Carroll College and Gonzaga University Partner on Accelerated Law Degree Program

Monday, July 25, 2022

HELENA –Carroll College and Gonzaga University are pleased to announce a new initiative between the two private, Catholic institutions offering students an accelerated pathway to obtain their Juris Doctor (J.D.).

Carroll College is partnering with the Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, WA, to offer a 3+3 dual-degree program. Students participating in the program attend Carroll College for three years and at the conclusion of their junior year, and upon successful application, matriculate to Gonzaga’s School of Law to begin their J.D. The credits earned during their first year of law school will transfer to complete their undergraduate degree requirements, enabling them to obtain their baccalaureate degree upon passing their first year of law school.

“Carroll College and Gonzaga University attract a similar ambitious, high-achieving student,” said Carroll College President John Cech. “Through this special partnership, we are creating a pathway for these motivated students to attain a highly-regarded law degree in less time and at reduced costs. We are eager to do what we can to alleviate the financial burdens facing students as they prepare to enter and add value to our regional workforce.”

The 3+3 Program enables Carroll College students to complete both a baccalaureate degree and Juris Doctor in six years rather than the more traditional seven-year cycle, saving a year of undergraduate tuition and other costs. Graduating a year early also offers students additional benefits, such as increased earning potential by entering the workforce sooner and reduced student loans. 

“We are very pleased to partner with Carroll College in providing an accelerated opportunity for students to obtain both a Carroll undergraduate degree and a Gonzaga University law degree,” said Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh. “Gonzaga is proud of its many connections to Montana alumni, students, and friends. We are grateful to our colleagues at Carroll College for this partnership, and look forward to welcoming our first Carroll College cohort to campus in the fall of 2023.”

Governor Greg Gianforte will join Presidents Cech and McCulloh for the announcement, given the Governor’s interest in expanding access for Montanans who desire to pursue legal careers in Montana.  

“Everybody wins when we provide students the tools they need to succeed and thrive, which is why increasing educational opportunities is one of our key focuses,” said Governor Greg Gianforte. “Working with Dr. Cech, we’re increasing access to legal internships in state government, giving students in the new Carroll College-Gonzaga University Accelerated Law Degree program the opportunity to learn, train, and start their career in Montana. The state will continue building critical public-private partnerships to expand Montanans’ access to education.”

Carroll and Gonzaga are working to expand other aspects of this partnership, including growing Carroll’s pre-law program, partnering on internships, and other collaborative efforts to be announced in the next year.  

The signing ceremony will include Carroll College President, Dr. John Cech; Gonzaga University President, Dr. Thayne McCulloh; and Governor Greg Gianforte. Also in attendance will be Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs for Carroll College, Dr. Jennifer Glowienka, and Associate Professor, Dr. Jeremy Johnson from the Carroll College Political Science Program.

To learn more about the program, visit carroll.edu/prelaw.

Students may apply for admission to Carroll College at www.carroll.edu/apply including for the fall semester of 2022.

The 3+3 program will be available to both newly admitted and qualified current students beginning in the fall of 2022. Students who wish to follow this track must notify Carroll College professors Dr. Alex Street or Dr. Jeremy Johnson of their intention to seek the 3+3 Law School Admissions Program with Gonzaga University School of Law.

Note to media: A news conference about this new program and a signing ceremony is scheduled for 12:15 pm, Monday, July 25, outside of the Carroll College Campus Center. Members of the media are invited to attend.