Transfer and Visiting Student Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

  • Q. Who is eligible to apply for admission to transfer or visit?
    A. Applicants can apply after completion of one semester prior to enrollment and must complete a minimum of one year of course work at an ABA accredited law school, either full-time or part-time, and be in good academic standing. An applicant who has completed more than four semesters full-time or more than five semesters part-time is ineligible to apply to transfer, but still eligible to apply to visit.

  • Q. Is there early action for transfers?
    A. Yes, applicants who have completed their fall semester and submit their application on or before March 15 will automatically be considered as Early Action Applicants. Those applicants not admitted based on early action review will be rolled over to the regular transfer pool. While early action review is not dependent on second semester grades, early action admission is contingent on maintaining and certifying academic good standing and on successful completion of all second semester courses.

  • Q. Can I apply for admission to transfer and to visit for the same semester?
    A. No, you may apply to only one program at a time.

  • Q. Can I apply to both the full-time and part-time programs? Can I switch programs? Is one easier to gain admission to than the other?
    A. You may only apply to one program at a time. You may request to switch programs after completing one semester of course work at WCL. Both programs are competitive and the Committee on Admissions will use the same criteria for evaluating applicants to both the full-time and part-time programs.

  • Q. Can transfer applicants apply for admission to a joint degree program?
    A. Yes, the Washington College of Law offers five joint degree programs. We ask that you first apply for admission as a transfer student to the JD program. Should you be admitted and enroll in the JD program, at the completion of your first semester at the law school you may apply for admission to one of five master's programs. Information about the joint degree programs.

    The International Dual Degree programs are not available to transfer students.

  • Q. What if my most recent semester grades will not be available by the application deadline?
    A. Transcripts of applicants applying for the fall semester (excluding early action applicants) will be accepted after the June 15 application deadline. All early action applicants must submit a transcript for the fall semester and, thereafter, a transcript of the first year of legal studies. The transcript should be sent directly from your law school to our admissions office.

    Mid-year transfer applicants must submit an official copy of their transcript by the November 1st application deadline. Applications for students who are enrolled in their third semester of law school and are seeking admission for the spring semester will be reviewed without receipt of the students' fall grades. However, admitted applicants who decide to enroll at WCL will be required to submit an updated transcript once the fall semester grades are released by their prior law school.

  • Q. I am applying for transfer admission for spring semester. What happens if I have less than satisfactory grades my fall semester and you receive my grades after I enroll?
    A. Enrollment of spring transfer applicants will be conditional, subject to successful completion of all courses for that fall semester.

  • Q. Do transfer applicants need to submit an official copy of their undergraduate transcript to WCL when they apply?
    A. Applicants are required to submit an official copy of their undergraduate transcript once they are admitted and decide to enroll at WCL, not when they apply.

  • Q. What are the required class rank, GPA, and LSAT scores for transfer applicants to apply?
    A. The Committee on Admissions will review all transfer and visitor applications. Class rank, undergraduate and law school GPA, and LSAT are all important to the review of a transfer file. However, the law school does not use predetermined cut-offs.

  • Q. What if my school does not provide class rank?
    A. Class rank is an important factor in reviewing applications. Our application requires you to estimate class rank and provide, where possible, a statement of your class rank. If your law school refuses to provide any means for the committee to determine class rank or the rank will not be available before August 1st (for fall applicants), your application will be evaluated without this information.

  • Q. What if my law school does not provide letter or numeric grades, but uses evaluations to grade the students?
    A. Your application will be evaluated based on the course evaluations provided by your professors.

  • Q. My LSAT score is low; should I retake the LSAT?
    A. No. The committee will not use an LSAT score if the applicant took the exam after enrolling in law school.

  • Q. Do I have to register for LSDAS?
    A. Yes, all transfer and visiting applicants must register for LSDAS. A copy of your LSDAS report will automatically be requested upon receipt of your application.

  • Q. Will you accept a copy of my LSDAS report from my current law school?
    A. No, we will only accept an official copy of your report sent directly from LSAC.

  • Q. Where do I have my letter of recommendation sent?
    A. Transfer and visiting applicants are required to have the letter sent to LSAC so that we will receive it with their LSDAS report.

  • Q. Does every transfer and visiting applicant have to have a letter of recommendation be from a member of the law faculty?
    A. Yes.

  • Q. How many letters of recommendation are applicants required to send?
    A. Applicants are required to send one letter of recommendation. A maximum of two letters will be accepted.

  • Q. Will you accept a copy of my law school transcript if it is sent to LSDAS?
    A. Yes, for review purposes. If you are admitted and choose to enroll at WCL we will need an official copy of your law school transcript. The address is Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 507, Washington, DC 20016.

  • Q. If I have previously attended more than one law school, do I need to submit transcripts from each school?
    A. Yes, you must submit an official copy of your transcript from each law school you have attended. This includes transcripts for course work completed at another law school as a visiting student for a full semester, summer session, and/or study abroad program.

  • Q. Does it matter what the U.S News and World Report ranking is of my current law school?
    A. No, all applicants who meet the admissions requirements and complete their application will be considered for admission, so long as the school is accredited by the American Bar Association.

  • Q. How many credits will transfer?
    A. The number of credits transferred to WCL will vary. Transcripts are evaluated individually and each is compared with the WCL curriculum. Transfer students also must successfully complete at least 43 credits at WCL.

  • Q. Can transfer students try out for Moot Court?
    A. Transfer students are eligible to try out for Moot Court. The competitions are generally held in the spring semester of their second year of law school. The official teams who will represent WCL are chosen by the Moot Court Honor Society, a student organization. The students chosen have the summer to prepare and compete in the fall. All students who want to participate in the tryouts need to take the pre-requisite class Appellate Advocacy and are encouraged to take it in the fall prior to tryouts. For more information, please view the student organization web site.

  • Q. Can transfer applicants write on to a journal?
    A. Full-time transfer students who enroll at WCL in the fall semester of their second year of law school may try to get on one of the five journals by participating in the joint journal transfer short write-on competition.

    Part-time students who enroll at WCL in the fall semester of their third year of law school may participate in the short write-on competition.

    Part-time students who enroll in the fall of their second year of law school have a choice of participating in the fall short write on competition for transfers or the spring short-write on competition with all of the current 1L students. Students cannot participate in more than one competition.

    Short Write-On Summary: The transfer students may apply to all five journals by writing a ten-page case note using a closed universe of sources. A meeting explaining the competition is held the first week of classes. The competition also begins that same week. Students have Labor Day weekend to write their case note and selection will take place shortly thereafter. Selected students receive invitations by phone.

  • Q. Can visiting applicants apply for financial aid?
    A. Applicants should contact their home institution for financial aid application and deadline information. The home school policy determines whether aid can be made available for your study at the Washington College of Law. If aid is to be processed, the home institution will enter into a Consortium Agreement with American University.

  • Q. Can transfer applicants apply for financial aid?
    A. Yes. If you are applying for financial aid, you are encouraged to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Need Access applications before March 1st, and file for GradPLUS loans no later than 6-8 weeks prior to the start of the semester you plan to enroll. The American University, Title IV code is 001434 must be added to your application record so that your information will be forwarded to WCL for review.

  • Q. How many applicants apply? How many applicants are admitted?
    A. The number of applications we receive and the number of applicants who are admitted varies each semester. It is a competitive process and applicants with strong academic records will have a greater chance of being offered admission.

  • Q. Can visiting applicants tell if courses for the upcoming semester have space before they apply or receive an admissions decision?
    A. Course listings for each semester can be viewed from the Office of the Registrar web site. To determine if the class is open, select the most current semester for the course listing, view current number of students enrolled (column marked curr) and maximum number of students allowed to enroll (column marked lim).

  • Q. How will my GPA and class rank be calculated if I enroll at WCL?
    A. While some or all of the credits from course work completed at your prior law school may transfer and count toward completing your JD degree, your GPA and class rank will be calculated based on the course work you complete at WCL.

  • Q. Can transfer students participate in fall recruitment?
    A. Yes. The Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD) are notified as soon as an applicant is admitted to the JD program. Once an applicant has paid his/her seat deposit to reserve a seat in the class, OCPD will contact them to explain our online employment database and notify them of upcoming resume collection deadlines.

If you have further questions please contact Assistant Director of Admissions Meghan Walter at mwalter@wcl.american.edu or 202-274-4109.