Incoming Exchange Students


USD School of Law is pleased to welcome exchange students from around the world. Exchange students who study in San Diego have the opportunity to explore new cultures in an academic setting through a comparative perspective. Students are introduced to international legal principles and the law of the respective countries through specialized courses taught by leading legal experts. Through the programs, students have a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience living and learning in another culture alongside future world leaders in law, business and public service. Each year, USD welcomes exchange students from seven institutions:

  • ESADE Law School - Barcelona, Spain
  • Universidad Torcuato Di Tella School of Law - Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law - Copenhagen, Denmark
  • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law - Jerusalem, Israel
  • The Dickson Poon School of Law at King's College London - London, England
  • Seoul National Univesity - Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • Singapore Management University School of Law - Singapore, Republic of Singapore
  • EBS Law School - Wiesbaden, Germany

Nomination Process

Exchange student applicants are nominated by their home institution prior to the applicable application deadline. The nomination information is sent by the partner institution to the Office of Graduate and International Programs, which then communicates with nominees directly regarding the application process.

While exchange student applicants should be pre-screened by the home institution, admission is subject to the University of San Diego School of Law's review of the application materials and issuance of an admission decision. There is no required minimum grade point average for admission purposes; however, admission is based primarily upon previous excellence in law studies and/or professional experience. Applicants must be in the upper half of their law school class or must otherwise establish qualifications indicating their ability to complete graduate law work successfully. In addition, applicants must establish competency in English through successful completion of the TOEFL exam or the IELTS exam.

Upon nomination by their home institution, exchange students will be contacted directly by the Office of Graduate and International Programs regarding the application process. For additional information regarding the application process, please refer to the Application Process and Checklist tab.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Spring 2017

Application Deadline

October 15, 2016

Reporting Deadline

January 3, 2017


January 3 - 6, 2017

First Day of Classes

January 9, 2017

We encourage all exchange applicants to apply well before the published application deadlines to allow sufficient time for the student to complete the visa process.

J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

In order to obtain a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa, exchange students must demonstrate access to sufficient funds to cover their tuition, fees, living expenses, and personal expenses during their time in the United States. The School of Law's DSO will provide additional information regarding requirements directly to the students via email. This amount is determined by the University of San Diego each year and will be provided to the exchange student applicants as soon as possible. If the exchange agreement is constructed in such a manner that the exchange student pays tuition to their home institution, the tuition portion of the minimum financial amount need not be demonstrated.

In addition, all students must either (1) demonstrate access to sufficient international health insurance; or (2) sign a promissory note which confirms their intent to purchase the USD provided health insurance upon their arrival. The health insurance policy must comply with specified requirements that will be provided by the University of San Diego. Students will receive additional information regarding the health insurance requirements by email.

Upon receipt of all necessary documentation, the University of San Diego will issue to the exchange student a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (Form DS-2019). The exchange student utilizes this Form DS-2019 to obtain a J-1 visa at the U.S. Consulate in their home country.

J-1 Exchange Visitor Visas are intended for study and work is not permitted.

Resources and Facilities Available to Exchange Students

Academic Support

The Office of Graduate and International Programs provides academic support for exchange students. Exchange students are assigned to an academic advisor who assists them with individualized advising on academic matters, including course selection and registration. 

Exchange students may attend and participate in workshops held throughout the semester by the Office of Graduate and International Programs, including a session on Law School Exam Preparation.

The School of Law also offers an Academic Success Resource Center which provides study guides and other materials designed to promote student success.

Non-Academic Support

The Office of Graduate and International Programs also provides non-academic support for exchange students in various capacities. Other School of Law departments provide support to exchange students, including Law Student Affairs, the Office of the Law School Registrar, and the Pardee Legal Research Center. In addition, the Office of International Students and Scholars provides extensive orientation, assistance, and guidance related to the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa.

School of Law Facilities

The School of Law occupies three buildings on the University of San Diego campus: Warren Hall, Guadalupe Hall, and the Pardee Legal Research Center. Each building comprises classrooms, faculty offices, administrative offices, and study space. Warren Hall houses a student lounge while the Pardee Legal Research Center offers ample individual and group study areas.

All School of Law buildings are equipped with wireless Internet that is free to students. Exchange students also receive free access to the Lexis/Nexis and Westlaw legal research databases.

Recreational Opportunities and Campus Facilities

Students at the School of Law can join a wide variety of Student Organizations, including options such as the Business Law Society, the Intellectual Property Law Society, the International Law Society, and the Yoga Law Society, among many others.

Exchange students are welcome to use other facilities and resources throughout campus. This includes the University of San Diego Torero Store (bookstore), nationally-recognized on-campus dining options (including restaurants, cafe's, a coffee shop and a market), two gymnasiums, tennis courts, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and various other recreational offerings.


Many exchange students choose to live off-campus, either within walking distance to the campus or in nearby beach neighborhoods which are approximately ten minutes from campus by car.

On-campus housing is extremely limited and may not be available for exchange students. Exchange students interested in living on campus should contact the USD Housing Office to determine whether on-campus housing is available.

Immunization Requirements

The University is committed to protecting the health and well-being of all our students. All international students are required to submit an immunization form. Required immunizations include: MMR, Varicella, Tetanus-Diptheria-Pertussis, and Tuberculosis.

Application Process

Upon nomination by their home institution, exchange students will be contacted directly by the Office of Graduate and International Programs regarding the application process.

For students who attend a law school without an exchange agreement with USD School of Law, the International Visiting Students program may be a suitable alternative.


The priority application deadline is as follows:

  • Spring 2017: October 15, 2016
  • Fall 2017: May 1, 2017

Application Checklist

The applicant must submit the following documents in English:

  • Completed PDF Program Application (provided after nomination)
  • Personal Statement
  • Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of Recommendation (at least one from a law professor, attorney, or other legal professional who is familiar with the student's work) sent directly from the recommender, or in a sealed envelope along with your other application materials
  • Official Law School Transcripts sent directly from your law school, or in a sealed envelope along with your other application materials
  • Official TOEFL score (at least 93 on iBT) or IELTS score (at least 7.0) - Must be submitted directly from ETS - Institution Code: 4849, Dept. Code: 03, Dept. Description: Graduate Law

Applicants should mail their completed application, resume, and personal statement directly to Graduate and International Programs by postal mail at:

University of San Diego School of Law
Graduate and International Programs
Warren Hall, Room 207
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492

The Admissions Committee will review a candidate for admission as an exchange student once the applicant has been nominated by their home institution and submitted all of the above required materials.


Graduate and International Programs
Warren Hall, Room 207
Phone: (619) 260-7584
Fax: (619) 260-4515


M-F: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.