FAQs: Transfer Admissions

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Following is detailed information that provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from transfer applicants to the Juris Doctor program at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. We encourage all potential applicants to review materials on this page prior to contacting our office with questions. All of the most commonly asked questions about admission are found here.

Can you tell me about your law school and transfer application process?

As a starting point, it is generally most useful for prospective transfer applicants to visit our website (www.law.gmu.edu) as well as the websites of other law schools in which they are interested. It is always better for us to talk with individuals about their unique situations and interests, rather than reciting information that is readily available on the web. Likewise, reviewing the general information and general FAQs posted often helps prospective transfer applicants formulate specific questions that are most important to them.

General Admissions Information/Application Process

Our transfer application, along with detailed instructions, is available through LSAC. If you have questions about the admissions process, you should contact the Admissions Office at [email protected].

How many transfer applications do you receive? How many applicants do you accept?

The number of transfer applications varies greatly from year to year.  More importantly, the number of admission offers also varies and frequently depends on both the size of the second-year class and the total law school population. Each year we admit a number of transfer applicants who have completed one year at another ABA-accredited law school. Like our regular admissions process, our transfer admissions process is competitive.

What is George Mason’s application deadline?

Our spring application deadline is January 2. Our fall application deadline is July 15. We admit students to begin in the fall and spring semester.

Full-Time and Part-Time Programs

George Mason offers both a three-year full-time and a four-year part-time program. 

Students in the full-time program attend classes during the day (day classes are scheduled between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.). Students in the part-time program attend classes in the evenings (evening classes are scheduled between the hours of 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.) and take fewer classes.

Students who are enrolled as full-time law students may not work more than 20 hours a week.

Is it easier to gain transfer admission to the part-time program?

No. Our admission standards are the same for the full-time and part-time programs.

Does the school accept transfer students that were enrolled as part-time students at their previous schools?

Transfer students previously enrolled as part-time students may apply to transfer to Mason’s full-time or part-time programs.

How many credit hours are required?

Transfer students must have 15 credits or more to transfer to Scalia Law School.

How many credit hours will transfer?

Transfer credits may not exceed 30 units. Grades do not transfer. Transfer credit is given only for work that will be no more than five years old at the time of graduation. Courses in which a grade of less than C was earned are not considered for transfer credit. For detailed information regarding transfer credit, see Academic Regulation 2.5.

Requirements to Be Considered for Admission

There are a number of requirements that you must satisfy in order to be considered for transfer admission to our JD program. Please be sure that you carefully review the instructions that accompany our application form, which is available through LSAC. You can view forms and information on our website.

What is the general application process for transfer students?

The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University requires applicants to submit the Application for Transfer and the following items:

  1. the application fee

  2. an official law school transcript reflecting final grades for fall and spring

  3. a letter from the dean of the current law school certifying good academic standing and eligibility to continue

  4. a certification of class rank

  5. a 500-word personal statement indicating your reasons for applying for transfer admission

  6. one letter of recommendation from a law school professor at your current law school sent directly to [email protected] or through LSAC

  7. LSAC CAS Report

  8. a resume

  9. an Application for Virginia In-State Tuition, if eligible 

Early Action

All students who have completed at least one semester (full or part time) at an ABA-accredited law school and submit their completed application by May 15 will be considered through our early decision program and notified of a decision by early June.  Acceptances through the early decision program are not binding on the applicant.

Regular Decision

 Only students who have completed one year (full or part time) at an ABA-accredited law school will be eligible to apply for transfer admission through the regular decision program.

Class Rank

To be considered for transfer admission to our JD program, you also must submit certification of your class rank. If your school does not rank its class, then a letter from the dean (or the dean’s designate) of your law school stating such must be submitted.

Does George Mason Require a Dean’s Certification as part of the application?

We require a letter from the dean (or the dean’s designate) of the current law school certifying good academic standing, eligibility to continue, and certification of class rank.

How many letters of recommendation are required? Who should write my letters of recommendation?

We require one letter from a law school professor from your current law school. Any additional letters can come from any other recommender.

We require at least one letter from a law school professor from your current law school. The other letter can come from any recommender. It is most important that the individuals who are recommending you really know you and can speak to your abilities, work ethic, character, etc.

Does George Mason require that letters of recommendation be submitted through the Law Services Letter of Recommendation Service?

Applicants should submit letters through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service.

May I submit a resume with my application?

Yes, a resume is required for transfer applicants. It is strongly recommended that your resume indicate your activities for the summer following your first year of law school.

Is there a preferred topic for the personal statement?

Your personal statement must include your reasons for applying for transfer admission. The personal statement gives you limited opportunity to tell the Admissions Committee about yourself. The Admissions Committee looks to the personal statement to evaluate your writing ability. Be sure that you use proper grammar, good paragraph construction, and convey your message in a concise manner. Proofread your statement to be sure there are no typos. Avoid using big words and complex sentences to impress. Write clearly and concisely.

My personal statement is longer than 500 words. Is that a problem?

We strongly prefer that you stay within the 500-word limit. However, we neither count words nor penalize applicants for overages. If your statement is 550 or 650 words, that’s fine. If your statement is 2,000 words, you should try to rework it to get the word count closer to 500.


Other Helpful Information

Does George Mason give preference to Virginia applicants or to applicants from certain parts of the Commonwealth?

Applications are reviewed in their entirety, and admission offers are made to the most desirable candidates without regard to geographic distribution or residency.

Are Personal Interviews Required?

The transfer admissions committee may decide that additional information would be helpful in making a final decision and invite the transfer applicant to visit campus for an interview or to participate in a video conference interview. These interviews are offered by invitation and at the sole discretion of the transfer admissions committee.

Must I disclose information about prior or pending criminal, disciplinary, or academic problems in my transfer application?

Yes. It is extremely important that you describe details of any criminal, disciplinary and/or academic actions in response to the Character and Fitness section questions of our transfer application. Failure to disclose this information can result in serious problems, both in relation to your law school application (we have revoked acceptances in the past in cases in which we learned of the applicant’s failure to disclose information) and in applying for admission to the bar in any state. State boards of bar examiners will conduct character and fitness investigations to determine if you are fit for admission to the bar. Those investigations typically include criminal background checks, as well as review of your law school application, undergraduate record and law school record. It is critically important that your disclosures of the type of information requested in our Character and Fitness section questions be complete, truthful and consistent in your law school and bar applications.

If I am admitted to George Mason, how long will I have to decide if I will attend? Does George Mason require seat deposits?

If you are offered transfer admission to George Mason, you will be required to make a seat deposit of $250, with a deadline dependent upon the date of admission. You will not have access to the Career Services Office or be able to register for classes until your seat deposit and Intent to Enroll form are received.

Are seat deposits credited toward tuition?

Yes. The seat deposits that you make prior to matriculating will be credited to your first semester tuition.

Are seat deposits refundable in whole or in part?

No. Seat deposits are completely non-refundable. If you make your seat deposit and subsequently decide that you will not attend George Mason, you will forfeit your seat deposit.

When is tuition due?

Tuition is due on a semester basis, on the first day of each semester.

Are transfer students permitted to participate in the law school’s on-campus interview process?

Once the transfer student has submitted the seat deposit, he /she may have access to the Career Services Office.

Are transfer students permitted to participate on the school’s Law Review or any of the school’s secondary journals?

Depending upon the journal, transfer students are permitted to participate on a journal, so long as the transfer student meets the requirements and deadlines as set by the journal. Details are available online.

Can transfer students participate on moot court? 

The Upper Class Moot Court Competition is aligned with the third semester of the LRWA program--Appellate Writing-- and held during the fall semester. Participation is optional for all upper-class law students. Students who participate may then participate in the moot court selection process.

Is financial aid available?

George Mason students may receive loan funds. Admitted students work with the Office of Student Financial Aid to obtain loans. For more information, please go to Financial Aid.

Are there any scholarships available?

George Mason scholarship assistance is not generally available for transfer students. However, we encourage all students to investigate community scholarships, many of which are identified on the law school’s website.

Does George Mason offer in-state tuition rates for Virginians?

George Mason offers lower tuition rates for individuals domiciled in Virginia. For more detailed information about domicile, please go to registrar.gmu.edu/students/domicile.

Are there any other qualities or issues that transfer students should be aware of?

Follow up with your home registrar to make sure that your transcript has been sent out with your final grades and that your letter of good standing has also been sent to Scalia Law. The Admissions Office will notify you by email when your application is complete.