In order to be admitted to the program, students may

  • first be admitted and enrolled in either the Department or DSL, and be subsequently admitted to the other program, or
  • be admitted to the joint degree program prior to commencing studies at Pennsylvania State University.

Credits earned in the Department program before admission to the Dickinson School of Law (DSL) cannot, however, be credited to the JD degree. Each program will make a separate admission decision. Students admitted to both programs will be admitted as joint degree candidates.
Applications for transfer into the joint degree program from another law school or
forestry/natural resources program at another University will be considered on a case by case basis.

Admissions Requirements:

Dickinson School of Law

A bachelor’s or equivalent degree from an accredited college is a prerequisite for admission. However, there is no standard prescribed undergraduate curriculum. An applicant should have acquired significant oral and written communications skills before entering law school. The following are required of applicants:

    1. a completed application form for DSL;
    2. taking of the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT);
    3. completion of an LSDAS report;
    4. a one-page personal statement;
    5. employment record since high school; and
    6. two recommendations.

Department of Ecosystem Science and Management

A Bachelor’s or equivalent degree from a regionally accredited college is a prerequisite for admission to a master’s degree program, with a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 and junior-senior average of 3.0, based on a maximum 4.0 system. The following are also required of applicants to the joint degree program:

    1. taking of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the LSAT;
    2. an official undergraduate transcript or transcripts;
    3. a personal statement;
    4. employment record since high school; and
    5. three recommendations.

There is no prescribed undergraduate curriculum, and, because of the diversity of programs in the Department, professional preparation may vary considerably. As a guide, the Department suggests having 8 credit hours in chemistry and/or physics, 12 in calculus, statistics, and/or computer science, 8 in biology, botany, and/or zoology, 12 in writing and speaking, 12 in economics, social sciences, and/or humanities, and 18 in forest science, wildlife and fisheries science, and/or wood products. Completed applications showing that a candidate is qualified for admission will be forwarded to potential faculty advisors in the Department, and admission of otherwise qualified candidates will depend upon the willingness of a faculty member to act as an advisor. Applicants are advised to contact potential advisors before applying and should contact the Department liaison (the Goddard Chair), as well as the Department Graduate Program Coordinator of Graduate Studies, to identify potential advisors.

Admission to the Ph.D. program requires evidence of research ability, e.g., a master's degree thesis, paper, or equivalent publication and a grade point average of 3.3 or higher in graduate studies work, exclusive of thesis and special problem courses. Baccalaureate degree students graduating from an honors program with a required thesis, or who have authored a refereed publication, may be considered for admittance without a master's degree.