Feb 262015

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University and the University of Iowa have entered an agreement that allows eligible St. Ambrose students to complete undergraduate and law studies in six years. The 3+3 program grants an eligible student admission to the College of Law at the University of Iowa at the end of the student’s junior year at St. Ambrose.

Joe Hebert, professor of political science and leadership studies and director of pre-law studies at St. Ambrose, said the University of Iowa initiated talks last year. Since that time, St. Ambrose has determined which courses may be waived or substituted so students can pursue the 3+3 program.

Previously, a student would have to complete four years of undergraduate studies and three years of law school. St. Ambrose does not have a pre-law major, but offers an interdisciplinary pre-law minor. Those courses help prepare a student for law school and include such classes as theories, skills and legal profession. The school also offers mock trials and a pre-law club. Candidates for 3+3 still need to take LSAT (law school entrance exam), Hebert said.

The agreement is in effect immediately. Hebert said he can work with a student interested in pursuing the 3+3 program to come up with a plan for completing undergraduate requirements.

Standards have been set in the political science department for someone considering this program. A student in another major would work with that department to help prepare for eligibility in the 3+3 program.

Upon completion of the first year of the University of Iowa’s law program, the student would receive an undergraduate degree, worked out between the schools and student.

St. Ambrose University President Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, said, “St. Ambrose students preparing for law careers will now be able to realize significant savings of both time and money through this agreement. St. Ambrose is very pleased to be able to offer this valuable opportunity for our pre-law students.”

Gail Agrawal, dean of the University of Iowa College of Law, said the program helps address concerns about the cost of higher education and presents an opportunity for Iowa’s public law school to be a resource for colleges and universities in Iowa.

The University of Iowa has made agreements with several other colleges and universities in the state. For more information contact Hebert at (563) 333-6402 or visit

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