How to Apply

Juris Doctor

Visit the tabs below to learn about the application requirements for the Juris Doctor program. See the links at left for application instructions for other KU Law degree programs.

The application is available electronically through the LSAC. Once you have met the Admission Requirements, you must submit:

  • The completed and electronically signed application for admission.
  • Two letters of recommendation. If you graduated from college within the past three years, at least one letter should come from a college professor. If you graduated more than three years ago, it is acceptable to provide letters from professional colleagues. We will accept up to three letters. Your letters of recommendation must be submitted through the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). The letters of recommendation service is included in your CAS registration subscription. 
  • A personal statement. Your personal statement is your opportunity to share with the Admissions Committee your significant personal, social or academic experiences that demonstrate why you are interested in attending law school and what qualities you will bring to our campus. Please attach a two- to three-page, double-spaced statement reflecting your interest in seeking a J.D. and in joining our community.
  • Resume. Please attach a resume to your application that includes all of your relevant education, work experience, volunteer activities, honors, scholarships, awards and other activities that reflect your background and experience.
  • Supplemental KU Law application for international students (for preparing your I-20)
  • The $55 non-refundable application fee. The application fee should be paid online through your account. Get information about fee waivers.
  • Official transcripts of all collegiate, graduate and professional study must be sent directly to the CAS.
  • Character & Fitness. All candidates must establish their character and fitness to serve as an officer of the court upon graduation. The application includes six detailed questions that request full disclosure of any character and fitness issues you may have. These can include juvenile offenses. Most offenses are not considered to be the kind to deny someone admission to the bar. However, full disclosure is essential for someone seeking admission to any of the state bars, and a failure to disclose can result in non-admission. Also, candidates with any character and fitness issues must include the charge filed against him or her, the adjudication and a short description of events.

Optional Statements

Optional Kansas Statement

In a separate attachment, please briefly share with us any personal interest or connection to Kansas, the University of Kansas, or the University of Kansas School of Law.

Optional Diversity Statement

The University of Kansas School of Law seeks to build a diverse student body reflective of our community and our nation. In a separate attachment, please share with us your life experiences or personal characteristics that would add to the diversity of the student population and enrich the academic and cultural experience.

Optional Addendum

Please share with us any relevant information about your academic record or personal history that you did not address in your personal statement. This is your chance to provide context for anything that might cause you concern in your application.

Decisions & Deadlines

KU Law makes its admissions decisions on a modified rolling basis with the goal of making decisions in as timely a manner as possible. Prior to the application priority deadline, we try to review applications and provide decisions in the order the applications are received.

Decision Timeline

The Admissions Committee begins reviewing applications in mid-November with the first decisions being released in mid-December. If your application is completed prior to December 15, you should receive a decision by January 31. After that period, we try to deliver decisions within 4 to 6 weeks of your application being completed. In sum, the earlier you complete your application, the sooner you will receive your answer.

Please note that the Admissions Committee selects some applications for an additional level of review. In these instances, please allow extra time for the Committee to make its decision.

Scholarship Decisions

At KU Law, we make our merit-based scholarship decisions at the same time we make our admissions decisions. You will be notified of any award at the time of your admissions decision.

  • Application Priority Deadline: April 1

For applications completed prior to the priority application deadline, the Admissions Committee makes every effort to review each application on an equal basis. After the deadline, admissions decisions are made to the extent that there is still space available in the incoming class.

Taking a Future LSAT/Retaking the LSAT

You may submit your application prior to taking the LSAT exam. If you are taking the LSAT for a second time, you should indicate this on your application. If after you have already submitted your application, you decide to take the LSAT a second time, please notify the Admissions Office and we will update your file.

If you have notified us that you plan on taking a future LSAT, and then decide not to take the LSAT, you must notify us in a timely manner.

Admission Requirements & Committee

Applicants are required to:

  • hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university prior to entering law school.
  • have taken the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
  • register with the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) Credential Assembly Service (CAS).

The Admissions Committee consists of admissions staff and faculty members who select students with the school's primary mission in mind: "to prepare students to be outstanding members of the legal profession, well-educated in the law, with a commitment to professional achievement and public service." There are no infallible measurements or predictors of academic success or legal ability.

The Admissions Committee reviews all materials requested in the application process. The committee seeks to admit a highly qualified and diverse class, one that consists of persons who, individually and collectively, show great promise of contributing to and succeeding in the complex business of studying and practicing law.

Admission decisions are based on a variety of criteria that suggest such promise, including undergraduate course work and grades; LSAT scores; employment; professional or volunteer experience; leadership in school or civic activities; unique qualities and achievements; diversity of background and experience; and demonstrated ability to overcome financial or other disadvantages. The committee also considers the applicant’s interest in or connections to Kansas or the University of Kansas.

Tuition & Fees

For the fall and spring semester of the 2017-18 academic year, tuition is $727 per credit hour for Kansas residents and $1,269 per credit hour for nonresidents. All law students pay a required campus fee of $916 per year.

These fees entitle the student to course instruction, dispensary care for ordinary illnesses and special medical care at nominal rates, the use of the Kansas Union, a copy of the University Daily Kansan and other newspapers, and admission at reduced prices to most campus events, such as concerts, plays, films, lectures and athletic events.

Total fees and tuition for the 2017-18 academic year for a first-year Kansas resident are $21,999 and $37,717 for a first-year nonresident.

Financial Aid Fact Sheet 2017-18

Estimated Annual Expenses Kansas Resident Non-Resident
Tuition per credit hour
(29 hours in first year)
$727 $1,269
Fees per year $916 $916
Total for Tuition/Fees $21,999 $37,717
Room and Board $9,164 $9,164
Personal Expenses $2,408 $2,408
Transportation $2,624 $2,624
Books $1,340 $1,340
Total* $37,535 $53,253

The priority application deadline for scholarship consideration is Feb. 15. To be considered for need-based scholarships, grants and loans, you must complete the FAFSA.

*Costs for room and board, personal expenses, transportation and books are estimates determined by the KU Office of Student Financial Aid.

Cost Comparison

KU Law has a commitment to keep tuition affordable for all of its students. A comparison to other peer schools of first-year tuition rates demonstrates our affordability:

Resident Tuition
Notre Dame $54,297
Washington University (St. Louis) $53,496
Denver $44,863
Creighton $38,688
Colorado $31,852
Iowa $24,930
Kansas $21,617
Missouri $20,918
Washburn $20,880
Oklahoma $19,973
UMKC $18,646
Non-Resident Tuition
Notre Dame $54,297
Washington University (St. Louis) $53,496
Denver $44,863
Iowa $43,214
Creighton $38,688
Missouri $38,672
Colorado $38,638
Kansas $36,958
UMKC $35,455
Washburn $32,625
Oklahoma $30,398

(All data 2016-2017)


The state of Kansas sets a high bar for non-residents to qualify for residency for tuition purposes. Extensive information about the standards is available on the Kansas Board of Regents website. Essentially, if you have not been a Kansas resident prior to law school, you will be considered to have moved here for education purposes and thus not able to enjoy residency status. There are a few notable exceptions under which you may qualify:

  • If you have been a resident of Kansas for 12 of the preceding 60 months;
  • If you or your spouse has been recruited or transferred to Kansas by a Kansas employer;
  • If you are a member of or a veteran of the military;
  • If you are a registered member of a federally recognized Native American tribe or nation.

If you are not eligible for Kansas resident tuition rates, you may become eligible by proving your intent to stay in Kansas indefinitely by purchasing property in Kansas, marrying a Kansan, accepting a permanent offer of employment, etc. Note that these are not automatic qualifiers and are simply examples of circumstances that have led to a grant of residency status.

If you are unsure about your status, you may apply for a residency determination through the University of Kansas Office of the University Registrar. This can be done prior to enrollment.

Applicants to the Juris Doctor program are required to pay an application fee of $55. Applicants may pay by credit card via the LSAC online application. In some instances, KU Law will grant a fee waiver to qualified applicants. These instances are listed below.

Visit KU in Lawrence

We love visitors, and we encourage everyone to come visit. Join one of our students for a tour of our building, or attend one of our open house events and we will provide you with a fee waiver.

Military Members & Veterans

Current or former members of the U.S. Armed Services, including members of the National Guard and Reserves, are encouraged to apply to KU Law. In appreciation for their service to our country, KU Law will waive the application fee. To receive your fee waiver, please send an e-mail to detailing your U.S. military experience.

Teach for America / Peace Corps

Current or former participants in Teach for America or Peace Corps are encouraged to apply to KU Law. In appreciation for their service, KU Law will waive the application fee. To receive your fee waiver, please send an e-mail to detailing your Teach for America or Peace Corps experience. If you participated in a similar program, you may also request a fee waiver.

LSAC Need-Based Fee Waiver Grantees

Candidates can apply to LSAC for need-based fee waivers. KU Law will grant a fee waiver to any candidate who qualifies for the LSAC waiver. For more information, visit

Merit-Based Fee Waivers

KU Law relies on the LSAC Candidate Referral Service (CRS) to identify candidates with credentials meriting a fee waiver. To qualify for a merit-based fee waiver, you must have taken the LSAT exam and submitted your required transcripts to CRS. You must also be applying for the coming fall term.

Ask Your Pre-Law Advisor

Every year we provide a limited number of fee waivers to university and college pre-law advisors. If your pre-law advisor does not have a KU Law fee waiver, have them contact the Office of Admissions at for a fee waiver.

Note: The fee waiver is a code similar to a website coupon code. To avoid paying the application fee, you must receive your fee waiver code before submitting your application. Please be advised we cannot award a fee waiver once the fee has been paid.


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