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Accelerated Bachelor's/J.D. Program

Why would I pursue an accelerated J.D. program?

In addition to getting the law school admissions process started early, students who complete this program can save time and money by making a careful academic plan that may shorten the time to complete both degrees by up to a year.

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?

All interested students are encouraged to work with the Penn State Law admissions team and their academic program advisors as early as possible to discuss a possible plan for the accelerated program. Points of discussion should include:

  • 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 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?

Yes! 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.