Joint Degree in Law & Public Policy

The JD/MPP Joint Degree Program in Law and Public Policy provides students with an opportunity to master the fundamentals of legal and policy analysis. It provides students with full legal training and a solid understanding of public policy, preparing them for careers in legal academia, government and policymaking. Upon completion of the graduation requirements of both schools, students of the joint degree program will receive both a JD from the Scalia Law School and an MPP from the Schar School of Policy and Government (Schar). Both degrees can be achieved on a full-time basis in approximately four years, instead of the five years that would be required if each degree were pursued sequentially.

Basic Requirements for the MPP

The MPP requires a total of 33* credit hours. Joint degree students must complete all 21 credits of the required curriculum (see accompanying table). Twelve additional policy credits are required in upper division coursework in order to complete the MPP. Any student entering the program without relevant work experience will also be expected to complete a three credit policy related internship.

Law School’s Original Curriculum Required Courses Credit Hours
Introduction to Legal Research, Writing & Analysis (LRWA) 2
Contracts I 2
Torts 4
Property 4
Economics for Lawyers 3
Civil Procedure 4
Legislation and Statutory Interpretation 2
Contracts II 3
Criminal Law 3
Appellate Writing 2
Constitutional Law I 4
Legal Drafting 2
Professional Responsibility 2
Total 40
Electives 49
Overall Total 89
Schar’s Original Curriculum Required Courses  
PUBP 500 Theory and Practice in Public Policy 3
Pick one of the following:
  • PUBP 570: Policy Writing Fundamentals
  • PUBP 730: U.S. Institutions and the Policy Process
  • PUAD 649: Advocacy and Lobbying
  • POGO 750: Project Management
  • POGO 750: Public Sector Leadership
  • POGO 750: Policy Communication
POGO 511 Introductory Data Analysis for Policy and Government 3
Pick one of the following:
  • GOVT 500: The Scientific Method and Research Design
  • POGO 611: Advanced Data Analysis for Policy and Government
  • POGO 646: Policy and Program Evaluation
  • POGO 793: Big Data Analytics for Policy and Government
  • PUBP 754: GIS for Public Policy
  • PUBP 791: Advanced Field Research for Policy – Theory, Method
PUBP 720 Managerial Econ & Policy Analysis 3
Pick one of the following:
  • GCP 503: Macroeconomic Policy, Global Economics
  • POGO750: Advanced Macroeconomic and Econometric Methods for Policy Analysis
  • POGO 750: Global Tax Policy
  • POGO 750: Economics of Education
  • PUBP 732: Labor Markets and Policies
  • PUBP 792: Advanced Economic Analysis for Policy Research
PUAD 662 National Budgeting 3
Pick one of the following:
  • PUBP 503: Culture, Organization, and Technology
  • PUBP 761: Social Entrepreneurship and Public Policy
  • GCP 605: Technology, Culture and Commerce
  • POGO 750: Social Media Privacy and Innovation
  • POGO 750: Biological and Environmental Data Science for Policy
Total 24
Electives 12
Professional Experience 3*
Overall Total 39
Joint Program New Combined Total  
Law’s Required Coursework 40
Law’s Electives 40
Law’s Total 80
Schar’s Required Coursework 24
Schar’s Electives 9
Schar’s Total 33* or 36*
New Combined Total 113

Additional Requirements

Students will have five years from matriculation in the Law School to complete the JD requirements and six years from matriculation in the Schar School of Policy and Government to complete the MPP requirements. At the beginning of the final year of study, the student must seek approval from the law school for a reduced electives course load, as the joint degree program reduces the total number of credit hours needed for graduation from 128 (89 law, 39 public policy) to 113 (80 law, 33* public policy).

Students in the joint degree program will not receive a cumulative GPA, but instead will have two separate transcripts maintained by the separate departments. If a student decides at any point to abandon the joint degree program and pursue one degree or the other, the credit reduction will not remain and students will be expected to complete the entire credit load to receive the degree (89 hours for the JD and 39 hours for the MPP).

*Students who do not meet the professional work experience requirement of the Schar School of Policy and Government will be expected to complete a 3 credit internship that does not count towards the 36 credit degree completion total.