13 May 2020: Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fall 2020 semester will begin as scheduled and will proceed remotely. We look forward to welcoming our newly admitted BCL/JD students, and we are working to ensure that your start to law school will be enriching, engaging, and fully adapted to a remote context. See also our extensive Faculty FAQ.

Eligibility

Requirements

On this page you will find education and language proficiency requirements as well as applicant categories.

Education requirements

Candidates must have a minimum of two years (60 credits) of university studies, or a diploma of collegial studies (DCS) from a Quebec College of General and Professional Education (CEGEP), at the time of registration. Students with a French Baccalaureate from Quebec (Collèges international Marie de France or Stanislas) are also eligible to apply.

While candidates who have completed 60 credits of university study are eligible to apply to the Faculty of Law, admission to the program is competitive and as such, almost all persons admitted in the “University” category (see below) have completed an undergraduate degree.

Applicants are not eligible to apply directly from a French Baccalaureate program completed outside of Quebec or from high school.

In our holistic file review, there are no cut-offs for GPA, LSAT score and R-score. It is therefore not possible to predict the probability of admission using numerical indices alone. While the numerical aspects of the applicant's file are not in themselves decisive, students offered admission at McGill nonetheless tend to have outstanding academic records in addition to their other qualities.

We provide the following statistics on our incoming class for information purposes only. The tables below do not indicate eligibility requirements.

University and Mature, 2019 incoming class

CGPA Percentile Scale 4.0 Scale
Class Average 85% 3.8
Highest 94% 4.0
Median 86% 3.8
Lowest 74% 3.0

LSAT, 2019 Incoming Class

LSAT Score Percentile
Average LSAT 163 87.8
Highest 180 99.9
Median 163 87.8
Lowest 152 52.1

CEGEP, 2019 Incoming Class

  Cote R
Average Cote R 34.29
Highest Cote R 34.38
Lowest Cote R 33.09

Language requirements

McGill's BCL/JD program is proudly bilingual. Complex substantive texts in French and English are assigned in all first-year courses and in many upper-year courses, regardless of the language of instruction of the course. First-year courses are offered in English and French, while a number of upper-year courses are offered in one language only. Individual language preference for any course cannot always be accommodated due to space limitations. It is therefore possible that upon registration, courses in your preferred language will be full; in which case you will be required to register for the course taught in the other language. Almost all first year students will be registered in at least one class in a French section.

Students may interject in classroom discussions, submit written work, write exams, and may fulfill their Moot Court requirements in whichever of the two languages they prefer, regardless of the language of instruction of the course. While examination questions are set in the language in which the course is given, any examination may contain extensive passages in either French or English.

We call this “passive bilingualism” and to meet this requirement for admission, candidates must demonstrate substantial reading ability in, and aural comprehension of, both English and French at an advanced intermediate level. Passive bilingualism is a minimum, and not a competitive admissions requirement. By this we mean that a candidate who is perfectly bilingual will not be more competitive than a candidate who meets the minimum requirement of passive bilingualism.

To determine whether a candidate meets the requirement of passive bilingualism, we ask you to indicate in your application how you learned both English and French. We also ask you to submit transcripts from any post-secondary English and French language courses you have taken. The Admissions Committee reviews your CV and your references for experiences working or volunteering in an environment that is French or English.

If the Admissions Committee sees that you have some evidence of bilingual proficiency in French and English, but we are not certain that you have the proficiency required for the program, the Admissions Office may contact you for language testing. The Admissions office conducts approximately 150 language tests in every admissions cycle. Language testing is NOT an admissions interview and it should not be considered indicative of a positive or negative assessment of your admissions file.

If the Admissions Committee would like to offer admission to a candidate that has good bilingual proficiency in English and French, but that falls slightly short of our requirements for admission, you may be offered admission that is conditional on the completion of a language course prior to the start of the program. Selection of language courses to fulfill the condition must be approved by the Admissions office.

We offer support to Indigenous candidates in meeting their language proficiency requirements. Please consult the Indigenous Applicants page for more information.  

To get a sense of the level of reading comprehension that is expected of McGill Law students, candidates are encouraged to visit the Supreme Court of Canada's website and to read judgments in English and in French. Candidates intending to proceed to the Bar of Quebec or the Board of Notaries of Quebec should carefully review the Language Requirements for Professions. The Charter of the French Language imposes certain mandatory language requirements on attorneys and notaries who practice in Quebec.

Microsoft Office document icon French language self-assessment questionnaire

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LSAT

For specific information about the Law School Admission Test, please refer to our LSAT page or check the LSAT section of our FAQ.


Admission categories

Please review our admissions categories and corresponding deadlines to ensure that you identify the category in which you must apply. If you have any questions please contact the Admissions Office.

1. University applicants

A university applicant to McGill's Faculty of Law must have completed a minimum of two years of full-time university studies (60 credits), at the time of registration. This category includes applicants who, at time of registration, will have completed more than one year of university studies in addition to a Diploma of Collegial Studies (DCS).

Please note that, while candidates who have completed 60 credits are eligible to apply to the BCL/JD program, the strength of the university applicant pool is such that the Faculty rarely admits candidates who will not have completed an undergraduate degree at the time of registration.

Deadline for submitting application: November 1
Deadline for submitting supporting documents: November 8

2. Mature applicants

A mature applicant is defined as an individual who has interrupted his or her formal education for a minimum of five years. Applicants who qualify as mature must apply in this category. There is no predetermined number of mature candidates admitted in a given year. A mature applicant is normally expected to have completed, at a minimum, a DCS (Diploma of Collegial Studies) from a CEGEP or two years (60 credits) of university studies. Mature applicants who are regarded as potentially admissible following a review of their file may be required to attend an interview.

Deadline for submitting application: November 1
Deadline for submitting supporting documents: November 8

3. CEGEP applicants

Candidates may apply on the basis of a Diploma of Collegial Studies (DCS) from a CEGEP, or a Quebec French Baccalaureate (QFB). This category includes candidates who will have completed up to one year of university studies in addition to the DCS or QFB at the time of registration.

Only candidates completing French Baccalaureate Programs in Quebec at Collèges international Marie de France and Stanislas are eligible to apply. Any French Baccalaureate programs from outside Quebec do not meet the eligibility requirements. Candidates who will have completed a French Baccalaureate or an International Baccalaureate Diploma outside the province of Quebec, must have completed a minimum of two years of full-time university studies (60 credits), at the time of registration, to be eligible to apply to our program.

CEGEP/QFB candidates are not eligible to apply to the joint degree programs.

CEGEP/QFB candidates should read the Entrance Scholarships for future undergraduates page of the McGill Scholarships and Student Aid website as these scholarships must be applied for at the time of application.  

Candidates admitted directly from CEGEP or a Quebec French Baccalaureate, who are interested in practicing in the United States, should be aware that Bar admission requirements in a number of US states requires studies at the university level before studying law.

Cegep/QFB candidates who are regarded as potentially admissible following review of their file are required to attend an interview. Please see the ‘Decisions on applications’ section of the Admissions Process page.

Deadline for submitting application: March 1
Deadline for submitting supporting documents: March 7

4. Advanced-standing applicants

Applicants who hold a law degree from a Canadian or foreign university recognized by McGill must apply for admission to the BCL/JD program under the Advanced Standing category, unless applying under the Comité des équivalences category (see Comité des équivalences, below).

As a general rule, Advanced Standing candidates have completed a law degree which would allow them to sit the Bar exam for the same jurisdiction as the one in which they completed their studies and/or would be admissible to graduate programs in law. Advanced Standing candidates applying from the French educational system must have a license (licence en droit); candidates holding only a DEUG are not eligible.

There are a limited number of places available for Advanced Standing applicants. Applications are evaluated using the same criteria as applications to the first year of the BCL/JD program, with particular attention to performance in law studies.

Successful applicants must complete a minimum of 75 credits at McGill and graduate from the BCL/JD program. In most cases, Advanced Standing students will be required to complete the required private law courses that are taught transsystemically – Property, Contractual Obligations and Extra-Contractual Obligations/Torts – in order to meet McGill’s degree requirements. It is not possible to obtain either the BCL or the JD degree on its own. The Associate Dean, Academic determines equivalences for previous studies.

Deadline for submitting application: November 1
Deadline for submitting supporting documents: January 15

5. Visiting students (non-McGill law degree) - Letters of Permission

Students who have completed two years of studies at another law faculty who wish, for academic or personal reasons, to spend a semester at McGill may be admitted as a Visiting Student. The Faculty endeavours to accommodate qualified students who are in good standing in their own faculties, where student numbers at McGill permit. Courses taken by Visiting Students cannot be credited toward a McGill law degree.

Students from other law faculties who would like to attend McGill as a Visiting Student must apply through the Admissions Office. Their application must include a Letter of Permission from their home university. The Director, Student Life and Learning makes decisions on these applications. Accepted students must arrange their academic program with the Director, Student Life and Learning.

Deadline for submitting application: May 1
Deadline for submitting supporting documents: June 15

6. Exchange students — coming to McGill (non-McGill law degree)

Students registered in a law degree program at a university that has an official exchange agreement with McGill University or with the Faculty of Law may apply as Exchange Students. McGill's exchange partners are listed on McGill University's website. Courses taken by Exchange Students cannot be credited toward a McGill law degree.

Students participating in an exchange must fill out the online application form. There is no application fee for these candidates.

Exchange Students are selected and officially nominated by their home universities. Please note that home university internal application deadlines may vary. McGill considers applicants on an individual basis; the minimum entrance requirement is generally a cumulative B average or its equivalent. Decisions on applications for exchange are made by the Director, Student Life and Learning. Admission decisions on exchange applications are final; there is no reconsideration process.

The Faculty has a limited number of places for Exchange Students, and entrance into courses which have enrolment limits or require the permission of the instructor is not guaranteed.

Fall and full year exchange: Application deadline April 15 and supporting documents deadline May 1
Winter only exchange: Application deadline September 15 and supporting documents document deadline Oct 1

7. Applicants from Comité des équivalences / Chambre des notaires (non-McGill law degree)

The Faculty accepts applications from candidates who hold a law degree from a Canadian or foreign university recognized by McGill and who are seeking to fulfill the requirements of the Comité des équivalences of the Barreau du Québec or of the Chambre des notaires, in order to practice in Quebec. Successful applicants must have the final decision of the Comité des équivalences or the Chambre des notaires in hand at the time of registration.

  • This is a non-degree program: students wishing to obtain the BCL/JD degrees should apply under the Advanced Standing category.
  • The Faculty does not consider candidates applying for the purpose of fulfilling the requirements of the National Committee on Accreditation.
  • Courses taken by Comité des équivalences / Chambre des notaires students cannot be credited toward a McGill law degree.

Deadline for submitting application: May 1 (September entrance), October 1 (January entrance)
Deadline for submitting supporting documents: July 1 (September entrance), December 1 (January entrance)

8. Transfer students

Students who have successfully completed at least one year of full-time studies in an undergraduate program at another Canadian law faculty may apply for admission as a Transfer Student. There are a limited number of places available for Transfer Students. Transfer applications are evaluated according to the criteria for admission to the first year of the BCL/JD program. Particular attention is paid to performance in law studies and reasons for requesting a transfer.

Successful Transfer applicants must complete a minimum of 75 credits at McGill. The Associate Dean, Academic determines credit for previous studies. In most cases, Transfer Students must take the required private law courses that are taught transsystemically – Property, Contractual Obligations and Extra-Contractual Obligations/Torts – in order to meet McGill’s degree requirements. Candidates will not receive credit for courses in property, obligations, contracts or torts taken during a first year completed at another law faculty.

  • Transfer students should forward transcripts of Winter term results as soon as they become available. Transfer applications cannot be evaluated without these results.
  • Candidates registered in a law certificate program are not eligible to apply under the Transfer category. These candidates must apply in the University, Mature or CEGEP category. Courses completed in a certificate in law program cannot be credited toward a McGill law degree.
  • Students who are not in good standing or who have been required to withdraw at the end of their first year at another Canadian law faculty are not eligible to transfer to McGill.
  • The online application is available from September 1 until November 1 for this category, even though the deadline for submitting an application is May 1. To submit a paper application in this category after November 1, please contact the Admissions Office.

Deadline for submitting application: May 1
Deadline for submitting supporting documents: June 15

9. Special students

The Faculty will exceptionally permit a limited number of candidates not actively pursuing a law degree to apply as Special Students. Students registered in other universities and candidates not actively pursuing a university degree, may apply to take certain courses within the Faculty. The Faculty does not consider Special Student applications from candidates seeking to fulfill the requirements of the National Committee on Accreditation.

Special Student status will be granted to applicants who provide compelling academic or professional reasons for taking law courses and who successfully demonstrate the capacity to undertake the requirements of the requested course(s). Status will be granted only where sufficient course space is available.

Special Students are limited to a maximum of 6 credits per term, and to 12 credits in total. Special students will be required to fulfill all course requirements in the courses for which they are registered and will receive a final grade. Courses taken by Special Students will not be credited toward a McGill law degree. Students wishing to obtain a McGill law degree and students recently refused admission to a degree program in the Faculty of Law will not be admitted as Special Students.

McGill students registered in a faculty other than law, who, for exceptional reasons related to their program of study, wish to enrol in a Faculty of Law course, must obtain the permission of the Associate Dean, Academic and the course instructor. Such students need not fill out the online application. The Application to register in law courses for McGill Students form is available on the Law Student Affairs Office website.

Students registered in other Quebec universities who wish to take certain courses within the Faculty must apply through BCI (Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire). Such students need not fill out the online application.

The list of courses offered by the Faculty of Law is available from the Student Affairs Office website under Courses, Registration & Exams.

All mandatory undergraduate courses for the BCL/JD program (see list below) and graduate courses (600 level) are not open to special students:

  • Foundations PUB3 116
  • Constitutional Law PUB2 101
  • Contractual Obligations LAWG 100
  • Extra-Contractual Obligations/Torts LAWG 101
  • Criminal Justice LAWG 102
  • Integration Workshop LAWG 110
  • Legal Ethics and Professionalism LAWG 210
  • Property LAWG 220
  • Judicial Institutions and Civil Procedure PROC 124
  • Business Associations BUS2 365
  • Advocacy PRAC 200

In addition, the following undergraduate complementary courses are not open to special students:

  • Advanced Civil Law Obligations PROC 200
  • Advanced Common Law Obligations PRV3 200

Deadline for submitting application: August 1 (September entrance), December 1 (January entrance)
Deadline for submitting supporting documents: August 8 (September entrance), December 8 (January entrance)

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