Assessment of Applications
Admission to the JD program is highly competitive. There are only 130 spots available in our first year class and we receive more than 1,000 applications each year. You are urged to be realistic about your chances of admissions and about alternative options should you not be admitted.
A typical first year class has a GPA in the range of 3.60 (on a 4.0 scale), an LSAT score around the 80th percentile, and an average age of 26 (a range of early 20s to mid-50s). See below for statistics from our past five admission cycles.
Applications are assessed on a written basis only; interviews will not be given.
Deferrals are only granted under extraordinary circumstances. Other academic programs and financial reasons will not be considered as grounds for a deferral.
Your application will not be assessed until all of your supporting documents have been received. It is your responsibility to ensure your application is complete, which you can check by logging in to your Student Centre.
You may hear back very quickly after your application becomes complete, or you may receive a decision later in the admission cycle. Most applications become complete between January and March.
If you are a current student when you apply, you must wait until January before sending the transcript for your current school; sending it before January will not result in your application being assessed any sooner.
Applications that are complete except that only one reference has been received will be read only after all completed applications are read. This puts you at a disadvantage.
Your application will be grouped with other applications that have similar statistical profiles for assessment. See below for more information about the LSAT and GPA.
The process for reviewing your application depends on your statistical profile. Your application will be reviewed either once or twice by members of the Admissions Committee, or by staff in the Student Services office. You will receive either an offer, regrets, or waitlist notification based on the score given to your application as a result of those review processes.
In any given year, the Admissions Committee may impose a minimum requirement for LSAT scores or GPA in order for applications to be considered further.
When we assess your application, we will be looking for evidence that you are likely ready to succeed academically in law school and positively contribute to your community. To do this, we use a very comprehensive assessment process.
All aspects of the application will be taken into consideration, and there is no specific weighting assigned to any of the factors. Your work experience, extra-curricular activities, and community involvement are considered very important.
UCalgary Law encourages applications from persons who have been in the work force after university, or who have come to university after their work experience.
While a strength in one area of the application may help overcome a relative weakness in another, you should be realistic about your chances and be familiar with the average statistics from previous admission cycles, as seen below.
Members of the Admissions Committee rely on the information provided in your application and all supporting documentation to assess the merits of your application. Each applicant is responsible for ensuring that the information they provide is truthful, complete and correct.
Withholding material information that could reasonably be expected to be relevant to the deliberations of the Admissions Committee or submitting information that is determined to be false, misleading or written by someone else may result in revocation of an offer of admission or registration from the law school.
The Law Society of Alberta requires a Student-at-Law (a person who has already completed law school and has applied to be a student-at-law with the Society) to be of good character and reputation and to provide a police/check criminal record check upon applying to be a Student-at-Law. Students are encouraged to speak with Angela Gallo Dewar, Assistant Dean, Student Services with any questions or concerns regarding these requirements at the time they are admitted to the law school.
LSAT & GPA
If you have written the LSAT more than once, we will use your highest score to group your file statistically; however, all of your scores from the past 5 years, your average score, and the number of times you have written the LSAT will be taken into account when reviewing your application.
We highly recommend that you prepare for the LSAT in advance and write the LSAT as few times as possible.
Your GPA will be based on the last 20 half-courses of your undergraduate studies, up to December 31 of the year you submit your application. When assessing your application, the Admissions Committee will also take into account your entire academic performance, in both undergraduate and graduate programs.
With the exception of undergraduate work completed in the US, GPAs will not be calculated for international bachelor’s degrees; grades will instead be viewed solely on your transcript.
The Student Services office will not fulfill requests to calculate and/or confirm your GPA.
NOTE: We are aware that many post-secondary institutions for the 2019-20 academic year are either changing their grading systems to credit no/credit, or allowing students to have an option to elect credit/no credit due to COVID-19. Future applicants are advised that this will not negatively affect eligibility to apply.
Events are still unfolding, so we do not know how or whether this will affect our GPA calculation in the upcoming Fall 2021 application cycle at this time. We will be in a position to provide more information about the GPA calculation closer to the start of the next application cycle, once we have more of the facts and time for proper consideration.
JD Admission Statistics - Five Year Comparison
Take a look at our admissions statistics from the past five years.
Number of applications received
2019: 1058 | 2018: 1050 | 2017: 1184 | 2016: 1174 | 2015: 1359
2019: 128 | 2018: 129 | 2017: 130 | 2016: 122 | 2015: 123
2019: 25 | 2018: 25 | 2017: 25 | 2016: 26 | 2015: 26
Average undergraduate GPA (on a 4-point scale)
2019: 3.63 | 2018: 3.66 | 2017: 3.66 | 2016: 3.63 | 2015: 3.62
Average LSAT score
2019: 161 | 2018: 161 | 2017: 161 | 2016: 162 | 2015: 162
Average LSAT percentile
2019: 81 | 2018: 82 | 2017: 82 | 2016: 82 | 2015: 83
Percentage of female students admitted
2019: 49 | 2018: 53 | 2017: 41 | 2016: 52 | 2015: 49
Percentage of students from out of province
2019: 31 | 2018: 29 | 2017: 29 | 2016: 27 | 2015: 38
2019: 6 | 2018: 7 | 2017: 8 | 2016: 6 | 2015: 9
Percentage of students without a degree
2019: 2 | 2018: 0 | 2017: 2 | 2016: 2 | 2015: 1
Percentage of students with a bachelor's degree
2019: 98 | 2018: 100 | 2017: 98 | 2016: 98 | 2015: 99
Percentage of students with a master's/PhD
2019: 9 | 2018: 9 | 2017: 12 | 2016: 11 | 2015: 8
Tuition and general fees per year (approximately)
2019: $13,700 | 2018: $12,314* | 2017: $13,600 | 2016: $13,600 | 2015: $13,600
*plus additional fees and costs
Costs of books per year (approximately)
2019: $1,900 | 2018: $1,900 | 2017: $1,900 | 2016: $1,900 | 2015: $1,900