The 3+3 program allows Dickinson students to earn a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson 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 matriculate at DSL during the "senior year" of college and the first year of law school. Upon satisfactory completion of the fourth year at Dickinson (the first year of law school), the student will qualify for graduation from Dickinson with an appropriate baccalaureate degree just as other members of their class.
Students are 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. Candidates must complete their junior year with a cumulative grade point average of DSL's most recently reported median GPA (currently a 3.43) and have an LSAT score at or above DSL's most recently reported median LSAT (currently 159).
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 that require a large number of courses, or courses that are offered infrequently, may be difficult to incorporate into the three-year program. Double majors make the goal 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 DSL.
Taking the LSAT: Candidates should prepare to take the LSAT in the fall 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: 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. DSL will maintain its own transcript, recording all course details and numerical grades.
Decision not to complete the first year of law school: If a student decides not to complete the first year of law school, the student 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.