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Penn State Law in University Park Expands Admissions to Accept GRE for Joint Degree Seekers

Penn State Law in University Park is now accepting the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for applicants seeking the J.D. in combination with a graduate degree in a different discipline at Penn State.
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UPDATED August 22, 2019: Penn State Law is now accepting the GRE for all J.D. applicants.

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – Penn State Law in University Park is now accepting the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for applicants seeking the J.D. in combination with a graduate degree in a different discipline at Penn State.

While American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited law schools have typically accepted only Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores, many are now accepting GREs. The GRE evaluates qualitative and quantitative skills comprehensively and is broadly accepted by thousands of graduate and professional degree programs.

Penn State Law has established joint degree programs across Penn State including opportunities through the School of International Affairs, Smeal College of Business, the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, the College of Education, the College of Health and Human Development, and the College of the Liberal Arts.

Recently, Penn State Law collaborated with The Graduate School at Penn State to establish a pilot project in which law students can create a personalized joint degree program that allows students to combine a J.D. with the wide range of masters’ programs at Penn State. This combining of substantive and legal knowledge opens up possibilities for students to launch exciting careers that impact the world.

“Our new pilot program to allow for personalized joint degrees combined with accepting the GRE helps our students take full advantage of the interdisciplinary opportunities at Penn State,” said Hari M. Osofsky, dean of Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs. “We are building new partnerships across the University–in energy, technology, health, entrepreneurship, intellectual property, education, public policy, and more–to provide our students with the cross-cutting knowledge needed to be effective in legal practice. This is another step toward reinventing legal education to prepare Penn State Law graduates to lead.”

To be accepted with a GRE score at Penn State Law, students must be seeking the J.D. in combination with a degree in a different discipline and must meet minimum requirements as established by the ABA, which include a GRE score at or above the 85th percentile and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above through six semesters of undergraduate work. Penn State Law will average the scores of all three sections of one GRE to determine whether the 85th percentile threshold has been met.

Affordability and access make the GRE option attractive for prospective students as well, according to Amanda DiPolvere, assistant dean of admissions and financial aid at Penn State Law.

“Students who are interested in joint programs previously may have been required to prepare for, pay for, and take multiple tests, but now can apply to both degrees with one score,” DiPolvere said. “We also want to encourage students from diverse academic backgrounds—STEM, healthcare, public policy, for example—to consider law, and this expansion of our admissions process will help provide that opportunity.”  

Additionally, the GRE is offered via computer almost every day of the year and scores are immediately available to prospective students and schools. While the LSAT is designed specifically for law school admission, it is offered only six times a year (increasing to nine for the fall 2020 admissions cycle), and scores take several weeks to be reported.

For additional details about the GRE opportunity, access FAQs here.

Located on Penn State’s University Park campus, Penn State Law offers all of the resources of a world-class, public research institution while also featuring a student-centered academic environment. With a curriculum taught by renowned legal experts, interdisciplinary study opportunities across Penn State’s largest campus, ample clinical and experiential learning opportunities, exposure to emerging technology, and an individualized approach to Career Services that includes comprehensive mentoring, the Penn State Law J.D. Program is designed to give students the capacity to accomplish their professional goals. Learn more at


Amy Fellin Caputo
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