News UMass Law: UMass Law and Dean College partner to offer an accelerated law degree program

News UMass Law: UMass Law and Dean College partner to offer an accelerated law degree program
UMass Law and Dean College partner to offer an accelerated law degree program

Agreement will enable Dean College students to earn an undergraduate and law degree in six years instead of seven

3+3 partnership

UMass Law and Dean College in Franklin, Mass., have signed an agreement for a 3+3 joint degree program that will offer Dean College students the opportunity to earn both their undergraduate degree and law degree in six years instead of seven. 

Dean College becomes the 17th institutional partner in UMass Law's growing 3+3 program that saves students both time and money by reducing the length of time needed to complete both degrees by one year. In this accelerated degree program, students earn credits for their first year of law school during their final year of college, saving on tuition and associated expenses in the traditional seven-year pathway to a Juris Doctorate. 

"At Dean, we are always trying to innovate in order to bring value and quality educational experiences to our students," said Scott Sibley, vice president of academic affairs at Dean College. "Our new partnership with UMass Law allows us to do just that by giving those interested in pursuing a career in law a more efficient and affordable pathway to earn their Juris Doctorate." 

"I am excited about our new partnership with Dean College," said UMass Law Dean Sam Panarella. "Like UMass Law, Dean College prioritizes its students' commitments to their professional future, leadership, and justice.  Our schools' complementary missions and values will make for a smooth and enriching experience for the 3+3 students who take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to receive their undergraduate and law degrees in six years rather than seven."

Dean students will complete their general education requirements during their first three years at the college. During the fourth year, they will be enrolled as full-time UMass Law students but will be allowed to count their first-year law classes towards finishing their Dean bachelor's degree. Dean students should work closely with the college's pre-law advisor as early as possible to ensure they meet all 3+3 program requirements. 

"Importantly, the first three years of coursework at Dean will provide the essential foundation and the academic skills necessary to be successful in law school and beyond," said Sibley. 

UMass Law's 3+3 institutional partners include both private and public colleges and universities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. See list

About Dean College 

Dean College is a private, residential New England college of 1,200 full-time and 400 part-time students grounded in a culture and tradition that all students deserve the opportunity for academic and personal success. Dean College continues to be honored with a growing number of awards at the national, state, and local levels. The college ranked 29th in the 2023-2024 U.S. News & World Report for Best Regional Colleges-North category. This is the 13th consecutive year that Dean College has received the Best College honor.  For the 8th consecutive year, Dean College earned national recognition in 2023-2024 as a College of Distinction based on four categories; engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community, and successful outcomes. 

UMass Law distinctions 

According to the most recent ABA data, UMass Law currently ranks first among ABA-accredited law schools in Massachusetts for the smallest typical, first-year class sizes and the lowest tuition. The Class of 2022 enjoys a 91% employment rate and first-time test takers achieved an 80% Massachusetts bar exam pass rate (2023, MA Board of Bar Examiners). 

The commonwealth's only public law school has ranked among the best law schools in the country for its program of practical training and is currently ranked second in Massachusetts and third in New England in that category, according to preLaw magazine. 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.