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The franchise has given contradictory information regarding this. Episodes such as "The Invasion of Time" and the webcast "Death Comes to Time" (webcast) indicated that Gallifreyans had to attend an academy in order to become Time Lords. In "A Good Man Goes to War", Time Lords are said to be a species with their own DNA, thereby meaning you were born a Time Lord and Gallifreyans became Time Lords through billions of years of exposure to the "untempered schism."