A Juris Doctor/Master in Public Policy (JD/MPP) dual degree program typically takes four years to complete and prepares students to work in public service. This dual degree program will provide legal training and analytical skills to help graduates shape public policy as lawyers, advocates, or public officials.
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General Degree Program Information
A JD/MPP dual degree program provides a legal education with policy analytic tools to help students understand the interaction between law and policy. Below are some courses students can expect to take in completing this dual degree program:
Constitutional law courses will teach students the basics of the United States Constitution. The course will focus on an in-depth analysis of the Constitution, the surrounding case law, as well as different interpretation theories of the constitution, judicial review, and the development of rights through amendments and jurisprudence.
Policy Design and Analysis
Policy Design and Analysis educates students in the public policy process, introducing students to the framework and structure of policy systems, agencies, and organizations. Students will also learn tools and methodologies to analyze policies and their implementation within a greater system.
Legal Research and Writing
Legal Research and Writing courses will teach students how to research and write like a lawyer. The legal research portion will teach students how to use search engines such as LexisNexis and Westlaw, as well as how to effectively search federal statutes and regulations. The legal writing portion will teach students how to outline, organize, and write legal briefs and memos.
Statistical Analysis for Public Policy
This course will introduce students to the statistical methods of analyzing the different aspects of public policy. Students will learn about the statistical theory, statistical modeling, and how to apply statistical analysis, using quantitative methods to obtain quantitative results.
Public Budgeting and Finance
In public budgeting and finance, students will learn the budgeting processes, revenue systems, risk management, and debt administration within the public sector. Students will learn about how to manage budgets for governmental entities and how to improve budgeting processes.
Program Admittance Requirements
Students interested in pursuing a Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Policy must apply separately and be separately admitted to the law school and public policy school, meeting the admittance requirements for each school. However, students do not necessarily need to apply to both schools at the same time; they may apply for the JD/MPP dual degree program in their first year of study at either the law school or the public policy school, though specific programs may have exceptions to this policy.
There is no specific bachelor's degree required for admittance to the law school or the public policy school, and GPA and test score requirements will depend on the school. However, there is a greater emphasis on work experience, recommendation letters, and especially essays for dual degree programs. Prospective students will also need to disclose their intent to pursue a dual degree program and explain why each degree is integral to their career goals.
A JD/MPP program is a great option for students interested in a career in public affairs. It provides legal and policy foundations that prepare students to help shape and influence public policy as lawyers, advocates, or public officials.