3+3 BS/JD Pre-Law Program

RIT is partnering with Syracuse University College of Law to offer an accelerated 3+3 BS/JD option for highly capable and motivated students who wish to fast-track their pathway to law school, maximizing time and financial resources.

Students interested in the following bachelor’s degrees–advertising and public relations, communicationcriminal justice, economics, international and global studies, journalismphilosophy, political science, psychologypublic policy, and sociology and anthropology–may apply to the option directly. Successful applicants are offered admission to RIT into one of these eleven programs and are given conditional acceptance into Syracuse University College of Law.

Typically, a BS degree takes four years to complete and a JD takes an additional three years. This option allows you to finish both in six years by utilizing your first year at Syracuse University as both your final year at RIT, as well as your first year in the law program.

Overview

At RIT, you’ll receive personalized guidance and academic counseling to help prepare you for the rigors of law school. Students in the 3+3 RIT/SUCL program can expect:

  • Personalized Advising–Academic counseling on course selection and planning, including the selection of electives, minors, immersions, and other academic pursuits that will help you develop and strengthen the core skills you need for success in law school.
  • LSAT Preparation–Resources to help you prepare to take the LSAT are available, such as review classes and discounts on commercial LSAT prep courses.
  • Extracurricular Activities–Participation in clubs and student organizations are valuable in honing your skills in leadership and teamwork.
  • EventsA schedule of pre-law events broadens your understanding of the law field, helps you make valuable career connections, and gives you insight into life as a law student.

3+3 BS/JD Timetable

  • When applying to RIT, indicate your interest in Pre-Law on your RIT or Common Application. This ensures your application to be reviewed by RIT Admissions for the 3+3 RIT/SUCL program.
  • If eligible, you will receive an email inviting you to participate. Follow up with Admissions to declare your intent to participate.
  • Work with your academic advisor and the pre-law faculty advisor to select the required courses for your degree program, as well as general education and elective classes that will be beneficial preparation for law school.
  • Begin conversations with your faculty advisor about co-op or internship opportunities that are required or recommended for your program.
  • Begin studying for the LSAT. You may wish to take a LSAT preparation course, or review old copies of the test.
  • Visit Law School Data Assembly Service to learn more about registering for the LSAT. Read the site thoroughly to make sure you understand all phases of the application process.
  • Register for the LSAT and LSDAS.
  • Prepare for and take the LSAT.
  • Complete the required 90 undergraduate credit hours with at least a cumulative 3.25 GPA.
  • By March 1st, complete the Syracuse University College of Law Application, which includes your LSAT scores. As a 3+3 RIT/SUCL student, your application fee is waived.
  • Upon official acceptance, complete all Syracuse University College of Law admissions paperwork.
  • Begin law school. Study hard and perform well in classes.
  • Upon successful completion of your first year at SUCL, have your official transcript sent to RIT’s Office of the Registrar. The credits earned at SUCL will be utilized by RIT as part of your undergraduate degree requirements.
  • At the conclusion of your first year at SUCL (which serves as your final year at RIT), you will earn your bachelor of science degree from RIT. Congratulations!
  • Keep working hard and complete all program requirements at Syracuse University College of Law.
  • Earn your JD degree.

For students who are interested in law school but are not part of the 3+3 RIT/SUCL program, please visit RIT Pre-Law Advising Program for detailed information on pre-law advising and academic counseling services, and view a year-by-year pre-law timetable.

Boost your Academic Preparation

The 3+3 RIT/SUCL program is open to incoming students who intend to major in any of the following at RIT: criminal justice, economics, international and global studies, philosophy, political science, public policy, and sociology and anthropology. We recommend that you select a major that interests you and provides a challenging curriculum that includes the development of skills in problem-solving, critical thinking and analysis, and writing and communication.

In addition to your major, a minor or immersion can enhance your studies and help prepare you for the rigors of law school. Minors and immersions are concentrated areas of study in a particular subject area. Minors consist of five courses while immersions consist of three courses. RIT offers more than 170 minors and immersions to augment your academic studies. While recommended minors and immersions will vary for each individual depending on interests and goals, popular options that aid in development of the skills and aptitudes needed for law school include:

  • Legal Studies–Legal studies explores the relationship of law to other aspects of society and culture, such as politics, social institutions, and the economy. Legal studies is offered as a minor and an immersion.
  • Communication-Develop a foundation in communication theories and research while you enhance your skills in public speaking, persuasion, and writing. Communication is offered as a minor and an immersion.
  • English-Build your awareness of the methods, theories, and technologies for both the creation and analysis of literary texts while you gain skills in critical or creative writing. English is offered as a minor and an immersion.
  • Chemistry- Knowledge of chemistry is fundamental to an understanding of biology, biochemistry, geology and medicine, and areas of astronomy, physics, and engineering. It is especially useful for students who wish to pursue a career in patent law. Chemistry is offered as a minor and an immersion.

View a full list of minors and immersions.

Extracurricular Activities

Getting involved in activities outside the classroom will allow you to connect with other students who share your interest in the law, as well as provides the opportunity to hone the skills necessary to succeed in law school in new and fun ways. While you're encouraged to join a variety of clubs and organizations, several that may be of particular interest include:

  • Pre-Law AssociationThe Pre-Law Association provides opportunities to visit law schools to sit in on a first-year courses, meet admissions representatives to learn more about what they look for in successful law school candidates, and attend LSAT review seminars. This is a great way to meet other pre-law students at RIT, including those who are not part of the 3+3 RIT/SUCL program.
  • Mock Trial Association–RIT’s mock trial team competes in both invitational and regional tournaments sanctioned by the American Mock Trial Association. It offers excellent preparation for students interested in attending law school, providing networking opportunities as well as practice in developing persuasive, cohesive arguments and delivering them in a court-like setting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Potential 3+3 RIT/SUCL students are identified during the RIT admissions process and invited to join the program. The program requires you to complete 90 credit hours and have a cumulative 3.25 GPA at RIT. You are also required to take the LSAT and receive a score equivalent to or greater than the median score for Syracuse University College of Law’s last incoming class. You’ll submit an application (fee waived) to Syracuse College of Law in the spring semester of your third year at RIT to secure your spot at Syracuse University College of Law. As long as you completed these requirements and you maintain good standing at RIT, without any major disciplinary issues on your record, you will be granted admission to Syracuse University College of Law.

The 3+3 RIT/SUCL program is non-binding and allows you to change your mind should you decide you don’t wish to pursue law school. You would simply stay at RIT for your  fourth year to finish your undergraduate degree.

You will receive your undergraduate degree from RIT after successful completion of your first year at Syracuse University College of Law. 

The credits you earn at Syracuse University College of Law will transfer back to RIT and count towards your undergraduate degree program, bringing your total credits earned to at least 120, at which point RIT can award your bachelor’s degree. You will remain at Syracuse for two more years to finish your law program.  

In addition to saving a full year of time and tuition with an accelerated BS/JD, students in the 3+3 RIT/SUCL program will pay RIT undergraduate tuition during their first year at Syracuse University College of Law, and can be eligible for additional scholarships. For your second and third years in the law program, as a 3+3 RIT/SUCL student, you will pay 50 percent of the standard Syracuse University College of Law tuition rate, and are eligible for additional scholarships through Syracuse University.

As a 3+3 RIT/SUCL student, you’ll have a faculty advisor at RIT who holds a JD and is a licensed attorney. The faculty advisor for the 3+3 RIT/SUCL is available to help mentor you through your time at RIT, assist in preparing to take the LSAT, and help prepare you for the rigor of law school.

The LSAT should be taken either in June after your second year at RIT or during the September/October test dates of your third year. For information on the LSAT, visit the Law School Admission Council.

While the 3+3 RIT/SUCL program is designed for students starting their undergraduate studies at RIT in their first year, late entry into the program may be considered on a case-by-case basis. You can contact the RIT pre-law coordinator for more information.

As an alternative, students may join the Pre-Law Advising Program at any time as an undergraduate student. The pre-law coordinator will work with you personally to review the courses you have completed to date and will make course selection recommendations for any areas where you need to gain knowledge or skill development, as well as direct you to resources to help you through the law school application process. While this program allows for more flexibility and the ability to apply to any law programs of your choice, this option does not provide an accelerated course of study nor priority admission to Syracuse University College of Law.