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JD/MA Overview

Program Overview

The Interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Bioethics and Medical Humanities is a 33 credit-hour program, consisting of seven required core courses and four electives. Normally the M.A. degree is obtained after two years of full time courses. However, the dual degree program takes into consideration the shared goals of both the M.A. and J.D. programs and allows for completion of both degrees in four years. The first year of law courses will be completed as directed by the Law School. The course work for the M.A will be integrated into the second and third years of the program. The fourth year will finish the J.D. coursework, including service and internship requirements. Please see the detailed curriculum below for more information.



The program strives to offer a competitive pricing structure for students. The four-year program consolidates the costs of both degrees by charging tuition appropriate to the course load carried in each school. Generally this means three years of the program are charged at current Law School rates and one year at School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies rates. Financial aid may be available through the appropriate school. As well, a limited number of Graduate Assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Students awarded the assistantship will receive a full tuition waiver, health insurance, and a stipend of $15,000 for one year of the program. Thereafter the student will be responsible for the normal costs of attending the University of Louisville Law School.


Application Process

Admissions decisions are handled independently for each school. In order to be admitted to the J.D./M.A. program you must be admitted to both the Law School and the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies. Candidates must therefore complete a full application to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies and provide a 2-4 page personal statement answering the question: “Why have you decided to pursue an M.A in Bioethics and Medical Humanities?” Admissions decisions for the M.A. program are made three times per year. The first deadline, February 15th , allows for early admissions decisions and the award of the competitive fellowships for the following fall. A second deadline, July 15th, is the final opportunity for fall admissions decisions. Students wishing to join the program in the spring must have all materials completed by November 15th. Ways to accelerate the process by using materials submitted for admissions to the Law School are currently being investigated.

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