Juris Doctor (JD)
General Admission Requirements
- In measuring the potential of applicants, the Faculty Admissions Committee relies primarily on the undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and the performance on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
The GPA is determined by reference to the applicant’s most recent 60 units of course weight of study in university credit courses, provided those units of course weight are completed by February 1 in the year in which admission is sought. 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 applicant’s previous academic work, employment experience, extracurricular and community activities, physical and cultural factors, and economic disadvantage, in order to distinguish between applicants with similar or identical Prediction Indicators.
- The Committee will not consider any year of study or course or courses which cannot be credited toward a degree, or toward a university diploma approved by the Committee.
- Admission into the Faculty of Law is limited to a quota of 175 students. Because the number of candidates who meet the minimum requirements for admission far exceeds the quota, it should be understood that eligibility does not guarantee admission. Admission is determined on a competitive basis.
- Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
- Except for applicants under Special Student Applicants, the LSAT is compulsory for all applicants. Test scores will be used to supplement a candidate’s pre-law academic record. Test centres have been established at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, at the University of Calgary and at most other Canadian university campuses. The last acceptable LSAT writing date for September admission is January of the year in which admission is sought. An LSAT registration and information booklet can be obtained from the Faculty of Law, Examinations and Timetabling in the Office of the Registrar or by visiting www.LSAC.org
- The Committee normally averages scores where the applicant has taken the LSAT on more than one occasion. The Committee may, however, not take into account a particular LSAT score where the applicant establishes to the satisfaction of the Committee that the score was adversely affected by exceptional circumstances. Nonetheless, candidates are cautioned not to sit the LSAT if they are ill.
- LSAT scores are valid for a five year period and the test may not be written more than three times in any two year period.
- The decision of the Committee in any matter is final, and there is no appeal from the Committee to any other body or person within the Faculty or the University.
- The Committee will consider candidates for admission to the Faculty of Law in the following categories:
- Regular Applicants
- Special Applicants
- The Dean or Dean’s delegates will consider candidates for admission to the Faculty of Law in the following category:
- National Committee on Accreditation students (NCA students) as outlined in Special Student Applicants.
It is the sole prerogative of the Committee to determine the category of the applicant. Applicants should carefully read the descriptions set out below.
- To be considered for admission to the JD program a Regular Applicant must
- Present proof of having received, with standing satisfactory to the Committee, a degree from the University of Alberta, or a degree from a university recognized by the University of Alberta; or
- Present proof of having completed, with standing satisfactory to the Committee, at least the first three years (90 credit hours) of a program leading to a degree at the University of Alberta, or from a university recognized by the University of Alberta.
- In special circumstances, the Committee will consider applicants who demonstrate outstanding academic ability, and who will, before or in the Fall/Winter preceding the September in which admission is sought (i.e., by April 30), have completed not less than two years, or equivalent of a full program of studies that would be accepted for credit toward any degree at a university in Alberta. Outstanding academic ability is defined as
- A minimum grade point average of 3.7 or its equivalent over the two years of study; and
- An LSAT score which places the applicant in the 90th percentile of those who have taken the LSAT.
- The Committee shall consider and evaluate, in its sole discretion, the content and grades of the applicant’s academic performance and may reject applicants whose general performance or course of study the Committee does not consider satisfactory.
Special interpretations may be made by the Committee where individual circumstances warrant.
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 of Alberta, for the purpose of competitive evaluation. Effective September 1, 2003, the University of Alberta will use a letter grading system with a four-point scale of numerical equivalents for calculating grade point averages.
No applicant can elect to be placed in any category. Allocation to such category shall be the responsibility of the Committee.
For the purpose of application and admission to the University of Alberta, and in accordance with the Constitution Act, 1982, Part II, Section 35(2), an Indigenous Applicant is a First Nations, Inuit or Métis person of Canada, or a person who is accepted by one of the Indigenous peoples of Canada as a member of their community. Refer to Definition of Indigenous People for the Purpose of Admission for further details regarding proof of Indigenous identity.
- Indigenous Applicants normally must have a minimum of two years leading towards any degree or equivalent acceptable to a university in Alberta, completed prior to or in the Fall/Winter preceding the September in which admission is sought (i.e., by April 30th). Consideration may be given to Applicants with a minimum of one year leading to a degree or equivalent, if they exhibit evidence of past achievements in non-academic areas indicative of an ability to succeed in law school.
- The Committee may make an offer of admission conditional on successful completion of the Indigenous Law Centre Summer Program in Property and Customary Law at the University of Saskatchewan.
- The LSAT must be written as outlined in General Admission Requirements (4).
Special Student Applicants
National Committee on Accreditation students (NCA students): NCA Students are permitted to register in one or more courses which are not being taken for credit toward a degree or diploma at this or another institution. To be considered for admission as an NCA Student, applicants must normally have received a Law degree from an accredited postsecondary institution, equivalent to a Canadian JD or LLB degree, must meet English Language proficiency, and must provide documentation setting out their assigned requirements as assessed by Canada’s National Committee on Accreditation. Applicants from outside of Canada may meet their English Proficiency requirement based on the university they have attended or the country in which they reside. Some conditions apply. Where applicable, a minimum TOEFL iBT (Internet-based) score of 100 with a minimum of 25 in each section, a minimum Academic IELTS score of 7.0, with at least 5 on each band, a minimum Academic PTE score of 68, or the EAP 550 course is required. Since the Faculty of Law has limited enrolment, priority in admission is given to applicants to degree programs. NCA Students who wish to continue must reapply each year, and priority is given to students who have not previously attended as NCA Students.
The application for admission as an NCA student is available from the Office of the Registrar. Any required documentation should be submitted directly to the Faculty of Law at: Admissions Office, Room 128E, Law Centre, University of Alberta, T6G 2H5. Applications will be received and assessed on a rolling basis.
The application for admission to the JD program is available from the Undergraduate Admissions website. The application must be submitted on or before December 1 of the year preceding the year in which admission is sought, unless a later deadline is specified on the Faculty of Law website. All additional supporting documentation must be provided to the Faculty of Law on or before February 1 of the year in which admission is sought (see Admission and Readmission Deadlines ).
All applicants will be notified by e-mail regarding admission or nonadmission. Successful applicants must confirm their admission and intention to register by submitting a nonrefundable deposit within the time specified in the letter of acceptance. The deposit will be credited toward tuition on registration in September (see Program-specific Deposits on Confirmation of Admission ).
The Admissions Office will not accept enquiries concerning the status of applications. Applicants are encouraged to check the status of their application on Bear Tracks.
The following documents are required to complete an application and must be received by the application deadline in Undergraduate Application Deadlines for Admission and Readmission .
- Transcripts: Official transcripts of all postsecondary education are required. These transcripts must be complete and indicate any degree received. All transcripts must bear the seal of the issuing institution and the original signature of the issuing officer. Photocopies and transcripts without these marks of validity will not be accepted.
Personal Statement: A Personal Statement must be submitted by all applicants.
Note: for information about content and the submission of this statement, see the Faculty of Law website.
- LSAT: The January test date is the last LSAT that can be written by applicants seeking admission in the following September (see Law School Admission Test). The Admissions Office will obtain LSAT scores directly from the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) for all applicants who have active files with LSAC in Newtown, Pennsylvania.
Note: For information regarding the combined MBA/JD program, see The MBA/JD Combined Program .
- A personal statement, resume, and two letters of reference are required for each Special Applicant.
- Applicants who are admitted to the Faculty of Law under any admission category may apply to the Committee for admission to the part-time JD program for the first year of study.
- To be considered for admission to the part-time program applicants must
- Have been admitted through the admissions process;
- Demonstrate in writing to the satisfaction of the Committee circumstances to justify admission to the part-time program within one or more of the following categories:
- Family obligations requiring care for dependants or continued employment;
- Personal or family health problems;
- Physical or learning disability;
- Circumstances such as employment commitments, financial hardship or other personal disadvantage that do not come with i) to iii).
- Application Procedures: An admitted applicant who wishes to apply to the part-time program must apply in writing to the Committee before July 1 in the year in which the applicant has been admitted to full-time studies, or within five working days of having been informed of their admission, if the applicant accepts an offer of admission made after July 1.
- Each academic year the Faculty of Law shall provide up to five percent of the available positions to the part-time legal studies program. The full-time student quota will be decreased by one full-time position for each two part-time positions filled.
- Students admitted to the part-time program may, on a change of circumstances and with the approval of the Committee, transfer to full-time studies.
- Part-time students must complete the requirements of the JD degree within a maximum of six years.