Pre-Law Scholars Program

The Pre-Law Scholars program is an accelerated program that provides a select group of students with conditional admission to Marquette University Law School. The Pre-Law Scholars program allows students to reduce from seven years to six years the total time needed to complete the bachelor’s and law degrees. Pre-Law Scholars enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business Administration, or the College of Communication and choose from a variety of approved majors while completing the required undergraduate portion of their studies in three years. They are awarded a bachelor’s degree upon successful completion of the first year in Law School. Students may be eligible to be awarded the bachelor’s degree earlier if they complete the minimum course and credit requirements for undergraduate graduation prior to this time.

Direct Freshman Admission to the Pre-Law Scholar's Program

The Pre-Law Scholars Selection Committee, comprised of members of the undergraduate colleges and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, give primary consideration to high school students who have followed a rigorous college preparatory curriculum and who have demonstrated a potential for success by fulfilling the criteria below:

High school class rank (if available): Upper 10 percent

Test Scores: SAT combined score of 1260 or ACT composite score of 28

This application process coincides with the university's other scholarship competition deadlines, which generally fall on or shortly after February 1. Notification of acceptance occurs in early March, thereby allowing students ample time to weigh their options.

Application: Students provide two applications for the program; the Application for Undergraduate Admission and a separate application for the Pre-Law Scholars program. Download program application (http://www.marquette.edu/explore/scholarships-pre-law.php).

Essay: In 350 to 500 words, describe what personal and educational experiences you have had that have stimulated your interest in a law career.

Marquette Continuing Student Admission

There are always great students that do not receive the direct admit offer or who discover the Pre-Law Scholars Program once they are at Marquette. These students can apply and be admitted to the program as space permits.

Qualifications to become a Pre-Law Scholar:

  • Have an overall current cumulative GPA of 3.300 grade point average or greater. This is most easily established by having both an MU GPA and a cumulative GPA from prior institution(s) all above 3.300. In complicated situations, please contact the Law School’s Director of Admissions and Recruitment to work out a resolution to meeting this qualification. Note: Current Marquette students must have completed at least one semester of coursework at Marquette University prior to application to the Pre-Law Scholars Program.
  • Be on track to complete the University Core of Common Studies, college curriculum and major requirements, such that no greater than 29 total elective credits remain to complete the undergraduate degree upon law school entry in the fourth year.

Application procedure for currently enrolled Marquette University undergraduates who have transferred from another college or university:

  • Meet with your academic adviser to determine whether you meet the qualifications for admission. (Note: you must have at least one semester of coursework completed to establish your MU cumulative GPA.)
  • Once you determine you meet the qualifications, both your adviser and you should email the Law School’s Director of Admissions and Recruitment for the next steps toward admission.

Undergraduate Curriculum

A typical bachelor’s degree program in each of these colleges consists of four parts: University Core of Common Studies (UCCS) requirements, college curriculum requirements, major requirements and electives. In the first three years of the Pre-Law Scholars program, students complete the University Core of Common Studies, college curriculum requirements and major requirements. Courses taken in the fourth year (the first year of law school), count as electives for the bachelor’s degree and toward the completion of the law degree.

Approved Majors

Klingler College of Arts and Sciences: Anthropology, Biological Sciences, Classics, Computational Mathematics, Computer Science, Criminology & Law Studies, Economics, English, French, German, History, International Affairs, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Social Welfare and Justice, Sociology, Spanish, Theology and Religion, Writing Intensive English.

Note: Students who wish to pursue other majors may do so in coordination between their academic advisers and the Law School. Pursuing majors other than those listed above may require summer school coursework to fulfill undergraduate curriculum requirements for law school entry in the fourth year.

Pre-major Advisers, the Pre-Law Scholars coordinator and select faculty members are responsible for the academic advising of Pre-Law Scholars.

College of Business Administration: Accounting, Business Economics, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Finance, Human Resource Management, Information Technology, International Business, Marketing, Operations and Supply Chain Management, Real Estate.

Note: Students majoring in accounting will need to take courses in summer school; also, depending on foreign language placement, international business majors may need to take summer school courses.

The assistant dean of the College of Business Administration is responsible for the academic advising of Pre-Law Scholars.

Diederich College of Communication: Advertising, Communication Studies, Corporate Communication, Digital Media, Journalism, Media Studies, Public Relations, Theatre Arts.

Note: The minor that is normally required for the degree is waived for Pre-Law Scholars. However, should a student decide to complete their undergraduate degree prior to entering Law School they are required to complete the minor.

The Pre-Law Scholars coordinator and selected faculty members are responsible for the academic advising of Pre-Law Scholars.

Academic Standards for Pre-Law Scholars

Admission guarantees the Scholar a place in Marquette Law School, after completion of the third year of undergraduate studies and by completing the University Core of Common Studies, the respective undergraduate college curriculum and major requirements, such that no greater than 29 total elective credits remain to complete the undergraduate degree.

Students maintain a place in the Law School by fulfilling the following requirements:

Enroll in spring semester Freshman Scholars Seminar (1 credit), “Lawyers in American Society.” (Direct freshmen scholars only; available as course space permits to continuing students entering the program.)

Attain a cumulative 3.300 grade point average or a grade point average that is equal to or greater than the median GPA of the preceding year’s entering class (whichever is lesser) by the time of application/entrance to Marquette Law School. This includes all college coursework whether taken at Marquette University or at another institution. Note: This encompasses all transfer coursework from other institution(s) whether summer sessions, concurrent coursework, or college credit obtained via a dual enrollment program while in high school. Specific questions regarding this standard should be directed to the Law School Office of Admissions.

Earn a score on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) of 155 or one that is equal to or greater than the median score of the preceding year’s entering class at the Law School in order to meet the requirements for early admission to the Law School, whichever is lesser. The LSAT may be taken a maximum of three times in a two year period and must be taken no later than February of the year that you apply to the Law School. The Law School’s Admissions Committee considers the highest score you receive.

Meet the Law School’s standards for character and fitness. Behaviors and/or activities that lead to University Probation may result in removal from the program and impact admission to Marquette University Law School. Such activities include, but are not limited to, academic dishonesty or any activity deemed inappropriate, unethical or illegal.

Be on track to fulfill the University Core of Common Studies, the respective undergraduate college curriculum and major requirements, such that you have no greater than 29 total elective credits remaining to complete your undergraduate degree.

Students may choose to complete the fourth year as an undergraduate and graduate prior to entering the Law School; in such a case, the student is guaranteed a place in the Law School entering class the following year, provided the academic standards of the program are met. While the Law School is bound to hold a place for Scholars who meet all requirements, students are not obligated to attend Marquette’s Law School. Students may elect to complete the undergraduate degree in the major(s) chosen.

Grades/Graduation/Graduation Honors

The undergraduate colleges base their calculations for academic honors on all credits earned toward the bachelor’s degree, including all Law School credits completed through the term in which the students satisfies all undergraduate degree requirements.

The undergraduate colleges will accept for credit all Law School classes in which the student earns at least a grade of D, the minimum necessary to earn credit for a course in the Law School. If a student were to earn a grade lower than D in the first year of Law School, that student, in order to earn the bachelor's degree must make up those credits. This may be done by retaking the Law School course (as required by the Law School), or by taking an undergraduate course that fulfills credit requirements for the undergraduate college.

Normally, Scholars walk through the May graduation ceremony. However, because Law School grades are not posted until June, Pre-Law Scholars do not receive their diploma for their bachelor’s degree until the summer of the fourth year. Students may be eligible to graduate earlier if they complete the minimum course and credit requirements prior to this time.

Financial Aid

Pre-Law Scholars spend only three years as an undergraduate at Marquette. Therefore, the undergraduate financial aid and scholarships received are applicable only to the first three years at Marquette. After completion of the first three years or undergraduate degree, Scholars must apply for financial aid and scholarships as an Independent Graduate/Professional student, via the Law School and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Since the criteria for admission to the Pre-Law Scholars program match the criteria for many of the merit-based scholarships awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, it is highly probable that Scholars entering Marquette in the program also receive merit-based scholarships to Marquette University.

It is important to reiterate that these scholarships, while renewable for up to eight semesters at the university, are only for undergraduate study. As a result, Scholars are only able to apply these scholarships to the first three years at Marquette. Once enrolled in Marquette's Law School, Scholars are no longer considered undergraduates. The fourth year (or earlier, if applicable) of the undergraduate scholarship is forfeited.

Pre-Law Scholars are considered for Law School financial aid and merit-based scholarships that are available to all eligible students entering the first year of Law School. These scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis; as such, early application to the Law School is encouraged.