Joint J.D.-M.A. Degree Program

The joint degree program leading to the J.D. and the M.A. in philosophy develops a student’s understanding and appreciation of the converging disciplines of law and philosophy. The program combines into 3 years and 1 summer session the normal 3-year J.D. program offered by the School of Law and the 2-year M.A. in philosophy program offered by the Department of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students complete 81 credit hours in law and 21 credit hours in philosophy. Generally, students apply to the School of Law first, and then, if admitted, apply to the M.A. in Philosophy during the fall of their first year in the Law School. The J.D. and M.A. diplomas are then awarded concurrently after completion of joint degree program requirements.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Admission to the Joint Program

The program is open to those who have earned baccalaureate degrees from accredited colleges or universities and whose undergraduate academic records indicate that they have the capacity to complete the program. Applicants must meet the admission requirements and prerequisites of the School of Law and the Department of Philosophy.  The only exception to this is that the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is the only required entrance examination for such applicants (GRE is not required for either program). Students must apply and be admitted to each school separately.  Generally, students apply to the School of Law first, and if admitted, apply later to the M.A. in Philosophy for a start date of the following Fall semester.  A student who desires to enter the program while enrolled in the first year of the J.D. or M.A. in philosophy must consult and obtain approval from the School of Law, the Department of Philosophy, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. No student may enter the combined program after completing more than 30 credit hours in the School of Law or 12 hours in the Department of Philosophy.

For information about applying to the Law School, see the school website. For information about applying to the M.A. program in Philosophy, please visit the graduate program page of the Philosophy department website, or contact the Graduate Academic Advisor, Cari Ann Kreienhop, ckreienhop@ku.edu.

Typical Enrollment Pattern for J.D./M.A. Program

Year 1
Hours 
Law courses29 
Philosophy courses0 
 29 
Year 2
Hours 
Law courses22 
Philosophy courses6 
 28 
Year 3
HoursSummerHours
Law courses22Law courses5
Philosophy courses9Philosophy courses6
 31 11
Total Hours: 99

Joint J.D./M.A. Degree Requirements

Law courses required of all J.D. candidates44
Law courses required for joint degree candidates9
Philosophy courses required for joint degree candidates9
Additional law courses28
Additional philosophy courses12
Total minimum credit hours required (102)102

It is essential for the student to consult the director of graduate studies in philosophy and a representative of the School of Law about specific courses required or recommended for this program.

For additional information, see the School of Law and the Guidelines and Information for Graduate Students available from the Department of Philosophy.