JD/MA Dual Degree Program

J.D./M.A. Dual Program: International Law and International Political Economy

University of Arkansas School of Law and Department of Political Science, Master of Arts

Program Description

The Department of Political Science, the Graduate School, and the School of Law cooperate in offering a dual degree program that allows a student to pursue the M.A. and the J.D. degrees concurrently. Graduates from this program are likely to find employment in a variety of occupational areas: such as International trade (corporate); International economic development and promotion (state and local levels).

Admission to the Dual Degree Program

Students must be admitted to the M.A. program and the School of Law. If a student seeks to enter the dual degree program after enrolling in either the Law School or the M.A. program, he/she must obtain admission to the other degree program during the first year of study.

Students admitted to the dual degree program may commence their studies in either the law school or the M.A. program, but must complete first year course requirements before taking courses in the other degree program. If they do not maintain the academic or ethical standards of either degree program, students may be terminated from the dual degree program. Students in good standing in one degree program, but not in the other, may be allowed to continue in the other program in which they have good standing and must meet the degree requirements of that program. If for any reason a student admitted to the dual degree program does not complete the M.A. degree, he/she cannot count nine (9) hours of M.A. courses toward the J.D. degree. Likewise, M.A. students may not be able to count certain law courses if they decide to discontinue their studies in the law school. The J.D. will be awarded upon completion of all degree requirements; the M.A. will be awarded upon completion of the comprehensive examination and the successful defense of a Master's thesis, or alternatively, six (6) hours of additional coursework.

The program requires that:

  • the student only select courses from comparative politics or international relations seminars in political science or equivalent courses in other departments approved by the graduate adviser in political science
    (total of 18 hrs--3 hrs methods and 15 hrs from a combination of international relations and comparative politics seminars),
  • 6 additional hours of approved classes,
  • and adhere to the requirements described by the University of Arkansas School of Law.

The School of Law accepts nine (9) semester hours of M.A. courses to satisfy requirements for the J.D. degree:  PLSC 5503 Comparative Political Analysis, PLSC 5803, Seminar in International Politics, PLSC 5833 Seminar in Contemporary Problems. PLSC 4833 International Political Economy; and ECON 4633 International Trade Policy are highly recommended to be part of the student's preparation.

Twelve (12) hours of approved law school courses may be counted toward the M.A. degree.

To qualify for J.D. credit, the M.A. courses must come from a set of core courses and must be approved by the law school and the graduate director in Political Science. Students must earn a grade of B or higher in any M.A. courses offered for credit toward the J.D. Students enrolled in law classes that are counted towards their Political Science degree must make a letter grade of C or better in those courses. However, these courses will not be counted against their Graduate School GPA.  


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 

The student, the Law School advisor and Political Science graduate coordinator meet once a year to map out the student’s program. The meetings take place in the student's first year and then again after the student’s completion of his/her first year in law school. Corrections to the student's program will be made, if needed, at that time. 

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