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 enter Marquette Law School following the junior year, reducing 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, College of Communication or College of Health Sciences 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 Scholars Program
The Pre-Law Scholars Selection Committee, comprised of members of the undergraduate colleges and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, gives 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:
GPA: The average cumulative unweighted high school GPA for semi-finalists is 3.750.
High school class rank (if available): upper 25 percent.
Test Scores: Minimum SAT combined score of 1310 (math and verbal) or ACT minimum composite score of 28.
This application process coincides with the university's other scholarship competition deadlines, which generally fall on or around 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.
Marquette Continuing Student Admission
There are always great students who do not receive the direct admit offer, such as students who discover the Pre-Law Scholars Program once they are at Marquette or students who transfer from other colleges or universities. These students can apply and be admitted to the program as space permits.
Qualifications to become a Pre-Law Scholar:
- Have completed at least one term (i.e. at least 12 credits) of course work at Marquette University prior to application to the Pre-Law Scholars Program.
- Have an overall current cumulative GPA of 3.450 or greater. This encompasses all college course work whether taken at Marquette University or another institution. All transfer course work from other institution(s) whether summer sessions, concurrent course work or college credit obtained via dual enrollment program while in high school is included in this calculation. Specific questions regarding this standard should be directed to the Law School Office of Admissions.
- Be on track to complete the Marquette Core Curriculum (MCC) requirements, college curriculum requirements 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.
Review application procedure for currently enrolled Marquette University undergraduates.
A typical bachelor’s degree program in each of these colleges consists of four parts: Marquette Core Curriculum (MCC) requirements, college curriculum requirements, major requirements and electives. In the first three years of the Pre-Law Scholars Program, students complete the Marquette Core Curriculum, 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 the law degree.
Suggested Undergraduate Majors
Any undergraduate major can offer appropriate academic preparation to enter law school. Students are not limited to particular majors. It may be difficult to complete Pre-Law Scholar course prerequisites for some majors by the third year of the six-year program. If necessary, students may extend their program to the traditional seven year program. Students should consult regularly with their prelaw and academic advisers to ensure they remain on track to complete undergraduate degree requirements prior to entering the Law School.
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 Marquette Core Curriculum (MCC) requirements, the respective undergraduate college curriculum requirements and major requirements, such that no more than 29 total elective credits remain to complete the undergraduate degree.
Students confirm a place in the Law School's entering class by fulfilling the following requirements:
- Enroll in the spring term ARSC 1963 First Year Seminar: Lawyers in American Society (1 credit). (Recommended course for direct freshmen Pre-Law Scholars only; available as course space permits to continuing students entering the program.)
- Attain a cumulative 3.450 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 encompasses all college course work whether taken at Marquette University or another institution. All transfer course work from other institution(s) whether summer sessions, concurrent course work or college credit obtained via a dual enrollment program while in high school is included in this calculation. 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, whichever is lesser. The LSAT 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 discipline or 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. This includes activities outside the reach of the university's Standards of Conduct.
- Be on track to fulfill the Marquette Core Curriculum (MCC) requirements, the respective undergraduate college curriculum and major requirements, such that you have no more than 29 total elective credits remaining to complete your undergraduate degree.
- Apply to the Law School. Prior to enrolling in the Law School, completion of the application for law school admission is required, including meeting appropriate deadlines for application, tuition deposits, etc. This process necessarily includes subscribing to the Law School Admission Council’s Credential Assembly Service. Early entry applicants are required to submit confirmation of eligibility to apply for early entry to the Law School from their undergraduate college. Further, and as necessary, they are also asked to provide updated undergraduate transcripts during the application and/or enrollment processes.
Students who are on track to fulfill the MCC, undergraduate college curriculum requirements and major requirements, and other criteria as listed above, but do not meet the above academic standards for cumulative GPA and/or LSAT may elect to apply to the Law School and be considered for early admission as part of the general applicant pool. In such instances, admission to the Law School is not guaranteed. If such students are not admitted to the Law School, they may complete their senior year to fulfill remaining graduation requirements and then may reapply to the Law School in a subsequent admissions cycle.
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. In such a case, the student is guaranteed a place in the Law School entering class, provided the academic standards listed above are met.
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 satisfy all undergraduate degree requirements.
The undergraduate colleges 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. Students must complete their undergraduate degree prior to their second year of law school.
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.
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. At the time of application for law school admission, scholars must apply for financial aid and scholarships as independent graduate/professional students, via the Law School and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Since the criteria for direct freshman 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 a merit-based scholarship 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. By meeting the Academic Standards for Pre-Law Scholars detailed above, it is highly probable that scholars entering the Law School will receive a merit-based scholarship to the Law School.