The 3+3 Program allows students to earn both their BA from MC and their JD from SJU. ST. JOHNS UNIVERSITY/ COURTESY
By Kelly Kennedy, Social Media Editor
The political science program at Manhattan College has recently partnered with St John’s University School of Law to offer an accelerated law program.
This accelerated program is currently only open to first year political science students and has just become available to students as of 2021.
Adriane Bilous, Ph.D., the assistant director of the center for graduate school & fellowship advisement and the advisor for this program, is excited to announce newer offerings to students.
“We’re really excited to build up our pre-law offerings. We’re excited for students to have access to this law school, which is a very well known, well established law school. I think Manhattan College is small but mighty, and so having these types of relationships are really something that’s exciting for students,” Bilous said.
This program offers students a more accelerated path to a law degree, and gives students a streamlined path to a reputable law school.
Trent Anderson, the associate dean for enrollment and external relations at St. John’s University, explained the logistics of the program and how it will accelerate the law curriculum.
“St. John’s Law and Manhattan College are proud to partner on a 3+3 program that allows Manhattan College students to receive both their bachelors and law degrees in just six years (rather than seven), by completing their fourth undergraduate year as a first year law student. This saves students both time and money and accelerates the start of their legal careers,” Anderson wrote.
According to manhattan.edu, “The 3+3 Program enables political science majors in the School of Liberal Arts at Manhattan College to become first-year law students at St. John’s after completing three-quarters of the total number of credit hours required by Manhattan College and a minimum of 6 semesters for the award of a bachelor’s degree. Following the successful completion of the first year of law school, Manhattan College will award the student the B.A. degree, granting credit for the final year of the bachelor’s degree based on successful completion of the first year of the J.D. After satisfactorily completing the full degree requirements for the Juris Doctor program at St. John’s, the student shall be awarded a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from St. John’s University.”
Bilous further explained the structure of the program to The Quadrangle.
“We’d get their GPA results from the first semester, and when they apply in March, they also have to apply to St. John’s law school. For these students, their fourth year, which would usually be a Manhattan College, would be their first year of law school at St. John’s,” Bilous said.
The program is currently only available to first year students who have declared a political science major and have maintained a 3.5 GPA from their first semester. The deadline for students to apply is March 15.
If a student joins this program and doesn’t get through their first year of law school at St. John’s, they must come back to MC to complete their bachelors’ degree.
“The kicker with this, and why I hope that we develop this program more as we move forward, is that if you don’t get through that first year, none of those credits at St. John’s count and you have to come back and finish here,” said Bilous.
Since the program is relatively new and only available to first year political science students, no students are currently enrolled.
“Hopefully, maybe this spring, we’ll have our first student. I think it’s really hard, as a first year student, to actually know that you want to go on to a specific law school so early in your career. It’s a good school, and I hope to meet one or two students who know right off the bat that that’s where they want to go, which is why I hope as we deepen this relationship that we can start to bring in sophomores,” said Bilous.
The start of this program brings new opportunities for students at Manhattan, and as it expands will offer students a more cost-efficient path to a law degree.
Pamela Chasek, Ph.D., chair of the political science department, explained the financial benefit of enrolling in the program.
“It’s a less expensive path to a law degree. A number of our graduates go to St. John’s anyway. So, it’s a sort of a perfect New York City partnership,” Chasek said.