Early Law Interest
Get a head start on your path toward law school by participating in one of our unique programs for undergraduate students.
Start your path toward the legal profession today.
As a high school student or college student early in your undergraduate program, you may already know you want to go to law school. The USD Knudson School of Law offers unique programs that allow you to get a head start on this path toward your future.
Explore the programs below to find a path that works best for you. Whether you want to start law school early, pursue early admittance or take coursework that sets you up for success, you'll find an option that will help you achieve your goals.
USD 3+3 Fast Track
- Submit the intent form for the 3+3 program by add/drop deadline of your third semester
- Earn 90 undergraduate credits by the end of your junior year
- Meet all major, distribution and testing requirements by the end of your junior year
- Maintain a minimum 3.25 GPA
- Earn at least a 152 on the LSAT
It is recommended you take the LSAT by December of the last year of your undergraduate classes, as law school admissions and scholarship processes begin the following January. Test scores from later LSAT dates will be accepted as the admissions process allows.
- Complete all standard admissions requirements to the USD Knudson School of Law including submission all application materials through the Credential Assembly Service no later than April 1 of the year in which you plan to enroll in the law school.
- Obtain a final degree audit from the Office of the Registrar attesting that you have successfully achieved all minimum requirements (90 credits, including major, distribution and testing requirements) prior to enrolling.
Meeting all requirements does not guarantee admission to the USD Knudson School of Law. All students must apply and be considered on the merits of their applications. If an applicant moderately deviates from the LSAT and GPA requirements, and demonstrates evidence of extraordinary character, leadership and maturity, we reserve the right to make an exception and grant admission in that case.
Law Honors Scholars
Qualified students must:
- Be a graduating high school senior.
- Have excellent grades when applying.
- Have an ACT score of at least 27.
- Have integrity, compassion, fairness and a capacity for leadership.
- Submit the common scholarship application no later than Dec. 1 of the year you plan to enroll.
- Submit high school transcripts and ACT score by Dec. 1.
- Earn your undergraduate degree at USD while participating in the USD Honors Program
- Graduate in four years, no later than the May commencement ceremony
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.5
- Participation in an honors seminar taught by a USD Knudson School of Law faculty member is highly encouraged
Law is an integral part of American society, and lawyers work diligently to preserve and promote justice and social change within our society's legal framework.
The best attorneys think creatively, analyze critically, write and speak clearly, and understand the society in which they practice. USD's pre-law advisers work with you to select undergraduate courses that help develop these skills and prepare you for law school. South Dakota's only law school gives you access to the resources of a fully accredited law school conveniently located right on the USD campus.
Law students represent a wide range of undergraduate majors, from English, criminal justice, and business to history and philosophy. A major pre-law consideration is that your undergraduate program reflects your potential to achieve at the rigorous academic level of law school. It is important to know there are also moral character and fitness considerations for admission to states' bar exams and memberships.
As a pre-law student, you'll take a wide variety of courses designed to prepare you for success in law school, including the following:
- English, language and speech
- Political science
- Economics and business
- Modern languages