NCCU Law School and STEM Programs Offer Joint Degrees

Through the efforts of Dean Phyliss Craig-Taylor, Dean Carlton E. Wilson and professors Tonya M. Gerald, Gail P. Hollowell, Brenda Reddix-Smalls and Todd J. Clark, North Carolina Central University School of Law and the University’s Department of Biological and Biomedical Science and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have diligently collaborated to create a “3-3 Program.” Students admitted to this program will have an opportunity to complete their undergraduate and law school degrees in six (6) years instead of the traditional seven (7) years of study. While the opportunity that we have created is open to all undergraduate majors at NCCU, the primary purpose of the collaboration is to increase the number of STEM students in the practice law.

Undergraduate STEM students have a unique breath of knowledge, experience and the credentials necessary to take the patent bar exam. Once licensed, these students will have an opportunity to practice as patent attorneys in an area where there is substantial opportunity and little diversity. Before any student may matriculate to the law school, the student must complete all necessary undergraduate requirements within three years. More specifically, the student must complete the major requirements and the necessary general education courses for graduation. Upon completion of these requirements, the student will begin study at the law school and the student’s first year of law school will count as the student’s final year of college. Completion of the first year of law school serves to complete the student’s remaining elective courses. Upon completing the first year of law school, NCCU will award the student with the baccalaureate degree.

We have created a highly innovative and supportive program that is designed to enable students accepted into the 3-3 Program to succeed in law school, on the bar exam as well as in the practice of law. To date, no 3-3 program in the country offers the same level of comprehensive development prior to matriculation to the law school experience. In fact, most schools do not accept students until after the student’s junior year in college and as a result, fail to provide any resources to prepare the students prior to beginning the law school experience. To gain acceptance into the program, students must:

  • Satisfy any requirements of the member intuition prior to matriculation to the law school.
  • Students are encouraged to submit an application of interest to the law school in sufficient time to allow the student to obtain the advising necessary to complete the member intuition’s requirements in three years.
  • Submit an application for admission to the law school in October of the student’s junior year. Students accepted into the program will be notified in December of the student’s junior year to ensure that any requirements and/or additional conditions can be satisfied during the Spring semester of the student’s junior year.
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of a 3.3; however, student’s from a STEM major may gain acceptance into the program with a 3.0 GPA unless the admissions committee determines that the student possess an exceptional record of academic success that justifies admission with a lower GPA.
  • Earn a LSAT score of 150 unless the admissions committee determines that the student possess an exceptional record of academic success that justifies admission with a lower score.
  • Successfully complete one or more of the following options as determined by the law school in consultation with the student’s undergraduate advisor: (1) Introduction to the First Year Law School Experience and/or (2) The Basics of Legal Writing
  • Successfully complete the law school’s Early Start Program the summer preceding the student’s enrollment at the law school year. The Early Start Program is designed to provide 3-3 Students with the tools they will need to be successful during law school, on the bar exam and beyond. Specifically, the Early Start Program extends the law school’s first-year curriculum of instruction to include a five-week period at the end of the summer. Through this extension, it is our hope that we will be able to: 1) address any incoming academic deficiencies; and 2) create additional time for students to acquire the foundational skills necessary for the study of law.


Published: Monday, July 18, 2016
Article by: Todd J. Clark, 06/09/2016