Want to earn a degree in law faster? St. Thomas University offers a unique program, the 3 + 3 BA/JD program, that allows students to complete their bachelor’s degree requirements and earn their law degree in 6 years instead of the traditional 7. Students spend less time in school and thus are eligible to take the bar exam earlier and enter the legal field a year ahead of their contemporary counterparts with the potential to take advantage of positions in private or public law in a less crowded competitive field. Complementing that is that those who successfully enter the St. Thomas School of Law through the BA/JD program will automatically receive a $5000 scholarship for each year of law school study.
The requirements: applicants must have a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher and a minimum ACT score of 20 or a combined SAT score of 940 in critical reading and math. Students must also maintain a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and have a minimum LSAT score of 150 to enter the law school portion of the program.
How it works: the student takes 90 credits as an undergraduate fulfilling their major and general education requirements with the remaining 30 credits taken during the first year of law study at St. Thomas University School of Law. Upon successfully completing their first year of law study, students are awarded the bachelors degree in their chosen major. In a nutshell, the St. Thomas 3 + 3 BA/JD program combines a quality undergraduate and law school education that is a great path for high-achieving students who are eager to begin their career in law as early as possible.
Most lawyers work for a private practices and corporations. However, many lawyers also work for government and NGOs. Given the skills lawyers have to analyze texts, critically evaluate complex situations, and to communicate, lawyers are often excellent negotiators, mediators and counselors, whether in the public or private sector.
Curriculum (Course Sampling)
There is no set curriculum for the BA/JD 3+3 program. Students should focus on finishing their requirements in their major within the first three years, whether in Political Science, History, English, Economics, Psychology, Criminal Justice or other areas. That said, here is a list of courses that help prepare a student to succeed in law school.
POS 101 Introduction to Political Science
An introduction to the study of government and politics which surveys the discipline, including its scope, the issues involved and a comparison of political behaviors and systems. This course also includes a brief introduction to political theory.
POS 201 Introduction to American Government
A study of the national and state governments of the American Constitutional system. Particular attention will be devoted to Congress, the presidency and the courts.
POS 302 State And Local Government
A study of the government and politics of the state and local governments and their relationships to each other and to the federal government are studied.
POS 3024 (formerly POS 303) Immigration Law Politics
An introductory course covering U.S. immigration law and policy from a political science perspective. Some topics include: the Constitutional powers of the federal government over immigration matters, admission and exclusion of immigrants, human rights of migrant workers and immigrants, international students, immigration reform and political asylum. This course is useful for students interested in law and human rights advocacy. It also may be taken to satisfy a similar requirement for Criminal Justice.
INR 4408 (formerly POS 305) International Human Rights Law
An introductory course covering international human rights law and procedures including global, regional and national institutions to protect human rights. The course traces the development of contemporary concepts of human rights, including issues of universality vs. cultural determinism, whether or not certain categories of rights have priorities over others and the means of creating and enforcing human rights law. Issues such as torture, discrimination, genocide, starvation, human rights of women and children and violation of human rights will also be addressed. This course is useful for students interested in law and human rights advocacy.
POS 3413 (formerly POS 310) The American Presidency
A study of the constitutional framework, historical background, campaigns for the office and developments of all aspects of the office, its relations to Congress and its leadership function in today’s government will be studied.
PAD 3003 (formerly POS 311) Public Administration
A discussion of supervision and management with an emphasis on the differing philosophies and problems confronting public agencies that are primarily service oriented, the role of the public administrator vis-à-vis his/her organization, the public and other government agencies. Some historical perspectives on the bureaucratic model are discussed.
POS 320 Law And Politics
An examination of the functions of the judicial branch in Western-style industrial democracies with special attention being paid to the United States Supreme Court.
CJL 3063 (formerly POS 322) American Constitutional Law
A study of the organization and jurisdiction of the federal courts and the role of the Supreme Court in American society. Emphasis will be placed on contemporary constitutional issues affecting American public law. The landmark decisions will be studied in seminar discussions using the case method.
POS 328 The Legislative Process
An examination of the function of the legislative branch in Western-style industrial democracies with special attention paid to the United States Congress.
AMH 2010 (formerly HIS 201) American History I
A consideration of the development of the United States from its colonial origins to the Civil War with an emphasis on the ideas, institutions, economics, social and political forces that have contributed to this development.
AMH 2020 (formerly HIS 202) American History II
A consideration of the United States from the Civil War to the present with an emphasis on the ideas, institutions, economics, social and political forces that have contributed to this development.
ECO 2013 (formerly ECO 201) Principles of Macroeconomics
A study of aggregate economic behavior including the role of government, monetary and fiscal policy, national income, economic growth, inflation and full employment.
ECO 2023 (formerly ECO 202) Principles of Microeconomics
A study of the economics of the firm including competition, market pricing, scarce resources and international trade.
ENC 303 Multigenre Research And Writing
An in depth study and practice of various forms of primary and secondary research such as text based and library research, interviews, surveys and observations. Students analyze, collect data and present information via various forms of media, print and electronic.
ENG 386 Multicultural America: Present
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A multidisciplinary approach to America’s contributions and crises in such fields as history, literature, art, history, political science, sociology, law, science, economics, business, education and ecology. This course concentrates on the period from 1940 to the present and explores American feelings and experiences of each decade. This course may be also be used to fulfill a major requirement in Sociology.