Skip to main content

LEAP

Enjoy a new degree of success and distinguish yourself academically and professionally by earning both a bachelor's degree and a Juris Doctor (JD). The Legal Education Admission Program (LEAP) provides an opportunity for GVSU's political science undergraduate students to earn both degrees in about six years of full-time study (three years of political science studies plus three years of legal studies). The program was developed by Grand Valley State University's Political Science Department and Michigan State University College of Law (MSU Law).

Students accepted into the program may combine their last year of political science undergraduate work at GVSU with their first year of law school at MSU Law, thereby saving a year in both time and money. Interested students complete a minimum of 91 credits comprising the required undergraduate courses in their first three years of study at GVSU. This includes all university-level requirements as well as the requirements for the political science major. Upon admission to the law school, PLS students complete their undergraduate electives with law school courses. Up to 29 credits of MSU Law work in which the student earned a 2.0 or above will be accepted. The BS/BA will be awarded upon satisfactory completion of the number of credits and requirements necessary for the undergraduate program. It is anticipated that MSU Law will admit up to five GVSU PLS LEAP students each year.

Interested students may apply to LEAP after they have accumulated 30 credits or more with a GPA of 3.6 or higher. Prospective LEAP students are encouraged to meet with Professor Mark Richards during their first year at GVSU.

Students planning to apply to MSU Law under LEAP should plan to take the LSAT in the summer before their junior year, or in September of their junior year, and must not apply to MSU Law later than March 1 of their junior year. Application to MSU Law by January 1, with a complete application by January 20, is recommended. Applicants must also register with the LSAC CAS.

 

LEAP Admissions Requirements
1. Matriculate as a first-year student at GVSU
2. Political Science Major
(There are other LEAP programs for Legal Studies and Business majors.)
3. Accumulate at least 30 credits
4. GPA of 3.6 or above
5. To apply, send an e-mail to Professor Richards (richardm@gvsu.edu) with your:
name, major(s), current GPA and number of credits,
e-mail address, and phone number.

MSU Law Requirements for LEAP
1. Complete at least 91 credits at GVSU
2. Complete all GVSU university-level requirements
3. Complete all GVSU PLS major and cognate requirements
4. GPA of 3.6 or above
5. LSAT score of 156 or above
6. Any other current MSU law requirements

Sample Curriculum

First Year
PLS 102 and 103
A writing skills course
One or two humanities/arts general education courses
One or two science general education courses
Electives (or foreign language)
One PLS course at 200 level

Second Year
Three or four PLS courses at 200-300 level
STA 215 and SS 300/PLS 300 (B.S. majors)
One or two general education courses
Electives or foreign language
Additional writing skills if needed

Third year
Two or three political science courses at 200-300 level
PLS 315 or 341 (B.S. majors)
Completion of general education courses
PLS internship
PLS capstone

Contact
For additional information on the program, please contact:
Professor Mark Richards
616/331-3457
richardm@gvsu.edu

News

PLS 339 Fall 2017

PLS 339 Fall 2017

March 15, 2017

PLS 339 Democracy and the Authoritarian Challenge: Mondays/Wednesdays 4:30-5:45 p.m.

PLS 312 Summer 2017

PLS 312 Summer 2017

March 13, 2017

PLS 312 01 - U.S. FOREIGN POLICY Tuesday/Thursday, 8:30 - 11:45 a.m.

PLS 103 Summer 2017

PLS 103 Summer 2017

March 13, 2017

PLS 103 ISSUES IN WORLD POLITICS Tuesday/Thursday, 12-3:20 PM

PLS 206 Summer 2017

PLS 206 Summer 2017

March 13, 2017

PLS 206 - 01 AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL FOUNDATIONS Monday, 6 - 9:20 p.m.

Professor Walhof's Book: The Democratic Theory of Hans-Georg Gadamer

Professor Walhof's Book: The Democratic Theory of Hans-Georg Gadamer

January 17, 2017

Walhofs book examines the distinctive contribution that the writings of Hans-Georg Gadamer make to democratic theory.

View More News

Events

The World Affairs Council - The EU: An Uncertain Future

The World Affairs Council - The EU: An Uncertain Future

March 27, 2017 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM

Concerned About “Fake News”? Here’s what we’re doing about it. The World Affairs Council brings in experts who have the real scoop: diplomats; policy makers and...

Adam M. Malson Memorial Scholarship

Adam M. Malson Memorial Scholarship

April 1, 2017 All Day

ADAM M. MALSON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP Timothy R. Zeeb, who graduated from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in 2002 with a major in International Relations and minors in Political Science and German,...

John T. Batchelder Scholarship

John T. Batchelder Scholarship

April 1, 2017 All Day

JOHN T. BATCHELDER SCHOLARSHIP The John T. Batchelder scholarship is funded by a generous grant from the Batchelder family. The scholarship honors Dr. John Thayer Batchelder who served...

Miller Johnson Michigan Diversity Scholarship

Miller Johnson Michigan Diversity Scholarship

April 1, 2017 All Day

Miller Johnson West Michigan Diversity Law School Scholarship Students of color (African American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander) accepted to or presently attending an accredited...

Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP Minority Scholarship

Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP Minority Scholarship

April 1, 2017 All Day

Warner Norcross & Judd Law School Scholarship Students of color accepted to or presently attending an accredited law school within the US with a permanent residence in Michigan or attending...

View all Events

Spotlights

Toby Hutchins

Toby Hutchins

Student Wins School Board Seat

Megan Koops Fisher

Megan Koops Fisher

Community Outreach Program Manager for Ready for School

Amanda Fortino

Amanda Fortino

Major Gifts Officer for Farm Sanctuary

Quinlyn Mork

Quinlyn Mork

Studying Abroad in Ghana

Kirsten Zeiter

Kirsten Zeiter

Selected as UN Delegate

View More Spotlights