Southwestern Law School and California State University, Northridge (CSUN) have established a joint, accelerated multiple-degree program through which students can earn both their Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees in six years, rather than the usual seven.
Students participating in the 3+3 B.A./J.D. Program will have their first year of law school count as the fourth year of their undergraduate education.
Selection Process/Application Requirements
CSUN accepts applications for the 3+3 program at two different times for two different groups of students:
Category 1 : High School Applicants
Students who are in their senior year of high school and who will be first-time freshmen at CSUN. Students in this category must meet the following criteria:
- You must have already been admitted to CSUN;
- You must have a 3.0 cumulative high school GPA as of February of your senior year (in other words, your cumulative GPA calculation must include the first semester of your senior year);
- You must have a minimum ACT score of 25 or a minimum combined SAT (Math section + Verbal section) score of 1050; and
- You must be planning to major in one of the majors that is compatible with the program (for more information, see the section below titled “B.A. Requirements”).
If you meet these criteria, you can apply beginning March 1 of your senior year in high school. Applications are due no later than May 1. Download the application (.pdf).
Mail your completed application to: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Office of the Dean, Attn: Dr. Bruce Zucker, Maildrop: 8256, California State University Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8256.
Category 2: CSUN Applicants
Students who are already enrolled as first-time freshmen at CSUN. Students in this category must meet the following criteria:
- You must have completed one full semester at CSUN;
- Your cumulative GPA after that semester at CSUN must be a 3.0;
- You must have completed a minimum of 15 units at the end of your first semester as a first-time freshmen (either by taking 15 units in your first semester at CSUN or by having a total of 15 units from fall semester at CSUN + any AP credits that count for GE or major requirements); and
- You must be majoring in one of the majors that is compatible with the program (for more information, see the section below titled “B.A. Requirements”).
If you meet these criteria, you can apply beginning January 20 of your second semester at CSUN. Applications are due no later than March 1. Download the application (.pdf). Once you have completed the application you may drop it off in the Dean’s Office of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences in Sierra Hall, Room 401, Maildrop: 8256, Attn: Dr. Bruce Zucker.
PLEASE NOTE: Case-by-case admissions decisions will be made for a third category of students: those who are rising or first semester sophomores at CSUN. To be eligible for consideration, students in this category must have completed at least 30 units that count towards their GE requirements or their major requirements by the beginning of their first semester, sophomore year, and they must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
STUDENTS WHO TRANSFER TO CSUN AFTER THE FIRST SEMESTER OF THEIR SOPHOMORE YEAR ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THIS PROGRAM. PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL DR. ZUCKER ASKING FOR EXCEPTIONS TO THIS POLICY.
For most majors at CSUN, the typical number of total units needed to graduate is 120. This is broken down into three components: (1) the number of GE units; (2) the number of units required in the major; and (3) “additional units.” In order to complete successfully the 3+3 program, students must complete all requirements in categories (1) and (2) (GE units + units in the major) in the first three years at CSUN. As a practical matter, this means that the student must complete a minimum of 90 units (GE units + units in the major) during the first three years. (30 units from the first year of law school at Southwestern will apply to both degrees, so that the student will have earned a total of the 120 units required for graduation from CSUN).
However, majors at CSUN vary as to how many units are in category (2), units required in the major. Because of this, some majors are not compatible with the 3+3 program because it is not possible to complete both the GE units and the units required in that major in three years (the equivalent of 90 total units in these two categories combined). Other majors are within 3-6 units of being able to be completed, and for those majors, accommodations will have to be made by the department. In those cases, the Faculty Lead will work with you, and with the advisor and department chair for majors that fall into this category to ensure that you can complete the units required in three years. In order to help all 3+3 students achieve the required units in compatible majors, students who have been admitted into the 3+3 program will get priority registration as long as they are still actively in the program.
Please reference the following list for detailed information on which majors ARE compatible, or the majors that are compatible with a few accommodations by the department: View list of compatible majors (.pdf). For ease of reference, please note: the majors that are not compatible with the 3+3 include any majors within the College of Business and Economics and majors in the STEM fields (math, science and engineering). If you have a dilemma between choosing a major that is not compatible and choosing to participate in the 3+3 program, we advise that you first and foremost should choose the major that you are most interested in and passionate about. You should only sacrifice your preferred major for the 3+3 Program if you are certain that pursuing the 3+3 Program is the path that you want to prioritize.
Although it is strongly recommended that 3+3 students take the LSAT in fall or winter of their junior year at CSUN, they must sit for the LSAT exam no later than February of their junior year. However, they should be aware that delaying the LSAT until February may decrease their chances of receiving scholarship money (see the section below for information about scholarships). The LSAT is offered four times a year (February, June, late September/early October, and December), and is administered by the Law School Admission Council. More information can be found at the LSAC website.
Two tiers of students will be admitted to Southwestern from the CSUN 3 + 3 program. Tier 1 will comprise students who are admitted to Southwestern with scholarship money. Students in Tier 1 will be eligible for any of our entering student scholarships, renewable tuition scholarship that range from smaller monetary awards to full-tuition scholarships, non-renewable 1st year only scholarships, and/or book scholarships. If the student receives a renewable scholarship and maintains the minimum scholarship renewal GPA at Southwestern, the scholarship will be renewed for future years. Tier 2 will comprise students who are admitted to Southwestern, but are not eligible for scholarship money. These students would typically be on the lower end of the minimum entering credential scores of a 150 LSAT and 3.0 GPA.
CSUN students may also be eligible after their first year, as with other Southwestern students, for a Dean’s Merit Award. Dean's Merit Awards provide partial tuition scholarships to upper division students who have demonstrated academic excellence by being in the top 30% of their class. These Dean’s Merit Awards may not be “stacked” on existing scholarships, but can provide students who perform exceptionally additional funding in their upper-division years.
The First Year at Southwestern
- CSUN will award the baccalaureate degree to students after successful completion of the first year at Southwestern, or by the end of December following the first year of law school for students enrolled in Southwestern's part-time program.
- Tuition and fees for the first year will reflect Southwestern's current rates.
- Students must remain in good standing throughout their first year of law school and complete the first year with a minimum "C+" cumulative GPA, in addition to complying with Southwestern's policies and procedures.
After you review the information above carefully, feel free to contact the Faculty Lead, Dr. Bruce Zucker, at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have further questions.