Law school dual degree programs are growing increasingly popular among students who wish to develop specific areas of expertise and earn two degrees. These programs often allow for completion in less time than it would take to earn the two degrees consecutively. Here, we'll highlight five specific dual JD (Juris Doctor) programs, and discuss common admissions requirements.
JD Dual Degree Programs
University of Pennsylvania JD/MBA
At the University of Pennsylvania, students can pursue a JD/MBA (Master of Business Administration), earning the MBA at Penn's respected Wharton Business School. The Penn JD/MBA takes three years to complete. This degree may be especially helpful for those who wish to pursue careers in transactional law or other legal disciplines that focus on business interests. Students spend their first year at the law school and in specially designed summer courses after their first year. A capstone course during the final year helps students to integrate their learning between the degrees, and experience can be gained through a required seventy hours of pro bono legal work and six credit hours of experiential learning.
Texas Tech JD/MPA
Texas Tech University offers a dual JD/MPA (Master of Public Administration). This program can be finished in three to four years and can be especially beneficial for those seeking careers in government or public service. Students spend their first year at the law school and take classes in each school in subsequent years. They are encouraged to take law school electives which complement their MPA courses, such as taxation and administrative law. A capstone practicum through the MPA program facilitates gaining work experience.
University of California - Los Angeles JD/PhD
At UCLA, a highly competitive dual JD/PhD in Philosophy is one program option. Those completing this program will typically have a strong background in philosophy and an interest in university teaching and research. Students usually devote one year of study to the PhD in Philosophy, one year to full-time legal studies, and subsequently take courses in both departments. The program may take up to nine years to complete, but is dependent upon each individual student. The JD/PhD student will write a dissertation on an area relevant to both law and philosophy.
Indiana University JD/MLIS
Those with an interest in information science can pursue the JD/MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) at Indiana University. Those pursuing this degree could desire to work as a law librarian at a university or in a law firm. As a component of this program, students participate in an internship at a law library. Students must complete 30 credit hours at the school of library and information sciences, and 84 credit hours at the law school.
University of Miami JD/MD
The University of Miami provides a program of study leading to the JD and MD (Doctor of Medicine). This degree might be relevant for students with a developed interest in health law and policy; or those who wish to move into high-level hospital administrative positions. The program requires six years and two summers to complete. Students spend their first two years exclusively in the medical school and complete standard first-year law courses during the third year of the program. Upon commencing their legal studies, specific courses in administrative law and health care law are required. A medical-legal clinic may provide hands-on experience.
Typically, students applying to dual degree programs will be required to meet the admissions requirements of each individual program. For law studies, students will apply through the LSAC credential assembly service. Applications require LSAT scores, recommendations, personal statement, resume, and transcripts. The requirements for the other program will vary significantly depending on the degree sought, particularly in terms of standardized testing requirements. Be aware of and follow any specific directions in order to apply to dual degree programs.
Completing a dual degree while enrolled in a JD program can allow students to focus on a specific area related to law and to be highly competitive in the marketplace. Admission requirements vary depending on the degree sought.