Accelerated B.A./J.D. Program with Northern Illinois University’s College of Law
The six-year (“3+3”) integrated sequence leads to both the bachelor’s degree from Benedictine University and the J.D. degree from Northern Illinois University (NIU). Students who wish to complete this program must declare themselves to the Registrar’s Office via Change of Academic Plan form signed by the Pre-Law Advisor, as majors who wish to complete the accelerated program. It is strongly recommended that students planning to participate in the program declare early in their academic career during Freshman year to ensure appropriate advising as soon as possible. All undergraduates who have completed at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate course work in the major of their choosing with a minimum GPA of 3.250 are eligible to apply to NIU’s College of Law under the special provisions of this program.
As part of the application to the College of Law at NIU, applicants must take the LSAT and receive a score at or above the 50th percentile of the previous year’s matriculating law class. Applicants are advised to take the LSAT and submit their application to the College of Law at NIU no later than February of their junior year. Admission will be on a competitive basis, and the likelihood of admission will depend on the number and quality of applicants to the program, the number and quality of applicants to the College of Law in general, as well as other factors normally considered in admissions decisions by the College of Law.
By the end of their junior year at Benedictine University, students in the program must complete all the requirements for the bachelor’s degree in their declared undergraduate major as well as all general education requirements (90 credit hours in total at minimum, which can include transfer credit from other undergraduate institutions). Students must complete the minimum of 120 credits between NIU and Benedictine to officially graduate from Benedictine University. Beginning with the first semester of their senior year, students will start taking classes at the College of Law. These courses will count toward the final 30 credits of the undergraduate degree at Benedictine University and will be transferred to Benedictine as LAW 5777 elective credit only. A maximum of 30 credits of LAW 5777 can be counted toward a student’s Benedictine undergraduate degree. Students must apply for graduation through MyBenU during Fall of their senior year at the latest to graduate in Spring of their senior year. Students are encouraged to apply for graduation before they start attending NIU. Participants must request an official transcript be sent from NIU at the end of their first year at NIU Law with at least 30 earned credits to receive credit toward their bachelor’s degree and graduate in Spring of their Benedictine senior year. The final two years of the program will follow the standard NIU College of Law timetable.