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Gregory J. Shaffer, Esq.
Coordinator of Pre-Law Advising
prelawadvisor@umd.edu
(301) 405-2793
Hornbake Library, Rm 0110

Three Year Arts/Law Degree Program

The University of Maryland has cooperative agreements with the University of Baltimore School of Law and University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law that allows students in any recognized major and who meet certain qualifications to apply to law school BEFORE OBTAINING A BACCALAUREATE DEGREE.

The Three Year Arts/Law Degree Program is for students with exceptional records who are accepted to the aforementioned law school following their third year of baccalaureate level course work. Upon satisfactory completion of the first year in law school, students will be awarded their baccalaureate degree in "Arts/Law" from the University of Maryland.

Students applying to the Arts/Law Program will remain in a regular College Park major until formal notification from a law school is received that the student has been accepted. Upon submission of a copy of the student's letter of acceptance from the law school to the Pre-Law Advisor, the student's records will be transferred to the Division of Letters of Sciences, thereby allowing the student to participate in the program.

Students must inform the Pre-Law Advisor and their major department in writing of their intention to participate in this program prior to applying to either the University of Baltimore School of Law or the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Receipt of notification from their major department must be sent to the Pre-Law Advisor.


QUALIFICATIONS

Qualifications which must be completed BEFORE the beginning of the first semester of law school are:

  1. At least 90 credits (30 of which must be earned at College Park).
  2. All university general education requirements.
  3. 18 credits in one department applicable to a recognized major with at least 6 of those credits at the 300/400 level.
  4. A minimum grade of "C" achieved in major courses.

 

Students who fulfill the above requirements may apply directly to either the University of Baltimore School of Law or the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. The optimal time for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is either June following the students' sophomore year or October during the students' junior year. Application to the respective law school is then made in fall of the junior year.

If accepted by the law school, the student begins law school without an undergraduate degree. Upon successful completion of the first year of law school, the student must provide an official transcript of the first year of law school. Official transcripts should be sent both to the Registrar's Office and the Pre-Law Advisor. Students should contact the Diploma office in early spring semester of the first year of law school to apply for their undergraduate degree. The credits earned during the first year of law school are treated as if they had been earned at the University of Maryland. Only grades of "C" or better will be transferred from the law school as credit towards the baccalaureate degree. Grades of C- or below will not count as credit towards the baccalaureate degree. When the total number of credits reaches at least 120, the student will be issued a baccalaureate degree certifying completion of the "Arts/Law" program. Admission to the program is not guaranteed, as the admission decision is within the discretion of the law schools. Students considering this program should contact the Law and Health Professions Advising Office for more information.


WHEN CONSIDERING THE ARTS/LAW PROGRAM, REMEMBER:

  1. Students who are admitted to the Arts/Law program, upon successful completion of the first year of law school, will receive their baccalaureate degree in "Arts/Law" and not in any particular major. Accordingly, students should consider the program in light of their academic and professional interests.
  2. The Arts/Law program offered at the University of Maryland is only available to students enrolled at the College Park campus. Students enrolled at all other campuses, including the University of Maryland, University College, are not eligible to apply or participate in the Arts/Law program at the College Park campus.
  3. The decision regarding eligibility to apply to the Arts/Law program is within the discretion of the Pre-Law Advisor. The decision regarding admission to the law school is within the discretion of the individual law school and is contingent upon several factors, including a strong LSAT performance, a competitive cumulative undergraduate grade point average, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and co-curricular activities.
  4. Students who are denied admission to the Arts/Law program are still eligible to apply as traditional law school applicants the following year.
  5. While not completing a major under the Arts/Law program, students must make progress towards a degree-granting major in order to participate in the program. Therefore, it is important that students identify a major early in the course of study at Maryland, especially if they to do not ultimately enroll in law school under the Arts/Law program.