UMass Law UMass Law: UMass Law and Nichols College establish an accelerated law degree partnership

UMass Law UMass Law: UMass Law and Nichols College establish an accelerated law degree partnership
UMass Law and Nichols College establish an accelerated law degree partnership

Nichols becomes the 16th institution to offer a joint undergraduate and UMass Law degree in six years

Nichols College Provost Daniel J. Borgia, joined by UMass Dartmouth Interim Provost/Vice Chancellor Ramprasad Balasubramanian and UMass Law Dean Sam Panarella, sign an agreement to establish a 3+3 accelerated degree program with Nichols College that will enable students to earn a bachelor's and law degree in six rather than seven years.

UMass Law and Nichols College in Dudley, MA, have announced the signing of an agreement for a 3+3 joint degree program that will give Nichols students the opportunity to earn an undergraduate degree and a law degree in six rather than seven years.

In this accelerated degree program, Nichols College students earn credits to complete the final year of their undergraduate degree during their first year of law school at UMass Law, saving a year of tuition and expenses associated with the traditional seven-year pathway to a Juris Doctorate.

“We're delighted to partner with UMass Law to enable Nichols College students to earn bachelor's and juris doctor degrees in six years," said Nichols Provost Daniel J. Borgia. “In addition to the significant cost savings, our students will have the guidance and support of exceptional faculty and staff on both campuses who will help prepare them for meaningful careers. As well, this new partnership builds upon our strengths in accelerated learning, augmenting our existing 4+1 bachelor's/master's degree programs in business administration, accounting, organizational leadership, and counterterrorism.”

"We are pleased to partner with Nichols College on this 3+3 agreement," said UMass Law Dean Sam Panarella. “UMass Law's mission to pursue justice is undergirded by a focus on access, affordability, and opportunity for our students. The 3+3 program with Nichols College perfectly achieves those goals by allowing students taking advantage of the partnership to receive an excellent education, graduate with less debt, and focus on serving their communities as lawyers."

Students typically declare interest in the 3+3 program in their first academic year, but some academically prepared sophomores are able to meet the requirements of the program. Nichols College students will need to apply to UMass Law before the June 30 deadline during their junior year.

During their first three years, Nichols College students will complete a specific course of study that prepares them for law school. Courses include legal studies, ethics, liberal arts, and other foundational courses. In their fourth year, 3+3 students are admitted as full-time students at UMass Law and will follow the course of study for full-time, first-year law students. Upon successful completion of the first year of law school, the credits earned will be transferred back to Nichols College in satisfaction of remaining graduation requirements.

Celebrating the signing of the 3+3 accelerated degree program with Nichols College are, from left, Nichols College Provost Daniel J. Borgia, UMass Dartmouth Interim Provost/Vice Chancellor Ramprasad Balasubramanian, and UMass Law Dean Sam Panarella.

UMass Law's 3+3 program grows to 16 partner institutions

Nichols College is the sixteenth institution to collaborate on a 3+3 program with UMass Law. Other Massachusetts and Rhode Island partners include Anna Maria College, Assumption University, Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Johnson & Wales University, Regis College, Salem State University, Springfield College, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell, Westfield State University, and Worcester State University.

Nichols College has earned business accreditation from the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools and the largest business education network connecting learners, educators, and businesses worldwide. Founded in 1815, Nichols College transforms today's students into tomorrow's leaders through a dynamic, career-focused business and professional education.

Nichols offers real-world learning focused on professional depth—combined with vibrant living, competitive athletics, and an unmatched alumni advantage—equipping students to exceed their own expectations. To learn more about Nichols College, visit

According to the most recent ABA data, UMass Law currently ranks third in the nation among nearly 200 ABA-accredited law schools for enrollment growth while maintaining the smallest average, first-year doctrinal course sizes and the lowest tuition among all Massachusetts law schools. The Class of 2022 enjoys a 91% employment rate and first-time test takers achieved an 80% Massachusetts bar pass rate (2023, MA Board of Bar Examiners).

UMass Law has ranked among the best law schools in the country for its program of practical training for four of the last five years and is currently ranked second in Massachusetts and third in New England in that category, according to preLaw magazine. Students at UMass Law are  guaranteed a clinic or internship placement during their time at the school.

The law school also ranks first among all 15 law schools in New England and 7th in the U.S. for the percentage of students entering public service. UMass Law's focus on public and community service has resulted in more than 215,000 hours of pro bono legal services provided to the community since 2010 and is valued at more than $10 million.