Admissions FAQ


Q: What test scores are required and what are the minimum test score requirements?

A: All applicants to the University of Iowa College of Law are required to submit official scores for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). There is no minimum LSAT score that is required for admission. On the other hand, individuals who score below 150 on the LSAT have a difficult time gaining admission. Regardless of the test score, every application for admission receives a holistic review. There are no minimum score requirements or cut-off scores used for either the LSAT or the undergraduate grade-point average.

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Q: What is the tuition at the University of Iowa College of Law?

A: Because these figures are subject to change on an annual basis, please refer to our website, www.law.uiowa.edu, for current information about our tuition and fees.

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Q: What is the minimum TOEFL score?

A: For the JD program at the University of Iowa College of Law, the minimum TOEFL score for individuals who take the written TOEFL is 620. The minimum TOEFL score for individuals who take the Internet version of the TOEFL is 105.

The requirements for LLM applicants are different. Please check our website at www.law.uiowa.edu, to review the LLM degree program's TOEFL requirements.

Information about the TOEFL can be found at www.toefl.org.

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Q: What is the criterion that is used to award scholarships?

A: Scholarship awards are based on merit, which is measured by a combination of LSAT score and cumulative undergraduate grade-point average.

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Q: What is the application deadline for the University of Iowa College of Law?

A: The official deadline for all applications to the JD program is May 1. We strongly recommend, however, that you apply early in the application process, perhaps as early as January 15 of the year that you want to enroll at the College of Law. The Admissions Office operates on a rolling admission basis, and space in the entering class does fill up quickly and usually before the published deadline.

Finally, it may take the Admissions Committee four to five weeks to make a decision on an application.

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Q: Regarding individuals who take the LSAT more than one time, does the University of Iowa College of Law consider the highest LSAT score attained, the average of all scores attained, or the most recent score?

A: For those individuals who take the LSAT more than once, the Admissions Committee will consider the highest score earned.

The website for obtaining information regarding the LSAT is www.lsac.org. The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website provides access to test preparation material, test center information, and test registration for all law school applicants.

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Q: If I apply, and am accepted, can I defer my enrollment?

A: Deferring enrollment is discouraged. However, under extraordinary circumstances, a student may submit a request to defer. The request must be in writing, and must include the reasons for the request. Approvals to defer are left to the discretion of the Admissions Committee Chairperson and the Assistant Dean of Admissions, and are granted under only extreme circumstances. If granted, an applicant can defer for one year only.

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Q: How many credit hours is the JD program, and how long does it take to complete?

A: An Iowa Law student must satisfactorily complete 84 academic credits. This normally takes six semesters, or three years.

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Q: How do I apply to the University of Iowa College of Law?

A: The only way to apply for admission to the University of Iowa College of Law is by way of the LSAC website: www.lsac.org. The LSAC website will give you access to important information about the application process for the College of Law.

Transfer applications and LLM applications can be filed online only, on our website.

You may also choose to check our website, www.law.uiowa.edu, to review information about the College of Law. The phone number for the Office of Admissions is (319) 335-9095. Finally, feel free to send us an email message, at law-admissions@uiowa.edu.

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Q: How do I apply for financial aid?

A: All admitted applicants are automatically nominated for scholarship assistance. If you have been admitted, you do not have to submit additional paper work. Scholarship assistance is available to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States.

To receive federal loans, you are required to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The completion of the FAFSA is an online, paperless process. However, if you have any questions about financial aid, the phone number for the College of Law's Office of Financial Aid is (319) 335-9142. The email address for that office is law-financialaid@uiowa.edu.

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Q: How can a student finance a legal education at the University of Iowa College of Law?

A: Financial aid at the College of Law can come from a variety of sources. In recent years, 34 to 44 percent of first-year entering students received some type of scholarship assistance. The scholarship awards have ranged from $10,000 to full tuition. At the same time, 91 percent of our law students receive some type of loan assistance to help finance their legal education. The percentage of students receiving scholarship assistance and loan assistance will vary from year to year.

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Q: Does the University of Iowa College of Law require work experience from applicants?

A: No. However, approximately 60 percent of our entering law school students do have work experience—an average of two-three years—when they enroll at the College of Law. The average age of students in the entering class has been either 24 or 25 years for a long time.

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Q: Do major law firms recruit Iowa Law students?

Absolutely. The Career Services Office has a robust on-campus interview program. Each year, between 100 and 150 employers participate in our recruitment process by coming on campus to interview or by participating in résumé collects. You can find more information about where University of Iowa College of Law students work after graduation at http://www.law.uiowa.edu/about/statistics.php.

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Q: Can students apply for transfer to the University of Iowa College of Law?

A: Yes. We are happy to receive applications for transfer to the University of Iowa College of Law. We encourage law school students to expect to graduate from the law school where they matriculate as first-year law students. However, if professional or personal situations dictate that a transfer to the University of Iowa College of Law is either necessary or desired, we will review and accept those applications. The most important criterion for a transfer applicant is to be in good academic standing at a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association. The second most important criterion is to possess a respectable class rank in the first year of law school, predicting, successful completion of the academic program. There is no specific class rank that the Admissions Committee looks for in a transfer applicant.

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Q: Can international applicants or international lawyers who are applying for admission to the University of Iowa College of Law's JD program have the LSAT requirement waived?
Q: Can I take courses in other graduate programs at the University of Iowa?

A: Yes. A UI College of Law student may earn up to six credits outside of the College, and have those credits transferred back to the law school and applied toward graduation.

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Q: Can I take a course at the College of Law without enrolling in a degree program?

A: Students who would like to enroll at the College of Law without being degree-seeking students should contact Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Carin Crain, at (319) 335-9648. Dean Crain's email address is carin-crain@uiowa.edu.

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Q: Are there different admission requirements for international students?

A: The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all international applicants who earn either an undergraduate or graduate degree from a school at which English is not the official or primary language of that country. Also, international applicants should carefully review the international student section of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) registration book or website (www.lsac.org) to make sure that their complete applications reach LSAC on time.

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Q: Are other test scores accepted in lieu of the LSAT?

A: No. The LSAT is required of all law school applicants, and is the only standardized test that is accepted for purposes of law school admission at the University of Iowa College of Law.

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Q: Are law students allowed to work while they attend the UI College of Law?

A: First-year law school students are not allowed to work at the University of Iowa College of Law. However, in the second and third years of law school, there are opportunities to work in a variety of capacities while attending law school on a full-time basis. Please note: It is extremely difficult to work more than 15 hours per week, and keep up with law school classes and academic demands. So, proper priorities and good time management need to be considered.

Most of the available work, beyond the classroom, involves being a Research Assistant (RA) to a professor. Most of these positions are with law school professors; but some RA positions can be found in other departments at the University. A RA receives the following benefits: (1) resident tuition, (2) a small stipend, (3) subsidized health insurance, and (4) excellent work experience and exposure to high-level research and writing activities. Needless to say, the opportunity to become a Research Assistant to a professor is quite popular.

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Q. Which degree programs are offered at the University of Iowa College of Law?

A: The University of Iowa College of Law offers programs leading to the JD (Juris Doctor) degree; and, for international attorneys only, an LLM (Master of Laws) in International and Comparative Law. The LLM degree is for international attorneys who have already earned a law degree in another country, and for some lawyers who have earned their law degree in the United States.

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Q. What are the important features about the University of Iowa College of Law that current law students say they like?

A: The first thing that current students say they are impressed with is the high quality of student-faculty interaction, and the fact that each student can graduate with healthy, stable friendships and with his or her humanity intact. Second, the students are impressed with the national reputation of the College of Law. Third, the location, livability, and accessibility of both personal and professional development opportunities in the Iowa City area are impressive. Fourth, the relatively low cost of the law school and the related low level of debt ($20,000 less than the national average) for its graduates, relative to peer institutions, is attractive. Fifth, the small entering class size of approximately 180 first-year law students allows individuals to find assistance and attention more easily, if necessary. Finally, the College of Law has a strong reputation for attracting individuals who are civil to each other. In other words, our students know how to disagree without being disagreeable.

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Q. I have an undergraduate degree. Am I eligible for admission to the JD program?

A: Yes. To be considered for admission, an applicant needs to have the following: a bachelor's degree from an undergraduate institution that is accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education; a Law School Admission Test score that is no more than five years old at the date of enrollment; an undergraduate grade-point average that has been earned from an accredited undergraduate program; two letters of recommendation; a Personal Statement, which informs the Admissions Committee of the applicant's background, motives for earning a law degree, career focus, work experience, activity level outside of work or school, ability to empathize, and interest in solving problems.

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