Frequently Asked Questions
All J.D. Applicants
There is no fee for the Fall 2015 J.D. application.
Rolling admissions at UC Davis means the Admissions Committee reads files and makes decisions on a continual basis. Applicants are urged to apply and complete their files as early as possible although individual decisions are not based on the date the application was received. Applicants are informed of decisions as early as November and continuing through as late as April. Applicants applying on or near the deadline are competing for significantly fewer seats.
A complete file includes the completed application, résumé, personal statement, CAS report, valid LSAT score, and 2 letters of recommendation. International applicants are required to provide a TOEFL score. Applications are accepted beginning September 1. The priority application deadline is February 1 and the final deadline is March 15. Applications are evaluated only after the file is considered complete. There is NO application fee for the Fall 2015 J.D. application.
Our preference is for recommendations written by professors or others who can provide insight into the applicant's preparation for law study and past performance in an academic situation; however employers or others familiar with the skills and characteristics that suggest an applicant's aptitude for legal studies can also provide excellent letters of recommendation.
The Admission Committee will use the high score for purposes of a final admission decision, however it has access to all scores earned within the past five years. In exceptional cases where there is a significant difference exists between scores, applicants may choose to provide a brief addendum of explanation. The highest score will be the recorded score in all reports and publications.
All applicants must take and submit a Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score. For admission in Fall 2015, scores earned prior to February 2010 or after February 2015 are not valid. Applicants who take the test in February are not at a disadvantage, but are encouraged to submit the application and complete all other requirements of the CAS so that when the score becomes available it is the last item required to complete the file. Applicants may submit a score from the June 2015 LSAT administration ONLY if a valid score meeting the requirements detailed above has been submitted. The June 2015 score would then be considered a timely retake. June scores generally become available in July, after the end of the regular admission evaluation process, but within the period of time some applicants may be admitted, or more commonly, before we cease to extend offers to wait-listed candidates. Applicants planning to retake in June should notify the Admission Office in writing of their intention to do so.
A bachelor's degree or an equivalent degree from a college or university of approved standing is required and must have been earned prior to the time the applicant begins studies at the School of Law.
Are letters of recommendations submitted through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) acceptable?
UC Davis Law School requires applicants to submit two, but no more than three, letters of recommendations as part of the application for admission. Applicants are required to use the LSAC recommendation service.
A personal statement is required of all applicants. The statement is usually 2-4 pages in length, double-spaced, normal margins and 12-point font. There is no required format or content specifications for the personal statement, but applicants should assume that this is the only information the Admission Committee will have about them beyond the information provided on the application, the CAS report and in the letters of recommendation. Because interviews are not part of the admission process at UC Davis, the personal statement should be viewed as your opportunity to communicate directly with the Admission Committee.
In addition to the LSAT and GPA, the Committee will consider rigor of undergraduate major, school at which degree was earned, significant work experience, community involvement, graduate study, and economic or educational disadvantage. All information in the personal statement and letters of recommendation are given very careful consideration.
Deferrals of admissions are generally not granted. The applicant pool is large and the entering class is very small; therefore, it is important to maintain the availability of all seats for each admission cycle.
We love UC Davis graduates! In fact, UC Davis is one of our major feeder schools. Applicants who have earned their undergraduate degree at UC Davis do not face a disadvantage in the admission process nor do they receive an advantage over equally well qualified applicants. Current UC Davis students are encouraged to contact the undergraduate pre-law adviser, attend one of our on-campus recruitment events, and visit the school. For more information, please see Visiting King Hall.
No, residency is not a factor in the J.D. Admissions evaluation process. However, because UC Davis is a public institution, residency is a factor in the assessment of tuition and fees. Any indication of residency status for tuition purposes you receive during admission is provisional until a determination is made by a campus Residence Deputy. For more information about residency for tuition purposes, please see the Office of the University Registrar.
If you currently attend UC Davis, paying non-resident tuition, and you think you qualify now as a resident for tuition purposes, you should submit a Petition for Classification to Resident Status to the Office of the University Registrar for the term you think you qualify as a resident. See Petition for Classification to Resident Status on the Office of the University Registrar’s website under Residency.
Your California Residency is determined for tuition purposes by a Residence Deputy in the Office of the University Registrar after your admission. Statements of Legal Residence are required of all newly admitted students.
Prospective applicants can read the requirements for resident status and criteria for exemptions from non-resident tuition and obtain the Statement of Legal Residence form and instructions from the Office of the University Registrar.
All questions about this information should be directed to the Residence Deputy in that it is the only University personnel authorized to provide information related to residence requirements or your residency status for tuition purposes. You can contact the Residence Deputy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 752-5029.
Tuition and fees for California residents are $47,286 for the 2014-2015 Academic Year. Tuition and fees for Non-Residents are $56,537. The total cost of attendance, including tuition and fees, is listed on the Financial Aid website. All figures are subject to change without notice. Please see the Office of Budget and Institutional Analysis for the most current figures.
Two forms are required of applicants seeking need-based gift aid and federal student loans. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Need Access Application. You can begin filing both forms in early January and applicants are encouraged not to wait for an admission decision to file the applications. Although the Need Access application requests parental information, need determinations are based upon a holistic review of the financial information and those who did not qualify for need-based aid as undergraduates can and do qualify for need-based gift aid at the law school level. The FAFSA and Need Access application must be submitted no later than March 2 each year to receive consideration for the maximum amount of need-based gift aid. Applicants who intend to finance their legal education through outside sources do not need to file these items and will not receive consideration for any need-based gift aid or be eligible to receive federal student loans. All applicants are encouraged to apply for need-based gift aid regardless of prior need determinations at the undergraduate level. More information about funding your legal education at UC Davis School of Law is available on the Financial Aid section of our website.
Interviews are not part of the evaluation process; however we welcome visitors and encourage you to inform us of your arrival in advance using the Tour Request Form on the Visiting King Hall section of our website.
Please address written correspondence to the Office of Admission and Financial Aid, UC Davis School of Law, 400 Mrak Hall Drive,Davis, CA 95616-5201. Applicants must submit all official application materials using the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Information about CAS is available on the LSAC website at http://lsac.org/.
Combined degree programs are available and students may earn a limited number of credits towards the J.D. degree for classes taken in other divisions of the university. Applicants apply to the UC Davis Graduate School of Management for the MBA and to the Department of Graduate Studies for the master of arts or master of science. Combining the J.D. with Ph.D. studies is not an available option. Separate applications should be submitted to each department because the evaluation and decision process are performed independently. If admitted to both programs, the applicant is required to enroll at the School of Law for the first year. For this reason, many combined degree program applicants apply for the masters program during the first year of law study. The first year is completed exclusively at the law school, the second year exclusively at the other program, the third and fourth years are completed simultaneously. Please note that the School of Law operates on a semester schedule unlike much of the rest of the campus divisions, which operate on a quarter system. For more information about other graduate programs, please see the UC Davis Graduate Studies website at http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/.
UC Davis Law School offers a full-time day program only, no evening and no part-time. Applicants are admitted to the Juris Doctor degree program for Fall enrollment only.
International J.D. Applicants
Does the law school have additional or different requirements for international applicants applying to the J.D. program?
Applicants educated outside the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico are required to register with LSAC's CAS service. This service will provide the School of Law with a credential evaluation report making it unnecessary to register with other foreign credential evaluation services. Information about CAS can be found at http://www.LSAC.org. International applicants educated outside the United States and for whom English was not the primary language of instruction, should provide a TOEFL score as part of the required admission materials. The TOEFL score should be reported to the Law School Admission Council so that it can be included with the CAS report sent to the law school. For those applicants who completed graduate studies in the United States or Canada (or other institution taught primarily in English), or who have extensive professional experience in an English-speaking setting, may request a TOEFL waiver by emailing the Office of Admission and Financial Aid at email@example.com.
If a Certificate of Eligibility is required for a student visa issued by UC Davis, the student will be asked to complete a Certification of Finances form showing the availability of sufficient funding to cover all living and educational expenses.
Yes, gift aid is available to international applicants, as well as US citizens and permanent residents of the United States. International applicants may not be eligible to secure federal student loans. Please contact our financial aid professionals (firstname.lastname@example.org or 530.752.6573) for additional guidance.
Every applicant to the 3-year full-time Juris Doctor degree program should expect to fulfill the same requirements. Credit is generally not given for similar coursework completed as part of an LL.M. program. Please contact the Admissions Office at email@example.com with individual questions.
Prior law school grade point average is the primary factor considered. Applicants performing in the top 5%-10% of their 1st year class receive serious consideration. In exceptional cases, and based on the law school attended, applicants performing slightly lower in the class may be admitted. The LSAT score is considered, but does not carry the same weight it does in the 1st year admission process.
Transfers are admitted based on space-available. Offers are typically extended to 20 or 30 students. The size of the transfer applicant pool usually ranges from about 75 to 100.
Applicants may apply after completion of the fall semester of the first-year of studies, however most applicants will not receive serious consideration for transfer until they complete at least 30 semester units (unless the unit total for full-time first-year attendance at the prior law school is less than 30). All admitted transfer students must have completed at least 30 semester units (or the total required for full-time first-year attendance) at the time of matriculation at UC Davis. Generally, UC Davis School of Law will award up to 31 semester units earned at the prior law school.
Only students who have completed the equivalent of a first-year full-time program at a law school approved by the American Bar Association may apply for transfer.
I am an international student, and I have completed an LL.M. degree at an ABA approved law school. Am I eligible to apply to transfer? How many of my LL.M. courses will be credited?
Currently, only students who have completed the traditional first year of a Juris Doctor degree program at an American Bar Association approved law school may apply to transfer and credits earned in an LL.M. program will not be credited toward a Juris Doctor degree at the UC Davis Law School.