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 ten institutions:

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

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 review of the application materials and issuance of an admission decision by the University of San Diego School of Law. 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

Important Dates and Deadlines
Spring 2024 Deadlines
Application Deadline October 15, 2023
Reporting Deadline January 2, 2024
Orientation Week January 2-5, 2024
First Day of Classes January 8, 2024

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.

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 application deadline is as follows:

  • Fall 2023: May 1, 2023
  • Spring 2024: October 15, 2023

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, e-transcripts are accepted, 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.

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 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 restrictions do apply.

Immunization Requirements

The University is committed to protecting the health and well-being of all our students. All international law students are required to submit a Tuberculosis (TB) questionnaire and proof of COVID-19 and MMR vaccines.

Resources and Facilities Available to Exchange Students

  • Academic Support
  • Non-Academic Support
  • School of Law Facilities
  • Recreational Opportunities and Campus Facilities
  • Housing