Transfer and Visiting Students

The UMKC School of Law welcomes students who wish to make us a part of their journey toward a law degree.

While most law students complete their law school career at one institution, some do not. Students may need to change locations for a variety of personal or academic reasons. If you did’t initially start out as a law student at UMKC but would like to take courses here, we have two options by which you can complete your legal degree.

If you are taking courses at another institution and are interested in being a visiting or transfer student at UMKC, you must have completed the entire first-year curriculum at your initial institution. A maximum of 30 hours of credit earned at another law school may be applied toward obtaining a J.D. degree from UMKC.

Transfer students

If you begin your law school career at one school but move to UMKC after completing the first year with the intention of receiving a degree from UMKC, you are considered a transfer student. 

Transfer applicants who have questions should contact associate dean of students Jasmine Abdel-khalik.

Transfer students must meet all of the requirements for graduation, including taking all of the courses that are required for UMKC law students. Because the curriculum and sequence of courses vary from one law school to the next, we will evaluate each student’s transcript along with information about the courses taken to determine which of our course requirements have already been fulfilled.

UMKC School of Law has no specific limit or fixed cap on the number of credits that can be transferred. The Associate Dean of Students and Admissions Committee has the discretion to determine the maximum number of credits that can be transferred in a particular applicant’s situation.

As a general matter, though, we believe that the majority of the legal education should occur at UMKC for anyone who is going to be a UMKC School of Law graduate. The transfer of more than 45 credits therefore generally will not be allowed, although exceptions may be made in special circumstances.

An applicant who is more than halfway through law school, such as someone who has only a year or a semester left to go until graduating, should consider applying to be a visiting student rather than a transfer student.

UMKC School of Law will accept and consider transfer applications throughout the year. The most common point at which to transfer is after the completion of the first year of law school. Most transfers, therefore, occur near the start of the summer break, which provides ample time for transfer applications to be completed and reviewed. It also allows the transferring student, if admitted, to get enrolled and ready to begin courses at UMKC in the fall semester. 

Attempting to transfer and begin classes at UMKC in the spring or summer semesters can be more complicated and difficult. For example, grades from the fall semester courses at another school may not be available soon enough to be considered for a student seeking to transfer to UMKC and start spring semester courses. As a result, this may make it impossible for a decision to be made in time for a transfer for the spring semester to be possible.

The circumstances of each particular situation will be considered, so you should contact the Associate Dean of Students at abdelkhalikj@umkc.edu to discuss your situation if you have questions about timing and feasibility.

For graded courses, transfer credit can be given only if the applicant received a grade of C or higher. Even though the credits for courses with grades below a C will not transfer, those courses may still be considered for purposes of determining which of UMKC’s course requirements have been fulfilled.

For example, if an applicant has taken Torts and received a C- grade, the credits for that course will not transfer but the requirement that the applicant takes Torts again while attending UMKC might be waived. The Associate Dean of Students will have discretion over the handling of those situations.

While the names of the courses for which transfer credit is given will appear on the UMKC transcript, the grades that were received in those courses will not. Likewise, those grades will not be considered for purposes of class ranking or calculation of grade point averages at UMKC.

Transfer students must satisfy all conditions for graduation, which includes maintaining at least a 2.0 GPA after transferring to UMKC.

The process for submitting a transfer application is very similar to the process that you used when you originally applied to law schools. Transfer applications are submitted through the online system of the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC).

LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report will provide us with the same set of information (including LSAT scores, undergraduate transcripts, and recommendation letters) that they provide for all law school applicants. If you wish to submit new recommendation letters rather than just using the ones from when you previously applied to law schools, you may do so.

Please be sure to select the UMKC Law Transfer Application to complete and submit rather than the J.D. application for new students. You will be asked to provide a personal statement and résumé along with the completed UMKC application. The application fee is $60, which is paid online through LSAC.

In addition to the application and other materials submitted through LSAC, there are two items that must be sent directly to the UMKC School of Law by the law school that you currently attend.

The following original documents must be mailed directly from the institution where the applicant completed the first year of law school:

  • An official transcript showing the courses you have taken in law school and the grades you have received.
  • A “letter of good standing” from the law school you currently attend, certifying that you are pursuing a JD degree at that institution and that you are in good academic standing and eligible to continue there. The letter should disclose any derogatory information known about the applicant’s character and fitness.

These items should be submitted after you have completed the term, i.e. you should not have these materials sent if you are still an active student enrolled in classes at your current law school, or we will require that you re-submit these items once the term has ended.

If your law school mails these items, they should be addressed to: 

Jasmine Abdel-khalik, Associate Dean of Students
UMKC School of Law
500 E. 52nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64110. 

If your law school sends them in an electronic form, they should be sent to abdelkhalikj@umkc.edu.

Once your transfer application is complete, it will be reviewed by UMKC School of Law’s Admissions staff and committee and you will be notified once a decision is made.

Once admitted, an applicant should contact the financial aid offices at both the previous law school and UMKC to begin the process of arranging financial aid. You can find information through the UMKC Financial Aid Office

Applicants should be aware that most scholarships, grants, and other financial awards will not transfer from one law school to another.

Applicants who are admitted as transfer students will work with the Associate Dean of Students to arrange a suitable schedule of courses for their first semester at UMKC School of Law. Review the course schedules for upcoming and recent semesters: 

Visiting students

If you plan on taking classes at UMKC School of Law during your second or third year with the intention of obtaining credit to apply toward your initial law school, you are considered a visiting student.

Students planning to visit for their final semesters should ensure that all graduation requirements have been completed because UMKC cannot guarantee the availability of specific courses for visiting students.

Visiting second-year students may apply to transfer to UMKC by following the transfer student application process. Transfer admissions are not guaranteed for visiting students but applications are given serious consideration.

Visiting students do not receive scholarship assistance.

Schedules become available in mid-March for the fall semester and mid-October for the spring semester. Because some courses close during the enrollment process for current students, visiting students should not count on the availability of any particular course required for graduation.

Questions regarding courses can be directed to Associate Dean Jasmine Abdel-khalik at abdelkhalikj@umkc.edu or 816-235-2267.

The visiting student application must be signed by your current dean to indicate good standing.

Questions regarding the application can be directed to Tina Melville or by phone at 816-235-1688.

Apply as a visiting student (PDF)