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Admissions Process for International Students

Applicants with Undergraduate Degrees Earned Outside the U.S. (J.D. Program)

The University of Houston Law Center requires foreign educated applicants to the JD program to submit their foreign transcripts through the Law School Admissions Council Credential Assembly Service (“CAS”).  This service is included in the LSDAS subscription fee.  If you completed any post-secondary work outside the U.S. (including its territories) or Canada, you must use this service for the evaluation of your foreign transcripts.  A Foreign Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (“AACRAO”), which will be incorporated into your LSDAS report.

The Law Center accepts both the TOEFL and IELTS exams.  TOEFL and IELTS scores should also be submitted to the CAS by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).  Your score will be included in your CAS law school report.

LSAC’s TOEFL code for the CAS is 8395.  The Law Center requires a score of 600 on the paper-based exam, or 100 on the Internet-based test. 

LSAC has also arranged with IELTS to receive scores electronically. LSAC only accepts scores submitted electronically by the IELTS test center. No paper Test Report Forms will be accepted. An institutional code is NOT required. Please contact the test center directly where you took the IELTS test and request that your test scores be sent electronically using the IELTS system.  The Law Center requires a score of 7.0 or higher on the IELTS exam.

The TOEFL or IELTS exam is only required of applicants who obtained their law degree from a country where English is NOT the official language.  If you earned your degree from a university where the courses are taught in English, we do not require the TOEFL or IELTS. 

To use the CAS, log into your LSAC online account and follow the instructions for registering for the service.  Be sure to print out a Transcript Request Form for each institution and send it promptly to them.  More time is usually required to receive foreign transcripts.  Questions about the CAS should be directed to LSAC at 215.968.1001, or LSACINFO@LSAC.ORG.

Any student who is not a U.S. citizen and holds a temporary visa (F-1 or J-1) is classified as an international student by the UH Law Center.  In addition to meeting standard admissions requirements, these applicants must submit the following:

  • Students who have earned their degree from a non-English speaking country are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam.  For the TOEFL exam, you must submit an official report of a score of 600 or higher on the paper-based TOEFL exam or 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL exam.  For the IELTS, you must submit an official report of a score of 7.0 or higher.
  • Non-U.S. citizens must include a copy of immigration documents (such as a current U.S. visa or permanent resident card) when submitting the application, if applicable.

Applicants with a foreign law degree may petition for credit toward their J.D. after they have completed the first-year curriculum. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs has the sole discretion to credit up to 30 semester hours.

Applicants who are neither U.S. citizens, nor permanent residents are designated as international applicants, as are applicants (including U.S. citizens) who have been educated outside the United States. Upon accepting an offer of admission, international applicants must pay a $75 fee to the Office of International Admissions (“OIA”) for student visa processing and foreign degree posting.

The J.D. Program

The J.D. program is a 90 hour curriculum culminating in the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. Students at UHLC have two options for pursuing their degree: full-time program or Part-Time Evening Program. The full-time program is designed for students who plan to devote nearly all of their time to the study of law while the Part-Time Evening Program is designed for students who plan to work during law school. Part-Time Evening Program students are limited to 10 credits per semester and students who take classes on a part-time basis will graduate in four years. Applicants must designate in their application which program they are applying to. Both programs begin in the fall semester, and spring/summer admission is not offered. Note that as a part-time student you will complete your first year in the evening following a required schedule (http://www.law.uh.edu/academic/jd.asp). Part time students are able to take all remaining required courses (Professional Responsibility, Upper Level Writing Requirement, and the Practice Skills Requirement) in the evening. Beyond required classes, starting in Fall 2013 part-time students will have greater flexibility with respect to when they take their classes and what classes they take after their first year. Now, after the first year, students may take classes day or night. Also note that there are a number of upper division courses that most students take and that we consider to be “core” courses. All of these courses are taught at least once a year during the day, with sufficient seating for all students to enroll. To assist our part-time students in planning their education, the administration provides a time line for when these upper division courses will also be offered in the evening. This schedule (available here: http://www.law.uh.edu/student/ScheduleofCoreCoursesOfferedintheEvening.pdf) runs through Spring 2019.

Full-time Program Part-Time Evening Program
Generally three years to complete degree Generally four years to complete degree
15 hours per semester 6-10 hours per semester
Employment is limited to no more than 20 hours per week while enrolled full-time. No limit on employment while enrolled part-time.

Eligibility

To be eligible for admission to the J.D. program, all applicants must:

Application Deadlines

 
Application Receipt Deadline*
CAS Receipt Deadline
FULL TIME
Early Decision
November 15
December 15
Regular Decision
February 15
March 15
PART TIME
Early Decision
November 15
December 15
Regular Decision
May 15
June 15

Starting with the 2018 application cycle, the application will be available starting September 1st. 

We recommend that applicants to the full-time program take the LSAT no later than the January administration. However, full-time applicants who take the March or later LSAT will be considered on a space-available basis.

Applicants to the Part-Time Evening Program are encouraged to take the LSAT no later than the March administration. However, June LSAT scores will be considered on a space-available basis.
Applicants who require a student visa must take the LSAT by the November administration. Applicants must take the LSAT no later than September to receive early decision consideration. Early decision is non-binding.

Any application received after the regular decision deadline will be considered at the end of the process on a space-available basis.

Application Requirements

Your application to the UH Law Center must include the following items, which should be submitted electronically:

  • Completed application form;
  • The application fee has been waived for all applicants (incoming 1Ls and transfer or visiting applicants) who apply using the online application.  You do not need a fee waiver code; your fee will be waived automatically at check out. 
  • Personal Statement (no longer than 3 pages, double-spaced);
  • Resume
  • Immigration Documents (for international applicants requiring a student visa).

Your application file must also include a complete CAS report which must include:

  • Recent LSAT score;
  • Transcripts for all colleges and universities attended;
  • At least 2 letters of recommendation (but not more than 3)

Please note that no application will be reviewed without the CAS report. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that his/her CAS report is complete; your CAS report will not become complete until you have a valid LSAT score, transcripts from all undergraduate institutions, and two letters of recommendation. You may review your CAS report status by accessing your LSAC online account.

University of Houston Undergraduate Students – Effective Fall 2021

Pursuant to ABA Standard 503 and Interpretation 503-3, the University of Houston Law Center may admit up to 10% of its J.D. class from undergraduate students matriculated at the University of Houston main campus without an applicant LSAT score provided that (1) the student has scored at or above the 85th percentile on the ACT or SAT and (2) the student has ranked in the top 10% of the undergraduate class or achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above through six semesters of academic work.

Admissions Criteria

Qualifications for J.D. enrollment are based upon factors relevant to the legal profession and to enrolling a diverse student body with a variety of perspectives, experiences, and viewpoints that will enhance the educational experience of all students.  Demonstrated academic ability as demonstrated by undergraduate grade point average and LSAT scores are important criteria for admission. However, it is university policy, consistent with Texas statutes, that no single criterion can be utilized as the sole determiner of admission status, nor can fixed weights be applied to any one criterion during the admission process; therefore, the personal statement, letters of recommendation, resume, and optional statements are extremely important in the decision-making process. All files receive a full-file review, and consideration is given to many factors. Additional factors include, without limitation, the applicant's background; race and ethnicity; honors and achievements; service to others; communication skills; talents relevant to the practice of law; hardships overcome; advanced degrees; work experience; leadership; and other relevant factors.

Law School 101

The following presentation provides basic information on preparing for law school, what it means to be a lawyer, and the application process. 

Click here to view the presentation

Immunization Requirements

Texas law requires all students under the age of 22 to be immunized against bacterial meningitis (SB 62). Entering students will need to provide a certificate signed by a health care provider, or an official immunization record, verifying that the student has been vaccinated against bacterial meningitis or has received a booster during the 5 years prior to registration. Please check your shot records to ensure you are in compliance with this new law.  The University has placed a hold on your student account that prevents registration for classes until this requirement is met. 

For additional information, including a list of frequently asked questions, please visit http://www.uh.edu/academics/courses-enrollment/policies/immunization/.


Interviews

The UHLC does not offer interviews or evaluative meetings with members of the Admissions Committee at the request of the applicant and or/prospective applicant. Applicants who have concerns that they wish to bring to the attention of the Admissions Office should address those concerns in a written addendum to their application. The addendum may be in the form of a memo or letter, should be addressed to the Admissions Office, and sent by email to lawadmissions@uh.edu