The 3+3 Program enables highly qualified students to complete both a bachelor’s degree and a graduate law degree (Juris Doctor, or “JD”) in six years, rather than the usual seven. The 3+3 Program is open to Rutgers students across all three of the University’s schools/colleges of Arts and Sciences, in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick. Students participating in this accelerated program complete their first year of law school courses during their fourth undergraduate year. To prepare for this fourth year, they must complete all undergraduate course requirements in General Education and in their chosen major and compile at least 91 credits during their first three years. The 29 credits required during the first year of law school count toward both degrees.
Normally, 3+3 Program students are awarded their bachelor’s degrees at the end of their fourth year and are eligible to participate in the College/School of Arts and Science’s graduation ceremonies at that time. The Juris Doctor is typically awarded after two additional years as a full-time law student on successful completion of the required course credits in the Law School and of all other JD requirements.
For more information about 3+3 programs generally, listen to this podcast.
Advisors and General Guidance
Students pursuing the 3+3 Program have access to thorough advising during their first three undergraduate years to assist them in satisfying college requirements according to this intensive schedule and qualifying for admission to law school. For further information about the 3+3 Program — including the application process, requirements, tuition, and curriculum — please consult the relevant Pre-Law advisor:
- In Camden, Prof. Kirsten Nussbaumer;
- In Newark, Dean Sofia Pinto-Figueroa;
- And in New Brunswick, Prof. Milton Heumann.
There is no prescribed “pre-law” major: students planning careers in law choose majors in such fields as Political Science, History, English, and many others, including such business majors as Accounting and Finance. Regardless of major, applicants to schools of law should present evidence of strong analytical and writing skills. Pre-law advisors often recommend that prospective students complete at least two writing courses beyond basic freshman writing and an advanced level seminar or independent study in their major field of study no later than their junior year. Appropriate pre-law courses may include basic courses in the American constitution or system of government, logic, statistics, and accounting. Proficiency in internet research is assumed.
Application to the Law School
Rutgers undergraduate students seeking to enter the Juris Doctor program directly after the third undergraduate year must demonstrate superior academic ability and maturity. They must meet the following minimum criteria:
- A Rutgers UGPA in at least 36 Rutgers credits at or above the median for recent Rutgers Arts and Sciences applicants applying to law school nationwide (currently a 3.40), AND
- An LSAT score (high score) equal to or above the median LSAT score for recent Rutgers Arts and Sciences applicants applying to law school nationwide (currently a 154).
Students who meet the minimum criteria for consideration will then be considered individually, based on their entire application, and considering a variety of factors to determine whether they have demonstrated the superior ability in academic achievement, maturity, and life experiences, that warrant the conclusion that they will both succeed in law school and also be a positive contributor to the Rutgers Law School community. A personal interview may be required. Students may exhibit this superior ability in several ways, such as:
- An LSAT at or above the 75th percentile nationwide (currently a 158), OR
- A Rutgers undergraduate UGPA at or above the 75th percentile for Rutgers applicants to law school nationwide (currently a 3.70 or above), OR
- Life experiences, background or accomplishments which indicate the ability to overcome challenges and contribute to the dialogue in the law school classroom.
Students applying to the Program must complete the application process required of all applicants to the Law School by March 1 of their third undergraduate year. The Law School will notify applicants of its admissions decisions on a “rolling” basis, but in no event later than March 15, if the student has taken the LSAT no later than the previous December. An effort will also be made to notify students whose files are complete (other than LSAT score) by December 31 no later than the third week of January. The Law School may also be able to consider for the Program applicants who take the LSAT in February of their third year; consult your Pre-Law Advisor to determine the available options.
The Law School will admit students to the 3+3 Program who meet all admissions requirements; failure to achieve the requisite LSAT score will, however, not automatically result in denial of admission to the Law School. Students not admitted to the 3+3 Program may apply again through the traditional route.
Rutgers Law School reserves the right to deny admission to any person who is not deemed of good character and/or has been charged with, arrested for, or convicted of the violation of any law (other than minor traffic violations), dismissed, expelled, suspended or disciplined within Rutgers or elsewhere for academic or any other reason.
Tuition, fees, and financial aid are set based on students’ school of matriculation for each year. For further details, please consult your Pre-Law advisor.
Students should discuss financing options with the Office of Financial Aid as part of their planning process.