Because Cornell Law’s J.S.D. program is writing-intensive, all applicants must have exemplary English skills.
International applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
The TOEFL and IELTS tests are offered frequently throughout the world. We accept both the internet-based (iBT) TOEFL and IELTS tests. You must request that the Educational Testing Service send your official TOEFL score report(s) to LSAC using the institution code number 8395. You must request that your official IELTS score report(s) be sent to the LSAC Credential Assembly Service for electronic download using the IELTS system.
Applicants should plan to take either test prior to February. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid only if dated within two years of the program’s application deadline.
The English language proficiency requirement may be waived if the applicant meets at least one of these criteria:
- is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, or a citizen of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada (except Quebec).
- at the time you enroll at Cornell, you will have studied in full-time status for at least two academic years within the last five years in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, or with English language instruction in Canada or South Africa. Even if English was the language of instruction at your school, if you did not study in one of these countries you are not exempt from the requirement. You must submit a transcript that shows you attended college in one of the approved locations, and that your academic program was at least two years in length.
If you meet the criteria, you may request a waiver by uploading an addendum to your online application with the appropriate documentation. Waiver requests are reviewed with complete applications only.
Note: If you are a current Cornell Law LL.M. student, you do not need to submit additional proof of your English proficiency.