3+3 Program Trims Time to Law Degree

A new agreement with Stetson University College of Law shortens the path for qualified USF undergraduates.


Attending the signing at USF are Stetson Law Dean Christopher Pietruszkiewicz; Stetson President Wendy Libby; USF President Judy Genshaft; Stetson Provost Beth Paul; and USF Provost Ralph Wilcox. Photo: Aimee Blodgett | USF News

By Kevin Burke

Special to USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (April 17, 2013) — Aspiring attorneys can reduce the time they spend earning a law degree through a new “3+3” program offered by the University of South Florida and Stetson University College of Law.


Students seeking a JD degree typically complete a four-year undergraduate program followed by three years of law school. The new 3+3 accelerated path lets qualified students earn both their bachelor’s and JD degrees within six years, three each at USF and Stetson Law, by allowing the first year of full-time course work in the JD program at Stetson to also serve as the final year of study at USF.


“Through our agreement with the USF Honors College, students can graduate with an undergraduate degree and a law degree in six years, save a year of tuition, and attend the top ranked advocacy program in the country — a program that blends foundational law with the legal skills necessary to succeed in today’s marketplace,” said Stetson Law Dean Christopher Pietruszkiewicz. “Together, Stetson and USF will help to create not only the next generation of lawyers but also the next generation of leaders.”


The 3+3 program also provides partial financial support for students once they begin at Stetson. Another important element calls for each student admitted to the College of Law to be paired with a student, graduate, and/or faculty member mentor.


“The partnership between the University of South Florida and Stetson University College of Law is a great opportunity for highly-motivated and focused students to achieve their goals. Our brightest students are eager to take on the challenges of advanced degrees, and we are confident the excellent undergraduate education they received at USF will prepare them for the rigors of Stetson’s exceptional program. These talented students will move more quickly through their education — incurring less debt — and be on their way to reaching their goals,” said USF President Judy Genshaft.


To participate, interested students should be enrolled in USF’s Honors College, which will initially screen candidates to determine whether they meet the basic eligibility requirements to apply to the Stetson College of Law under the 3+3 Program.


They also must:

·         declare their intent to apply for the 3+3 Program on or before September 1 of the year prior to their expected matriculation date

·         complete at least 89 credits in an undergraduate curriculum (at least 45 at USF) before advancing to the College of Law

·         complete all general education requirements and all other requirements for the student’s major

·         earn a minimum score on the LSAT at the 75th percentile of the most recent class to enter the College of Law

·         receive the written recommendation of the dean of the USF Honors College

·         apply to the College of Law for admission into the full-time JD program and comply with its general admissions policies


Stetson’s College of Law will then decide whether to admit students into the JD program, contingent upon their participation in the college’s academic success workshop during the first year.


After a student accepted into the 3+3 program enrolls in the College of Law and completes 31 credits in the full-time JD Program, USF will accept those credits as the student’s remaining undergraduate elective credits and award the student a bachelor’s degree. Upon completion of the program of study at Stetson, the student also will receive a JD awarded by the College of Law.


Kevin Burke can be reached at 813-974-0192.