BA/MSL Dual-Degree (3-1)

Lewis & Clark is nationally recognized for its environmental studies programs on both the undergraduate and the graduate/professional level. With the Accelerated BA/MSL Dual-Degree Environmental Legal Studies Program—commonly referred to as the 3-1 Program—you can complete a BA and a Masters of Studies in Law (MSL) in Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law in four years rather than five.

3-1 students complete both general education and major requirements in three years at Lewis & Clark’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) before entering the law school for a year of work towards the MSL. The CAS accepts the year of coursework from Lewis & Clark Law School as credit back towards the BA, which is then awarded along with the MSL at the end of the fourth year of the 3-1 program.

What is an MSL in Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law?

The MSL is a graduate degree for those who are interested in learning about environmental law, regulations, and policies but do not wish to practice law or obtain a law degree. The degree is useful to people in a variety of careers, including teachers, journalists, elected officials, lobbyists, federal agency and nonprofit employees, and entrepreneurs.

3-1 Program Requirements

In order to be able to enter the MSL program after three rather than four years at Lewis & Clark College, you need to follow this plan:

  • By the end of your first year at the CAS
    • officially declare both your major and your intent to pursue the 3-1.
  • During your third year at the CAS
    • successfully apply to the Lewis & Clark Law School MSL program (see requirements, below).
  • By the end of your third year at the CAS
    • complete all general education requirements,
    • complete all major requirements,
    • complete a minimum of 100 credits.
  • In your final semester at the CAS
    • complete all necessary 3-1 paperwork, including a leave of absence form and graduation application.
Lewis & Clark Law School MSL Admission Requirements

Lewis & Clark Law School guarantees admission to CAS 3-1 students who fulfill the following criteria:

  • Successfully complete the requirements for the 3-year CAS portion of the 3-1 BA/MSL dual-degree program
  • Earn a minimum CAS GPA of 3.5
  • Complete all application materials for the MSL by March 15 of the calendar year in which the applicant would begin law school
  • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the CAS

3-1 students who do not meet the minimum GPA listed here are still eligible to apply for admission to the MSL under the 3-1 program, but acceptance is not guaranteed. In such cases, students may be better off waiting a year and using that time to improve their grades before applying to the MSL under its regular admission program.

Things to Consider
  • If you wish to pursue the 3-1, you will need to plan well in advance in order to be able to complete all the requirements. You must declare your participation in the 3-1 no later than the end of your first year, but waiting even this long to make a 3-year plan may limit your choice of major.
  • 3-1 students must complete 100 credits before leaving the CAS and entering the MSL program for another 28 credits. (The BA requires 128 credits, total.) The standard course load at the CAS is 16 credits/semester or just 96 credits/3 years. 3-1 students can reach the necessary 100 by
    • applying advanced placement or dual enrollment credit earned during high school,
    • carrying a heavier load during one or more semesters,
    • earning credits during the summer, either at the CAS or at another accredited institution.
  • For some majors with heavy course loads (e.g., World Languages, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), the 3-1 is possible only if you enter with significant advanced placement credit.
  • Participating in the 3-1 will place some limitations on your experiences at Lewis & Clark. In order to complete all of your general education and major requirements in three years, you will in most cases not have time to participate in an overseas or off-campus program, change your major mid-course, explore various majors before choosing one, or take many CAS electives.
Change in Plans
  • If you choose this program and change your mind before enrolling in the law school, you are still welcome to complete your BA (128 credits) at the CAS.
  • If you enroll at the law school under the 3-1 program but do not complete the MSL, you may transfer any credits you have completed at the law school back to the CAS and return to complete any remaining credits toward the 128 required for the BA.

Under the 3-1 Program, you have two years to complete the MSL and receive the BA. If you wish to request more time, there is a petition process.

Contact us!

College Advising Center,

Andrea Hibbard
Prelaw Advisor
Assistant Professor of English With Term