UCLA School of Law will allow prospective students to submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) with their applications, starting with the entering class of 2019.
The change in policy allows students who have not taken the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) to submit GRE scores in lieu of sitting for the LSAT.
The school's acceptance of GRE scores will offer potential students increased flexibility. It also may encourage students with more diverse backgrounds — including interests in science and technology — to consider careers in the law. The change offers a particular upside to students also considering other graduate programs.
"While we expect that the majority of our applicants in the coming years will continue to sit for the LSAT, we are pleased to join the growing list of law schools that allow for flexibility in which standardized test prospective students can take," UCLA School of Law Dean Jennifer L. Mnookin said. "This step will open doors to prospective students while allowing UCLA Law to maintain its high standards.
"The important question for all law schools is whether our admissions policies lead us to students capable of succeeding at law school and in their professional lives," Mnookin added. "We believe, and the data suggests, that either the LSAT or the GRE can be helpful for that purpose. We will continue to assess candidates holistically, taking into consideration test scores and grade-point averages, as well as factors including writing skills, socio-economic background, letters of recommendation, graduate study, public service and work experience."
The decision, approved by UCLA Law faculty on May 14, expands on a program launched last year in which UCLA Law accepted GRE scores only from those applying to or already enrolled in other graduate programs at UCLA.