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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

Professor Diven Researches and Teaches in Sri Lanka

Professor Diven Researches and Teaches in Sri Lanka

July 18, 2016

As part of her winter 2016 sabbatical project, Professor Polly Diven spent the month of February teaching and researching in Sri Lanka.

Political Science Summer Interns 2016

Political Science Summer Interns 2016

June 28, 2016

PLS interns are working in a variety of offices this summer.

Prof. Walhof Recognized by APSA

Prof. Walhof Recognized by APSA

June 08, 2016

Professor Darren Walhof was recognized by the American Political Science Association for his excellence in teaching.

Johnston to Peace Corps

Johnston to Peace Corps

May 23, 2016

Political science graduate Jacob Johnston is joining the Peace Corps.

Zac Thiel Wins PLS/IR Outstanding Paper Award

Zac Thiel Wins PLS/IR Outstanding Paper Award

April 14, 2016

Zac Thiel's paper, "Exploring the Causes of Inequality in Developed Countries" has been selected as the Outstanding Paper written in 2015.

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Events

Fall Internship Information Meeting

Fall Internship Information Meeting

August 31, 2016 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

It’s not too late for Fall 2016! Come find out about internships for credit in Political Science and International Relations. Wednesday, August 31, 6-7:30 pm in Kirkhof 2266 *Summer...

Pizza Social and Information Session

Pizza Social and Information Session

September 21, 2016 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Learn about study abroad, internships and careers. Eat pizza and socialize with your peers and professors. Open to current and prospective majors and minors.   For more information...

Sri Lanka: the Influence of a Small State Among Superpowers

Sri Lanka: the Influence of a Small State Among Superpowers

October 5, 2016 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Professor Diven will present her sabbatical research on Sri Lanka, including background on the history and culture of this "Pearl of the Indian Ocean." She will summarize her research into...

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