Grades and Courses

How will Western Law assess my application in light of recent COVID-19 issues and changes to grading policies at my university?  
Please visit our COVID-19 Response webpage.

Does Western Law consider all undergraduate study, the best 2 years, or the last 2 years?
We consider all years of study and, as a general rule, applicants with strong cumulative averages will be preferred.  However, we will place greater weight on the last 2 years of full-time (or equivalent) undergraduate study in appropriate circumstances, typically where the cumulative average falls below 3.7. 

How will my GPA for my “Last 2” years be assessed?
We define your last 2 years of university as your last 20 semestered courses for which you were assigned grades.  (One year-long course counts as 2 semestered courses.)  Summer terms are included.  However, courses for which you received a Pass or Credit are not included, and we will not break up semesters. This means that if you did not take 5 courses per semester in your last 4 semesters of university, your “Last 2” may include academic terms that precede your third year of study (depending on your timeline and whether you were full- or part-time).  If you apply to law school in your final year of university, we are likely to include your Fall term in the calculation of your “Last 2” years OR we may defer our final decision until your winter term grades arrive and include your entire fourth year in the “Last 2” calculation.  This is a decision we make based on the strength of your academic record as a whole.

What if I take a fifth year to complete my degree or I take additional undergraduate courses after I graduate?  Will those courses count towards my “Last 2” GPA?
Yes they will.

Is it advantageous to take upper-year courses in third and fourth year or in post-degree work?
Yes. While taking first-year or second-year courses is not prohibited, greater weight is given to upper-year courses.   

Does Western Law consider the grades from a graduate degree program?
While we consider graduate degrees to be a positive factor and we will review grades from Master's or Ph.D. programs, they are not used as part of your OLSAS GPA calculation for admission purposes.

Does Western Law consider grades received on exchange programs abroad?
Yes. Grades earned on exchange will be used in the calculation of your cumulative GPA. As noted in the OLSAS Application Guide, you must request that official transcripts from the exchange insitution to sent to OLSAS. 

Does Western Law consider courses taken during intersession or summer semesters?
Yes we do.

Will Western count the grades from repeated courses?
Yes, we will use the grades of a repeated course in the calculation of your GPA. If the original course grade appears on your official transcript, it will also be used in your GPA calculation. OLSAS converts all your grades. 

Is part-time university study counted?
Yes, but greater weight is given to full-time study with a full course load because it provides the best evidence of how you will handle the rigorous full course load of first-year law school (where seven courses are taken).

What is considered to be a full course load for law admission purposes?
Five courses per semester.

What if I was working heavily to finance my education and had to take a lighter course load?
This would be taken into consideration in the assessment of your application.  If you have worked 30+ hours on a weekly basis during the academic year, you may wish to apply as an Access applicant (please see Applicant Categories for more information).

I have some college courses/a college diploma/a college degree. Do they count?
College courses are not included in your GPA calculation for the purpose of law school admission at Western. Further, Western Law currently does not accept college study as eligible pre-law study for admission. This is in accordance with the requirements for approved law degrees as set out by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (i.e., “post-secondary education at a recognized university or CEGEP”). That said, additional education (including a college diploma or degree) is a positive factor in any application and is considered separately.

What about college courses for which my university granted transfer credit?
College courses for which you received credit towards a university degree, as part of a pathways or bridging program, will be considered as appropriate pre-law study, provided you have at least three years of university study beyond the college transfer credits. If you are in a formal collaborative college/university (2+2) program, a third year of university study is not required.