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Application Timeframe and Requirements

The Admissions Committee encourages candidates for the Juris Doctor program to apply for admission at the earliest possible date after October 1.  Candidates who wish to receive full consideration for scholarship aid are advised to apply for admission no later than February 1.  However, applications for admission may be submitted as late as April 30. 

Applications for admission are reviewed on a “rolling-admissions” basis beginning in early November and continuing through late spring.  Applications generally are reviewed according to the date they are complete with all supporting materials.  Admission to Michigan State University College of Law is granted for the fall term only for both the full-time and part-time programs.  

In order for the MSU Law Admissions Committee to review an application, a candidate must:

  • possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university prior to enrollment;
  • register for and take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and subscribe to the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS) through the Law School Admission Council  (LSAC); 
  • provide an official transcript to LSAC of each undergraduate college attended; 
  • arrange for the College of Law to receive two letters of recommendation written by individuals who are able to offer insightful comments regarding the applicant’s potential for success in law school and/or the applicant’s suitability for the practice of law (letters of recommendation should be submitted through LSAC’s Letter of Recommendation Service);
  • submit an application fee of $60 (if an applicant is unable, for financial reasons, to provide this fee, a request for a fee waiver may be directed to the College of Law Office of  Admissions:  admiss@law.msu.edu);
  • submit a resume of up to two pages; and,
  • submit a personal statement of up to three pages (refer to section below). 

Personal Statement
The personal statement is an important aspect of the application for admission as it provides the Admission Committee with insights regarding the applicant’s background and goals.  The personal statement should not exceed three pages and may address any topic.  For candidates who are unsure of what topics might be addressed in the personal statement, the following list of questions may be instructive: 

  • In what ways have your life experiences prepared you to succeed in law school?
  • What motivates you to pursue a legal education?  What personal or professional goals have you established for yourself?
  • Are there particular reasons you have for applying to Michigan State University College of Law?
  • In what ways have you encountered instances of adversity and how might such experiences contribute to your effectiveness as an attorney?
  • In what ways might you contribute to a better understanding of diversity within the MSU Law student body and to the legal profession?

International Applicants

students in court

The Admissions Committee values the personal and professional experiences that citizens from other countries bring to the study of law. Recent first-year classes at MSU Law include as many as two dozen international students drawn from around the world.

In evaluating an application from a non-U.S. citizen for the JD program, the Admissions Committee relies upon the same holistic approach used for U.S. residents. However, for applicants whose first language is not English and those who have not earned a baccalaureate or graduate degree from a U.S. educational institution, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required.*

An international applicant whose postsecondary work was completed outside of the U.S. is required to use the LSAC JD Credential Assembly Service. By participating in the JD Credential Assembly Service, the applicant's transcripts will be evaluated by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) and MSU Law will be provided a copy of this as part of the Law School Data Assembly Service report. (Questions about the JD Credential Assembly Service can be directed to LSAC at 215.968.1001, or LSACINFO@LSAC.org.)

International students attending Michigan State will need to obtain an I-20 Immigration Form in order to pass through customs. All students seeking F-1 Immigration Forms should contact the Admissions Office soon after finalizing their MSU Law enrollment plans.

Applicants with Disabilities

It is the policy and practice of Michigan State University College of Law to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and state and local requirements regarding students and applicants with disabilities. Under these laws, no qualified individual with a disability will be denied access to or participation in services, programs and activities of Michigan State University College of Law. Students requesting accommodation should contact the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

Dual BA-JD 3+3 Degree Programs

James Madison College at MSU (PDF)

Grand Valley State University (Grand Rapids, MI)

Seidman College of Business (PDF);

Department of Political Science (PDF)

Legal Studies (PDF)


*Applicants must attain a minimum score of 250 on the computer-based TOEFL with minimum scores of 25 in each of the three sections (listening, structure/writing, and reading), at least 100 points on the internet-based TOEFL (IBT) with minimum scores of 25 in each section, or at least 600 points on the paper-based TOEFL with minimum scores of 60 in each section. Scores must be less than four years old. The TOEFL score may be sent to LSAC (LSAC's TOEFL code for the JD Credential Assembly Service is 0058).


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