Law is a professional degree program and is not offered as an undergraduate major. Students applying to Iowa may declare a pre-law designation on their application to receive specialized advising and preparatory course work as undergraduates. This designation means that you eventually intend to apply to a law school.

Why Iowa?

The University of Iowa College of Law has a reputation for excellence. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the college among the top 10 public law schools.

When students enter the College of Law, they become part of a proud history. The College, founded in 1865, is the oldest law school in continuous operation west of the Mississippi River. 

The college offers a broad and diverse curriculum with particular strengths in public law, international and comparative law, intellectual property, and corporate law. Iowa's emphasis on legal writing throughout all three years of study is recognized nationally. 

Students gain a solid foundation for a lifetime of professional growth, including a thorough familiarity with legal principles and the operation of legal institutions, fundamental lawyers’ skills (particularly writing), and an appreciation of the role of law and lawyers in society.

The college cultivates student participation in the learning process and creates regular opportunities for individuals and small groups to engage challenging teachers genuinely interested in each student’s professional development.

A wide array of opportunities provides experiential learning: moot court competitions, our Clinical Law Program where students take the lead in real cases, or writing for one of the school's four student-run scholarly journals. Our externship program provides a wide range of placements while you're still in law school and our students have worked in U.S. District Courts, legal aid centers, federal public defenders' offices, and non-governmental organizations around the world. You also may add distinction to your resume by participating in study-abroad or exchange programs. 

Admission Requirements

Before beginning law school, you must complete all of the requirements for your undergraduate degree. Review our Areas of Study to see the admission requirements associated with your undergraduate degree program.

If you declare a pre-law designation as an Iowa undergraduate student, you will work with a pre-law adviser at the Academic Advising Center to plan your course work.

Admission to the College of Law is competitive, and fulfilling the basic admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Multiple admission criteria are used to determine which applicants’ admission will best advance the College of Law’s mission. Your undergraduate academic record and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) performance are two important criteria.

In the College of Law's most recent entering class, the median Grade Point Average (GPA) was 3.61 and the median LSAT score was 161.

The college recognizes that GPA and test scores may not provide a complete assessment of an applicant’s ability to succeed at studying law, so the admission committee also considers factors such as special academic or professional abilities, extracurricular activities, public service commitment, and leadership roles.

3+3 Program

The UI College of Law's 3+3 Program allows undergraduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to earn their bachelor's and law degrees in six years, saving a year of tuition and other costs.

Students apply to the UI law school at the start of their junior year and, if they are accepted, begin attending law school during what would have been their senior year. The credits earned during the first year of law school also will apply to their undergraduate degree.

Learn more about the 3+3 Program, or contact the College of Law Admissions Office (319-335-9095).


Preprofessional program(s)
Preparatory Course Work for JD Program Applicants
  Competitive Admission
to the JD program
Careers and Outcomes

College of Law graduates build meaningful and significant lives by integrating rigorous legal training with rich professional and civic engagement. The college works with each student who is seeking employment. Each year more than 92 percent of law graduates are employed 10 months after graduation, and bar exam passage rates exceed national averages. 

Employers view Iowa Law students and alumni as high-quality, hard-working, and engaged employees. Each year, more than 100 employers recruit students through on-campus and consortium-based interview programs.

In addition, students create successful paths in judicial clerkships, government, public service, and business by networking with alumni and pursuing meaningful work during their first and second summers in law school.

Our alumni can be found in the halls of Congress, on Indian reservations, and in classrooms, courtrooms, and boardrooms in every state in the nation and in countries around the world. They are state and federal judges, appointed officials, elected leaders, law professors, law deans, and university presidents. As corporate counsel, they advise business leaders, and as chief executive officers they run businesses.

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500 student organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100 study abroad programs and multiple undergraduate research opportunities


The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships. 


The College of Law considers applicants with any undergraduate major. There is no single undergraduate major that best prepares students for entry into law school. You are encouraged to choose an area of study that genuinely interests and challenges you and to pursue opportunities that will help you to strengthen your research and writing skills. Taking a broad range of difficult courses from demanding instructors is excellent preparation for law school. 

The first year of the Iowa Law program offers the personal connection and attention you need to develop a strong intellectual foundation for legal thinking and writing.

In your second and third years, you can focus on areas of law that most interest you, drawing from a rich menu of mainstream, specialized, and clinical courses. 

You'll also get intensive, individualized instruction from our legal writing faculty. Iowa is one of the few law schools in the nation with a full-time faculty dedicated solely to your growth as a legal writer.

We boast a low student-to-faculty ratio and our professors take pride in having an open-door policy and in modeling the kind of highly collaborative, rigorously professional behavior that prepares you to serve as counselor to your clients.

Review the College of Law in the UI General Catalog to learn more about the JD degree and for details on admission to the College of Law.