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MA/JD Program

Joint Degree Program

Juris Doctor, Levin College of Law and Master of Arts in Women’s Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The faculties of the Levin College of Law and of the Women’s Studies program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have approved a joint degree program culminating in both a JD degree, awarded by the College of Law, and an MA in Women’s Studies (thesis or non-thesis), awarded by the Women’s Studies program. Under this joint degree program, a student can obtain both degrees in approximately one year less than it would take to obtain both degrees if pursued consecutively. Essential criteria relating to the joint degree program are as follows:

Admission Requirements

Candidates for the program must meet the entrance requirements for and be accepted by both the College of Law and Women’s Studies. The student must inform both programs at the time of application to the second program, that s/he intends to pursue the joint degree.  A Change of Degree program form is submitted to the Graduate School.  The joint degree program is not open to students who have already earned one degree.


Admission to the second program is required no later than the end of the third consecutive semester after beginning one degree of the joint degree program. A summer term is counted as a single semester.


A student must satisfy the curriculum requirements for each degree before either degree is awarded. In each case, no fewer than 12 credits must be taken in each program. The graduate program in Women’s Studies will accept 12 credits of appropriate professional courses toward the Women’s Studies degree. The 12 credits selected from the professional curriculum must be approved by the Women’s Studies Graduate Coordinator upon the recommendation of the student’s graduate supervisory committee. Reciprocally, the College of Law will accept 12 credits of appropriate Women’s Studies courses toward the satisfaction of the JD degree.

Enrollment Classification

A student enrolled in the joint degree program may spend the first year in either the College of Law or the Women’s Studies program (in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences). Students admitted to one College but electing to spend the first academic year in the other College under the joint degree program may enter the second College thereafter without once again qualifying for admission so long as s/he has notified the second College before the end of the first week of the first semester in the joint degree program and are in good academic standing when the studies commence in the second College. Students must carry the minimum number of credits required by either college.

Eligible Grades

Women’s Studies courses which are to be credited toward the JD degree must carry a grade of “B” or higher and will not be counted in the College of Law grade point average. College of Law courses which are to be credited toward the M.A. (thesis or nonthesis) degree must carry a grade of “C” or higher and will not be counted in the grade point average of Women’s Studies.

Degree Award

A student enrolled in the joint degree program will not receive either degree until s/he has satisfied all of the requirements for both degrees, or in cases of withdrawal from the joint degree program, until s/he has satisfied the requirements of one of the degrees ( as if s/he had not been a joint degree candidate).


Students who enroll in the joint degree program but do not complete the joint program may receive up to 6 course credits taken in the Law School toward the MA provided s/he completes these courses with a grade of “C” or better. These courses will be treated as “electives” for purposes of the MA Students may receive JD credit for 2 Women’s Studies courses, up to a total of 6 semester credits, and the credits will be treated as the two graduate courses ordinarily allowed outside of the College of Law for credit toward the JD.


Students in the joint program will be eligible for the graduate teaching assistantships and research assistantships offered by Women’s Studies on the same basis as other Women’s Studies graduate students, subject to the guidelines and restrictions set by Women’s Studies and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Supervisory Committee

To facilitate student progress in the joint program to the fullest extent possible given the availability and consent of appropriate law school faculty, the student’s graduate supervisory committee will be comprised of 2 graduate faculty members from CLAS (at least one of whom is on the Women’s Studies graduate faculty), and 1 law school faculty member. Whether a law school faculty member serves on the supervisory committee or not, theses will focus on a topic related to law and women’s or gender issues.