EWU and Gonzaga create shorter path to law degree

April 14, 2020
Showalter Hall at sunset

Leaders from Eastern Washington University and Gonzaga University School of Law recently signed a joint agreement that creates a pathway for students to earn their bachelor’s degree along with their Juris Doctor in six years, one year less than it would traditionally take to complete.

The program, which permits concurrent enrollment at both institutions, allows students to apply to Gonzaga Law during their junior year after they have completed most of the requirements for their undergraduate program at EWU. If accepted, students will use their first year of courses at Gonzaga Law to complete their bachelor’s degree at Eastern. The 3 + 3 program is open to students of all majors.

Leaders from both institutions said they believe the program will not only increase the accessibility of a law degree but offer students a unique alternative to the traditional path.

“The EWU and Gonzaga collaboration derives from an interest in advancing an innovative education of the highest caliber for a group of motivated, academically prepared students,” Gonzaga University Provost Deena González said.  “The partnership provides new methods of achieving a professional degree; it encourages students to plan for a professional career in an era of financial uncertainties. It helps families, first-generation students, veterans, and other underrepresented, excellent students to make decisions about their futures in law.”

“This public-private collaboration between Eastern and Gonzaga is a wonderful achievement that will give students more opportunities to excel and also the financial support to do so,” says EWU Provost David May. “The partnership also reflects the commitment both institutions have to providing high-quality educational offerings to the greater Spokane community.”

As another example of that collaboration, Provost May notes Eastern and Gonzaga are also working on a reciprocal agreement that similarly allows GU students to apply to graduate programs at Eastern in their junior year.

The collaborative 3+3 program launched in the 2019-2020 recruitment cycle with the first EWU students set to start at Gonzaga Law this fall. EWU students who are interested in applying to the program to start in the fall of 2021 are encouraged to meet with their faculty advisor soon to plan their course selection.

For more information about the EWU and Gonzaga 3+3 program, visit the Gonzaga program webpage.


James Headley, Professor and Chair of EWU’s Department of Political Science at jheadley@ewu.edu