Applying to the School of Law

Please see the current class profile for an exact number.

In a typical year, UCI Law will make offers of admission to approximately 1 out of 5 applicants.

A bachelor’s degree earned prior to the beginning of the law school semester from an accredited institution of higher education and a valid standardized test score (LSAT or GRE). Please refer to the Application Instructions for more information about the specific components of the application process.

UCI Law does not charge an application fee so a fee waiver is unnecessary. UCI Law is unable to provide CAS Report fee waivers. CAS & CAS Report fee waivers are available through the Law School Admissions Council’s fee waiver program.

No. International students must complete their bachelor’s degree, submit their transcripts to the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), and have a valid standardized test score (LSAT or GRE) to apply. We do not require a TOEFL score or any other language proficiency test.

Applicants educated outside of the United States and Canada must have their degree evaluated through the LSAC as equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree, please see the Application Instructions for more information.

No. Our J.D. program is a full-time day program.

Yes. Please see the relevant page regarding applying as a Transfer Student or Visiting Student for more information about those processes and timelines.

The secure application form, available through the LSAC Electronic Application System, and instructions will be available after September 1. Please review the Application Instructions for deadlines. Apply earlier, rather than later! 

Students are admitted only for fall entry to the law school. There is no mid-year admission to the 1L program. 

Early Decision applicants are reviewed first and will receive a decision by the end of the calendar year. Regular decision applications should not expect a decision until after January 1 regardless of when the application is submitted or marked as complete. 

To a certain extent, yes. Early Decision applications must be complete by November 15 and are reviewed first. Regular decision applications are reviewed on a generally rolling basis afterwards. This means that the committee reviews applications and makes admission decisions once applications arrive and are determined to be complete. While each application is reviewed on its merits regardless of when it is submitted, the reality is that the class begins to take shape and fill up as the application deadline approaches. Thus, once your application is complete and in the best version possible, it is best to submit earlier rather than later. 

Yes, we have a binding Early Decision program. The deadline for submitting a complete Early Decision application, including CAS Report and ED Certification is November 15. Please see the Application Instructions for more information.

No. While the committee recognizes the excellent education that students receive at UCI and other UC campuses, there is no preferential treatment offered to graduates of UCI or other UC campuses in the application review process.

We believe that the best time to start law school is whenever you are ready to start law school! Some people are ready to start law school as soon as they graduate college. Others may wish or need to take a gap year (or more). Other applicants may be ready to start law school after several years (sometimes decades) in the workplace. The committee has no preference between applicants applying after taking time off or for those who apply right out of college. The most important factor is that you apply when you are ready to start law school. 

We strive to admit a diverse group of people to join the vibrant exchange of ideas and viewpoints in our classrooms. Our admission policy gives equal consideration to a variety of factors in addition to numerical indicators. These include graduate work, special academic distinctions, life experiences, difficulty of the academic program, work experience, history of overcoming educational or socioeconomic disadvantage, and significant achievement in nonacademic activities or public service. Applicants have the opportunity to highlight their diversity throughout the application, including an optional Inclusive Excellence Essay.

No, students should take courses and pursue undergraduate degrees that interest them and excel in their academic pursuits. There is no specific major required for admission into law school. UCI Law consistently admits applicants from all majors, including the social sciences, arts, humanities, and STEM. Regardless of major, we recommend anyone interested in applying to UCI Law develop core skills in oral & written communication, analytical reasoning, program solving, and reading complex materials critically.   

Post-baccalaureate transcripts consist of all courses taken after your bachelor’s degree is granted. While this coursework is often from graduate or professional schools, this may include undergraduate courses taken after the date the bachelor’s degree is granted.

While post-baccalaureate courses are not included in the undergraduate GPA, the Admissions Committee values the experiences and skills a graduate or professional education provides an applicant and values that viewpoint in our classroom. These transcripts are evaluated as a part of the overall educational history of the applicant and can be used to give additional context to the applicant’s academic journey. However, holding a graduate degree does not necessarily offer an applicant a competitive advantage.  

While letters of recommendation from faculty typically highlight your academic abilities, professional letters from supervisors and colleagues familiar with your aptitude and ability to overcome challengers are also acceptable. We discourage letters from purely personal sources.

Please see the current class profile for the most recent LSAT and GPA quartiles.


Yes, we currently accept either the LSAT or the GRE.

Applicants are encouraged to select one exam or the other for their application. 

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) automatically reports all LSAT scores from the past five years as part of the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report sent with your application for admission. If a LSAT Score appears on your application, the LSAT score will govern consideration of your application as it is what the law school reports to accrediting and assessment agencies.

Applicants applying with only the GRE must submit all GRE scores, including the writing section, from the past five years through ETS and cannot withhold any scores or writing sections. 

UCI Law will only accept official score reports for one standardized test. Therefore, applicants who have taken both the LSAT and GRE should not submit an official GRE Score Report from ETS.

Applicants submitting a GRE score in lieu of a LSAT score are evaluated in the same manner as those applying with a LSAT score. Our review process is holistic and takes into account standardized test scores, undergraduate academic performance (including but not limited to GPA), rigor of study, work experience, graduate study, economic or educational disadvantage, community involvement as well as all other components of the admission application.

If an applicant has a LSAT score, the LSAT score will govern consideration of the application. UCI Law will only accept an official score report for one standardized test; therefore if you have taken the LSAT we will not accept a GRE Score Report.

The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) automatically reports all LSAT test scores from the past five years in the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report it provides to the law school. To maintain parity in the requirements between LSAT and GRE applicants; applicants must also submit all valid GRE test results from the last five years via ETS. Applicants may not choose which results they will share. Failure to comply with this policy may result in a withdrawal of an offer of admission or other disciplinary action.

The Committee will use the highest score for purposes of a final decision, and this will be the recorded score for all reports and publications. However, the Committee will have access to all scores and will consider them in their evaluation (applicants submitting GRE scores must have all their scores from the last five years sent to the law school by ETS). For the GRE, the Committee will look at each exam individually in determining the highest score and will not SuperScore the GRE. Applicants are encouraged to address any discrepancies in scores or extenuating circumstances in an addendum.

The Admissions Committee reserves the right to re-review any application that was granted admission with a GRE score and subsequently presents with a LSAT score at any time during the application cycle – this reevaluation may result in a withdrawal of admission regardless of any SIR deposits that have been submitted or other actions taken by the applicant to secure their attendance at UCI Law.

The last LSAT administration eligible to make your file complete is April 2024. The GRE must be taken by April 15, 2024. Applicants must still submit the application by the close of the application period regardless of the date of the standardized test or when the score will be reported. Applications that become complete with later exams may be excluded from consideration.

We will accept any past LSAT score on record with LSAC. Generally, LSAC keeps LSAT scores for five years. We will also accept any past GRE score on record with ETS. Similarly, ETS keeps GRE scores for five years.

Yes. All applicants, regardless of whether they are taking the LSAT or the GRE, must register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) and submit their transcripts and Letters of Recommendation through the CAS.

Law school applicants should take the general GRE test.

For information on LSAC’s fee waiver, please visit the LSAC website. For the GRE fee reduction program, please visit the ETS website.

UCI Law is unable to offer fee waivers for CAS, LSAT, and/or GRE.

Yes, but keep in mind that if you have a valid LSAT score on file and your application is otherwise complete, this score will be included on your CAS report. Your file will be sent forward to the admissions committee for review unless an affirmative request from the applicant is received at admissions@uci.edu after submission of the application.  Similarly, if ETS has already sent us a valid GRE score, your file will be complete and will be forwarded to the committee unless an affirmative request is received from the applicant.

If you retake the GRE, you must inform UCI Law by emailing admissions@law.uci.edu, so we know to download a revised score report from ETS. Additional LSAT Scores will automatically be downloaded from LSAC upon release.

Once your file is in review, we cannot honor a request to hold for future standardized tests. Your Online Status Checker will have the most up-to-date information.

The first GRE must be taken by April 15, 2024. Applicants must still submit the application by the close of the application period. Applications that become complete with exams after April 15, 2024 may be excluded from consideration. UCI Law will consider subsequent GRE scores taken after April 15 so long as a decision has yet to be rendered on the application. If you retake the GRE, you must inform UCI Law by emailing admissions@law.uci.edu so we know to download a revised score report from ETS.

Yes, UCI Law does not carry documents over from prior cycles. You must obtain a new GRE Score Report and CAS Report.

After You Apply

Early Decision applicants will receive a decision by the end of December or early January. Regular decision applicants who have a complete file by the priority deadline of March 31, 2024 will receive a decision by May 15, 2024.


Applicants can expect to receive a response via e-mail. Please make sure to adjust your spam filters to ensure you receive messages from UCI Law. Dispositions will also be available on the Online Status Checker. You are responsible for all information and deadlines conveyed via email and for having an accurate email address on file.

One-year deferrals are granted on a case-by-case basis to applicants applying via the regular decision track (early decision applicants cannot defer). Historically, the Committee has granted a deferral to an admitted student for compelling reasons, such as unforeseen hardships or extraordinary opportunities. The admitted student must (1) pay their initial seat deposit(s) that holds their seat in the entering class to which they have been admitted and (2) submit a written request stating the reasons a deferral is necessary. Please note that any merit scholarship awarded will not automatically carry over.

If the Admissions Committee grants the deferral, the admitted student is required to submit an updated CAS report before being reevaluated for scholarship funds consistent with the incoming class that cycle. Deferred students may then be required to submit an additional seat deposit on the dates outlined in their scholarship notification letter. All deposits are non-refundable and applied towards the first tuition bill. In the event that the deferred student withdraws, all deposits paid are forfeited.


The Admissions Committee reserves the right to set a deadline for the receipt of deferral requests, therefore it is important to read all emails from the admissions office. 

The landscape of law school applications changes from year to year, making it hard to predict how the application review process will play out. However, in the last several years we have utilized a waitlist. Admission offers from the waitlist vary from year to year based on enrollment needs. More information about waitlist process will be communicated to those placed on a waitlist.

Yes. The review process begins fresh every year and re-applicants are reviewed without prejudice.

Unfortunately, admissions counselors are unable to provide individualized guidance on reapplying to UCI Law. We can discuss generally the approach to reapplying once the new admissions cycle begins.

The Admissions Committee accepts appeals of an original deny decision (not a waitlist release). Please contact admissions@law.uci.edu for information about the process, deadlines, and requirements.

Tuition, Aid, and Housing

The most current breakdown of J.D. Cost of Attendance for both California residents and non-California residents, including tuition, fees, and estimated living expenses, is located under Tuition & Aid on our Admissions pages.

A variety of information about financial aid resources, including merit-based scholarships, targeted fellowships, federal and private loans, need-based grants, and educational benefits for Veterans are available in our Types of Aid section.

Yes, incoming 1L JD students who meet fee payment and apply for housing by the housing application deadline are guaranteed on-campus housing at UCI Law. Most students live in either the Palo Verde or Verano housing complexes, which are unfurnished and close to the law school. Privately-managed apartment complexes are also available on-campus and offer additional amenities in the unit.

Students admitted after the housing deadline may have a different process to obtain graduate housing. That process will be provided at the necessary time.


Getting Here

UCI Law is located in coastal Southern California, about 40 miles south of Los Angeles and 80 miles north of San Diego. You can find the best route to get here on our Maps & Directions page. We are also conveniently located just 2 miles from John Wayne Airport, a full-service, international airport serving Orange County.

Located on the 4th Floor (Room 410) of the Multi-Purpose Academic & Administrative Building (MPAA). Please refer to the Experience UCI Law page of our website for information about opportunities to connect, both virtually and in-person.


Yes, the School of Law offers students the opportunity to pursue concurrent graduate degrees, for example an MBA through the Paul Merage School of Business. Applicants interested in pursuing a concurrent degree need to apply to both programs separately – an application should only be made to the law school for the term you plan to start law school studies.

UCI and UCI Law aim to provide the support and resources necessary to ensure all of our students thrive and are successful in their law school career and beyond. There are many offices and programs ready to assist undocumented UCI & UCI Law students.

Undocumented students have access to the UCI Dream Center and the UC Immigrant Legal Services Center; the legal services center provides free immigration-related legal services to students. In addition to the overall UCI resources, undocumented students at UCI Law will also find a myriad of student organizations, a robust Academic Skills Program, mental health resources, and a knowledgeable Student Financial Services office with experience assisting undocumented students navigate the financial aid and scholarship landscape, including The California Dream Act.

Yes. UCI Law’s Admissions Ambassadors are available to connect with prospective students and share their insight and experience. Please note that conversations with Admissions Ambassadors will have no bearing on your admissions decision.

During any semester for which a first-year student is enrolled, the student shall not engage in employment except as a faculty research assistant without the permission of the Assistant Dean for Student Services. First-year students are strongly discouraged from working more than 10 hours per week. In no case shall a first-year student engage in employment for more than 20 hours per week. No upper-level student shall engage in employment for more than 20 hours per week.