Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration (MPA)
The S.J. Quinney College of Law and the Department of Political Science has adopted the following program to enable students to pursue both a JD degree and an MPA degree simultaneously.
Reduction in Overall Credit Requirement
The JD/MPA program is based on the assumption that, because there is complementary intellectual benefit from studying law and public administration in a coordinated program, a student enrolled in the dual degree program should be allowed to earn both degrees in less time and with a lower overall credit requirement than were that student enrolled in each school or program independently. Accordingly, students enrolled in the dual degree program may count up to 12 credit hours of College of Law class work towards fulfilling the 39 credit hour requirement of the MPA degree and may count up to 12 credit hours of MPA class work towards fulfilling the 88 credit hour requirement of the JD degree. Upon completion of both programs, the student earns two separate degrees, a JD degree awarded by the College of Law and an MPA degree awarded by the Department of Political Science.
Because the overall credit requirements for both degrees are reduced by 24 credit hours, a student enrolled in the dual degree program can expect to complete the two degrees in approximately eight semesters of full-time study. However, a student enrolled in the JD/MPA Dual Degree Program must complete all JD and all MPA requirements before either degree will be awarded.
Application to the JD/MPA Dual Degree Program
Applicants interested in this program must submit separate admission applications to the College of Law and to the MPA Program. Each program has its own independent admissions standards, and admission to one program does not ensure admission to the other.
Applicants interested in pursuing the JD/MPA dual degree are encouraged to apply to both programs at the same time. Nonetheless, a law student may apply to the MPA program (and thus be eligible to earn a dual degree) prior to completion of the first year of law school. An MPA student who enrolls in the law program after matriculating in the MPA program will have limitations imposed on those MPA credit hours that can count towards the law degree.
Completion of First Year at the College of Law as Prerequisite for Law Credit for MPA Courses
The College of Law will not give law credit for an MPA course unless the applicant has first successfully completed the first year at the College of Law. This prerequisite means that applicants who start the dual degree program by doing work in the MPA program before completing the first year of law school must delay taking the specific MPA courses they intend to count towards their 12 hours of law credit until after they complete the first year of law school.
The College of Law strongly recommends that an applicant not take any MPA courses during the first year of law school. The first year of law school is demanding.
Requirements for Cross Over Course Credit
To earn academic credit towards a law degree for coursework completed in the MPA program: 1) an MPA course must be pre-approved by the College of Law Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, and that approval must be indicated on the “Petition for Non-Law School/Dual Degree Credit” Form; 2) the course must be a graduate-level course; and 3) the student must receive a grade of 3.0 ("B") or higher in the course.
To earn academic credit towards the MPA degree for coursework completed in the College of Law: 1) the course may not be part of the law school's first-year curriculum with exception of Constitutional Law I; 2) the student must receive a grade of 2.7 (B-) or higher in the course; and 3) the course must address topics directly related to public law, public administration, or public policy. The student should consult with the MPA Program Manager for approval.
Notification to the College of Law Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of Enrollment Only in MPA Courses
A student in the JD/MPA Dual Degree Program who during any semester is enrolled only in MPA courses shall notify the law school's Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of that fact.
Notification to MPA Program Manager of Enrollment Only in College of Law Courses
A student in the JD/MPA Program who during any semester is enrolled only in College of Law courses shall notify the MPA Program Manager of that fact.
MPA Major Research Paper - ONLY required for students admitted prior to Fall 2021
The MPA program requires that a student complete a major research paper. A research paper completed in a College of Law course may satisfy the MPA major research paper requirement if the student's MPA Faculty Advisor determines that the paper meets the following requirements:
- The paper written in the law course meets all criteria for a major research paper set by the MPA program in terms of length and significance;
- The law school paper receives a grade of "B" or better; and
- The subject matter of the paper has significance in the fields of both law and public administration.
In the event that a student in the MPA program chooses to write the optional master's thesis instead of a major research paper, the MPA program will appoint the student's College of Law Faculty Advisor as a member of the thesis committee.
College of Law Seminar Paper Requirement
The College of Law Seminar Writing Requirement will not be waived for students in the JD/MPA Dual Degree Program, and the MPA major research paper will not satisfy this law school requirement. (However, as noted in Section 8 above, in certain instances the College ofLaw seminar paper may satisfy the MPA major research requirement).
Though students enrolled in the dual program are encouraged to select a seminar at the College of Law that involves the subject matter of relevance to public administration, this is not required.
Completion of Both Programs Required for Award of Each Degree
A student enrolled in the JD/MPA Dual Degree Program, who wishes to count credits taken in one program toward fulfilling the degree in the other program, must complete all requirements of both programs before either degree will be awarded.