Why CUA Law?
Why should I study law at the Catholic University of America?
For over one hundred years, The Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law has trained many of the nation's most distinguished lawyers and judges. In law firms, federal and local government, the judiciary, and the public sector, our graduates are recognized for their knowledge, competence and ethics.
How would a non-U.S. citizen benefit from a J.D. degree from an accredited U.S. law school?
With a Juris Doctor from Catholic University, there are many opportunities to live and work in the U.S. Although some governmental departments have citizenship requirements, many law firms can hire non-U.S. citizens. Of the 51 bar-granting jurisdictions in the United States, all but five states require all bar applicants - domestic and foreign - to earn a J.D. from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association. There are several ways for individuals without U.S. citizenship to obtain residency and work authorization in the United States, such as sponsorship by an employer or close family member. (In addition, the U.S. has a special relationship with Canada which allows residents of that country additional avenues to obtain work permits in the U.S.)
The Application Process
When is the application deadline?
We have begun accepting applications for the Fall 2020 entering class as of October 1, 2019. Our deadline for first-year admission of international students is March 16, 2020. It is especially important for international students to apply before this deadline to allow time for securing visas and working through our International student services office. We will be offering automatic application fee waivers for anyone who applies electronically through LSAC before our preferred deadline.
Can I apply online?
Yes. We receive the majority of our applications through the Law School Admissions Council's online application service, which can be found here. You may check on the status of your application here.
Can I apply by mail?
Yes, you may also apply by mail. Our mailing address is:Columbus School of Law
Office of Admissions
The Catholic University of America
Washington, DC 20064. If you apply by mail, you will still have to fill out the LSAC online application in order to take the LSAT, however applying by mail is acceptable.
What are the application requirements?
- Two-page personal statement
- One-page resume
- At least 1 but no more than 2 letters of recommendation
- A Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS) report containing your LSAT score(s)
- A TOEFL score of 100 for the internet-based test (iBT) or 600 for the paper-based test (PBT)
- All undergraduate and graduate transcripts. (These can also be in your LSDAS report) If you received a degree from an institution not located in the United States or Canada, you will need to provide a translated copy of those transcripts from an organization such as WES, ECE, or LSAC's JD Credential Assembly Service.
- A phone interview may be required.
I have a disability. What information should be included with my application?
You are never required to disclose a disability of any kind. However, if you are admitted and require an accommodation, the law school requires documentation of the disability in order for us to best meet a student's needs.
What is the personal statement?
The personal statement is an opportunity to share your reasons for pursuing the study of law, how your background has led you to make this decision, and what your future careers goals and aspirations may be.
How long should my personal statement be?
The application clearly states that the personal statement should be no longer than two pages. If you have additional information you wish to share with the committee, you may include it in a brief addendum.
Should my personal statement be single-spaced or double-spaced?
Our recommendation is that your personal statement be neat and professional. While we do not have official regulations for font or spacing, we recommend that students use at least a 10-point font and double spacing.
How many letters of recommendation should I send?
Two letters of recommendation are required, and we will accept up to three. I've been out of school for several years and have not kept in touch with my professors; are academic letters of recommendation required? Academic letters of recommendation are encouraged, but not required. For applicants with extensive professional experience, it is important that a letter of recommendation be current and include information about the applicant's skills and qualifications.
What is the LSAT?
All applicants must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). This test provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants. It is administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) at testing centers throughout the world. More information on the LSAT is available on the LSAC website.
Can I apply before I've taken the LSAT?
Yes, you may before taking the LSAT, but make sure to indicate a future test date on your application. The committee will not review your application or application materials until your file has all of the required documents.
Language Requirement (TOEFL) What are your language requirements? Applicants whose native language is not English, and whose undergraduate education was not received in a school where English was the language of instruction, must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The results should be forwarded directly to the Law School from ETS. We require a minimum TOEFL score of 100 for the internet-based test (iBT) or 600 for the paper-based test (PBT). The TOEFL/IELTS requirement can be waived on a case-by-case basis should the applicant have appropriate documentation of successful completion of one of the following:
- CUA's Intensive English Program
- Level 112 in the intensive English program offered by an ELS Language Center
- A complete Intensive English program at an accredited institution of higher education
- A college-level English Composition class determined to be the equivalent of or more advanced than CUA's English Composition 101 course, with a grade of B or above. (for applicants to undergraduate programs)
- A graduate degree, a Bachelor's Degree (B.A. or B.S.), or an Associates Degree (A. A.) from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education or a high school diploma. (Graduates from a U.S. high school are required however to submit SAT/ACT scores.)
How do I obtain a student visa?
We can help with the visa process; you will receive additional information upon admission. The most recent information on U.S. student visa policies and procedures can be found on the U.S. State Department website.
Life in the United States
How can I learn more about living and studying in the United States?
There are several resources on the internet that offer information and advice to international students studying in the US. CUA does not officially endorse any of these institutions, nor can we vouch for the accuracy or quality of the information and/or services they provide: http://www.usa.gov/visitors/study.shtml
What is the cost of attending law school at The Catholic University of America?
Estimated tuition for full-time enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year is $25,700 per semester. Tuition for part-time students will be approximately $17,900 (10 credit hours @ $1,740 is a typical enrollment, but may vary). Most part-time students enroll in 10 or 11 credit hours per semester.
How can I finance my law studies in the United States?
Most CUA Law students rely primarily on student loan programs for necessary funding. For non-U.S. citizens, private loans may be available for applicants with a qualified cosigner. The Office of Financial Aid at the Columbus School of Law is happy to assist students with the loan application process, and provides guidance through regular emails and other communications about student loan application procedures and timelines.
All the information you need to complete the financial aid process can be found on our Financial Aid Office website, as well as the FAQs below. However, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, and/or concerns. You are always welcome to drop in, call, or make an appointment with a member of our staff: You can call us at 1-202-319-5143, send a fax to 1-202-319-4462, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Am I eligible for scholarships from CUA?
Yes. Your application for admission will be reviewed for scholarship eligibility using the same criteria applied to all applicants. Citizenship is not required.
Am I eligible for student loans?
If you are a United States citizen or national, or a United States permanent resident, you are eligible to use federal student loan programs. Loans for all other students may be arranged with banks and other lenders. Most loan programs will require that you have a credit-worthy co-signer. Because the terms of these loans may change without notice to us, we are unable to make specific recommendations. Here are several websites; others may be located by using an internet search tool: http://www.edupass.org/finaid/loans.phtml· https://www1.salliemae.com/international/non_us_students/·
As an international student, do I need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
No. The only purpose of the FAFSA for law students at CUA is to determine federal student loan eligibility. See additional comments for the next question.Other than scholarships awarded by CUA, how do I find additional scholarships and grant funds? Using an internet search tool such as www.fastweb.com is your best way to locate scholarships for international students. Many scholarships available to U.S. citizens may also be available to international students as well. Also, please check the CUA Law School Financial Aid website.
May I use student loans to pay for living expenses such as rent and food?
Yes, the CUA financial aid office will determine the maximum amount of loan(s) you may borrow each year. The maximum amount includes a modest allowance for typical living expenses.
When do I receive my scholarship and loan funds?
In most cases, funds from scholarship and loan programs are sent directly to the CUA at the start of each semester. After CUA withholds the amount needed for tuition, fees, and health insurance premiums (if needed), the remaining amount is disbursed to you within about one week after the start of classes.
Do I need to obtain medical insurance in order to attend law school at CUA?
Yes. All international students must show proof of adequate medical insurance coverage. CUA offers a health insurance plan for students, which may be used by all students, regardless of citizenship.
When do I need to begin requesting student loans?
CUA expects students to have a payment plan in place by the beginning of the academic year. CUA students will incur late fees and may be blocked from registration for future classes if charges for tuition, fees, and health insurance are not paid by certain deadlines.
May I pay for all or some of my tuition expenses in monthly installments?
Yes. You may enroll in a monthly payment plan, using Tuition ManagementSystems at www.afford.com. The provider for monthly payment plans may change from year to year.