George Mason University

News at Mason

Mason, Christopher Newport partner to provide accelerated path to law degrees

April 28, 2017   /   by Buzz McClain

Provosts and deans from Mason and Christopher Newport

George Mason University Provost David S. Wu (sitting, left) and Christopher Newport University Provost David Doughty sign the 3+3 Program agreement Friday, April 28. Behind them are Scalia Law School Dean Henry Butler and Christopher Newport College of Social Sciences Dean Robert Colvin. Photos provided by Christopher Newport University.

The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University and Christopher Newport University on Friday announced a partnership that saves students time and money on their path to a law degree.

Students participating in the 3+3 Program between the two Virginia universities will complete three years of undergraduate study at Christopher Newport in Newport News before transferring to the Antonin Scalia Law School in Arlington for the final three years to earn a law degree. This new enhanced track reduces the time to graduate with a baccalaureate degree and law degree by one year.

It also saves Christopher Newport students $25,000 by foregoing a year of undergraduate studies, said Christopher Newport Provost David Doughty.

“This agreement enables our pre-law students to accelerate their time to a law degree and affords them the opportunity to study with the outstanding faculty of the Antonin Scalia Law School,” Doughty said. He also noted the possible internships, externships and employment opportunities afforded by Mason’s proximity to Washington, D.C.

“One of our missions is to serve Virginia students as best we can,” said Mason Provost S. David Wu. “Since we have a top-rated law school, we felt that this program is a very direct and effective way of doing that.”

Scalia Law School Dean Henry Butler contacted Christopher Newport’s president and former U.S. Sen. Paul Trible Jr. (R-Va.) a year ago to discuss the partnership, Butler said. The school already had a similar partnership with the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, and Mason students also have the 3+3 option.

“If I was 18 years old, I’d do this in a heartbeat,” said Robert Colvin, Dean of Christopher Newport's College of Social Sciences.

“Christopher Newport University is a highly selective institution with a rigorous core curriculum,” Colvin added. “Students that participate in this new program will be prepared to be exceptional legal scholars at the Antonin Scalia Law School.”

For students to be eligible for the program, they must be able to complete all of the requirements of their major and Christopher Newport’s general education curriculum by the end of the spring semester of their junior year of undergraduate study, maintain a 3.25 GPA, and earn a competitive score on the Law School Admission Test. Students must be approved for the program their freshman or sophomore year, enabling them to apply for formal admission to the law school during their third year.

Interested students should contact the Office of Admission at Christopher Newport.

About the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University

Located in Arlington, Virginia, minutes from Washington, D.C., the Scalia Law School of George Mason University offers its students an outstanding legal education that invokes curiosity and passion (Learn), trains students to critically evaluate prevailing orthodoxy and pursue new ideas (Challenge), and ultimately, prepares graduates to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields (Lead). With an exceptional faculty and small class sizes (12:1), students find the personalized attention they need to achieve their career goals. Learn more at

About Christopher Newport University

A four-year public university in Newport News, Virginia, Christopher Newport University enrolls 5,000 students in rigorous academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences through the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Social Sciences, and the Luter School of Business. CNU offers great teaching and small class sizes with an emphasis on leadership, civic engagement and honor. Learn more at