May 28, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]


Pre-legal education cannot be cast from a single mold. The knowledge needed to be a lawyer is as broad and varied as the human activities on which legal problems are based. For this reason, no specific course of study is required for admission to law school. Instead, pre-law students are advised to obtain as diversified an educational background as possible, while meeting the requirements of their majors.

Because the ability to communicate effectively is so important, students must acquire an effective command of the written and spoken word. Recommended areas of study are English, Communication, Criminal Justice, History, Political Science, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, Mathematical Sciences, Business, including Accounting, and foreign languages. At least one course in Accounting is strongly recommended.

In preparing to apply to law school, students are advised that there are moral character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to a state’s bar. The applicant, prior to matriculation, should determine what those requirements are in the state in which the applicant intends to practice. Contact information for state bar examinations is found at

Students desiring additional information about preparation for law school, admission to the USD Knudson School of Law, and careers in law are encouraged to visit the USD Knudson School of Law’s website at and to contact the Knudson School of Law at 605-658-3505.

Jessica Messersmith
College of Arts & Sciences/Associate Dean for Academics
Arts & Sciences 110

Knudson School of Law 3+3 Program (by application)

The 3+3 Program allows qualified University of South Dakota students who complete three years (minimum 90 credits) of their undergraduate degree to apply and be admitted to the USD Knudson School of Law, and use the first year of law school courses toward the completion of the remaining undergraduate credits.

After completing three years of an undergraduate program and gaining admission to the law school through the outlined process, the 3+3 participant will become a full-time, first-year law student, a “1L”, at the USD Knudson School of Law. 3+3 participants will follow the usual course of study for full-time, first-year law students.

Credits earned will be counted toward the Juris Doctor degree and as elective credits sufficient to complete the University’s requirements for the bachelor’s degree. The first-year law grades will not be included as part of the student’s undergraduate grade point average.

A participating student who withdraws from the law program or who fails to complete successfully the first year of law school may return to their undergraduate program without reapplication for completion of the bachelor’s degree.

For more information regarding the specific requirements for participation in this program, please visit the USD Knudson School of Law website at