Students at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University will have the option of foregoing their senior year to start law school through a new program.
Students can apply to be in a "3+3 program" during their junior year. Through the program, if a student is accepted into law school, they can start on their law degree during their senior year of undergraduate study. Completion of the first year of law school will meet the requirements for students to complete their bachelor's degree.
Iowa State students can apply to either the University of Iowa's College of Law or Drake University Law School. The program will be open to all students and administered through the ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
University of Iowa students can apply only to the University of Iowa's law school. The program at Iowa is limited to students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Drake already has a similar program within its university.
Officials say the program will save students money, as they will have one less year of paying tuition and will be in the working world a year sooner.
Officials also hope that the program will keep students in the state after graduation. Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State, said in a news release that Drake has a good track record of placing graduates in law firms in rural Iowa communities.
Gail Agrawal, dean of the University of Iowa's College of Law, said in a news release that the school is currently in discussions with other undergraduate institutions in the state about adopting a similar program.