The 3+3 Accelerated Law Program offers undergraduate students at any of six institutions – Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More University, Mount St. Joseph University, University of the Cumberlands, Campbellsville University and Union College – the opportunity to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor degree in six years, instead of the typical seven years. Students spend the first three years of undergraduate study at their undergraduate college and attend NKU Chase College of Law for the next three years, counting their first year at Chase toward completion of both a bachelor’s degree awarded by their undergraduate institution and the first year of law school credits.
Students enrolled at other partner institutions (non-NKU students) should consult with their undergraduate advisers to create the best academic plan for the 3+3 Program as undergraduate credit requirements can vary among institutions. Advising information for NKU students is listed below.
Disclaimer: Students interested in practicing law outside of Kentucky and Ohio should contact the state bar association or the National Conference of Bar Examiners to determine if completion of the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program will satisfy the requirements needed to sit for the bar exam in the student’s preferred jurisdiction.
To be eligible for the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program, NKU students must demonstrate that by the end of the junior year (or its equivalent) that they have completed:
Can I choose any major and graduate in 6 years with a bachelor’s degree and a J.D.?
Although any major is acceptable to law schools, in the case of NKU undergraduates considering the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program, majors that require 55 credit hours or fewer are best suited for the program.
How does the “math” work for NKU undergraduates for scheduling purposes?
120 total credit-hours needed for Bachelor’s degree; MINUS
30 credit-hours from the 1L curriculum (which would serve as the “area of focus”); EQUALS
90 credit-hours (left that a student would need to complete before entering Chase); MINUS 37 credit-hours for the NKU General Education requirements; EQUALS
53 credit-hours to be applied to the student’s undergraduate major (most majors have fewer than fifty-five required credit-hours) and electives.
NKU Honors Students:
If the student is attempting to graduate as a University Honors Scholar, he or she must satisfy all Honors Program requirements by the time of enrollment in the first year of law school, or that certain first-year law courses will count toward satisfying the Honors Program’s requirements.
A student in the Honors Program will do the following to meet the 21 credit-hours of required courses:
1. Take Honors 101 (fall of first year) (3 credits)
2. Take two honors General Education courses (6 credits)
3. Take one 300-level seminar (3 credits)
4. Complete a six credit-hour capstone course (6 credits)
5. Complete BLS-Writing (3 credits)
***Students with Advanced Placement credits and/or NKU Student Scholar credits will have more flexibility to satisfy the NKU requirements.
Who should I contact for advising?
Contact NKU's Arts and Sciences Advising Center at 859-572-5494 or COASAdvising@nku.edu.
If the student satisfies the academic requirements, he or she can apply for admission to NKU Chase under the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program prior to completion of the student’s junior year (or its equivalent).
Students interested in the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program are encouraged to apply no later than March 15 of the junior year (or its equivalent).
Both at the time of application to the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program and at the end of the student’s junior year, a typical candidate for this program will have earned an undergraduate GPA of at least the median undergraduate GPA earned by the previous year’s entering class. Additionally, that candidate will have earned an LSAT score of at least the median LSAT score earned by the previous year’s entering class. NKU will evaluate the candidate’s highest LSAT score.
NKU Chase reserves the right to withhold admission from students who have been subjected to academic or disciplinary actions by NKU, other educational or testing institutions, or governmental or administrative agencies (including any branch of the armed forces), or who have been charged with a crime other than a minor traffic violation.
3+3 students receive a bachelor’s degree upon the successful completion of the first year law school curriculum (2.000 law GPA or above). The J.D. will be awarded after the third year of law school. Courses taken at NKU Chase will not be used to calculate undergraduate GPA.
What happens if after three years of undergraduate study, I don’t get into NKU Chase College of Law?
Students who unsuccessfully apply for admission to NKU Chase under the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program are eligible to reapply in their senior year, and they will not be prejudiced by the fact that their earlier application was unsuccessful.
What happens if I don’t complete the six year 3+3 Accelerated Law Program?
An NKU undergraduate student who leaves NKU Chase for academic or other reasons before completion of the first-year law school curriculum may complete his or her undergraduate degree at NKU as if he or she had taken a leave of absence.