JD ​Transfer Applicants

The University of San Diego School of Law believes that transfer students enhance the quality of USD's law program. Because of this, a select number of spaces are available for transfer applicants each year.

Students who have completed JD credits as a JD student at another ABA-accredited law school in the United States may, upon approval by the Dean, be allowed to transfer credits toward the JD degree. Students who have graduated from a foreign law school, may, upon approval by the Dean, transfer credit toward the JD degree. Students who have graduated from a foreign law school and who have earned course credits in a University of San Diego School of Law LL.M. program may, upon approval by the Dean, transfer credits toward the JD degree. Transfer credits shall not, individually or in combination, exceed one-third of the total required by USD School of Law for the J.D. degree. University of San Diego School of Law offers no other advanced standing or transfer credit programs.

Note, applicants from another ABA-accredited law school in the United States must complete at least one full academic year at their law school and have fulfilled equivalent entrance requirements in order to qualify for advanced-standing status to University of San Diego School of Law's full-time or part-time program. For all transfer students/advanced standing admitted students, work completed will be evaluated for credit toward graduation requirements. Finally, all transfer students need to satisfy the School of Law's academic, graduation and residency requirements.

If you have any questions, you may contact the

(619) 260-4528

What are the requirements for admission as a transfer student?

To be considered for transfer, you must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an approved institution and successfully completed your first year of study towards a Juris Doctor degree at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). The law school must be accredited by the ABA during the time the 1L year is completed.

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 admissions

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. Official Law School transcript(s) forwarded by your current school's registrar
  4. Letter of good standing and class rank forwarded by your current school's dean
  5. Official CAS report (from LSAC)
  6. Letter (s) of recommendation - we require 1 letter from a law school writing professor. However, you may submit an additional letter from an academic source.

GRE-only applicants must provide all valid exam scores. Please email jdinfo@sandiego.edu for questions regarding this requirement. 

What are the deadlines?

USD uses a "rolling admissions" process. However, deadlines are as follows:

  • Fall Admission- July 15
  • Spring Admission- December 15

What criteria do you consider in making the admission decision?

Your LSAT or GRE 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 B+ average GPA or be in the upper 15-20 percentile of your first-year class.

Is there a disadvantage to spring admission?

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.

Does USD encourage minority and other non-traditional applicants?

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.

Do you grant personal interviews?

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Do you offer any concurrent degree programs?

USD offers concurrent degree programs with MBA (Master of Business Administration), MSRE (Master of Science in Real Estate), MAIR (Master of Arts in International Relations), and MAPJ (Master of Arts in Peace and Justice). The master's degree programs require a separate graduate admissions application and may necessitate a separate entrance exam. Many students decide to apply for these programs in their first year of law school.

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

USD will typically accept those letter-graded credits earned in the first year of law school, provided students have earned a "C" or better in those courses. USD will accept a maximum of 29 transfer credits. Upon admission, you will receive a letter indicating which classes will be accepted for transfer. Transfer credits shall not, individually or in combination, exceed one-third of the total required by USD School of Law for the J.D. degree. Once a transfer applicant is admitted, Law Student Affairs will determine which transfer credits will be accepted. For questions, please email jdinfo@sandiego.edu.

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

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

  • Civil Procedure - 4 credits (one semester)
  • Legal Writing & Research - 4 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 and second years

*In addition, students are required to fulfill the following requirements after the first year:

  • Professional Responsibility - 3 credits
  • Tax I - 3 or 4 credits
  • Multistate Bar Exam Review course - 3 or 4 credits (waived for students who complete their second year with a GPA of 3.3 or above.)
  • Professional skills course (selected from approved electives)
  • Upper division writing course (selected from approved electives)

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

Can transfer students participate in Career Services programs?

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.

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.

Can transfer students participate in USD Law Review and Journals?

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.

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

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

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

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.

Should I file for financial aid prior to being admitted?

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.

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

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.

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

If you are selected for the verification process or have incomplete information, you may be required to provide additional documents or federal income tax return information.

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

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.

How much can/should I borrow?

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.

Can I get Work Study?

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.