An applicant who has successfully completed at minimum of 26 credits of law study at an American Bar Association-accredited law school may apply as a transfer student to the USC Joseph F. Rice School of Law. The School of Law accepts a maximum of one year's credit toward a J.D. degree for work completed at another law school. Although graded hours may exceed 30 hours, no more than 30 earned hours will be accepted toward the 90 hours required for graduation.
In reviewing transfer applications, the most important factors typically will be the applicant's law school grades and class rank. Because grading curves vary substantially from school to school, class rank is often the primary way that we evaluate the strength of the first-year academic record. There is no required minimum class rank; however, most successful transfer candidates have placed at least in the top third of their class. In addition, the Committee on Admissions considers criteria similar to those considered for admission to the first-year class: residence status, work experience, leadership, community service, letters of recommendation, and potential for contribution to a collegial and diverse academic community.
Applicants for transfer admission must submit the following:
A completed application form, including a statement of reasons for wishing to transfer, submitted by June 15. Please use the regular JD application, which you can find online through LSAC. The first question on the application is your chance to indicate that you are applying for transfer admission.
A nonrefundable $60 application fee.
An official transcript of all work completed at the law school previously attended and a statement of class rank or percentile in class. This information should be provided upon completion of the second semester of the first year of law school. If you submit a transcript or statement of class rank before second semester grades are posted, you will be asked to submit an updated one once those grades are in. If your school does not rank students, please provide a statement from the academic dean or registrar verifying that the school does not provide class ranks. If your current law school made any significant academic policy changes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, please be sure that they are addressed within your transcript.
A complete CAS Report sent directly from the LSAC. If you applied to the School of Law in the prior year but your CAS report did not include the final year of undergraduate work, you will need to update your CAS file with your final undergraduate transcript and have a new report sent to the School of Law.
A letter from the academic dean or registrar of the law school previously attended certifying that you are in good academic standing and are eligible to return. This letter should be sent only upon completion of the first year. If you submit a letter of good standing before second semester grades are posted, you will be asked to submit an updated one once those grades are in.
One letter of recommendation from a law faculty member.
Admitted transfer students are required to submit an official final undergraduate transcript showing award of your undergraduate degree, sent directly from the applicant's undergraduate school to the School of Law Admissions Office.
Transfer applicants should make every effort to complete the online application by July 1. The Admissions Committee will begin to review transfer applications and make offers of admission around mid-July. Applications that are completed late will be considered if spaces are available.
We ask that transfer applicants have completed a minimum of 26 credit hours. That allows a transfer student to complete a law degree from USC in four semesters without taking a course overload. If you are currently enrolled in a part-time program and will take classes in a summer session that will meet the 26 credit hour minimum, you can submit the application with grades from your first two part-time semesters, typically 18 hours. The Committee on Admissions will review the work in the first 18 hours and may offer admission contingent upon successful completion of the remaining 8 hours of work in the summer session. All work must have been completed before the date of enrollment in the School of Law.
If you are accepted for transfer admission, you will be required to meet with the Law Registrar/Director of Academic Services to review transfer of hours, grade point average, graduation requirements and registration. Before meeting with any transfer students, an academic audit is conducted of all transfer students files. If required to enroll in any first year course, students will be randomly placed in a first year section for the fall semester and/or spring semester. Transfer students cannot drop/add or change sections of a first year course. Upper level course registration rules and procedures do not apply to first year courses.
During the first year at the School of Law, a transfer student will have no class rank. Upon completion of two full semesters at the Joseph F. Rice School of Law, a cumulative GPA and class rank will be computed according to School of Law policy on the basis of all law school grades earned. The grades earned at the student's former school in courses accepted for transfer credit will be included in computing the transfer student's cumulative grade point average. Also, if a transfer student earns a grade below "C" in a course, then those credits hours will not transfer, but will remain in the GPA. Based on the cumulative GPA, transfer students will be eligible for all University and Joseph F. Rice School of Law awards governed by the law school.