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Accelerated Bachelor's/J.D. Program

Penn State University/Penn State Law Accelerated Bachelor's/J.D. Program

The Accelerated Bachelor’s/J.D. program gives outstanding Penn State undergraduates the opportunity to complete your bachelor’s degree and J.D. in a compressed time frame, helping you fast-track your legal career.

Penn State undergraduates may apply to begin the J.D. program at Penn State Law prior to the completion of their undergraduate degree.

Accelerated Program Info Sessions

Check back for more information.

Application Requirements

An applicant must be an undergraduate student in good standing at Penn State University who has earned at least 60 undergraduate credits. Not all credits must be from Penn State.

Enrollment Requirements

To enroll, applicants must have completed 2/3 or 75% of the total credits required for their undergraduate degree. Students must have completed all undergraduate General Education Requirements prior to beginning law school.

After Admission

After being admitted to Penn State Law, students should meet with their undergraduate academic advisor to establish a plan to complete their undergraduate degree. Students can earn their remaining undergraduate credits in the following ways:

1) Their undergraduate program may accept credits from the 1L year in place of required/elective undergraduate courses;

2) The undergraduate program may accept upper-level JD credits in place of undergraduate courses;

3) Apply up to 12 interdisciplinary credits to both the J.D. and undergraduate degree;

4) Enroll in up to five undergraduate credits during any semester in their 2L or 3L year, as long as they are enrolled in at least 12 credits of law courses and no more than 17 total credit hours;

5) Explore taking a summer undergraduate course on campus, at a Commonwealth Campus, or via World Campus; or

6) Withdraw for a semester to complete undergraduate requirements.


Who is eligible for the accelerated J.D. program?

Penn State undergraduates enrolled full time in any major at any Penn State campus.

Will I complete both degrees in six years?

It depends. The length of time to complete the Accelerated Bachelor’s/J.D. Program will depend on the number of credits required by your undergraduate program and the number of law school credits your undergraduate program will accept. Penn State Law will accept up to 12 credits in graduate or upper-level undergraduate courses in other disciplines. With careful academic planning, you may shorten the time to complete both degrees by as much as one year. 

When do I need to decide whether to apply for the accelerated program?

Interested students should attend an online information session as early as possible in their undergraduate careers. Then, they should talk with their advisor about the following:

  • How many law school credits will my undergraduate program accept?   
  • From which law school courses will my undergraduate program accept credits?
  • If I will have unfinished undergraduate requirements that I cannot substitute with law school classes when I begin law school, how will I complete them?
  • Which required undergraduate courses in my major will Penn State Law accept in the 12 credits that count toward the J.D.?

Is there a special application?

No. You can apply through our regular or J.D. Early Decision applications, following the instructions above. All applicants must apply via our LSAC application, even if they are not submitting an LSAT score.

When should I get my IAP?

If you are admitted to Penn State Law, before law school begins, you will need to submit an Individualized Academic Plan which you will develop with your advisor with assistance from Penn State Law. Your IAP should address the following:

  • the PSL courses and credits your undergraduate program will accept;
  • any non-PSL courses or credits you must successfully complete to meet your undergraduate program degree requirements;
  • which non-PSL courses will be accepted by PSL toward the J.D. degree; and
  • a timeline of when you will take any required non-PSL courses to meet the graduation requirements of your undergraduate program.

You will also need to provide your law school transcripts to your undergraduate program advisor until you have completed all undergraduate requirements and are conferred with your undergraduate degree.

If I am not accepted, can I apply again later?

Yes. Applicants not admitted via the Accelerated Bachelor’s/J.D. Program may re-apply for admission in a subsequent admissions cycle.

Can I get financial assistance for law school?

Yes. Penn State Law’s Blue and White Alumni Grant is offered to all applicants admitted through this program by April 1 of their application year. The Grant provides $20,000 off tuition for each year of J.D. study. All applicants are also automatically considered for additional scholarships which can be stacked with the Grant to reach full tuition.

All scholarships and grants are automatically renewed in full for each year of J.D. study so long as the student is in good standing, which requires a 2.0 cumulative and semester GPA. Renewal is not based on law school class rank. Scholarships and grants are offered for three years. If additional semesters are required to complete undergraduate work or to take on a joint J.D./graduate degree, Penn State Law tuition and funding will apply during the academic years in which the majority of your credits come from the law school.

Can I also do a joint J.D./Master’s if I am in the Accelerated Bachelor’s/J.D. Program?

Possibly. Once you have earned your bachelor’s degree, you can apply for graduate programs at Penn State. The extent to which you may count classes from your graduate program toward your J.D. (thereby shortening the time to complete a J.D. and graduate degree) will depend on how many, if any, of PSL’s elective credits you use to complete your undergraduate degree requirements.

You would have to apply separately for any additional master’s program through The Graduate School.