Academics

Dual Degrees - J.D. / M.A.

The Graduate School and the Law School participate in a dual-degree program in which, upon completion, students are awarded a J.D./M.A. or J.D./M.S. The following Graduate School departments/programs offer the dual degree: Art History, Biomedical Engineering, Classics, Cultural Anthropology, East Asian Studies, Economics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, English, Environment, Global Health, History, Humanities, Literature, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Romance Studies, and Psychology: Social and Health Sciences. A dual J.D., M.E.M., M.B.A., or M.D. with a MASTER of PUBLIC POLICY program is also available. More information is available.

Application Procedures

Students apply for the J.D./M.A./M.S. program through the Law School. Once the Law School Admissions Committee has approved admission, the applicant's file is forwarded to the Graduate School department for an admission decision. Candidates must be admitted to both schools in order to enroll in the dual-degree program. Applicants are notified of both admission decisions at the same time. All dual-degree applicants must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), but are not required to take the General Record Examination (GRE). Students normally enter this program in the summer before their first year of Law School.

Late Applicants: Currently enrolled students wishing to apply to the dual J.D./M.A./M.S. program must do so no later than April 15 of the second semester of the first year. A student applying for late entry into the dual-degree program must:

  1. Have the Law School submit a complete, confidential dossier of the original Law School application to the Graduate School.
  2. Complete the standard Graduate School application forms and complete a personal essay.
  3. Pay a $80 application fee.
  4. Provide an official, confidential copy of the Law School transcript (if a semester of Law School has been completed at the time of application).

The GRE requirement will still be waived for students applying by April 15 of their first year in Law School. Students who apply late to the dual-degree program may need to stay in Law School an additional semester in order to complete all requirements.

Very Late Applications: Once beyond April 15 of the first year of Law School, students are not eligible to be official participants of the dual-degree program. However, such students may still apply to a regular master's program. The applicant must:

  1. Have the Law School submit a complete, confidential dossier of the original Law School application to the Graduate School.
  2. Complete the standard Graduate School application forms and complete a personal essay.
  3. Pay a $80 application fee.
  4. Provide an official, confidential copy of the Law School transcript (if a semester of Law School has been completed at the time of application).
  5. Provide at least one current, confidential letter of recommendation.

Students participating in this way will receive concurrent but not dual degrees. There is no reduction in tuition or forwarding of tuition and fees from the Law School to the Graduate School. There is also no reduction in the course credit requirements of either school. Receipt of either degree is not dependent upon the other. For further information and/or other requirements involved with very late applications, please contact the Graduate School Admissions Office at (919) 684-3913.

Coursework

The flexibility of the dual-degree program is partnered with a strong foundation in basic legal education. First year dual-degree students complete the same core curriculum required of other first-year students. By starting at the Law School the summer before other first-year students, dual-degree students are able to complete a significant portion of the required courses for the master's degree in their first year.

J.D./Master's Degree Requirements

J.D./Master's Degree students are required to complete 72 Law School credits (a reduction from the 84 credits required for a regular J.D. student). They must also register for 30 credits in the Graduate School, though the actual number of graded courses varies by department, plus complete a master's exam. Master's students must maintain continuous registration and pay a "continuation fee" each semester they are in the program, whether or not they are registered for units of credit.

Like all other master's students, dual J.D./M.A./M.S. students must maintain continuous registration within the Graduate School and take a master's exam. Again, some departments have a thesis or paper requirement. The Graduate School also requires submission of the Intent to Receive Degree Form and a "Master's Thesis Examination Card" (which requires a formal thesis format check in the Graduate School) or the "Non-Thesis Master's Examination Card" by the published deadline during the semester in which the student is graduating. If these items are not submitted by the deadline, students will be unable to graduate.

Dual Degrees are Interdependent

Students should note that joint degrees are interdependent. If the full requirements of both degrees are not met, the student will not receive either degree.

Tuition

Tuition for the summer term is about two-thirds of the amount for a Law School semester. After that, students pay the regular Law School tuition each semester. The Law School then transfers some of these funds to the Graduate School to cover expenses for the 30 credit hours necessary to complete the master's degree. Students registering for more than 30 hours in the Graduate School (either due to interest in the subjects or because of incompletes or failing grades in Graduate School courses) must pay for these additional credit hours themselves.