Dickinson College & Penn State Dickinson School of Law 3+3 Program
Joint Baccalaureate and Law Degree
The 3+3 program allows Dickinson College students to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College and a Juris Doctorate from Penn State Dickinson School of Law (DSL) in a 6 year period.
Once accepted into this program, you will be matriculated at both institutions for the senior year at Dickinson College and the first year of law school, and be subject to the rules and regulations of both institutions for academic and social policy. Upon satisfactory completion of the fourth year at DSL (the first year of law school), you will qualify for graduation from Dickinson College with an appropriate baccalaureate degree just as other members of your class.
You are eligible for 3+3 if you have completed all academic requirements and physical education blocks for your Dickinson College degree except for the last 25% of the total courses needed for your undergraduate degree. To be eligible, you must complete your junior year with a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or better (as long as this score represents the top 10-15% of the class) and have an LSAT score in the top 30% of all national scores available by the fall administration of the test (a score of approximately 156 on a scale of 120-180).
The Dickinson School of Law has also agreed to consider other Dickinson College students for early matriculation upon the recommendation of the President of the College.
Planning Your Classes
It is highly recommended that you work closely with your first year adviser to choose a major early and then make your intention to participate in 3+3 known to your adviser. Organizing a schedule to complete all the required courses for both the College and the major can be a challenging task. Majors which require a large number of courses, or courses that are offered infrequently, may be difficult to incorporate into the three-year program. Double majors will be nearly impossible to accomplish. The 3+3 program doesn’t allow you to study abroad during your junior year, though summer programs are still viable options. You will pay Dickinson College tuition for your senior year/first year law school. All financial aid will be applicable for this year.
Taking the LSAT
You should prepare to take the LSAT in October or December of your junior year, but no later than February of the junior year. If you take the LSAT early – October or December - you will have a chance to retake it in February, if necessary.
You apply in the same way other students apply to law school: establish a file (Credential Assembly Service) with the Law School Admission Council; submit your official transcript and letters of recommendation; complete the application electronically through LSAC , and attach a personal statement and addenda if needed. You will also need to submit a cover letter that states your intent to apply under the auspices of the 3+3 program.
You should submit your application no later than February 1 of your junior year.
Dickinson Transcript and Degree
Once you matriculate at the DSL, you are still considered to be a Dickinson College student, but will also be subject to all rules for students at the DSL.
On the Dickinson transcript, DSL coursework is summarized as to the amount of credit and name of the program (3+3). Grades will count as “transfer” grades without affecting the GPA at the college. The Law School would maintain its own transcript where all course details and numerical grades would be recorded.
Decision Not to Complete First Year of Law School
If you decide to not complete the first year of law school, you would return to Dickinson College for the completion of the 32 course requirement. Completed law school classes, if applicable, will transfer back to the College as credit without grades.
Timeline and Checklist for Students Planning on the 3+3 Program
FIRST AND SOPHOMORE YEARS
___ Meet with your faculty adviser and discuss your intention to participate in 3+3. Select a major as early as possible, and organize a schedule to complete all the required courses for both the College and the major.
___ Meet with the pre-law adviser in the Career Center to review the application process.
___ Take courses that enhance your skills in writing, research and analytical thinking such as:
ECON 100 ENGL 214 LAWP 248 PHIL 120 POSC 220
ECON 111 HIST 117 LAWP 255 PHIL 121 POSC 221
ENGL 212 HIST 118 PHIL 112 POSC 120 POSC 246
___ Write a resume and keep it up-to-date.
___ Join the Mock Trial Team.
___ Plan to complete an internship during your sophomore year or during the summer between your sophomore and junior years.
SUMMER AFTER SOPHOMORE YEAR
___ Study for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Consider taking an LSAT prep class. Options include the LSAT Intensive Review course http://www.prepmaster.com/ and Kaplan LSAT prep class www.kaplan.com.
___ Register for the October LSAT, keeping in mind that sites fill quickly. Take the exam no later than December of junior year.
FALL SEMESTER, JUNIOR YEAR
___ Early in the fall, meet with the registrar, to obtain a degree audit check. Ensure that you meet departmental and College requirements for graduation the following year.
___ Establish a Credential Assembly Service file early in the fall. This can be done online at the Law School Admission Council website (link), using a credit card.
___ Ask faculty to write letters of recommendation and have them submit them to your file with the Credential Assembly Service
___ Take the LSAT in October of your junior year, and no later than December.
___ Write your personal statement that is required as part of your application to law school.
___ Apply to PSU Dickinson School of Law by Thanksgiving if possible, but no later than February 1.
SPRING SEMESTER, JUNIOR YEAR
If accepted to PSU-Dickinson School of Law:
___ Register for classes at Dickinson College for the following fall, when you will enter law school. In the Center for Global Study and Engagement, register for off–campus programs by March 1st. You do not pay the fee associated with study abroad.
___ Meet with the pre-law adviser in the Career Center to request that a letter of confirmation be sent to the Director of Admissions at the PSU-Dickinson School of Law. Bring your letter of acceptance to DSL to the meeting.
___ Arrange for housing, keeping in mind that you are guaranteed housing on the Dickinson campus, but that your priorities may be different than those of your undergraduate roommates. You should contact the Office of Campus Life with your housing preference no later than spring break.
SUMMER AFTER JUNIOR YEAR
___ Pay your tuition in July for your senior year of college/first year of law school to Dickinson College. Do not pay the law school, even if you are billed; payment will be issued to PSU-DSL by Dickinson College.
AFTER COMPLETING YOUR FIRST SEMESTER AT LAW SCHOOL
___ When you get your fall semester grades from PSU-DSL the following January, request that an official transcript be sent – from University Park – to the registrar’s office at Dickinson College.
___ At the end of your first year, arrange for your final official transcript be sent to the Dickinson College Registrar’s Office, so that you can graduate with the senior class. Grades for first-year law students aren’t issued until late June, so make arrangements with the PSU-DSL Registrar early in the spring to obtain other written confirmation that you successfully completed your first year at law school.