A joint degree program allows a student to
complete two graduate degrees concurrently in less time than it takes to
finish each program individually. As a specified number of credit hours
apply toward both degrees, students also pay less in overall tuition by
Before beginning a joint degree program,
both full-time and part-time law students must complete the required
first-year curriculum and achieve a minimum grade point average of 3.00
in those courses. Full-time students earn 28 credits the first year,
while part-time students must earn at least 28 credits within the first
three semesters of the law program.
Traditional JD students must complete 86
credit hours to graduate from the College of Law. However, under a joint
degree program, a student earns the JD degree after completing a
minimum of 76 credit hours. The College of Law applies up to 10 credits
toward the JD degree for work completed in the other graduate degree
program. Credit hours are eligible to be applied only after completion
of the required first year JD curriculum described above. A joint degree
student may not receive credit for courses that create a redundancy in
Students seeking a
joint degree with a college outside of the College of Law must
independently apply and be admitted to the other graduate degree
program. Full-time law students typically apply to the other graduate
program in the summer prior to their second year of law school.
Part-time law students typically apply to the other graduate degree
program in the spring semester of their second year.
After admission to the other graduate
program, joint degree applicants should submit a copy of the acceptance
letter and law school transcript to the Associate Dean for Student
Affairs at the College of Law. The transcript and acceptance letter
should be accompanied by a cover letter from the student requesting that
the student's classification be changed from Juris Doctor candidate to
candidate for the appropriate joint degree. The letter should include
the student's full name, student identification number, mailing address,
email address and phone number. The joint degree candidate should also
schedule a meeting with the appropriate adviser in the other college to
which the student has been admitted to discuss the curriculum.
Combined Credits and Expenses
Full-time joint degree students generally
complete the program in four years. Part-time applicants generally
complete the joint degree program in five years. A student may
accelerate the program by taking classes in the summer or by taking more
courses during the academic year. By doing so, a student may complete
both programs one-half year earlier.
Once enrolled in a joint degree program,
students no longer pay the College of Law package tuition; instead,
students pay by the credit hour for law classes and classes taken in the
Joint degree students must meet the grading standards of the College of
Law and the respective graduate degree program in order to remain in
good standing. Grades are recorded on the transcript under the college
in which the courses are taken, and the combined degree is recorded
after graduation. Students who are dismissed from either program may be
able to continue studies in the other program. Students must satisfy the
normal program requirements of the other school to receive the degree;
no double counting of credits is permitted after a dismissal from one
Leaves of Absence/Withdrawal
Students must receive permission from both colleges to take a leave of
absence from the joint degree program or to withdraw from the joint
degree program. A leave of absence is granted for a maximum of one year.
If a student does not enroll in classes after one year, he or she will
be permanently withdrawn from both programs and only may re-enroll by
applying to the admission offices of both colleges as a new student.
To receive the joint degree, a student must
graduate from both schools on the same date, in the same
semester/quarter and in the same year. Double counting of credits occurs
only after concurrently completion of both programs.
For a December graduation, all requirements
must be completed at the end of the fall semester and fall quarter. For a
spring graduation, all non-law requirements must be completed at the
end of the winter quarter and all law requirements at the end of the
spring semester. If these requirements are not met, a student will not
be eligible to graduate, cannot be certified for admission to the Bar,
and cannot sit for the bar examinations.