Transfer and Visiting Students FAQ
Do transfer and visiting students fill out a separate application for admission?
Yes. Prospective transfer and visiting students must apply online, using the Transfer and Visiting Student Application. Please note that some application requirements for transfer and visiting students are significantly different from those of regular J.D. applicants. Please visit the Transfer Students or Visiting Students sections of our website for more information regarding our application forms.
What are the admissions deadlines for transfer and visiting students?
Transfer students begin their studies at Columbia Law School in the fall term; the deadline for applying is July 15. Current law students who wish to take upperclass courses at Columbia, but do not plan to matriculate for the Columbia Law School degree, should apply for visiting status. As with our first-year candidates, the Admissions Committee will review transfer and visiting applications on a rolling basis in the order in that they are completed.
How many credits are required to apply as a transfer student?
You are eligible to apply for transfer admission once you have accrued a minimum of 28, and a maximum of 32, credits from a law school which is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).
I will not have completed 28 law credits by July 15, but will exceed the minimum credit requirement by the end of the summer. Can my transfer application be considered provisionally while the remaining credits are fulfilled?
Transfer applicants must have completed a minimum of 28 law credits by the time they apply. In the majority of cases, we are unable to accept law credits from summer classes.
Is a dean’s appraisal/certification Form from my current law school required?
Yes. A dean’s appraisal/certification Form (or a letter on institutional letterhead) is required from a dean or other administrator who has access to your academic records recommending you for transfer admission and discussing your standing at the law school.
In addition, transfer applicants must submit dean's appraisal/certification Forms, or equivalent certifications, from every other educational institution at which you have been matriculated toward a degree (regardless of whether a degree was conferred) throughout your educational career.
I applied to Columbia as a first-year applicant to the J.D. program. Is there anything from my previous application that I can still use?
Our office retains application materials for one year and, as a result, some of those materials may be used in transfer admission. However, it is the responsibility of transfer applicants to instruct the Admissions Committee as to which components of their previously submitted application they would like us to consider.
Is there a student organization for transfer and visiting law students at Columbia?
Yes. The Transfer and Visiting Student Organization (TVSO) is open to all students and is primarily designed to ease the transition of transfer and visiting students into the Columbia Law School community.
Can transfer students participate in the Early Interview Program (EIP) to explore summer associate opportunities for their 2L summer?
Yes. Transfer students may participate in EIP, which occurs in mid-August and is coordinated by the Office of Career Services and Professional Development. Learn more here.
Are transfer students eligible to apply to the Law School’s student journals?
Transfer students are eligible to apply to participate in all student law journals at Columbia Law School. Each journal has its own application criteria. With the exception of Columbia Law Review, transfer students are informed of application procedures for journal participation upon admission to Columbia Law School’s transfer program.
Transfer students with an interest in the Columbia Law Review may apply in one of two ways: through an annual week-long writing competition or the Publishable Notes program.
- The writing competition is typically held during the second or third week of May. Transfer applicants may participate in the writing competition prior to the submission of an application for transfer admission. In order to take part in the writing competition, transfer applicants should contact Sam Rothschild at email@example.com prior to May 6 to register for and receive information regarding the competition.
- In addition to the writing competition, the Columbia Law Review conducts a Publishable Notes program, through which second-year students may submit a note for publication. If a student’s note is accepted, he or she will be offered a staff position on the Columbia Law Review during the 3L year.
Note: The 2012 Columbia Law Review writing competition was held May 11-18. Transfer applicants with an interest in Columbia Law Review may still apply through the Publishable Notes program.
For more information, please see Columbia Law School’s Student Journal website.