Skip to main content

Admission Requirements

Students may apply for admission at any time. NWCU operates on a rolling enrollment system so that students start the law study program every month. Students have one year from the date they start each year of studies to complete it.

There is a non-refundable $25 application fee which may be paid online when the application is submitted.

Education Requirements

In accordance with the California Business and Professions Code and the regulations of the State Bar of California, students must meet one of the following pre-legal education requirements for admission to law school:

1. Bachelor’s degree from a U.S. regionally accredited or state-approved college or university;

2. Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree from a U.S. regionally-accredited or state-approved college or university;

3. At least 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits applicable toward a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. regionally-accredited or state-approved college or university;

4. Evaluation of a foreign degree by an evaluation service approved by the State Bar of California which shows the degree is equivalent to options 1-3 above; or

5. Passing score on the College Composition CLEP exam, plus passing scores on:

(a) two additional CLEP exams each of which is recommended for at least 6 credits; or

(b) four additional CLEP exams each of which is recommended for at least 3 units; or

(c) three additional CLEP exams, one of which is of which is recommended for at least 6 units and two of which are recommended for at least 3 units.

Applied Associate Degrees

Unlike the Associate of Arts degree and the Associate of Science degree, the Associate in Applied Arts degree and the Associate in Applied Science degree are considered vocational degrees and do not satisfy the California Bar’s eligibility requirements.

Master’s or Doctoral Degrees

Individuals with Master’s or Doctoral degrees who do not also have a Bachelor’s, Associate of Arts, or Associate of Science degree, or 60 or more transferable semester college credits (90 or more quarter college credits) do not meet the California Bar’s eligibility requirements.

CLEP Exams

The College-Level Examination Program® (CLEP) is administered by The College Board, A passing score on CLEP exams is 50 or higher. One of the exams must be the English Composition exam (but not the modular exam). The additional two to four exams may be for any of the following subjects: Composition and Literature (Humanities examination only), Foreign Language, History and Social Science, Science and Mathematics, and Business.

Official Records of Education Requirements

NWCU requires each applicant to provide a complete educational history on the school application. For applicants with a degree from a U.S. college or university, admission decisions can usually be made on the basis of the educational history provided on the application. Official transcripts will then be required from each degree-granting U.S. college or university within 45 days of enrollment. For all other applicants, official educational records may be required prior to an admissions decision. Our admissions staff will communicate with each applicant after initial review of the application to request any additional records required.

Residency and Housing

Northwestern California University does not have or require on-campus residence or physical classroom instruction. Students from anywhere in the world can apply and participate in the law study program on the internet.

Northwestern California University is an online distance learning school. Its program is offered entirely on the internet. Accordingly, it does not provide dormitory facilities or housing for students.


No Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores are required for entry to the school.

Foreign Studies

Students who have completed coursework or graduated from institutions outside of the United States are required to have their transcripts evaluated by a foreign credential evaluation service approved by the California Committee of Bar Examiners. A list of approved evaluation services is available at:

English Language Requirement

All coursework at Northwestern California University is provided and completed in the English language. The school does not provide ESL (English as a Second Language) instruction. It is, therefore, essential that all enrolling students have a high level of comprehension and ability in oral and written expression in the English language.

International applicants who are non-native speakers of English must demonstrate English proficiency by one of the following:

1. Completion of at least two years of study at a college or university where the language of instruction was English,

2. Submitting a passing score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or

3. Submitting a pasing score on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

A passing score on the TOEFL is at least 550 points (paper-based test), 213 points (computer-based test) or 79 (internet-based test). A passing score on the IELTS is 6 or higher for the overall band. There is no preference for one test over the other.

Transfer Students

Northwestern California University welcomes applications from transfer students. Applicants who have previously attended law school and who are accepted for admission will be required to provide official transcripts from all prior law schools.

Transfer credit is awarded at the discretion of the dean, however, NWCU typically awards transfer credit for courses completed at U.S. law schools which are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) or are accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) of the State Bar of California, provided that the credits to be transferred are appropriate to the law degree program at NWCU.

In accordance with California law and the rules of the State Bar of California, NWCU may grant transfer credit for units earned in unaccredited programs registered with the State Bar of California to students who have passed the California First-Year Law Students' Examination (FYLSX) during the first three administrations after becoming eligible to take the examination, for all courses taken prior to passing. Those who do not pass the examination within the first three administrations of the examination upon first becoming eligible to take it, but who subsequently pass the examination, can receive credit for one year of law study only. Transferability of credits is determined on an individual basis.

As part of the application process, NWCU may require an evaluation of prior law studies by the State Bar of California. Additionally, a proposed plan of study may be required to verify eligibility for California bar admission after completion of the law study program.

It is important to note that, in accordance with California State Bar guidelines, the school requires that the course of study for the J.D. degree be completed no later than eighty-four months after a student has commenced law study at the law school or a law school from which the law school has accepted transfer credit.

Award of Credit for Experiential Learning

Northwestern California University does not award credits for prior experiential learning, which is the process of making meaning from direct experience.