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Juris Doctor (JD) - Transfer Students

USC Gould School of Law

Each year, we admit a select number of outstanding transfer students to complete their JD degrees at USC Gould.

You may apply for Binding Early Decision, Nonbinding Early Action, or Nonbinding Regular Decision. Applicants from schools with yearlong classes that do not report official first-semester grades for those classes will not be eligible to apply for either type of Early Decision admission.

Early Action acceptances are not binding on the applicant. If you wish to be bound by the decision as an indication of your strong interest in USC Gould, you should apply to Binding Early Decision. There is one application for both programs. You will indicate your preference within the application.

Acceptance through Early Decision is conditional upon your maintaining a position in the top 20 percent of your first-year class at the completion of your entire first year as a full-time student only.


To be eligible to apply as a transfer student to USC Gould, you must:

  • be enrolled full time in a law school approved by the American Bar Association (part-time students are not eligible to apply)
  • have completed the entire first year of full-time study with a minimum of 24 units
  • be in good standing and eligible to continue your studies at your current law school
  • have earned a bachelor's degree prior to beginning your legal studies
  • have a weighted overall grade point average that places you in the top 20 percent of your first-year class

If you have completed more than one year of law school, you are not eligible to apply as a transfer student; however, if you have completed two full years of credits, you may apply as a visiting student for your third year.

Transferrable Coursework and Degree Requirements

Most transfer students will not have to retake first-year courses already completed at their original law school. However, transfer coursework is accepted on a credit-only basis, and courses in our first-year curriculum that you have not already taken must be successfully completed during your first year at USC Gould.

Advanced standing credit will be granted for no more than 29 semester units. Credits toward a USC Gould JD may not be given for all courses taken elsewhere. You must complete a minimum of 58 units of credit at USC Gould. Transfer students must meet all other degree requirements.

Students transferring to USC Gould are not eligible to take courses at other USC schools and departments for credit. Nor are transfer students eligible for dual degrees or study abroad programs. However, you will be eligible for consideration for USC Gould clinicsmoot court and student journals, as well as Order of the Coif.

If admitted, your USC Gould grade point average will only reflect work done at USC.

Application Process

To be considered, you must apply by the deadline and include the following application components:

  • an electronic transfer application via LSAC
    • Early Transfer Application - available February 13, 2024
    • Regular Transfer Application - available May 1, 2024
  • a personal statement explaining why you wish to transfer to USC Gould
  • a résumé
  • law school transcript — arrange to have an official copy of your complete law school transcript sent directly to USC Gould
  • letter of good standing — this letter should indicate completion of the first year of law school in good standing
  • class rank — if your school does not rank, please include an official explanation of the policy
  • letter of recommendation — this must come from a law school faculty member and be sent through LSAC for inclusion in your Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report.

Application Fee

The application fee for transfer applicants is $75 and no fee waivers are available. The only exception to this policy is for applicants who apply via the early transfer application program.

Admission Decisions

Early Decision transfer applicants will receive a decision in early May. Nonbinding regular admissions applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, with decisions generally made in early July. You will be notified via email and postal mail. No admissions decisions will be released over the phone.

Financial Aid

Transfer students are not eligible for USC Gould scholarship consideration. However, you may apply for student loans — including federal Stafford loans, federal Plus loans and private educational loans.

Transfer applicants interested in receiving financial aid are responsible for obtaining forms and meeting all deadlines. Please note that the financial aid filing deadlines are in February, long before the admission deadline.

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