Transfer of Credit Policies

Explore information on transferring credits for different student groups.

Applicants are eligible to apply for transfer admission into the second year class after having accrued a minimum of 28 credits from law schools that are either members of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) or approved by the section on Legal Education of the American Bar Association. Please note that after you have transferred, a review with the Director of Academic Counseling will determine how many of the credits that you earned at your prior school will be eligible towards your Columbia Law School J.D. degree and whether you have completed Columbia's core first-year curriculum. Work completed at another law school is generally accepted at the credit value assigned by the original institution, up to a maximum of 32 law credits. Generally, no credit toward the Columbia J.D. degree is granted for summer school courses or for non-law courses. No credit will be accepted in transfer for courses in which the student has received a grade lower than C, or, generally, for courses graded on a Pass/Fail system.

At least 83 academic points must be earned in order to complete the Columbia Law School J.D. degree. For students who spent their first year of law school at another U.S. law school or as an LL.M. student, at least 51 of these points must be taken at Columbia Law School, since a maximum of 32 credits may be accepted in transfer. Transfer students must complete four terms of full-time residency at Columbia Law School as a matriculant in the J.D. program. 

Additional information on transferring.

The J.D./M.P.A. joint degree program with Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs is the only formally-approved joint degree program that Columbia Law School has established with a non-Columbia institution. Students approved to pursue this joint degree receive one term of residence credit and up to 10 academic points toward the Columbia J.D. degree upon completion of degree requirements for both the J.D. and the M.P.A.  Both degrees are conferred at the same conferral date. 

Students who, prior to matriculating at the Law School, complete a degree program at another school or division of Columbia University, or at another institution, will not be considered to be in a joint degree program and will not receive residence or academic credit toward the Columbia J.D. degree for the earlier work.

Information on the various joint degree programs.

Depending on the international double-degree program, between 18 and 21 law credits will be accepted in transfer toward the Columbia J.D. degree upon satisfactory completion of all degree requirements for the degree at the other school

Students who transfer into the second year of the J.D. program are not eligible to participate in the international double-degree programs since they are required to complete four terms in residence at the Law School to be eligible for the Columbia J.D.

Additional information on transferring international credits.

The Law School does not accept transfer credits for the LL.M. Program.

J.S.D. candidates are required to be in residence, with full-time registration in the J.S.D. program, for one year. The Law School does not accept transfer credits for the J.S.D. Program.