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, in the fall to discuss their interest in the program, and in the winter semester to discuss degree progress and registration.

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.

 

Political Science 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. Please contact those departments for program details and advising.)
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. Note: You encouraged to contact Dr. Richards during your first semester to let him know your interest in the program.

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 153 or above
6. Two letters of recommendation, including one from Prof. Richards
7. 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 for B.A. majors)
One PLS course at 200 level

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

Third year
Two or three political science courses at 200-300 level
PLS 350 (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

This Year's Outstanding Paper Award Winner

This Year's Outstanding Paper Award Winner

Congratulations to Samantha Post!

May 5, 2021

Bowen and Boss Named 2021-22 Batchelder Scholars

Bowen and Boss Named 2021-22 Batchelder Scholars

The Political Science Department is pleased to recognize Rebekkah Bowen and Kylie Boss as our Batchelder Scholars for the 2021-2022 school year.

Apr 28, 2021

Sumner Wins Political Science Excellence-in-a-discipline Award

Sumner Wins Political Science Excellence-in-a-discipline Award

The Political Science Department congratulates Starr Sumner, this year's winner of the Excellence-in-a-Discipline Award for Political Science.

Apr 5, 2021

Moine Receives Thomas M. Seykora Award

Moine Receives Thomas M. Seykora Award

Congratulations to Lauren Moine on being this year's recipient of the Thomas M. Seykora Award.

Apr 5, 2021

Miller-Adams Publishes New Book

Miller-Adams Publishes New Book

Professor Michelle Miller-Adams' new book, The Path to Free College, has just been published by Harvard Education Press.

Mar 22, 2021

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Events

Webinar: Finding the "Good Life"

June 24, 2021 1:00 PM

We often wonder what our lives might have been had we made a different choice at some point. We’re seeking “the good life,” but what does that mean and how do we know we’re...

Open Minds Book Club Summer 2021

June 24, 2021 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Join us as we discuss the Open Minds Book Club’s summer book, Self Portrait in Black and White by Thomas Chatterton Williams. Facilitated by Brian Bowdle and Jakob Bigard, participants...

School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration Online Information Session

June 29, 2021 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

The Grand Valley State University School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration Graduate Program Directors are hosting an online information session. Join our dynamic faculty as they...

M.Ed. in Educational Leadership & Educational Specialist in Leadership (Ed.S.) Online Information Session

June 30, 2021 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

The Grand Valley State University College of Education Leadership (M.Ed.) & Educational Specialist in Leadership (Ed.S.) Graduate Program Directors are hosting an online information session. Join...

Is Graduate School Right for Me?

July 17, 2021 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

You’ll learn practical tips on how to prepare for grad school, how to enhance your grad application and profile, and, hopefully, answer the question is graduate school right for me. Whether...

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