Master of Public Administration/ Juris Doctor

Dual Degree Program


The dual MPA/JD program recognizes the values of interdisciplinary study and encourages students having an interest in both law and public administration to pursue these degrees simultaneously. Public policy decisions by governments and nonprofit organizations have both administrative and legal ramifications. Effective administration of public, private and non-profit entities requires comprehensive and strategic management skills, along with an understanding of the legal environment in which the organization operates. The public administrator who understands the principles and processes of law has an advantage in effectuating good policy making and management. New career opportunities involving the integration of public administration and law are growing, often in creative and sophisticated ways. Moreover, the dual JD/MPA program brings together two academic units critical to advancing the University’s metropolitan-oriented mission in teaching, research, and service to the community.

Students who participate in the dual program may reduce the aggregate credit hour requirement by 30 hours and can earn the JD and MPA degrees in as few as three calendar years with summer enrollment.


A student planning to pursue both degrees must submit a separate application and must be admitted to both the MPA degree program and the Brandeis School of Law. Applicants should be aware that separate admissions tests may be required, and that separate admissions criteria will be applied. Applicants should consult the specific admissions requirements of each academic program.

Application for MPA

Application for JD

Students who have been admitted to the Law School will not be required to take the GRE for MPA admission. Students wishing to apply for and begin initially for entrance into the MPA program are required to take the GRE for admission.
Students may begin the dual degree program in either the MPA program or the Brandeis School of Law. A student who is already enrolled in the first year of one program may apply to the other program, and if admitted to that program, begin the first-year of the second program in the following academic year.

After completion of first-year curricula in Law School, the student may combine law and public administration courses during his or her subsequent years. Careful curriculum planning is required. Once the student begins the MPA portion of the degree, the PADM 600 and PADM 601 courses must be completed in the first semester.

Program of Study

The Brandeis School of Law will allow students in the dual degree program to apply nine (9) credit hours of approved courses in public administration as electives toward the 90 credit hours required for the JD degree. After completion of first-year curricula in Law School, the student may combine law and public administration courses during his or her subsequent years.
Once enrolled in the School of Law, dual degree students must have their course schedules approved by the Associate Dean for Student Life or his or her delegate. The School of Law does not have sequenced pairs of courses after the first year. It should be noted, however, that many upper division elective courses have pre-requisites.

The Master of Public Administration program will allow students enrolled in the dual degree program to apply fifteen (15) credit hours of approved courses in law as electives toward the MPA degree. A student should identify the law school course he/she wishes to take for elective credit and contact the MPA director to secure permission for elective credit. The criteria for
approval will be the course’s relevance to the public or nonprofit sector and/or the administrative or managerial content.

Because each course is considered separately and in advance of enrollment, courses taken in the MPA program prior to enrolling in the Law School cannot be considered for law degree credit. Similarly, courses taken in the Law School prior to enrolling the MPA program cannot be considered for elective credit toward the MPA degree. Students considering the dual degree are strongly encouraged to apply for admission to both programs and begin their first year law school curriculum, adding public administration courses as their schedule permits.

In addition to the above cross-application of public administration credits toward the JD degree and of law credits toward the MPA degree, students in the dual degree program may apply their 6 credit hours of skills courses to the completion of PADM 682, Internship or Practicum. The student must submit to the MPA graduate advisor a request for the internship/practicum
per guidelines in the MPA handbook for internship/practicum. If the skills course involves the public or nonprofit sectors and the content of the work is essentially administrative or professional, the skills course may be applied to the MPA internship requirement in whole or part. Externships in the law school may also count toward the MPA internship if they satisfy the
same criteria.


Students must complete all the graduation requirements of each school to be awarded the degree from that school, including upper level required courses in both schools, and the public service requirement in the