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Visiting Scholar Program

St. Mary’s School of Law welcomes foreign and domestic visitors to conduct independent research at our beautiful San Antonio, Texas campus. We invite qualified candidates to apply to this program to conduct legal research in a friendly and vibrant academic environment. Our program is open to judges, lawyers, professors and Ph.D. students.

Robert Hu, Professor of Law, speaking in Mandarin, giving a quick invite to the Visiting Scholar Program at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, TX, USA.

Why Become a Visiting Scholar?

The opportunity to be a Visiting Scholar at the St. Mary’s University School of Law is a special privilege, which allows you to conduct research at a leading U.S. law school in Texas. Participating in the program will greatly benefit your legal career, whether you are a new Ph.D. or a seasoned judge.

The superb research facilities and the welcoming University environment, located in San Antonio, the seventh largest city in the nation, are a great combination for your sabbatical or other time away from your home institution. The Visiting Scholar program at St. Mary’s will connect you with leading attorneys, judges and academics in Texas and beyond. The benefits of the international network created through these connections cannot be overstated. Thank you for your interest in becoming part of the St. Mary’s Law family.

Benefits of St. Mary’s Law Visiting Scholar Program include: 

  • A St. Mary’s ID card grants access to St. Mary’s facilities, such as the Alumni Athletics & Convocation Center facility, which includes, basketball and volleyball courts, an indoor pool, fitness rooms, racquetball courts and more.
  • Library privileges at both the School of Law’s Sarita Kenedy East Law Library and the University’s Louis J. Blume Library, with access to the collections, public computers, wireless internet, LexisNexis and Westlaw databases, among others.
  • A carrel in the Law Library for research and storage of personal items.
  • Free admission to St. Mary’s University lectures and other School of Law events.
  • Opportunity to visit law school courses upon availability and approval.
  • Renewal for an additional term, subject to approval

How to Apply

Key dates and deadlines

Program starts Application opens Application closes
January 15 September 1 November 1
August 15 January 1 April 1

There are a limited number of opportunities available each semester for Visiting Scholars. Applicants should apply as early as possible.


Length of the program and fees

Length of the program Fees*
6 months $2,000
12 months $4,000

*Fees are due prior to or upon arrival. Fees are payable in U.S. dollars only.  


Please download the application below.

Upload the following using the link below:

  • Completed application
  • Resume
  • Research proposal (1-2 pages)
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or DUOLINGO score, if available. A remote interview may be conducted if a score is not submitted.
  • Photo for identification purposes
  • Two letters of recommendation from professional references

Program Details

If you are accepted into the program, you will receive an admission letter with instructions.  If you are an international scholar, you will receive additional information for the U.S. visa process. International visiting scholars come to St. Mary’s on a J-1 visa, which requires applicants to provide proof of health insurance for themselves and any accompanying family members, in addition to proof of sufficient funds for travel and living expenses. For more information, please visit the website of the Office of International Students and Scholar Services. Prior to your arrival in San Antonio, you will be contacted regarding a required orientation at the School of Law. 

The orientation will consist of a campus tour, a brief meeting with one of the law librarians and a meeting with Jennifer Stevenson, Assistant Dean of International Programs and Service Professor of Law. She will be your faculty mentor.

If necessary, you will also visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

Important requirements

The date stated in your admission letter is your official start. It is not possible to extend either the start or the end date to accommodate any personal or other requirements. Please plan your arrival to coincide with your official start date.

A requirement of admission is that the Visiting Scholar reside in the San Antonio or the immediate area. During your stay, you must live within a 25-mile radius of St. Mary’s University. Exceptions are not permitted.