M.P.A./J.D. Combined Program
The joint degree program is designed for the student who intends to combine career preparation in law and public administration. Examples of career objectives for this degree are the practice of law in communities (for example, a city attorney, who may be called upon to perform legal services for a municipality) and for city managers (who may need to deal with legal questions and interact with legal professionals). The program combines into 4 years the normal 3-year Juris Doctor program offered by the School of Law and the 2-year M.P.A. program offered by the School of Public Affairs and Administration.
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.
Applicants for the MPA/JD program will apply for the MPA program. Please visit our website for complete admissions information.
The academic prerequisites for regular admission to the MPA program are:
- Completion of a bachelor’s degree, preferably with a background in the social sciences, including basic college algebra and statistics courses.
- A grade-point average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) for all previous university or college work. In certain circumstances, when the GPA is slightly below 3.0, other factors, such as strong Graduate Record Examination scores or exceptional letters of recommendation may be considered for provisional admission to the MPA program.
For all applicants, a completed application includes:
- Online Graduate Studies application.
- A nonrefundable application fee, submitted online with the application form.
- 1 official transcript from the degree-granting college or university and any post-graduate college or university attended.
- 3 letters of recommendation. If possible, at least 1 should be an academic reference.
- A 3- to 5-page essay describing your background and career goals and clearly indicating how the MPA degree fits into those goals and addressing any deficiencies in your academic preparation.
- A current résumé.
- A writing sample that is at least 5 pages long. It should be a well-cited work in which you critically analyze (not just summarize) an issue.
- Graduate Record Examination scores (General test only — verbal, analytical, and quantitative). GRE scores are not required, but recommended, for students who received their bachelor's degree more than 3 years prior to the time of admission. For reporting GRE scores to the KU School of Public Affairs and Administration, the institution code is 6871 and the department code is 4801. LSAT or GMAT can substitute for the GRE.
- Non-native speakers of English must meet English proficiency requirements as described here.
Application deadlines are February 1, May 1, June 15 and November 1.
M.P.A./J.D. Combined Program
The joint degree program is designed for the student who intends to combine career preparation in law and public administration. Examples of career objectives for this degree are the practice of law in communities (for example, a city attorney, who may be called upon to perform legal services for a municipality) and for city managers (who may need to deal with legal questions and interact with legal professionals). The program combines into 4 years the normal 3-year Juris Doctor program offered by the School of Law and the 2-year M.P.A. program offered by the School of Public Affairs and Administration. Students must complete 116 total credit hours: 78 credit hours in the School of Law (42 required and 36 elective), 31 hours in the School of Public Affairs and Administration, and 12 hours of electives of which only 3 hours may be law courses.
Of the 43 required hours in public administration, 6 hours are earned during the internship in the fourth year. The internship may not be taken concurrently with course work. At the conclusion of the internship year, each candidate must successfully pass a final written examination administered by public administration. The J.D. degree is awarded at the completion of the total required credit hours other than those associated with the internship. The M.P.A. degree is awarded upon successful completion of the internship and final examination. All course work counted toward any master’s degree requires a B average for the award of the degree. Specifically, students should understand that if they elect 6 or fewer hours of law requirements, the grades received in those law courses are incorporated into the M.P.A. grade-point average, which must be 3.0 for the award of the M.P.A.
For admission a student must meet requirements of both programs. Dual admission requires submitting separate sets of application materials as required by the respective programs. The M.P.A./J.D. program is open to those who have earned baccalaureate degrees and whose undergraduate academic records indicate that they have the capacity to complete these programs.
Since the total course work, excluding the internship, is 109 hours, students pursuing the joint degree should plan to enroll in course work for 2, and in some instances 3, summers.