Accelerated Bachelor’s/J.D. Program
Dickinson Law recognizes that select Penn State undergraduates are well-prepared to succeed in the J.D. curriculum before entering their final year of undergraduate studies. Dickinson Law’s Accelerated Bachelor’s/J.D. Program—or “3+3” Program—allows Penn State undergraduates to apply to and be enrolled at Dickinson Law prior to the completion of their undergraduate degree, thus completing their undergraduate and graduate programs in a total of six years rather than seven.
Applicants admitted to Dickinson Law through this program can enroll in the J.D. program at Dickinson Law having earned 75 percent of their undergraduate credits. Students enrolled under the Program may, subject to approval by their undergraduate college, apply credits from their J.D. curriculum at Dickinson Law toward their undergraduate requirements for their baccalaureate degree. Penn State students whose undergraduate programs typically require more than four years for completion or who have extensive major requirements in their senior year are welcome to apply; however, their course requirements may require more than six years to complete both degrees.
Interested students should speak with both their Penn State adviser and Dickinson Law’s Registrar as early as possible in their first or second year of undergraduate studies to determine how this program would fit with their academic and professional goals.
To be eligible for this Program, applicants must be enrolled in a full-time Penn State undergraduate program. Penn State students whose undergraduate programs typically require more than four years for completion or who have extensive major requirements in their senior year are welcome to apply; however, their course requirements may require more than six years to complete both degrees.
Prior to matriculation at Dickinson Law, students must develop an Individual Academic Plan (IAP) that allows for successful completion of their undergraduate and J.D. degrees. The IAP must be signed by an undergraduate academic adviser, forwarded to the student’s college records coordinator, and submitted to Dickinson Law’s Registrar.
All applicants must submit an electronic application (“eApp”) through their Law School Admission Council (LSAC) account. The eApp must include a personal statement, a resume, and all required addenda and supporting documents.
All applicants must submit a valid and reliable standardized test score, which must be submitted through the official means of score reporting. Applicants should consult the test administrators for instructions about reporting test scores to Dickinson Law. Dickinson Law will accept the following standardized test scores for Program participants:
LSAT: Please note that LSAT scores must not be more than five years old to be valid. Additionally, applicants applying with an LSAT score must also submit an LSAC writing sample.
GRE: Dickinson Law accepts the GRE as a valid and reliable test for all law school applicants who do not have a valid LSAT score on file. Penn State students applying to Dickinson Law through this Program will be permitted to submit GRE scores no more than five years old to fulfill the valid and reliable law school admission test requirement. GRE test results must be submitted to Dickinson Law through the Educational Testing Service (ETS) by indicating Dickinson Law as a score report recipient our Designated Institution Code of 0545.
ACT or SAT: Applicants may apply without an LSAT or GRE score if they applied for admission to Penn State as an undergraduate with an SAT or ACT score in the 85th percentile or higher; and achieved a ranking in the top 10% of their class or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 at the time of their application to this program. Please be advised that at the time of matriculation at Dickinson Law, the applicant must remain within the top 10% of their class through six semesters of undergraduate academic work or have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 after six semesters of undergraduate academic work as required by ABA Standard 503 (Interpretation 503-3). Accordingly, applicants who are admitted under this subsection but who fail to maintain the requisite undergraduate ranking or GPA requirements after six semesters of undergraduate academic work will lose their eligibility under this provision.
All applicants must submit an LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report that includes transcripts for all undergraduate (at least 60 credits) and graduate coursework completed, including an LSAC-calculated cumulative GPA; at least two letters of recommendation (one of which must be from one of the applicant’s undergraduate instructors at Penn State; and a valid LSAC writing sample if applying with an LSAT score.
Applicants may submit any of the following optional components to bolster their applications: individual academic plan (IAP), specific interest statement describing the applicant's specific interest in Dickinson Law and desire to pursue this program, and a diversity statement, which discusses how the applicant will contribute to Dickinson Law’s diverse and inclusive community.
Tuition, Scholarships, and Financial Aid
Students enrolled at Dickinson Law under this Program will be subject to Dickinson Law tuition from the time they enroll at the Law School through the completion of their J.D. Students will be subject to the same consideration and process for scholarships, grants, and need-based aid as traditional J.D. applicants. Admitted applicants are automatically considered for merit scholarships without additional application.
Post-Admission Requirements for Law School Matriculation
Prior to matriculation, applicants admitted to Dickinson Law through this Program are responsible for developing an IAP with their undergraduate academic adviser in consultation with Dickinson Law’s Registrar. The IAP is designed to ensure that the student will meet graduation requirements for both their bachelor’s and J.D. degrees. The IAP must include the following components:
- Confirmation that the applicant has completed all general education courses required by Penn State for conferral of an undergraduate degree;
- The total number of credits required for the applicant to complete their undergraduate degree;
- The total number of undergraduate credits earned and attempted by the applicant to date;
- The Dickinson Law courses and number of Dickinson Law credits that their undergraduate program will accept toward the student’s undergraduate degree;
- Where applicable, the non-Dickinson Law courses and number of credits the student will need to complete their undergraduate degree beyond the Dickinson Law credits accepted by their undergraduate unit;
- A timeline of when the student will take the non-Dickinson Law courses required to meet the graduation requirements for their undergraduate program;
- Whether the number of undergraduate or graduate courses needed to complete the undergraduate degree will fall within the limits for elective credits accepted by Dickinson Law, or whether the student will need to take additional coursework to complete their undergraduate degree that will not also be counted towards the J.D.; and
- Signature by the student’s undergraduate academic adviser and forwarded to the student’s college records coordinator to verify the veracity of the content of the IAP.
Email our registrar for a fillable IAP form.
Requirements and Expectations While Enrolled at Dickinson Law
- After law school matriculation but no later than 30 days after the first day of law school classes, the student must provide to Dickinson Law an official undergraduate transcript showing the completion of three-fourths or 75 percent of the credits required to earn their undergraduate degree.
- Students must obtain their undergraduate degree by the end of their 2L year absent an extension granted by Dickinson Law’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The Program participant must notify the Dickinson Law Registrar in a timely fashion but no more than 30 days following conferral of the bachelor’s degree.
- Failure to demonstrate in a timely manner that these requirements have been met will result in the withdrawal of the offer of admission or withdrawal from all classes and dismissal from the law school.
- Students who matriculate at Dickinson Law under this Program will be students of Dickinson Law and subject to all the policies, rules, and procedures for students of Dickinson Law (including tuition). Such students will also be afforded all the same services and privileges afforded to regularly enrolled Dickinson Law students.
- Students in this Program may, depending on their IAP, apply some or all course credits earned at Dickinson Law toward the requirements of their undergraduate degree regardless of whether they complete the J.D. degree program at Dickinson Law. In their 1L year, students are required to have special approval from Dickinson Law’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs before enrolling in courses that are not within the prescribed Dickinson Law 1L curriculum.