the Federal Direct Loan Program. In addition, graduate students are now eligible to borrow under the PLUS Loan Program up to the cost of attendance. It is important to establish a budget, review your outstanding undergraduate loans and consumer debt, and only borrow the minimum amount you need.

Q. Can I get Work Study?

A. If you are eligible and if you indicate on the USD Institutional Financial Aid Application you are interested in Federal Work Study, you will be awarded up to $4000 in Federal Work Study for each academic year.

Contact:

JD Admissions
Warren Hall, Room 203
Phone: (619) 260-4528
Fax: (619) 260-2218

Hours

M, T, Th, F: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
W: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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Law Student Affairs
Warren Hall, Room 218
Phone: (619) 260-4651
Fax: (619) 260-7715

Hours

M,T,Th,F: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
W: 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.