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Penn State
Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA
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J.D. Admissions FAQ

Application Process

Application Components

About Penn State Law

Application process 

What is the application period?

Penn State Law’s fall 2021 application will open on September 1, 2020. The regular application deadline will be March 31, 2021, and the early decision application closes on December 1, 2020.

Can I apply for Early Decision?

Yes. Applicants can complete the Penn State Law early decision application before December 1. The Early Decision program is a binding program designed for applicants who are certain that Penn State Law is their first-choice law school.

 

Can I get a fee waiver?

Yes! To get a fee waiver, simply email us at admissions@pennstatelaw.psu.edu. The subject line should be "Fee Waiver" and the body of the email should include your full name, LSAC number, and undergraduate school.

Can I visit the law school?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn State Law is not able to offer in-person tours at this time. However, we invite you to check out our virtual tour and visit a 1L class online.

How can I check on my application status?
Available information regarding an applicant's status can be found using our online Status Checker. After an application is submitted, applicants will receive an email with an ID and password for the status checker.

Does Penn State Law grant interviews?

Evaluative interviews are available by invitation only. However, we are happy to answer your questions. Prospective applicants can request an appointment with an Admissions counselor, or applicants may directly contact our office with questions at admissions@pennstatelaw.psu.edu or 814.867.1251.

Do I have to register for the LSAC Credential Assembly Service?

Yes. All applicants must apply to Penn State Law via our application hosted by LSAC. In addition, each applicant must submit to LSAC transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended. And, all letters of recommendation must be submitted via the LSAC letter of recommendation service.

How can I be considered for scholarships?

All applicants are automatically considered for scholarships. If you are awarded a scholarship, you will be notified immediately upon the notification of your admission. In the recent past, roughly 80% to 90% of our incoming students have received scholarships. Scholarship awards generally range from $5,000 per year to full-tuition.

What is your scholarship renewal policy?

Scholarships are renewed so long as the recipient remains in good standing at the law school. Renewal is not conditioned on law school performance, but the student must continue to be enrolled at Penn State Law to receive scholarships and grants.

Application Components

What admissions tests will you accept?

LSAT and GRE are accepted for all applicants. We will also accept LSAT flex.

GMAT is accepted for applicants pursuing a JD/MBA degree. Applicants applying with GMAT must have a score in the 85th percentile or higher and an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or in the top10% of their class across six semesters of academic work.

Penn State students may apply with an SAT or ACT score if they meet the following criteria:

  • Are a currently enrolled University Park student (the American Bar Association requires that students applying with SAT or ACT be enrolled at the same campus as the law school);
  • Have a composite SAT or ACT score in the 85th percentile or higher which was used in their application to Penn State as an undergraduate; and
  • Have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher across six semesters of undergraduate academic work.

How can I submit my GRE score?

Penn State Law will accept scores that are up to five years old. We will accept score reports directly from Education Testing Services (ETS). Please indicate “Penn State Law” as a recipient of your test scores. Our school code is 4418. Applicants must also submit a complete e-application through LSAC and an LSAC CAS report, event if not applying with an LSAT score.

If I am applying with the GRE, can I choose which scores to send or must I send all scores?

Penn State Law requires that applicants applying with the GRE submit all scores from the previous five years.

If I already have an LSAT score, can I apply with a GRE?

Yes, but your LSAT score will also be included in your CAS report and both scores will be considered.

How long should my personal statement be?

Your personal statement should be two pages, double spaced.

How many letters of recommendation does Penn State Law require?

Penn State Law requires at least two letters of recommendation. If you have graduated with your undergraduate degree within the past two years, at least one should be from an undergraduate instructor with whom you had in a class for which you were issued a letter grade.

Do I have to submit a TOEFL score?

All foreign educated applicants (anyone who earned their undergraduate degree at an institution outside of the U.S.) must provide a copy of their TOEFL score report, which can be attached to your application.

Students whose undergraduate degrees were granted in a foreign country where the primary language is English and where the primary language of instruction was English do not need to provide a TOEFL score report.

Applicants who wish to request a TOEFL waiver may do so by emailing us at admissions@pennstatelaw.psu.edu. Applicants requesting a TOEFL waiver should describe, in detail, their experience with English language in an educational, professional, or personal context. Each request will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and waivers will be granted on a case-by-case basis. 

About Penn State Law

I understand Penn State has two law schools. Can my admission be transferred from one to the other?

No. Penn State Law in University Park is one of two law schools operated by Penn State University, the other being Dickinson Law in Carlisle, PA. Although both law schools are part of Penn State University, each law school is wholly independent of the other.

Do you have a part time or evening program?

No. Penn State Law's J.D. program is a three-year, full-time program for students in residence at our campus in University Park, Pa, on the largest campus of Penn State.

I went to Penn State as an undergraduate and heard that Penn State Law discourages applications from Penn State alumni. Is that true?

Definitely not! Penn State Law welcomes applications from Penn State graduates from all campuses and degree programs, and we encourage you to visit us.

In addition, Penn State Law offers admitted applicants who have or will have a Penn State degree when they begin their first year of law school the Blue & White Alumni Grant, which provides $20,000 toward tuition per year of J.D. study. 

Does Penn State Law offer in-state tuition?

No, but Pennsylvania residents admitted prior to our deadline will automatically receive our Commonwealth Scholars Grant, which provides $20,000 toward tuition per year of J.D. study. 

Are Pennsylvania residents or Penn State students/alumni given priority in admissions decisions?

No. Although we welcome and encourage applications from Pennsylvania residents and Penn State students and alumni, those applicants do not have an advantage over out-of-state applicants or those from other colleges and universities.

How many students will be in my section?

Typically 1L sections have fewer than fifty students, not including students from our comparative LL.M. program who may enroll in 1L classes. LL.M. students are graduates of a law school or law practitioners from foreign countries, and are not graded with the J.D. first year students.

How large is the faculty?

Penn State Law has 54 full-time faculty members.

How do Joint Degrees work?

Penn State Law students can enroll in a joint degree program in a variety of disciplines. Applicants may apply concurrently to the Law School and joint degree program, or they may apply for the joint degree program after beginning their 1L year. Some joint degree programs will waive a GRE in place of an LSAT score, but applicants should check with the joint degree program for specific admissions requirements.

Can I take classes elsewhere in the University as part of my law school coursework?

Yes! Penn State Law students can take 12 credits in graduate-level coursework after completing their first year of law study and count those credits toward their law degree.

How can I submit my GRE score?

Penn State Law will accept scores that are up to five years old. We will accept score reports directly from Education Testing Services (ETS). Please indicate “Penn State Law” as a recipient of your test scores. Our school code is 4418. Applicants must also submit a complete e-application through LSAC and an LSAC CAS report, event if not applying with an LSAT score.

If I am applying with the GRE, can I choose which scores to send or must I send all scores?

Penn State Law requires that applicants applying with the GRE submit all scores from the previous five years.

If I already have an LSAT score, can I apply with a GRE?

Yes, but your LSAT score will also be included in your CAS report and both scores will be considered.