JD Program

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the application deadline?

The on-line application form must be submitted on or before November 1 of the year preceding the year in which admission is sought. The JD at the University of Alberta is an undergraduate program, therefore it is imperative that you ensure that you are submitting the correct application. Do not submit a graduate application.

All required supporting documentation must be submitted to the Faculty of Law on or before February 1 of the year in which admission is sought.

How can I get an application for admission?

You can obtain an application form (link) directly from the Registrar's Office by clicking here.

University of Alberta Application Fees:

An application fee is required from all applicants to the JD program and is non-refundable. The application fee is $115 for new U of A undergraduate students and $75 for current or former U of A students (including those from Augustana Faculty). This fee is not waived for any reason.

What is the Regular category?

Information about the Regular category can be found by clicking here.

What is the Aboriginal category?

Information about the Aboriginal category can be found by clicking here.

How will my application as a Regular applicant be evaluated/considered?

In measuring an applicant's academic potential, the Admissions Committee will rely primarily on the GPA and the LSAT score, and will adjust the weighting of these factors to provide the best prediction of success in law school.

The GPA is determined by reference to the applicant's most recent 60 units/credits (equivalent to 10 full courses or 20 half courses) of study in a recognized university degree (undergraduate or graduate), provided those units of course weight are completed by February 1st in the year in which admission is sought. This the minimum number of units/credits or courses that will be used in the assessment of an applicant's GPA.

Courses completed as a "special student" or "unclassified student" at an institution recognized and accepted by the University of Alberta will be used. Such courses should (in general terms) be completed at the senior level.

Courses completed in the Winter/second term of the year admission is sought are not used in the assessment of an application except in the case of two year applicants (those that will have completed between 60 and 89 units/credits at the completion of that term - see Regular applicants for more information).

In many cases when we count back to obtain the 60 units/credits, we may have to go part-way into an academic session (Fall/Winter or Spring/Summer). If this happens, we do not stop at the 60th unit/credit, we will use the courses and grades for that entire session (we do not break up academic sessions). Therefore, in these cases, we will use more than 60 units/credits and could very likely use courses from the applicant's first and second years of academic study. Grades of all applicants from universities other than the University of Alberta will be converted, insofar as possible, to the grading scale in use at the University, for the purpose of comparative evaluation. See grading system.

The GPA and the LSAT will be used to create a Prediction Indicator to rank the regular applicants. In their assessment of the Prediction Indicator, the Committee may take into account exceptional circumstances that adversely affected particular grades or overall academic performance and/or LSAT score(s), but do not pose an ongoing issue in terms of the applicant's ability to succeed in law school.

In a limited number of cases, the Committee may consider a broader range of factors beyond the Prediction Indicator, including the difficulty and quality of the academic program, employment experience, extracurricular and community activities, and physical, cultural and economic factors, in order to distinguish between applicants with similar or identical Prediction Indicators.

How will my applied degree be evaluated?

Applied degrees were instituted as a response to the growing economic needs of the workplace and not as an alternate means of academic study. Admission evaluation to the Faculty of Law requires that work be transferable to the University of Alberta. In most cases the work from an Applied degree is not transferable and therefore cannot be counted in your evaluation. Applicants may be required to complete extra course work before applying for law school.

Will you count courses completed after a degree?

Courses completed as Open Studies or Unclassified Studies completed at a recognized institution will be used in the assessment of an applicants GPA.. Such courses must be completed at a senior level, unless part of a specific program of study, e.g. post graduate degrees or after degree programs.

What are the average scores for admitted applicants?

Our statistics from the last five to six years show that the overall average grade point average has remained fairly constant around a 3.7 - 3.8 and the average LSAT score being 160-162. These averages apply only to Regular applicants and does not include those whose admission was based on an holistic review by the Admissions Committee

Your can view our Admitted Applicant Profile by clicking here.

What courses should I take to prepare for law school?

There are no specific courses or programs that we require for preparation for Law School. We advise that students take courses and/or programs that interest them. Courses and/or programs must be recognized by the University of Alberta in order to be considered in the assessment of an applicant's GPA.

Where can I get information about the LSAT?

The December test date is the last LSAT that can be written by applicants seeking admission in the following September.

The Admissions Office will obtain LSAT scores directly from Law Services for all applicants who have active files with LSAC. At least one LSAT that may be relied upon by the Committee must have been written within the last five years prior to admission.

The Admissions Committee averages scores where the applicant has taken the LSAT on more than one occasion. The Committee may disregard a particular LSAT score where the applicant establishes to the satisfaction of the Committee that the score was adversely affected by exceptional circumstances. However, candidates are cautioned not to sit the LSAT if they are ill, or ill-prepared.

For further information about the LSAT click here.

Does the Faculty of Law participate in LSDAS?

No, therefore, we do not accept transcripts or other documents which are sent through that service.

Does the Faculty of Law require letters of recommendation and/or personal statements of regular applicants?

Personal statements/reference letters are not accepted in support of regular applicants, but are required in the case of aboriginal applicants. The Faculty of Law does not have a specific reference letter form.

When will I be advised if I have been admitted?

The Admissions Committee considers the bulk of applications on a continuous basis beginning in January.

All applicants should be given a final decision by the first or second week of July (or possibly earlier). We admit our quota of 175 and then create a waiting list. If successful applicants decline our offer, we then make offers to applicants on the waiting list. We can make offers as late as the date of Orientation in September to applicants on our waitlist.

Offers of Admission to two year applicants (those that will have completed between 60 and 89 units/credits at the completion of the Winter/second term of the year in which admission is sought) will be conditional upon successful completion of enrolled credits and maintenance of their GPA.

Offers of Admission to three year applicants (those that will have completed 90 units/credits at the completion of the Winter/second term of the year in which admission is sought) will be conditional upon successful completion of enrolled credits and maintaining a GPA that is satisfactory to the Committee.

Upon notification of acceptance, applicants must remit a non-refundable deposit of $300 to the University, by a specific date, to confirm their admission. This amount is credited toward payment of tuition upon completion of registration.

What scholarships & bursaries are available?

All successful applicants are provided with an application form for entrance scholarships & bursaries in their admission package. Decisions are made in mid/late August, and all successful applicants are notified in writing. Click here for further information on entrance scholarships & bursaries.

Can the JD be done on a part-time basis?

Click here for information about part-time study.

How large is the first year class?

The law program at the University of Alberta is a quota program. The first year class maximum is set at 175 students. The Faculty usually receives around 1,200 applications each year for admission into first year.

What is the percentage of women enrolled in the first year class?

The percentage varies from year to year. Since 2000, the percentage has been consistent at 48%-51% women.

Can I apply more than once?

Yes. All documentation is kept on file for one year. Therefore, if an applicant is reapplying, we will require only the most recent changes to their record, i.e. an updated Faculty of Law Supplemental Admission Form; the LSAT score only if it was rewritten since the last application; official transcripts with the most recent academic record/final grades indicated.

Applicants reapplying are required to submit a new application.

What does it cost to attend law school at the University of Alberta?

Students in the Faculty of Law pay undergraduate fees and tuition. In addition to these fees, students also pay a program differential fee of $2,000.00 per term.

Students should expect to spend approximately $1250 on books and materials. Expenses for room and board and personal items are additional. Fees are subject to annual increases, as determined by the Board of Governors of the University. For further information regarding fees please visit the Registrars Office fees information page.

Where can I obtain information about housing?

For on-campus housing visit the Residence Services website.

For off-campus housing information, contact the Housing Registry, Room 143, Student's Union Building, 780-492-4212.

For those who will be seeking housing it is highly recommended that you do so as soon as possible. Student housing on campus is in high demand.

Does the Faculty of Law accept transfer & visiting students from other law schools into the 2nd and 3rd year of the JD program?

Please click here for more information.

How do I transfer into second year of the Faculty of Law program at the University of Alberta if I am presently attending law school outside of Canada?

The University of Alberta Law Program does not accept transfers from law programs outside of the country. Canadian law schools have a similar program of studies (therefore the courses are transferable from one institution to the other) but other countries do not have the same course content or program structure. An applicant must apply for entrance as a first year applicant and if admitted the Associate Dean will review the law work completed and determine, what, if any, advanced credit will be given.

Does the Faculty of Law admit students with non-Canadian law degrees, or some work towards non-Canadian law degress or civil law degrees (from Quebec)?

Foreign lawyers or Canadians with a foreign law degree who wish to become members of a Canadian Law Society must apply to the National Committee on Accreditation for an evaluation of their legal credentials and experience.

The Faculty of Law does not admit applicants as special students who wish to complete one or two or more courses to satisfy the requirements of the National Joint Committee on Accreditation; or who wish to take law courses for their "own interest".

The Faculty of Law may admit students to the JD program with Advanced Standing. Advanced Standing means that applicants may be granted some credit for their previous JD (or civil law) work, to a maximum of one full year credit. If admitted to the JD program with advanced standing, the applicant must successfully complete at least two full years of study (in most cases almost three years) in the Faculty of Law, and complete all of the requirements to obtain the JD degree from this University.

All applicants, with Advanced Standing, must meet the same admission requirements and submit the same documentation as applicants to the first year of the JD program. In addition to this documentation they must also submit a calendar or course syllabus (describing the previous law school work).