ADMISSIONS & FINANCIAL AID

ADMISSIONS & FINANCIAL AID

How to Apply

First-Year Admission

To apply for admission, a candidate must have, or expect to receive by the date of enrollment in the School of Law, a bachelor's degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education. The only exception to this requirement is for participants in the University of South Carolina Honors College Six-Year BA/JD plan. All applicants are required to take the LSAT and to register with the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS). All applications and supporting materials should be received by the School of Law by March 1 of the year in which you expect to enroll. Late applications will be reviewed fully, but places in the class may be limited by that time.

All applications to the School of Law are submitted through the Law School Admission Council's electronic application service. You can find information about the LSAC e-app service on the web at www.lsac.org. It is your responsibility to read all application instructions to ensure that each question is answered accurately and completely.

Applicants for admission as a first-year student must submit the following:

  1. A completed application form, including a personal statement, resume, and any attachments required in response to questions on the application. The application and all supporting materials should be received in the Office of Admissions by March 1.
  2. A nonrefundable $60 application fee, which is paid by credit card through LSAC's secure server. The application fee is automatically waived for any student who receives a waiver of LSAT or CAS fees from LSAC. No separate request is required; the waiver will apply automatically when you submit the e-app. Any prospective student who is serving in the Peace Corps, Teach for America, Americorps/VISTA, City Year, or any established public service program, or for whom the application fee poses a financial hardship or who would otherwise be deterred from applying, is encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions at usclaw@law.sc.edu to request a fee waiver. Please include your LSAC account number.
  3. A complete LSAC Credentials Assembly Service (CAS) Report, forwarded directly from LSAC. Instructions for obtaining the LSAC/CAS Report are available on the LSAC website at www.lsac.org. A transcript from each college and university attended should be sent directly to:
    Law School Admission Council
    Box 2700, 662 Penn Street
    Newtown, PA 18940-0981
    215-968-1001
    LSAC will analyze and duplicate student transcripts and will send a copy to the School of Law with your LSAT scores and letters of recommendation. It is the applicant's responsibility to see that all transcripts are mailed directly to LSAC.
    Students who are admitted and enroll will be required to provide to the School of Law an official final transcript from each degree-granting college or university.
  4. Two letters of recommendation are required. Recommendations should evaluate your potential as a law student, so letters from members of your college or graduate school faculty who can discuss your academic performance are particularly helpful. If you have been out of school for a number of years and have difficulty securing an academic reference, you may substitute letters from employers or others who have worked closely with you. In any event, letters should address the skills necessary for rigorous, advanced academic work: the ability to read complex textual material closely, to analyze it carefully, and to present reasoned conclusions in writing and orally; maturity; self-discipline; commitment; and professionalism. We recommend that letters be submitted through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation service. This service is included in the LSAC/CAS registration subscription. Letters are copied and sent to the USC School of Law with the LSAC/CAS Report. Directions for submitting letters can be found on the LSAC website at www.lsac.org.

Applicants are notified by e-mail when we receive the application, and again when the application is complete and ready for review. Please be sure that we have a current e-mail address and promptly advise the Office of Admissions of any change. You are responsible for ensuring that all required materials are received by the Office of Admissions.

Do you have an early decision program? We do not have a formal early decision program. All applications are processed and reviewed during the regular admissions cycle, which begins in September each year.

Can I apply to begin in the spring semester? First-year students begin only in August of the academic year.

Foreign-Educated Students

Applicants who attended a college or university outside the United States or Canada must submit transcripts from that institution through LSAC's international Credentials Assembly Service (CAS). The one exception to this requirement is if you completed the foreign work through a study abroad, consortium, or exchange program sponsored by a US or Canadian institution, and the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript.

All non-US/Canadian transcripts are forwarded to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), where they will be authenticated and evaluated. This service is included in the LSAC/CAS subscription fee. AACRAO will prepare a Foreign Credential Evaluation, which will be incorporated into your LSAC/CAS Report. This report will contain AACRAO's summary, copies of the transcripts (and translations, as necessary), and a TOEFL score, if applicable. Upon submission of a matriculation decision, the original non-US/Canadian transcript(s) received by LSAC will be forwarded to the law school. If we determine that you need to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, you must contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and request that your TOEFL score be sent to LSAC. LSAC's TOEFL code for the JD Credential Assembly Service is 0058. Your score will be included in the Foreign Credential Evaluation document that will be included in your LSAC/CAS Report.

To use the JD CAS, log in to your online account and follow the instructions for registering for the service. Be sure to print out a Transcript Request Form for each institution and send it promptly to them. More time is usually required to receive foreign transcripts.

Reapplying

An applicant who applied in the prior admissions season must submit a new application form and application fee. If you had not finished your bachelor's degree when you applied previously, you also must submit a new LSAC/CAS report that includes all work toward the undergraduate degree. We strongly recommend that you update your resume and personal statement.

An applicant who is reapplying after more than one year must submit all required materials, as we only retain application files for one year.

Transfer Admission

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 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:

  1. A completed application form, including a statement of reasons for wishing to transfer, submitted by June 15. Please use the regular JD application. The first question on the application is your chance to indicate that you are applying for transfer admission.
  2. A nonrefundable $60 application fee.
  3. 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.
  4. A complete CAS Report sent directly from the LSAC. If you applied to the School of Law the prior year and the CAS Report submitted previously included all of your undergraduate work, the CAS Report in your original application file is sufficient. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. One letter of recommendation from a law faculty member.
  7. 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 applications should be submitted by June 15, and applicants should make every effort to complete the 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 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 School of Law awards governed by the law school. Acceptance to the Law Review is governed by the Law Review.

Transient (Visiting Student) Admission

A student currently enrolled at another ABA-approved law school may apply to attend the University of South Carolina School of Law for one or two semesters as a transient (visiting) student and receive credit toward the J.D. from their "home" law school. Transient student applications should be completed by July 1, if applying to visit in the fall semester, or November 15, if applying to visit in the spring semester. Decisions on transient student applications are typically made in mid-July for the fall semester and late November for the spring semester.

Applicants for transient (visiting) admission must submit the following:

  1. A completed and signed application form, including a statement of the reason for wanting to visit at the University of South Carolina. Please use the regular JD application. At Section 8, Enrollment Information, please mark "Transient" even if you have applied previously.
  2. A nonrefundable $60 application fee.
  3. A copy of your LSAC/CAS report. A photocopy of the CAS Report from your current law school is sufficient.
  4. An official transcript from your current law school, mailed directly from the law school to the USC School of Law.
  5. A letter of good standing from the dean of the law school currently attended. The letter should provide information regarding academic standing, eligibility to return, and a statement granting permission to attend the USC School of Law. Any information relating to the courses to be taken, credits earned, or other requirements should also be included.
  6. One letter of recommendation from a law faculty member.