History Major: Law 3+3 Option (B.A.)

History Major: Law 3+3 Option (B.A.)
history student at the library

What is the History/Law 3+3 option? 

This fast-track program is designed for students with an interest in history who also intend to pursue a law degree. In the history program, you’ll learn valuable critical thinking and communication skills while examining the past and how it informs the present. You’ll begin studying law in your senior year, simultaneously completing your bachelor’s degree in history. After two more years of study, you’ll have completed your law degree in six years, rather than the standard seven. 

Why study the History/Law 3+3 option at UNH? 

If you’re a highly motivated student, the History/Law 3+3 option will save you significant time and money. You’ll be learning from award-winning, internationally recognized faculty in one of the top history departments in the country and completing your studies with our dedicated law faculty. You’ll have opportunities to gain hands-on experience throughout this six-year program, working with faculty on research projects and participating in internships, study-abroad opportunities and UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law’s Legal Residency Program. 

Potential careers 

  • Business manager 
  • Judge 
  • Lawyer 
  • Political analyst 
  • Professor 

Curriculum & Requirements

The Law 3+3 option offers highly motivated UNH undergraduates the opportunity to complete their bachelor's degree (B.A.) with a history major and their law degree (J.D.) at UNH in six years, rather than the usual seven years. It promises significant savings in both time and money. Students apply to the UNH Law School in their junior year (by Jan. 1), following the approved process below, and after taking the LSAT exam. If admitted, undergraduates begin their first year of law school in their senior year. The credits earned upon successful completion of the law school courses will be applied to both the J.D. degree and as elective courses for the B.A. degree. After four years, students receive a B.A. with a history major. After six years, students, having completed all law school requirements successfully, will receive their J.D.

Eligibility and Admission Process

1) Phase I: applying to the Law 3+3 option. Students apply to the program either when they submit their applications to UNH by selecting the History/J.D. option on the online application, or after they are admitted, applying directly to the History Department's History/Law 3+3 Committee. In both cases, undergraduate applicants must fulfill the general requirements for admission to the History major.

a. Students applying at time of admission to UNH will typically present the following high school (HS) credentials:

  • a 3.5 GPA in HS
  • a rigorous HS curriculum defined as the following:
    • 4 years of college prep (CP) or higher English
    • 4 years of CP or higher mathematics
    • 4 years of CP or higher social studies/history
    • Completed at least level 3 of a foreign language
    • 3 or more years of CP or higher laboratory sciences
  • a score of 1200 or better (combined Math and Verbal) on the SAT or a 29 on the ACT)

b. Currently enrolled UNH students applying to the program must:

  • have a 3.5 GPA in college courses at time of application.
  • The History/Law 3+3 Committee governing admission to the program will also consider past SAT scores, maturity, and ability to complete a highly demanding program of study based on performance thus far.

For both groups, it is important to note that satisfying these requirements does not guarantee admission to this program. The review process is holistic (meaning all parts of the application carry weight and influence the final decision) and other components of the application will influence any admission decisions. Available space will also influence who is admitted to the program and how many students can be accepted.

2) Phase 2: applying to UNH Law School. To be eligible, students must:

  • Complete all Discovery and major requirements, and accrue at least 98 credits before beginning law school in their senior year
  • Maintain at least a 3.5 grade point average (including transfer credits) at time of application to law school, and at end of junior year
  • Take the LSAT no later than December of the final undergraduate year (i.e. the junior year) and have a score of 155 or above
  • Submit the law school application through the Law School Admissions Council by March 15 of the calendar year in which the student wishes to enroll in law school
  • If, for some reason, students are not admitted to UNH Law, they will complete their final, fourth year at UNH, following the typical undergraduate program.

Undergraduate Courses

Below is a suggested course outline. There might be other possible plans.

NOTE: Students should plan early and work closely with their advisors if they want to pursue the fast track program. It may be possible to include study abroad and other programs, if desired, but only with careful planning. They are also strongly encouraged to consult with the pre-law advisor on campus (Paula DiNardo, paula.dinardo@unh.edu, 603-862-2064.)

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Discovery Course 4
Discovery Course 4
History 400-level Course 4
Foreign Language Course 4
Discovery Course 4
Discovery Course 4
History 500-level Course (may be taken in Sem. 1 of sophomore year) 4
Foreign Language or Elective Course (if Foreign Language is completed in one semester) 4
Second Year
Discovery Course 4
Discovery Course 4
History 500-level Course 4
History 600-level Course 4
Discovery Course 4
Discovery Course 4
History 500-level Course 4
History 600-level Course 4
PLUS one 2-credit course or two 1-credit courses. LAW 475 Getting Ready to Succeed in Law School is recommended (can be taken fall semester of junior year instead). 1 2
Third Year
Discovery Course 4
Discovery Course 4
History 600-level Course 4
History Course Elective any level (no more than two 400-level courses may be counted towards major) 4
If not taken sophomore year, one 2-credit course or two 1-credit courses must be taken. LAW 475 Getting Ready to Succeed in Law School is recommended. 1  
HIST 797 Colloquium 4
History Elective Course any level (no more than two 400-level courses may be counted towards major) 4
Elective Course 4
Elective Course 4
 Total Credits98

40 total Discovery Program credits; 40 history credits; 4-8 foreign language credits; 8-12 elective credits; and two 1-credit courses OR one 2-credit course1. In addition to fulfilling the Discovery Program and history major requirements, students need to fulfill the Bachelor of Arts foreign language requirement and take four (4) writing intensive courses. HIST 500 Introduction to Historical Thinking and HIST 797 Colloquium fulfill two (2) WI courses.


Clarification: to earn 98 credits in 3 years, students will need to take one (1) 2-credit course or two (2) 1-credit courses. The 2-credit course, LAW 475 Getting Ready to Succeed in Law School, is recommended and is best taken in the spring semester of sophomore year or the fall semester of the junior year as it will include LSAT prep. Other 2-credit options include JUST 550 Mock Trial and JUST 551 Mock Trial. For other possible 1-2 credit courses, see the Time & Room Schedule. The 1-2 credit courses can be completed at any point in your first 3 years at UNH-Durham. You can also complete them during the January term [see, e.g., THDA 531 The London Experience: Discovery, a 2-credit study abroad program] or in the summer.

Law School Course Outline

Fourth Year/First Year Law (31 credits)

Plan of Study Grid
Fourth Year
LGP 920 Contracts 3
LGP 909 Civil Procedure 4
LGP 960 Torts 3
LSK 919 2
LSK 900 Legal Research and Information Literacy 2
LGP 900 The Legal Profession 1
LGP #969 Article II Sales 2
LGP 916 Constitutional Law 4
LGP 952 Property 4
LSK 920 3
LIP 944
or LPI 912
Fundamentals of Intellectual Property
or Fundamentals of Law Practice
 Total Credits31


After completing the first year courses (above), the schedule and track of the second and third years of law school are directed by each student with careful advising from the law faculty. The following summarizes the required curriculum and bar-recommended curriculum. 85 credits are required for graduation.

Required courses include:
Administrative Process
Criminal Procedure
Professional Responsibility
Upper Level Writing Course
Upper Level Skills Course

Bar-recommended courses include:
Personal Taxation
Business Associations
Wills, Trusts, and Estates

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: Yes

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

Students in the History/Law 3+3 option complete the requirements of the history major. See the Degree Plan for the recommended path through the major.

To complete a major in history, students must take ten (10) 4-credit history courses or their equivalent. Students who enter the University as history majors, or who declare a major in history, should take the first required course, HIST 500, as soon as possible. To declare a major in history, students must have completed or be enrolled in two history courses. HIST 500 is a prerequisite for the second required course, HIST 797, which fulfills the Discovery Program capstone requirement for history majors and is taken during the senior year. Students should consult the list of topics for HIST 797 advertised each semester.

HIST 500Introduction to Historical Thinking4
HIST 797Colloquium4
At least eight (8) additional courses, following the guidelines below. No more than two (2) may be at the 400-level and a minimum of three (3) must be at the 600-level or above.32
Total Credits40

A student's program of study must include two parts:

  1. An area of specialization. A student must select at least four courses to serve as an area of specialization within the major. Up to two courses (each four credits or their equivalent) in the area of specialization may be taken in other departments; such courses must be 500-level or above and have the approval of the student's advisor. The area of specialization may be in a nation, region, a time period, global history, or one of the following:
    * ancient and pre-modern worlds        
    * cultural and intellectual history        
    * empires and colonialism                     
    * international and diplomatic history   
    * politics, law, and government          
    * race, gender, and sexuality               
    * religion
    * revolution and social change
    * science, technology, medicine, and the environment
    * war and society
    * world economy
    * design your own (with advisor’s permission)
  2. Complementary courses. A student must select, in consultation with his or her advisor, at least three history courses in fields outside the area of specialization, chosen to broaden his or her understanding of the range of history. Each major should take at least one course from each of Groups I, II, and III. Group I contains all American history courses, Group II contains all European history courses, and Group III contains all other history courses.

The program must be planned in consultation with an advisor. A copy of the program, signed by the advisor, must be placed in a student's file no later than the second semester of the student's junior year. Courses at the 700-level will be judged by the advisor as to their applicability for area of specialization. The program may be modified with the advisor's approval.

Only one HIST 695 Independent Study may be used to fulfill the 600-level requirement, and no more than two Independent Study courses may count toward the ten-course requirement. No more than two 400-level courses may be counted toward the major requirements. Students must receive at least a C in HIST 500 Introduction to Historical Thinking and at least a C- in the other nine courses. Majors must maintain a 2.0 or better in all history courses.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

History majors may use history courses to fulfill Discovery category requirements but may not double-count history courses for major and Discovery category requirements.

History majors must satisfy the language requirement for the B.A. degree in an international language that they could use for historical research. That list includes Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Students may petition the department curriculum committee for exceptions.

For transfer students, a minimum of five (5) of the semester courses used to fulfill the major requirements must be taken at the University. One upper-level course may be transferred to satisfy the requirement that a major must take at least three courses numbered 600 or above. Transfer students must complete both HIST 500 Introduction to Historical Thinking (or its equivalent) and HIST 797 Colloquium.


History students can:

Build historical knowledge.

  • Gather and contextualize information in order to convey both the particularity of past lives and the scale of human experience.
  • Recognize how humans in the past shaped their own unique historical moments and were shaped by those moments.
  • Develop a body of historical knowledge with breadth of time and place—as well as depth of detail—in order to discern context.
  • Distinguish the past from our very different present.

Develop historical methods.

  • Recognize history as an interpretive account of the human past—one that historians create in the present from surviving evidence.
  • Collect, sift, organize, question, synthesize, and interpret complex material.
  • Practice ethical historical inquiry that makes use of and acknowledges sources from the past as well as the scholars who have interpreted that past.
  • Develop empathy toward people in the context of their distinctive historical moments.

Recognize the provisional nature of knowledge, the disciplinary preference for complexity, and the comfort with ambiguity that history requires.

  • Welcome contradictory perspectives and data, which enable us to provide more accurate accounts and construct stronger arguments.
  • Describe past events from multiple perspectives.
  • Explain and justify multiple causes of complex events and phenomena using conflicting sources.
  • Identify, summarize, appraise, and synthesize other scholars’ historical arguments.

Apply the range of skills it takes to decode the historical record because of its incomplete, complex, and contradictory nature.

  • Consider a variety of historical sources for credibility, position, perspective, and relevance.
  • Evaluate historical arguments, explaining how they were constructed and might be improved.
  • Revise analyses and narratives when new evidence requires it.

Create historical arguments and narratives.

  • Generate substantive, open-ended questions about the past and develop research strategies to answer them.
  • Craft well-supported historical narratives, arguments, and reports of research findings in a variety of media for a variety of audiences.

Use historical perspective as central to active citizenship.

  • Apply historical knowledge and historical thinking to contemporary issues.
  • Develop positions that reflect deliberation, cooperation, and diverse perspectives.


Take the Next Step

student in doorway of UNH campus building
Learn How to Apply
thompson hall in summer
Schedule a Visit
student at Career Event
Request Information