Paralegal Certificate Program

Application Deadlines:

The deadline to apply for admission to our Spring 2024 programs is December 8 (the deadline to interview - if required - is December 5). Email for more information or with questions about future start dates.

We are currently accepting applications for our fully-remote online (mostly synchronous) programs. If you are only interested in a campus-based program, please complete this form to join our notification list. 

Prospective applicants should review our digital brochure and the admissions requirements information on the Day Program or Evening Program page, as applicable. We are unable to review any application items submitted after the deadline. Applications are processed on a rolling basis – the sooner you apply, the sooner you'll have a decision! 

Application Requirements:

  • Application for AdmissionComplete the application form and pay the nonrefundable $45 application fee online. The Chrome browser seems to work best for paying the fee. You do not need to create a PayPal account to pay the application fee.
  • Personal Statement – A minimum of 200 words presenting your reasons for wanting to become a paralegal (uploaded with your application form).
  • Resume – Include details of current and past work experience and education (uploaded with your application form).
  • Official Transcripts – Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended post high school must be sent directly to the Program Office via mail or electronic submission. If you completed any of your education outside of the United States (other than a study abroad program completed through your college or university), you must submit an official international transcript evaluation (also called a foreign credential evaluation) as part of your application. Please note that the evaluation must be a course-by-course evaluation conducted by a NACES member.
  • Two Professional/Academic Recommendations – Recommenders may write a traditional letter or complete the Paralegal Recommendation Form. Recommendations must be signed, dated and specific to the USD Paralegal Program. Personal/family recommendations are welcome but do not substitute for the above. Please have the recommender email their letter/form to
  • Personal Interview – A personal interview to discuss program/career goals is required for applicants who do not possess a baccalaureate or associate of arts or science degree from an accredited postsecondary institution (applicants to our evening program with legal work experience for whom we have previously determined eligibility to apply). The interview is not required for degree holders and does not impact their admission. Email to schedule. The deadline to interview for the upcoming term is posted in the Program Snapshot
  • TOEFL/IELTS (if applicable) – Requirements are detailed under the admissions requirements information on the Day Program or Evening Program page, as applicable.

Application items may be submitted in any order. Items not submitted with the online application and fee may be sent by email or mail (email submission is preferred). Transcripts must be official and sent directly from the institution (or NACES member, if applicable). Electronic versions are accepted (and preferred) and should be sent to If your transcripts are sent to another office at USD, such as undergraduate, graduate or law admissions, please email for assistance in locating your order.

NOTE FOR OUT OF STATE APPLICANTS: Our Programs are designed to prepare graduates to work as paralegals in California. USD is currently authorized to enroll students residing in all states except those listed on this webpage, and enrolled students must remain located in an authorized state for the duration of their coursework. Applicants are encouraged to review the Prospective Students not in San Diego County information before beginning the application process.  

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Send application items to:



USD Paralegal Program
Barcelona 205
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110