The College of Law and the Department of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences offer a coordinated dual degree program leading to the conferral of both the Doctor of Jurisprudence and Master of Arts degree with a major in Philosophy. In this program, a student may earn the JD and MA in about four years rather than the five years that otherwise would be required.
Applicants for the JD-MA (Philosophy major) program must make separate application to, and be independently accepted by, the College of Law for the JD and the Department of Philosophy and Office of Graduate Admissions for the MA degree, with a major in Philosophy. Applicants must also be accepted by the dual degree committee (the membership of which will include a program coordinator from both the College of Law and the Department of Philosophy). Upon petition, an applicant’s LSAT score may be accepted by the Department of Philosophy as a substitute for the normally required GRE score. Application to the dual degree program may be made prior to or after matriculation in either the JD or the MA (Philosophy) program, but application must be made prior to the last 29 hours required for the JD and prior to the last 15 hours required for the MA (Philosophy).
A dual degree candidate must satisfy the requirements for both the JD and MA (Philosophy) degrees, as well as the requirements of the dual degree program. The College of Law will award a maximum of 9 hours of credit toward the JD degree for successful completion of approved graduate level courses (500- or 600-level) offered in the Department of Philosophy. The Department of Philosophy will award a maximum of 15 hours of credit toward the MA degree for successful completion of approved courses offered in the College of Law. All courses for which such cross-credit is awarded must be approved by the JD-MA (Philosophy) program coordinators in the College of Law and Department of Philosophy. Upon admission to the dual degree program, a dual degree candidate will take, if he or she has not already taken, the required first year courses in the College of Law.
Philosophy offers both a non-thesis and thesis MA. Each requires a total of 30 hours of credit, at least 12 of which must be graduate level courses (other than PHIL 500 thesis hours) in Philosophy. For a dual degree candidate up to 15 of the 30 required hours will come from approved law school courses. For dual degree candidates, the ordinary distribution and proseminar requirements for the Philosophy MA are waived.
For a non-thesis MA student, the remaining 15 hours in Philosophy will be coursework (500- or 600-level) in Philosophy. The non-thesis MA student must, however, satisfy the non-thesis MA requirement for a “culminating academic experience” (normally the presentation of a philosophical paper at a professional meeting or departmental colloquium). The non-thesis MA student will take an MA comprehensive examination administered as if the student had a “minor” in law (so, a member of the law faculty will be on the examination committee and candidate examination questions will be solicited from the instructors of the law courses counting toward the student’s MA).
A student electing to pursue the thesis MA track must take 12 hours of graduate level coursework in Philosophy as well as 6 thesis hours of PHIL 500. The thesis topic must be approved by the program coordinators and dual degree committee, and the student’s thesis committee must include a faculty member from the College of Law. A student electing to pursue the thesis MA track will thus earn from Philosophy 18 hours of the required 30 hours for the MA and thus need credit from Philosophy for only 12 hours of coursework in the College of Law.
Dual degree students who withdraw from the program before completion of the requirements for both degrees will not receive credit toward either the JD or the MA (Philosophy) degree for courses taken in the other program except as such courses qualify for credit without regard to the dual degree program.
Awarding of Grades
For grade recording purposes in the College of Law and Department of Philosophy, grades awarded in the other unit will be converted to either Satisfactory or No Credit and will not be computed in determining a student’s GPA or class standing. The College of Law will award a grade of Satisfactory for an approved Philosophy course in which the student earns a grade of B or higher and a grade of No Credit for any lower grade. The Philosophy Department will award a grade of Satisfactory for an approved law course in which the student earns a grade of 2.3 or higher and a grade of No Credit for any lower grade. The official academic record of the student maintained by the Office of the University Registrar shall show the actual grade assigned by the instructor without conversion.