Early Decision Program

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We invite applicants who have researched their law school options and determined that UC Davis School of Law is their first choice to apply through our binding Early Decision program. The application process is identical to that of the standard JD application, but applicants must apply no later than November 1 (all application materials, including any LSAT or GRE scores, must be received no later than November 15). Please note that by submitting an application, an applicant commits to matriculate at King Hall if admitted through this program.

All applicants under the Early Decision program will receive a decision on or prior to November 30. Applicants may be accepted, denied, placed on the wait list, or held for consideration as part of the general application process. Applications that are held for consideration and offered admission as part of the general application process will not constitute binding commitments to matriculate. All Early Decision applications will be evaluated on the same criteria used for the general admissions process. Admission is highly competitive.

Successful applicants must immediately withdraw applications to all other institutions, decline any open offers of admissions, and make a $500 deposit no later than January 1.

Please see answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Gift Aid

Students admitted under the Early Decision program will be eligible for need-based (grants) and merit-based (scholarships) gift aid on the same timeline as those admitted under the regular decision process. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (or California Dream Act application) no later than March 2 of the year in which admission is sought to receive consideration for the maximum amount of gift aid. The application becomes available around October 1 each year. (For more information about applying for aid, visit https://law.ucdavis.edu/admissions/financial-aid/prospective/applying-for-aid.) Although some admitted students may receive gift aid notifications before January, the majority of admitted students will not receive gift aid information until early February. For those who submit the FAFSA or Dream Act application, this notification will include information about need-based and merit-based gift aid.

Select Scholars

In addition to the same need- and merit-based gift aid available to all applicants, we are pleased to offer four $60,000, three-year scholarships ($20,000 per year) exclusively to students applying through the Early Decision program. All Early Decision applicants will receive consideration for these awards; no separate application is necessary. Recipients will receive notification of their selection prior to the January 1 deposit deadline.

UC Select Scholar

The UC Select Scholar will be chosen from early decision applicants who earned their bachelor’s degree from an undergraduate institution within the University of California system—UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, or UC Santa Cruz. The UC Select Scholar should exemplify the University of California’s mission to teach, complete cutting edge research, and provide public service to all Californians.  Applicants’ involvement in their undergraduate institution, as well as their academic credentials, will be considered.

Innovation and Science Scholar

At the School of Law, our research engages the many dimensions of technoscientific innovation, from those that make it possible to those that constrain it. The Innovation and Science Scholar award will be granted to a student who received a degree in one of the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, and who plans to pursue a career at the intersection of law and science.

Spirit of Service Scholar

As part of the School of Law's commitment to service and using the legal profession to preserve the dignity of all individuals, both at home and abroad, one student will receive the Spirit of Service scholarship. The recipient should demonstrate passion for achieving social and political justice for all the world’s citizens. Applicants’ demonstrated commitment to public interest and community involvement, as well as their leadership skills and potential for academic and professional achievement, will be considered.

Environmental Leadership Scholar

Our proximity to the state capital, as well as the exceptional work done in the California Environmental Law and Policy Center, make the School of Law a leader in environmental practice. The Environmental Leadership Scholar will be chosen from early decision applicants who have a background in environmental science and a passion to help translate environmental scholarship and academic initiatives into effective and timely public policy.