JD/MPA Dual Degree Program

University of Arkansas School of Law and Department of Political Science, Master of Public Administration

Program Description

The dual degree program permits the student to gain both degrees in a total time period of four years, one year less than if the degrees were earned independently. The dual degree can be valuable for persons seeking careers as municipal managers, administrators of judicial and quasi-judicial organizations, staff members in governmental agencies, and legislative researchers, among others. The rapid professionalization of the nonprofit sector also provides excellent career opportunities for students with this preparation.

Admission to the Dual Degree Program

The School of Law and the Department of Political Science cooperate in providing a dual J.D./M.P.A. degree. Students working toward this dual degree must be admitted to the School of Law and the Graduate School, the Department of Political Science. If the student is admitted to both programs, a maximum of fifteen (15) hours of approved upper-level elective law courses may be used as credit toward the M.P.A. degree, and a maximum of nine (9) hours of approved graduate courses in public administration may be used as credit toward the J.D. degree. This will reduce the time necessary to complete the two degrees by about one academic year. Through the M.P.A. program the student also has an option to enter into an internship, or, alternately, take an additional six (6) hours of classes to complete the M.P.A. program requirements.

Fifteen (15) hours of M.P.A. elective courses taken in the School of Law constitute an area of concentration that the student develops with his/her advisers in both programs.

The nine (9) hours of approved courses in public administration are to be selected from the following list of M.P.A. core courses: PLSC 5123 Public Budgeting and Finance, PLSC 5163 Public Policy Analysis, PLSC 5113 Human Resource Management or PLSC 5103 Human Behavior in Complex Organizations. (see attached suggested degree checklist).

Advisors

School of Law:
Will Foster, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
164 Waterman Hall (Robert A Leflar Law Center)
Tel: 479-575-3059
Dual-Degree Programs
Law School Catalog

Department of Political Science:
Pat Conge, Graduate Coordinator
321 Old Main
Tel: 479-575-6443

Students must seek admission to both programs. Students entering either program must decide during their first academic year if they would like to seek admission to the other degree as part of the dual degree. While students can commence their studies in either program, it is advisable to start with law classes (please be reminded that the first year of law classes is a set and that no M.P.A. classes may be taken during that first year).  During the second year, classes from either program may be taken.

Students must meet with their academic advisors in both programs at least once a year  to develop/revise their course of study and to certify that they make adequate progress toward the completion of their degrees. Any changes in the curriculum will require the consent of both advisors.

Records of the student's progress toward completing his/her studies are kept in both academic units.