Frequently Asked Questions

On this page:
Questions relating to COVID-19
Dates and deadlines
Courses and programs
Candidates
Application & admissions process
LSAT
Grades, credits and previous studies
Practical questions
Degree designation change from LLB to JD


Questions relating to COVID-19

How will the Winter 2020 semester be viewed by the Admission Committee?

Due to the various ways in which people were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the different approaches institutions took to assessing academic performance in the Winter 2020 semester (e.g. mandatory or optional pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory), CGPA calculations will not include grades for Winter 2020 and we will use the R-score produced by the Quebec Ministry of Education. The Admissions Committee will still have access to the entire transcript and will be able to see any grades included but will be interpreting them within the Winter 2020 context.

We recognize the stressful and unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we know that students are being impacted in different and complex ways that may affect their academic performance as well as extra-curricular activities and professional or other opportunities. The Admissions Committee will remain sensitive to these circumstances in reviewing applicants’ supporting documents.

Will I be penalized for taking any non-graded credits - pass/fail (“P/F”) or satisfactory/unsatisfactory (“S/U”)?

We understand that students may have been given the option or have been required to take courses under a S/U or P/F arrangement during the Winter 2020 and Summer 2020 semesters, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The completion of your current degree program with graded credits or with an alternative grading system will have no impact on your admission to McGill Law.

Will Summer 2020 grades be included in my GPA?

Yes, Summer 2020 grades will be included in GPA calculations and R-Scores (for CEGEP students).

Dates and deadlines

When can I apply?

The online application opens on September 1 for admission start date of September of the following year.

What is the application deadline?

Deadlines vary by category of applicant. See Deadlines page.

Late applications are automatically refused. There are no exceptions.

Does the supporting documents deadline refer to a postmarked date or an actual deadline?

Except for references, all supporting documents must be uploaded via Minerva by the appropriate deadline. In exceptional circumstances where applicants are unable to upload their documents online, they may be sent via post or courier, or submitted in person. In such cases the documents must be postmarked or delivered on or before the deadline. The Admissions Office checks postmarks on documents that arrive after the indicated deadline. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required supporting documents reach the Admissions Office.


Courses and programs

Do you offer correspondence, distance or internet courses?

No, we do not offer correspondence, distance or internet courses. Students attend classes at the Faculty of Law in person, and are expected to be fully active in the Faculty and in the community.

NOTE: Exceptionally, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, McGill University announced in May 2020 that it will provide the majority of its courses remotely during the Fall 2020 semester. The Faculty of Law is committed to delivering one of the best legal educations in the world to its exceptional students. The Faculty will offer a wide selection of courses taught by leading scholars, in all its programs, in a remote environment during the Fall 2020 semester.

Do you offer evening courses?

No, we do not offer evening courses. All courses offered by the Faculty of Law are held Monday to Friday during the day. Although some courses may finish later, the majority of our courses are taught between 8:30 and 19:00.

Do you offer a certificate in law?

We offer graduate certificates in law. These graduate programs provide advanced training to candidates who do not wish to undertake our Master's degree (LL.M.). They are particularly appropriate for judges, law professors and legal practitioners who wish to pursue advanced studies in areas such as comparative law, air & space law or human rights law. Please note that applicants to our Graduate Certificate Programs must already have a Bachelor of Laws degree or equivalent from an accredited university.

Do you offer a minor in law?

No, but we do offer law students the opportunity to pursue a minor offered by McGill's Faculties of Arts, Science, and the Desautels Faculty of Management. For more information, see the Minors, Majors and Honours page.

I only want to take a few classes in Law. How can I do this?

The Faculty allows a limited number of applicants not actively pursuing a law degree to register as Special Students. This status will only be granted to applicants who present a compelling reason for taking a particular law course – such as continuing legal education for professional development purposes relevant to their field of practice - and who demonstrate their capacity to undertake the study of law. Special Students are also only admitted when sufficient space is available in the applicable course. Special Students may take up to 6 credits per term, for a maximum of 12 credits in total.

Is it possible to only take the BCL or the JD?

No. The structure of the BCL/JD program is based on an integrated study of both the civil law and the common law.


Candidates

Are candidates from the National Committee on Accreditation eligible?

No. The Faculty does not consider candidates applying to fulfill the requirements of the National Committee on Accreditation.

Are High School students eligible?

No. The Faculty does not accept applicants from High School programs. To be eligible, applicants must have a minimum of two years of university studies (60 credits), or hold a Diploma of Collegial Studies (DCS) from a Cegep or a Quebec French Baccalaureate.

Are admission requirements the same if I am an international student?

Yes. Please refer to the Eligibility and Deadlines pages to determine in which category you should apply and which corresponding deadlines you must meet.

Following that, see our Admissions Policies and Admissions Process pages to learn how to complete the online application and what supporting documents are required to complete the application.

International candidates must make sure they will have valid immigration status to study in Canada at the time of registration.

Does your Faculty give preference to McGill graduates?

No. The Faculty does not give preference to McGill graduates.

Does your Faculty give preference to Quebec residents?

No. The Faculty does not give preference to Quebec residents. We seek to achieve a socially and culturally diverse community drawn from across Quebec, Canada and beyond.

How does your Faculty value diversity? How diverse is the class?

As stated in our Admissions Policy, we believe our Faculty’s excellence is based on its diversity. We work hard to ensure a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives and aspirations in our incoming class.

For more information on the demographic makeup of our students, please visit the Class Profile page. You may also be interested in attending one of our Law School & Diversity recruitment events or getting in touch with one of our Student Ambassadors, who can tell you how diversity is lived here at McGill.


Application & admissions process

Which documents must be included in my application and how can I submit them?

Applicants must provide the following: personal statement; CV; transcripts for all post-secondary studies; the Admissions Demographic Survey; and two references. See & Supporting documents.

Candidates who have taken, or will be taking, the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) are required to report the date(s) of sitting(s) and supply their LSAT identification number in the appropriate section of the online application. Failure to do so may negatively affect the assessment of your file.

Applicants must upload supporting documents such as the personal statement, CV, unofficial transcripts, and the Admissions Demographic Survey via Minerva.

References are sent by email directly to the Admissions Office by the referee. Refer to the References section of the Supporting Documents page for instructions.

I am experiencing difficulty uploading my documents.

Some common issues encountered by applicants when uploading their supporting documents include:

  • File size and resolution. Scanned documents should be 300 DPI and individual files may not exceed 3MB;
  • File name may be too long or contain invalid characters like parentheses or quotation marks. Keep file names simple by using your initials and document type (example: JS_CV.docx or JS_CV.pdf).

For more information, see McGill's page on Preparing your documents.

I just uploaded my transcript and the link to 'Upload New Version' appears. Why?

The ‘Upload New Version’ link appears because applicants are permitted to submit revised or updated transcripts and CVs. If you have significant changes to the initial transcript you uploaded, such as new grades, you should upload a new version. If there are no changes, please do not upload your transcript again. Note that it is not possible to upload a new version of the Personal Statement or Letter of Extenuating Circumstances. Please see the Uploading supporting documents section of the Supporting Documents page for more.

I forgot my Minerva login information

If you have not submitted your application: At the beginning of the application, you will be asked to select a Login ID and PIN. Keep a record of your ID and PIN as you will need them if you want to save your application and finish it later. You can log in and out of your application as many times as you need to before you submit it. Note that we cannot reset this login information.

After you have submitted your application: : Once the application has been submitted, you may no longer use the same login ID and PIN that you used before submitting your application. Instead, you will use your McGill ID number (as indicated in your acknowledgement email) and Minerva PIN. If you have forgotten your McGill ID or PIN, click on the ‘Forgot ID?’ or ‘Forgot PIN?’ links on the Minerva User Login page. Alternatively, you may use the Request for your McGill login information form.

If I am not able to upload my documents, to which address do I mail them?

In exceptional circumstances where uploading supporting documents is not possible, they may be mailed, couriered or delivered in person to the following address:

Law Admissions Office
Faculty of Law
McGill University
3644 Peel Street, Room 418
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3A 1W9

See the ‘Mailing supporting documents’ section of the Supporting Documents page

I uploaded or sent in all my supporting documents by mail, but they are not showing as received in Minerva. What is going on?

During peak periods (i.e., close to the deadlines), intake volume is very high in the Admissions Office. There may be a delay of up to 48 hours between the receipt of a document and the date on which it is recorded in our information system.

We ask you to kindly consider processing delays before contacting the Admissions Office.

Please see the ‘Admissions Checklist’ section of the Supporting Documents page for more.

Will I be able to get my supporting documents back?

No. Transcripts and other documents sent to McGill become the property of the University and will not be returned or forwarded to other institutions. For example, applicants who wish to obtain a copy of a reference should ask their referee directly.

Is it possible to change a designated referee?

A candidate who wishes to make a referee substitution may do so until the deadline to submit Supporting Documents. In such case, please advise the Admissions Office in writing, by admissions.law [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Referee%20Subsitution) (email).

Please see the ‘References’ section of the Supporting Documents page for more

When can I expect to receive a decision on my application?

Once an application is complete, it is reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Reviewers carefully assess all documents in the application according to the Faculty's Admissions Policy, and in comparison to all other candidates in the applicant pool.

Engaging in a holistic review of all applications naturally takes some time. We strive to have final and waitlist decisions issued to all candidates by the end of June and in all cases, every effort is made to inform candidates of the final decision on their file at the earliest possible date.

Applicants on the waitlist may not receive a final word on their file until July or sometimes even the end of August.

In all cases, the decision of the Admissions Committee is final.

What do "items outstanding", and "ready for review" mean on Minerva?

"Items outstanding" means that your file is incomplete. You are responsible for verifying which documents are missing. The Admissions office will update the status of your application as and when each document is received.

"Ready for review" means that your file is complete and ready for review. The status of your application will remain "Ready for review" until a final decision is made by the Assistant Dean.

What is the waitlist?

A candidate will be offered a place on the waitlist if the application file is admissible, but there are no available spots remaining in the class. There is no ranking of waitlisted candidacies. The decision "Waiting List" and the official letter will be available in Minerva for all candidates placed on the waitlist.

May I defer my acceptance to a subsequent year?

The Faculty of Law does not normally accept requests for deferred entry.

You are expected to start the program on the date and term you applied for and as indicated on your admission offer letter. Deferrals of admission are very exceptional within the Faculty of Law and generally permitted only for extenuating circumstances beyond one's control. Decisions on deferrals are made by the Assistant Dean (, Admissions and Recruitment) and are final.

If you nonetheless seek to request an admission deferral, you must first accept the offer of admission and pay the non-refundable $400 deposit. Once the offer of admission has been accepted, you then submit, in writing, a request for the deferral. The request should be addressed to the Assistant Dean, Admissions and Recruitment and should set out the reason(s) for the request. Students wishing to defer their admission are encouraged to submit requests as early as possible in consideration of other candidates.

Do I need to resubmit all the documents if I reapply?

The Admissions Office keeps all applications for three years. Applicants who have submitted an application within the past three admission cycles must re-submit an up-to-date CV and a new Personal Statement along with their new online application.

However, candidates do not need to resubmit final official transcripts or LSAT scores, unless there is an update to these. Candidates may keep the same references as they submitted in their initial application if they wish.

The requirements for supporting documents may have changed. Applicants applying to the program for a second time should review the entire Supporting Documents page.

Can I request an interview with the Assistant Dean or members of the Admissions Committee?

No. Interviews are not granted upon request of applicants. Interviews are convened on the recommendation of the Admissions Committee. For more information about interviews, please see the ‘How we make decisions’ section of the Admissions Policy page.

Admissions Office staff is knowledgeable about the admissions process and able to answer applicant questions.

How many applications are accepted each year?

In recent years, we have received in the range of 1300-1500 applications each year, for approximately 183 places in the incoming class. The number of applications we receive is roughly 7-8 times the number of available places. Admission to the program is therefore very competitive. You can find more information on our Class and Alumni Profiles page.


LSAT

Do I need to write the LSAT?

Applicants are not required to take the LSAT; however, if a candidate has taken or will be taking the LSAT, the score will be considered as part of the application. While the LSAT is not required, LSAT result provide the Admissions Committee with an additional and useful piece of information regarding the strength of your candidacy and suitability for law studies. The relative strength or weakness of an LSAT result is evaluated in light of the entire application.

Why does the Faculty of Law not require the LSAT?

The Faculty of Law is a bilingual learning environment. We believe it would be disadvantageous to the significant proportion of applicants and admitted students who indicate French as a first language to require, as a matter of eligibility, a test that is not offered in French.

Should I take the LSAT?

While it is not required, it may nevertheless be advisable for many candidates to consider writing the LSAT. Admission to McGill’s Law program is highly competitive: there are roughly seven to eight times as many applicants as there are available places in the first year class. Accordingly, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for admission to a number of faculties of law. Almost all faculties of law outside Quebec require the LSAT.

The quality of McGill’s applicant pool is exceptionally strong. Among admitted students, the average entering CGPA in 2017 was 3.7 on a 4.0 scale (about an 84%). Applicants with academic records below this average CGPA or percentile are encouraged to consider writing the LSAT.

If you are considering writing the LSAT only to improve your application to McGill Law, it will be important to assess how the results could impact the strength of your application. It is also important to note that if you write the LSAT more than once, McGill Law takes your average score. Based on an average of incoming classes in recent years, the average LSAT result of those entering the McGill program is 161, with 50% of the entering class with a score between 160 and 164, 25% being between 150 and 160, and 25% being between 164 and 170.

See the ‘Education’ section of the Eligibility page.

When should I write the LSAT?

Candidates should write the LSAT at the latest by November of the year prior to the year for which they seek admission. Candidates who register for the November LSAT should be aware that consideration of their file will be delayed until receipt of the score.

Can I write the January LSAT?

Candidates who do write the LSAT are strongly encouraged to do so by November of the year prior to the year for which they seek admission. Applications from candidates who register for the January LSAT will only be reviewed by the Admissions Committee when all required elements, including the January LSAT score, are received. Candidates who register for the January LSAT risk that, by the time the Committee reviews their application, there will no longer be a place to offer even if the Committee wishes to admit.

Will my LSAT scores get sent directly to the Faculty?

Yes. Applicants must report the date(s) of sitting(s) and supply their LSAT identification number in the appropriate places on their McGill Law application. The Admissions Office will then obtain test results directly from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Applicants whose service with the Law School Admissions Council has expired must reactivate their service in order to enable the Admissions Office to obtain their LSAT score.

What are the cut-offs for CRC, GPA and LSAT scores?

There are no fixed cut-offs, and while the numerical aspects of the applicant's file are not decisive, students offered admission at McGill generally have outstanding academic records in addition to their other qualities. Accordingly, it is not possible to predict the probability of admissions using numerical indices. Please see our Admissions Policy page for information on ‘What we look for in our students’ and ‘How we make admissions decisions’.

For information purposes only, we publish the academic results of our most recent incoming class on in the ‘Education’ section of the Eligibility page.

What are the consequences of not disclosing an LSAT score on my application?

The Faculty of Law may revoke an offer of admission or cancel an application at any time for material misrepresentation, including omissions, in an application.

Although the LSAT is not mandatory, every applicant who has taken or will be taking it must disclose the required test information and failure to do so is considered a material misrepresentation.

The Admissions Office conducts random verifications for LSAT scores throughout the admissions process and a systematic verification with respect to candidates who receive an offer of admission. These verifications have, in the past, resulted in revocation of offers of admission.

In order to ensure that all candidates are aware of the requirement to report the date(s) of sitting(s), the online application has been programmed to prompt candidates to submit LSAT information if they indicate that they are applying to another law faculty outside of Quebec, other than the Civil Law program at the University of Ottawa or a French Common Law program (Ottawa or Moncton). The obligation to disclose is applicable to all applicants.

An application to the Faculty of Law at McGill will not be processed unless and until the candidate authorizes the University to, among other things, "verify any information or statement provided as part of my application, realizing that an admission granted based on information in my application or supporting documents that is incorrect or untrue may be revoked at the sole discretion of the University." The Admissions Office has access to the Law School Admission Council database and the ability to verify whether a candidate has or has not registered for an LSAT sitting.


Grades, credits and previous studies

What does the Admissions Committee look for? Are grades the only determining factor?

The Faculty’s admissions policy is to select applicants who are best suited to studying law in McGill’s uniquely comparative, transsystemic, and bilingual environment. Diversity and excellence are essential to our Faculty. Indeed, our Faculty’s excellence is based on its diversity.

While applicants granted admission generally have very strong academic records, the Admissions Committee looks for indicators of intellectual curiosity, community engagement, insight (cultural, economic, political, social and otherwise), leadership skills, ability to work with others, openness to diversity, maturity, ethical sense, judgement, and potential for development through opportunity or adversity, among other criteria.

The Committee conducts its assessment through a holistic evaluation of each applicant's file, including the applicant's academic record, linguistic abilities, personal statement, extracurricular, community or professional activities, and references.

The Admissions Committee seeks to achieve a plural learning community drawn from across Quebec, Canada and beyond, in which there is a wide range of career aspirations, backgrounds and life experiences.

Please see the Admissions Policy page for more.

Does the Faculty recommend particular undergraduate courses?

The Faculty does not recommend any particular program of pre-law studies, a specific undergraduate degree nor a graduate degree. The admissions process has been developed with a view to building a class that represents a diversity of academic disciplines. This being said, in the evaluation of candidacies, the Admissions Committee seeks evidence of courses that develop critical, analytical and reasoning skills, as well as strong reading and writing abilities. A well-rounded, diverse, and challenging course of study will be looked upon favorably.

Does the Faculty consider all undergraduate grades?

CGPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated based on all semesters of undergraduate study, even if you studied for 3 or 4 years and if you have completed the same course more than once.

Due to the various ways in which people were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the different approaches institutions took to assessing academic performance in the Winter 2020 semester (e.g. mandatory or optional pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory), CGPA calculations will not include grades for Winter 2020. The Admissions Committee will still have access to the entire transcript and will be able to see any grades included but will be interpreting them within the Winter 2020 context.

Does the Faculty also consider graduate studies?

Because the learning curve of legal studies is more similar to the learning curve of undergraduate studies, the emphasis in the assessment is on the applicant's undergraduate marks. However, graduate work will also be considered.

Can I transfer credits from my previous studies?

Only Advanced Standing and Transfer students may receive credit for their previous law studies. Courses completed in a certificate in law program will not be credited toward a McGill law degree. While students in the BCL/JD program are permitted to register for up to 6 non-law credits during the course of the program, these credits may not be transferred from their previous university studies.

Can I transfer directly from another undergraduate program to the Law program?

It is only possible to transfer into our Law program if you are already enrolled in a Law program at another Canadian university. See details on the ‘Transfer’ category of applicants on our Eligibility page.

A candidate who is currently studying in a program other than law in a Canadian university must apply as a University candidate and may do so once he or she has completed a minimum of 60 credits. Candidates registered in a law certificate are not eligible to apply under the Transfer category. These candidates must apply in the University, Mature or CEGEP category. See our Eligibility page.


Practical questions

How much reading will I have to do in French and English?

McGill's Faculty of Law has a policy of "passive bilingualism". In order to thrive in the faculty's bilingual environment, students should have substantial reading ability in both English and French, as there will be required readings in both languages. Students may use either language when asking or answering questions in class, writing exams, or when submitting written material. Exams are administered in the language in which a course is taught, but may contain extracts in either English or French. If the Committee has doubts about your language skills, you may be contacted for a language comprehension test.

Please see the ‘Language requirements’ section of the Eligibility page for more

What is the cost of tuition?

Please visit see the McGill's Tuition and other charges page.

How long does it take to complete the law degrees?

At a pace of 15 credits per term, most students complete the program in 3.5 years. It is possible, however, to complete the program in 3 years, either by completing credits during the summer term or taking a higher number of credits during the regular academic year, up to a maximum of 18 credits per term.

Students who pursue a Minor, Major or Honours program or a Joint degree will likely take at least 4 years to complete their degrees. Students must complete the BCL/JD program within five years of initial registration in the program.

What is the schedule like?

Classes are scheduled from Monday to Friday. The majority of the courses require 3 hours of class time per week, and are usually split into two 90-minute blocks. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 13:00 to 14:30 are reserved for student activities and workshops and classes are not normally scheduled during those time periods. There are no evening classes.

Can I study part-time?

The BCL/JD program is a full-time program with courses offered Monday to Friday during the day. Although some courses may finish later, the majority of our courses are held between 8:00 and 19:00. The Faculty does not offer evening classes, correspondence or distance courses, or internet courses. Students attend classes at the Faculty of Law in person, and are expected to be fully active in the Faculty and in the community.

A candidate may seek permission to pursue studies on a part-time basis, either before admission (from the Admissions Committee which will consult the Associate Dean, Academic) or while studying in the Faculty (from the Associate Dean, Academic). The Faculty may grant permission for the duration of studies or for a limited period, provided that the student can demonstrate that full-time study is not possible for any of the following reasons:

  • Pregnancy
  • Health problems, physical disability
  • Responsibility for the primary care of others
  • Serious financial hardship
  • Other exceptional circumstances

Applicants seeking admission to study on a part-time basis must submit a separate letter outlining the reason they need to study part-time. The Admissions Committee evaluates applications for part-time study on the same basis as those for full-time study.

Students granted permission to register on a part-time basis must register for a minimum of nine credits per term, and complete all the requirements of the BCL/JD program within seven academic years.

Candidates seeking admission on a part-time basis must fulfill all the standard entrance requirements of the Faculty of Law.

Can I start the program in the Winter semester?

No. The BCL/JD program begins in September. However, non-degree students may take courses starting in the Winter semester. See the ‘Applicant categories’ page.

I have been accepted, what do I do now?

Congratulations! Please visit the Newly Admitted Students page and feel free to contact the Assistant Dean or the Admissions office if you have any questions. Also, be sure to familiarise yourself with the services that will be available to you as a student. Please see the ‘Student Services’ section of the Beyond the Classroom page.

I have been refused. Can I re-apply?

Yes. We allow refused candidates to re-apply to the program.


Degree designation change from LLB to JD

When will the JD degree designation come into effect?

The Juris Doctor (JD) designation became effective in November 2019.

I recently applied to the BCL/LLB program. Does this change affect my application?

No. The change will have no impact on the Faculty of Law’s admissions policies and procedures. We will process applications for the Fall 2020 semester of the BCL/LLB program as applications for the BCL/JD program, even if supporting documents (e.g. personal statements and extenuating circumstances) make reference to the BCL/LLB designation. No changes to supporting documents already received by the Faculty of Law are required or permitted.

Does this change the academic standing of my law degree?

No. The JD will be a first degree in law, not a graduate degree. The change is strictly to the designation of the degree.

Back to top