The BA/JD Dual-Degree Program, and the Rutgers Law School, enables highly accomplished students to complete both a Bachelor of Arts and a Juris Doctor in six years, rather than the usual seven. Students participating in this accelerated program matriculate in the Law School and complete their first year of law school courses during their fourth year as undergraduates. To prepare for this fourth year, they must complete all undergraduate course requirements in General Education and in their chosen major and compile at least 92 credits during their first three years in Camden. The 28 credits required during the first year of law school count toward both degrees.
Normally, BA/JD students are awarded their bachelor’s degrees at the end of their fourth year and are eligible to participate in the College of Arts and Science’s graduation ceremonies at that time. The Juris Doctor is typically awarded after two additional years as a full-time law student, on successful completion of the required 84 total course credits in the Law School and of all other J.D. requirements.
For more information about BA/JD programs generally, listen to this podcast.
To qualify for admission to the BA/JD program on entering the College of Arts and Sciences, students must meet two standards: first, minimum scores on the Critical Reading and Writing SATs of 600 each or total SAT scores (Critical Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) of 1900; second, a high-school grade point average of 3.75 on a four-point scale. ACT scores may also be submitted for consideration. Students who do not meet these initial criteria may still apply for the BA/JD program as late as September 15 of their second year at Rutgers-Camden, provided that they have a GPA of 3.5 and that space is available.
Admission to the BA/JD program does not guarantee eventual acceptance by the law school, which requires a separate application during the junior year of college. BA/JD students who do not gain admission to the Law School must devote their fourth year to any remaining requirements in the College of Arts and Sciences, including the completion of a total of 120 credits.
Application to the BA/JD program
Students entering Rutgers-Camden from high school may apply to the BA/JD program as soon as they have been admitted to Rutgers-Camden. The final deadline for application is September 15th of the sophomore year.
Prospective participants should schedule an initial consultation with the program’s coordinator, Dr. Timothy Martin.
Application to the Law School
To improve their chance of acceptance, dual-degree students must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) no later than December of their junior year and complete the application process required of all applicants to the Law School by January 15th of their junior year. The Law School will generally admit BA/JD students who achieve a score equal to or exceeding the median LSAT score achieved by students entering the Law School in the preceding year and who meet all other admissions requirements. Students will also be expected to present a minimum GPA of 3.4 or its equivalent at the end of their fifth semester at Rutgers-Camden. The Law School may require a personal interview. Failure to achieve the requisite LSAT score will not automatically result in denial of admission to the Law School.
Participants in the BA/JD program should indicate Camden as their home base or school of residence in their application materials.
Rutgers Law School reserves the right to deny admission to any person who is not deemed of good character and/or has been charged with, arrested for, or convicted of the violation of any law (other than minor traffic violations), dismissed, expelled, suspended or disciplined within Rutgers or elsewhere for academic or any other reason.
During their three years at CCAS, BA/JD students will pay tuition and fees to Rutgers at the undergraduate rate. Starting with the fourth year, when students begin courses in the Law School, students will pay tuition and fees at the Law School rate. Beginning with the fourth year, financial aid will be calculated in accordance with the Law School’s then-current student eligibility policies.
A student holding a CCAS scholarship should note that this scholarship is exclusively for students enrolled as undergraduates on the Camden campus and does not transfer to any program on the New Brunswick or Newark campuses or to any graduate or professional program on the Camden campus, including the Law School. Students are advised that while federal and private loans are available at both the undergraduate and law schools, scholarships and grants must be applied for and shall be awarded separately by each school and shall apply only while the student is enrolled at the respective school.
Students should discuss financing options with the Office of Financial Aid as part of their planning process.
Advisors and General Guidance
Students admitted to the BA/JD program need careful advising so that they can satisfy college requirements according to this intensive schedule and qualify for admission to law school. The pre-law advisor for the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Alan Tarr, serves as the primary point of contact during the first three years; however, students should regularly consult the advisor for their chosen major as well.
There is no prescribed “pre-law” major: students planning careers in law choose majors in such fields as Political Science, History, English, and many others, including such business majors as Accounting and Finance. Regardless of major, applicants to schools of law should present evidence of strong analytical and writing skills. Pre-law advisors often recommend that prospective students complete at least two writing courses beyond basic freshman writing and an advanced level seminar or independent study in their major field of study no later than their junior year. Appropriate pre-law courses may include basic courses in the American constitution or system of government, logic, statistics, and accounting. Proficiency in internet research is assumed.
See the following table for guidance about what courses to take when. Since most dual-degree candidates are also members of the Honors College, the table takes Honors College requirements into account. Other students should seek guidance from an advisor in their major department.
Honors English 101
Honors English 102
Honors course in Heritages and Civilizations.
Honors Seminar #3
Summer before Year 3
Prepare to take the LSAT in summer, but no later than December of your junior year. Avoid the final testing date in December; if you are ill on that date, you will not qualify for the program.
Honors College Junior Project (Fall or Spring):
You should complete your major requirements and the General Education requirements for your undergraduate BA by the end of year 3. By this time, you must have completed at least 92 credits to be able to receive your bachelor’s degree after the first year of law school has been completed.
Honors College Senior Project: fulfilled by the dual-degree program.
Begin law school at Rutgers-Camden (if admitted).
Students complete 28 credits, the standard load during the first year of law school.
Select your course on the American Constitution or American system of government from the following:
790:215 Introduction to American Government
790:401 American Constitutional Development
790:409 Law and American Civilization
790:414 The Supreme Court as a Political Institution
790:442 Human Freedoms and the Constitution
790:447 Critical Issues in American Government