The 3+3 program allows Dickinson College students to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College and a Juris Doctor from Penn State Dickinson School of Law (DSL) in a six year period.
Once accepted into the program, the student will be matriculated at both institutions during the senior year of 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 Dickinson (the first year of law school), the student will qualify for graduation from Dickinson College with an appropriate baccalaureate degree just as other members of their class.
A student is eligible for the 3+3 if they have completed all academic requirements and physical education blocks for their Dickinson degree, except for the last 25% of the total courses needed. The candidate must complete their 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).
Planning Classes: It is highly recommended that 3+3 candidates work closely with their first year advisor to choose a major early and then make their intention to participate in the 3+3 known to their academic advisor and the pre-law advisor. 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 does not allow for study abroad during the junior year, though summer programs are still possible.
Tuition: Tuition for the senior year/first year of law school is paid to Dickinson. All financial aid will be applicable for this year.
Taking the LSAT: Candidates should prepare to take the LSAT in October or December of their junior year.
Application Process: The application process operates in the same way for 3+3 students as it does to anyone else applying to law school: establish a file (Credential Assembly Service) with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC); submit an official transcript and letters of recommendation; complete the application electronically through LSAC, and attach a personal statement and addenda if needed. A cover letter stating the intent to apply under the auspices of the 3+3 program is also needed. The application should be submitted no later than February 1 of the junior year.
Dickinson Transcript and Degree: Once matriculated at the DSL, students 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 a student decides not to complete the first year of law school, they would return to Dickinson for the completion of the 32 course requirement. Completed law school classes, if applicable, would transfer back to the College as credit without grades.