4-5-6 Commitment

Our 4-5-6 Commitment helps you make the most of your future.

At Lewis & Clark, you will explore the liberal arts and choose from among 29 majors and 33 minors. Your professors will prepare you to see connections others miss, creatively pursue the ideas you find most intriguing, and solve complex problems in all sorts of domains.

Our College of Arts and Sciences offers the ideal preparation for careers in a wide range of professions. And if you’re ready to think longer term, we’re also home to a graduate school and a law school! Lewis & Clark offers multiple clear and direct pathways to academic and professional success. Our 4-5-6 Commitment will get you where you want to go!


Undergraduate Degree (BA)

A bachelor of arts degree in four years—eight semesters. Or we pay for the ninth.

You expect to graduate in four years. And we think you should. Despite national data showing that four-year graduation rates are only between 20 and 40 percent, we’re willing to commit to an on-time, four-year graduation plan with the major of your choice that includes the best of what we offer, including our overseas study programs.

To support you on your path to a four-year BA, we offer structured support and planning:

  • Faculty advisors who consult with you every semester.
  • A “Path to Graduation” check-in with your faculty advisor when you declare your major.
  • College Advising staff who work with you from the summer prior to your first semester all the way through to graduation.

Your role is to declare your major on time and successfully complete an average of 32 credits per year based on the academic plan you and your advisors work out. Do that and you will graduate in four years or we will provide a semester of tuition-free courses at Lewis & Clark necessary for completion of a BA.

The 4-year commitment is available to first-year students who entered the college in or after the fall of 2019.

Accelerated Undergraduate Degree (BA) + Masters of Studies in Law (MSL) in Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law (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, 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. Students in this program complete both general education and major requirements for the BA in three years at the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) before entering the law school for a year of work towards the MSL.

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.

Learn more about the MSL.


BA + Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

A bachelor of arts degree, along with a master of arts in teaching (MAT)—and professional licensure!—from our Graduate School of Education and Counseling in five years.

Many Lewis & Clark graduates go on to work in education. Our nationally recognized teacher education program is the perfect preparation. The program is firmly grounded in principles of social justice and is committed to teaching for equity as a way to transform the lives of young people. A balance of coursework and practical experience in K-12 classrooms will prepare you to change schools from the inside out.

Through our Teacher Pathways program, we provide early admission to the graduate school and a way to earn your BA plus your MAT—and licensure!—in five years. You can apply to Teacher Pathways as an incoming, first-year, or second-year student.

Read all about our teacher education programs.


Accelerated BA + Law Degree (JD)

A bachelor of arts degree, along with a Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) from our Law School in just six years, compared to the usual seven.

Lewis & Clark is home to the only law school in Portland, and the number-one ranked Environmental Law program in the nation. Our 3-3 Law program gives you the option to enter the law school after just three years of undergraduate coursework, so long as you have completed your major and general education requirements. Elsewhere it takes seven years to earn both a BA and a JD. Here, working closely with your advisors, you can do it in six.

We also offer guaranteed admission to our law school if you prefer to take the full four years to complete your BA.

Read all about our law programs.

There’s no catch, but you do need to be organized and committed to complete these pathways, especially the six-year BA+JD. Here are the caveats and fine print.

In addition to our 4-5-6 Commitment, we also offer the following programs and partnerships:

  • Babson College 4-1 pathway: the Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership has partnered with the Babson Collaborative for Entrepreneurship Education to provide a 4-1 Pathway Program for the following programs at Babson College (the #1 entrepreneurship school in the nation!).
    • Master of Science in Management - Entrepreneurial Leadership
    • Master of Science in Business Analytics
    • Master of Science in Finance
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Science in Management – Advanced Entrepreneurial Leadership
    • Certificate in Advanced Management
  • Through our 3-2 engineering partnerships with Columbia University (New York), Washington University (St. Louis), and University of Southern California, students can complete three years of study at Lewis & Clark, followed by two years at engineering school. Students earns degrees from each school.
  • Portland State Pathway: an accelerated track to a Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree at Portland State University’s School of Business.
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey articulation agreement: gives International Affairs graduates a three-semester accelerated entry into their master’s programs in International Policy & Development, Public Administration (MPA) and Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies. There is also a guaranteed scholarship for these students.
  • Pathways to Success in STEM: two programs tailored to first-generation students who are interested in becoming a member of Lewis & Clark’s scientific community.
  • The Fir Acres Writing Workshop is a high-caliber, pre-collegiate, creative educational experience offered to bright, inventive, and passionate high school students. Our workshop-style program appeals to young writers and artistic students who are drawn to the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the fun, hip mystique of Portland.