FAQs: Application Materials
How do I begin the application process?
Before you begin the application process, you will need to set up an account with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). You will also need to register to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)* and register with LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
*We are only accepting the GMAT score if an applicant is applying to a dual degree program with the University of Chicago Law School and a graduate program in another division of the University of Chicago.
LSAC, Educational Testing Service (ETS) (administers the GRE), and Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) (administers the GMAT) provide additional resources to assist with test preparation. In addition, LSAC has a diversity campaign, DiscoverLaw.org, that provides resources for diverse applicants considering or preparing for law school and a section for LGBTQ applicants that can be a valuable source of information. LSAC also has a free LSAT preparation course in partnership with the Khan Academy.
Where do I obtain the application materials and submit my application?
The Law School utilizes a paperless admissions process, and all applicants to the JD program must apply through LSAC's Flexible Application. You will obtain all application materials from LSAC and submit them to the Law School electronically through the LSAC website. The Admissions Office does not send out any paper application forms and will not accept any paper copies of your application materials. We do not retain or review paper materials or updates, and they will be discarded.
The LSAC electronic application is fully accessible to the visually impaired. Applicants with disabilities in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should contact the Admissions Office at 773-702-9484 or email email@example.com with their request.
What is the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS)?
CAS sends your transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other credentials to the law schools to which you have applied. The Law School (and nearly all ABA-approved law schools) requires all applicants to register with the CAS for transcript and letter of recommendation processing. We require a copy of your CAS Law School Report. You must submit all transcripts and letters of recommendation through CAS. Please review the CAS website for more information about this service.
Is there a minimum standardized test score or GPA requirement?
Absolutely not. The Admissions Committee reads every application and gives each applicant serious consideration. While our applicant pool has strong numeric credentials, the non-quantitative components in an application are extremely important. There are no numeric cut-offs. Our admitted applicants have a wide range of GPAs and standardized test scores.
How important is each component of the application?
The importance of any given component of the application will depend on the strengths and weaknesses of the application as a whole. We do not use an index for evaluating our applicants, and the Admissions Committee does not assign a quantitative value to any component of the application. The Admissions Committee takes a holistic view of each applicant and reviews every part of every application.
How many applications does the Law School receive?
We receive between 4,000-5,000 applications for an entering class of approximately 185-195.
What if I need to update my application?
The Admissions Committee strongly prefers you submit all necessary information with your initial application. If it is necessary to update your application, you must email your updated information to the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Electronic updates will be uploaded to your file in our electronic database (but you will not see this update on your status checker). If you are sending an updated transcript or an additional letter of recommendation, you must send them through CAS. After your online status checker indicates that your application is "complete", you may no longer submit any additional materials for your file unless:
- the Admissions Committee requests additional materials,
- your update pertains to the Character and Fitness sections of the application, or
- your update is necessary to ensure that the information you have provided in your application remains truthful and complete.
Please do not send any paper materials or updates to the Admissions Office; we will not retain or review them.
May I apply before I take a standardized test?
Yes. We will process your application and mark your file incomplete until we receive your standardized test score. If you already have a standardized test score on file and indicate on your application that you are retaking the test, we will wait until that score is released before marking your application complete unless you email email@example.com and request the file be completed without the upcoming score.
Do I have to complete the LSAT Writing exam?
LSAC will not generate a Law School Report (which includes transcripts, LSAT scores, letters of recommendation and other application materials) until an applicant has completed at least one writing sample. The writing sample can be from an earlier paper administration of the LSAT or from the digital LSAT Writing exam. Please note, applicants no longer need to complete the LSAT Writing section as part of same-day test administration. Applicants now have one year from the date of their LSAT to complete the LSAT Writing section. If you do not have an LSAT writing sample on file, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible after your LSAT. Failure to complete the LSAT Writing will result in a delay in our review of your file, because it will not be marked as complete until we receive the Law School Report.
Please note this only applies to applicants submitting an LSAT score.
Do you grant fee waivers?
If you have received a fee waiver from LSAC, we will automatically waive the application fee. LSAC has its own process for granting fee waivers so please review LSAC's website to see if you are eligible for its fee waiver. In addition, we will waive the application fee for the following applicants to the JD program*:
- Teach for America participants and alumni who completed service within the last five years,
- Those currently serving active duty in the U.S. military, U.S. military veterans, and members of the U.S. Reserves and National Guard,
- Peace Corps participants and alumni who completed service within the last five years and who provide a letter from their supervisor confirming completion of the 27-month commitment,
- AmeriCorps participants and alumni who completed service within the last five years and who provide a letter from their supervisor confirming at least a 10-month commitment, and
- Undergraduate students currently enrolled at the University of Chicago.
The Law School may also email fee waivers based upon data from the Candidate Referral Service (CRS) and in conjunction with various recruiting events. The Law School is unable to consider individual requests for fee waivers at this time.
*The Law School does not grant fee waivers to transfer applicants unless they receive an application fee waiver from LSAC.
How do I obtain my Teach for America, U.S. military-based, University of Chicago current student, Peace Corps or AmeriCorps fee waiver?
If your application fee is waived for one of these reasons, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a fee waiver code and state the reason why your fee will be waived. You will need to enter this code before you submit your application. Please do not pay the application fee when you submit your application because we will not be able to issue a refund.
Fee waiver requests are accepted starting September 1 when the application becomes available until the application deadline of March 1 each year.
What are the language requirements for international students?
The University of Chicago requires all applicants who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents to meet certain English language requirements.
- Acceptable Tests: For the purpose of meeting the English language requirement, students may submit either the
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Required Minimum Scores:
- TOEFL: The minimum required score for the TOEFL is 104 overall, with 4 sub scores of 26 each.
- IELTS: The minimum required scores in the IELTS are an overall score of 7, with sub scores of 7 each. (Note: students are required to take the Academic Reading/Writing test within IELTS, not the General Training Reading/Writing test).
- Validity: TOEFL or IELTS score reports are valid for two years and scores will be considered expired if the test was taken more than two years prior to submission of the application.
- English Requirement Waivers: The English language requirement may be waived in the following circumstance only. The applicant is a native of or has studied in full-time status for at least one academic year within the last five years in one of the following countries:
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
- The Caribbean countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago
- Guyana, or
- English medium universities in Canada or South Africa*
- *NOTE: This applies only to English medium universities in Canada or South Africa. Study in English medium universities in other countries does not qualify for a waiver
Students who studied English (or at other English-medium schools) in countries not specified above, students who studied less than 1 full-time year in one of the countries specified above, and/or students that have worked in the U.S. or other English-speaking countries are NOT eligible for a waiver and must provide either a TOEFL or IELTS score with the application.
Please review the English Language Requirements (scroll to the middle of the page for the Law School's requirements) to learn more about the required proficiency levels.