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How to Apply

First-year law students must seek approval from the dean's office to participate in the dual degree program. Approved students then apply to Vermont Law School for the M.E.L.P. part of the dual degree early in the spring semester of their first year of law school. If accepted, they register for courses later in the semester.

Financial aid is available for this program through Vermont Law School. You must pay applicable student tuition and fees for these courses.

What to Expect

Dual degree students attend the nine-week summer session at Vermont Law School between their first and second years of law school.

You may also complete an approved internship at an organization or law firm involved with environmental work. Vermont Law School will work with the USD Knudson School of Law to arrange for and supervise an appropriate internship. Dual degree students share the remaining credits required for their J.D. with the M.E.L.P. degree, reducing the overall M.E.L.P. 30 credit requirement.

The Vermont Law School will generally accept nine credits of qualifying environmental law-related law credits from the USD Knudson School of Law toward the M.E.L.P. 30-credit requirement.

Environmental Law-Related Courses at USD

  • Environmental Law
  • Water Law
  • Energy Law
  • Natural Resource Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Current Issues in Environmental Law

For more information, contact the Office of Law Admissions at 605-677-3658 or