American University (Washington DC) is an exchange destination for Utrecht University School of Law students.


Studying law in the United States is very different from studying law in many other countries. In various countries, students begin their law studies immediately following graduation from high school or secondary school; most universities in other countries require only a high school diploma or the equivalent in that country to admit students to their law faculties. In the US, however, law is a professional academic field, the equivalent of a graduate degree in other parts of the world.

Law schools in the US are part of public or private universities that grant Juris Doctor (J.D.) degrees. The Juris Doctor program generally lasts three years for full-time students and four years for part-time students. The first year of law school is generally considered to be the most difficult because of the core classes, exams, and the Socrates method. The Socrates method is a method used in most law school classes in which the professor cold calls on students to state a case or respond to a case-based question. This intimidates many students, particularly international students, who might be afraid to speak up in class, but most international students do just fine.

Academic calendar

Semester I (Fall Semester): August - December
Semester II (Spring Semester): January - late April

Academic Calendar



The student record should demonstrate that you are in good standing (GPA minimum 2.0 and higher is considered good standing). Utrecht School of Law students at WCL must enroll in a minimum of eight (8) credits.    

Language requirement: 

For ILSP: TOEFL 92 / IELTS 6,5
Law & Governance + Trial Advocacy Program: TOEFL 100 / IELTS 7 / PTE 68

Areas of study open for exchange students

Law (minumum of three years background!)

Courses at Master level


Housing Assistance

The law school does not offer housing for graduate students. Students are responsible for finding their own housing. The Office of Graduate Admissions provides housing information and an online housing information session to help students.


The DS-2019 form and  J-1 exchange student visa are required.


You can find information on this university’s credits in the credit conversion table

Number of places available

1-2 places per year (BA students: minimum 3 years background)

Additional information

Law degrees in the US are graduate degrees and students at WCL have already completed their 4 year undergraduate degree. The average age of a student at WCL is 26. Most students who come for a semester from abroad are in their first level degree and are often considerably younger than their classmates.  

Exchange students who completed curriculum in the in-residence WCL programs will also have the opportunity in the future to apply for the in-residence LL.M. program at WCL if they are interested in doing so, however, only students who have completed a law degree at the home institution will be eligible for the LL.M. degree.

WCL will recognize up to twelve (12) credits completed during the semester exchange if a Utrecht School of Law student returns within two (2) years of their graduation from their home university to complete the in-residence LL.M. programs.  Students may only use the credits earned during the semester exchange for the same LL.M. program area in which they completed the semester of studies.  

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More information

More information about studying abroad: in Dutch and in English.

Do you have any questions about this partner university or would you like to know more?

Contact the International Exchange Office of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance.

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Contact International Exchange Office Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance

For general questions and handing in or picking up documents, you can visit the International Exchange Office at the Student Desk (you do not have to make an appointment).
We are located at Janskerkhof 3, Utrecht (at the School of Law)

Walk-in hours: Monday and Wednesday from 3 PM until 4:30 PM

Telephone / Email

+31 (0)30 253 7289



You can make an appointment by sending an email. Don't forget mention your student number. You can also call +31 (0)30 253 7289.

Postal address

International Exchange Office - Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance
Janskerkhof 3
3512 BK Utrecht
The Netherlands