Tuition and Fees

Stone star carvings detail on BW building

2017-2018 Tuition Rates

Tuition and fees are subject to change.

For the Fall and Spring terms, all J.D. candidates will be charged a flat-rate tuition based solely on their program and not on the number of units taken. In subsequent years, the flat-rate tuition amount will likely increase, but will remain based on a student's program and not on the number of units taken.

During each Summer, students are charged on a per unit basis. The per unit charge for Summer 2017 is $1,729. Traditional Day students can graduate in three years without attending Summer Session. SCALE students must attend Summer Session to graduate in two years. Part-time students will generally need to attend Summer Session to graduate in four years. (Please see Summer Attendance Requirements below.)

LL.M. students are charged on a per unit basis. The per unit charge for LL.M. students for 2017-18 is $1,729.

Note: Students who are enrolled concurrently in the J.D./M.B.A. program should get specific details on tuition and financial aid at jdmba@swlaw.edu.  

To determine the total cost of tuition for each program, students should multiply their program's total tuition (below) by the number of years required to graduate, allowing for annual tuition increases and any summer sessions attended. Please note that Summer Abroad costs are determined by the program attended and are charged separately from the tuition rates listed below.

J.D. Program

  Fall 2017 Spring 2018 Total Tuition
Full-Time $25,945 $25,945 $51,890
Part-Time $17,305 $17,305 $34,610*

*Not including required Summer Sessions. See Summer Attendance Requirements below.

SCALE Program

  Per Period Periods per Year Summer Total Tuition
Year 1 $18,225 4 n/a $72,900
Year 2 $18,225 4 $6,916 $79,816

Other Tuition Rates

  Per Unit
Summer 2017 $1,729
Visiting Students (Summer 2017) $1,729
Visiting Students (Fall/Spring) $1,729
LL.M. Students $1,729
Summer Externship (Full-Time Day) $1,000 (Flat Rate)
Summer Externship (Part-Time) Per Unit Charge
January Intersession No Charge (JD & SCALE)

Other Fees

  Cost Unit
Student Services Fee (Fall/Spring) $200 per year
Student Services Fee (Summer) $50 per term
Student Services Fee (SCALE) $250 per year
Parking Fee (Day/PLEAS) $510 Fall/Spring
Parking Fee (Evening) $154 Fall/Spring
Parking Fee (SCALE I) $603 Period 1-4
Parking Fee (SCALE II) $414 Period 5-7
Parking Fee (SCALE II) $138 Period 8
Parking Fee (Summer Term) $40 per term
Parking Fee (On Campus Dorms) $75 per month

Summer Attendance Requirements

SCALE students are required to complete at least four units during the summer. Most part-time students will enroll in two Summer Sessions during their time at Southwestern. The number of summer units taken by part-time students varies - students have at times taken as few as two and as many as five units in Summer Session. While it is common for full-time students to enroll in summer courses, these students are not required to take summer courses to graduate within the three years.

Residency Units

In addition to the 87 units necessary to graduate, students must satisfy residency requirements. All students are required to earn six residency units in order to graduate. They are earned as follows:

  • Full-time students earn one residency unit for each fall or spring semester completed satisfactorily.
  • Part-time students earn 0.75 (three quarters) of a residency unit for each fall or spring semester completed satisfactorily.
  • SCALE students earn 0.67 (sixty-seven hundredths) of a residency unit for each term or grading period completed satisfactorily. SCALE students attend nine terms or grading periods during their program.
  • Residency units are not earned for any Summer Session (except for SCALE students), Summer Law Programs or Intersession Programs.

If a student has NOT completed the residency requirements, regardless of how many units the student needs to graduate, the student will be charged flat rate tuition for one Semester or SCALE term. Additional details and information regarding Early Graduation Requests may be found in the Student Handbook.

Tuition Refund Policy

Students who withdraw before the first day of the semester, Summer Session, January Intersession or SCALE period receive a 100% credit of charged tuition. Those students withdrawing on or after the first day of classes will incur a prorated non-refundable tuition charge.* Once 60% of the semester, Summer Session, January Intersession or SCALE period is completed, the student will be charged 100% of tuition. Southwestern's Summer Abroad Programs have their own refund policies, which are printed in the brochure for each program.

*The prorated non-refundable charge is calculated by counting the number of calendar days starting with the first day of the term and ending with the last date of attendance. That result is divided by the number of calendar days in the term. The resulting percentage is then multiplied by the original tuition charged to determine the prorated non-refundable charge.