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 in your Student Centre.
Applications submitted by November 1 may be assessed as early as November, as they become complete. Applications submitted after November 1 may be assessed as early as December. This is one reason to have your application submitted and supporting documents in as early as possible.
Due to the nature of the assessment process, there is no typical timeframe in which you will receive a decision after your application becomes complete. You may receive a decision very quickly, or you might receive a decision later in the admission cycle.
All applicants will receive an email with either an offer, regrets, or waitlist notification no later than the end of June. Most applications become complete between January and March.
If you are a current student when you apply, you must wait until January before uploading the unofficial transcript for your current school. Uploading it earlier may result in a delay in assessment, since we will need to contact you to request a new unofficial transcript.
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: In response to the wide-spread variation in grading policy at academic institutions in response to COVID-19 in the Winter 2020 semester, we will discount any Credit/No Credit or grades of D+ or under in the GPA calculation based on an applicant’s last 20 half courses. This means the GPA calculation may be based on between 15 and 20 half courses depending on the individual applicant’s Winter 2020 transcript.
This change is intended to be as fair as possible to students who did receive grades to be able to use them towards their GPA calculation and those students who did not receive grades either by choice or institutional policy.
JD Admission Statistics - Five Year Comparison
Take a look at our admissions statistics from the past five years.
Number of applications received
2020: 1186 | 2019: 1058 | 2018: 1050 | 2017: 1184 | 2016: 1174
2020: 135 | 2019: 128 | 2018: 129 | 2017: 130 | 2016: 122
2020: 26 | 2019: 25 | 2018: 25 | 2017: 25 | 2016: 26
Average undergraduate GPA (on a 4-point scale)
2020: 3.66 | 2019: 3.63 | 2018: 3.66 | 2017: 3.66 | 2016: 3.63
Average LSAT score
2020: 161 | 2019: 161 | 2018: 161 | 2017: 161 | 2016: 162
Average LSAT percentile
2020: 82 | 2019: 81 | 2018: 82 | 2017: 82 | 2016: 82
Percentage of female students
2020: 49 | 2019: 49 | 2018: 53 | 2017: 41 | 2016: 52
Percentage of non-binary students
*Collection of data began in Fall 2020
Percentage of students from out of province
2020: 30 | 2019: 31 | 2018: 29 | 2017: 29 | 2016: 27
Provinces and territories represented
2020: 7 | 2019: 6 | 2018: 7 | 2017: 8 | 2016: 6
Percentage of students without a degree
2020: 2 | 2019: 2 | 2018: 0 | 2017: 2 | 2016: 2
Percentage of students with a bachelor's degree
2020: 98 | 2019: 98 | 2018: 100 | 2017: 98 | 2016: 98
Percentage of students with a master's/PhD
2020: 12 | 2019: 9 | 2018: 9 | 2017: 12 | 2016: 11
Tuition and general fees per year (approximately)
2020: $14,600 | 2019: $13,700 | 2018: $13,600 | 2017: $13,600 | 2016: $13,600
Costs of books per year (approximately)
2020: $1,900 | 2019: $1,900 | 2018: $1,900 | 2017: $1,900 | 2016: $1,900