Joint Degree

A legal career today can be enhanced by advanced training in a complimentary discipline.  At Syracuse Law, you can earn a master’s degree in a variety of in-demand fields from our nationally-recognized graduate schools while completing your J.D.  At Syracuse, a joint degree can be completed concurrently for just one tuition cost. 

From a MBA at the Whitman School of Management, to a Masters of Public Administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, to a Masters in Communications at the Newhouse School of Public Communications, that’s the Power of Value.


    Business and industry must take public and private law into account in all decisions. The College of Law and the Whitman School of Management have responded by creating joint degree programs in business administration. Students may obtain a J.D. and M.B.A. in four years instead of the five years necessary when both programs are pursued separately. This programs is particularly appropriate for students with career objectives in corporate law, tax law, or labor law.

    At Syracuse, the M.B.A. curriculum is flexible enough to accommodate the interests of the law/management student. Students may pursue general management programs or specialize in such areas of concentration as accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing and supply chain management. J.D./M.B.A. students generally complete program requirements in four academic years.

    Joint degrees in communications, offered in cooperation with Syracuse University’s renowned S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, prepare students for careers in communications law and media public policy. Students may matriculate into one of a number of programs including specialized sequences in advertising, arts journalism, broadcast journalism, documentary film and history, magazine, newspaper and online journalism, media management, media studies, new media, photography, public diplomacy, public relations and television, radio and film. The duration of the joint program in communications varies according to the program chosen and the student’s prior coursework. Learn more.

    The joint degree program in Law and Cultural Foundations of Education, with a concentration in Disability Studies was approved in January 2003 and offers students the opportunity to earn a J.D. and M.S.in Education. Eligible joint degree students may also earn a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Disability Studies, which is a New York State-approved concentration.Disability Studies applies legal, social, cultural, historical, and philosophical perspectives to the study of disability in society. This joint degree, with a concentration in Disability Studies, was the first such degree in the nation. In 1996, SU also became the first American university to offer a graduate program in Disability Studies, and the only one with a law school component.

    Joint degree students enroll in selected courses with the School of Education, which is ranked among the best education graduate schools in the country; its Special Education and Cultural Foundations in Education Programs are consistently ranked within the top ten nationwide. Law students who graduate with the J.D./M.S. in Law and Cultural Foundations are prepared to play leadership roles in the field of disability law and policy in such settings as federal and state government agencies, community service agencies, advocacy organizations, school districts, and law firms specializing in disability and/or education law.

    Students may obtain the J.D. and M.S. in three years instead of the four necessary to earn both degrees independently.

    This unique combination of programs has been initiated by the College of Law and the College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) to benefit students who are interested in technology-oriented practice. A J.D./M.S. from one of the many graduate programs offered through ECS significantly enhances the scope of a student’s legal education in such areas as intellectual property, technology, computers, health care, and environmental law. The added dimension that an M.S. in engineering and computer science brings to a student’s legal education increases marketability and broadens career opportunities. With an appropriate undergraduate background, a student may obtain both degrees in three academic years and a summer term. Those pursuing an ECS graduate degree in an area other than that of their undergraduate degree may be expected to complete additional remedial courses. Other requirements vary by program. M.S. degrees in ECS are offered in aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, engineering management, environmental engineering, environmental engineering science, hydrogeology, manufacturing engineering, materials science, mechanical engineering, neuroscience, solid-state science and technology, and systems and information science.

    This joint degree option offers students a unique opportunity to combine their practical knowledge of world affairs with a Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse’s College of Law. The Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) is a professional degree program that combines rigorous, multidisciplinary academic coursework with real-world skills to give its graduates an edge in the global job market. The curriculum requires the completion of five different career tracks, second language proficiency, and a professional capstone experience. Students may obtain the J.D. and MAIR in three years instead of the four necessary to earn both degrees independently.

    A partnership of law and public administration is essential to effective government. The public administration program educates individuals to work in government agencies, the nonprofit sector and in organizations that conduct substantial business with government agencies.

    The highly respected Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse, where students pursue the M.P.A., is the oldest academic training program of its kind in the United States. Since its establishment in 1924, the Maxwell School’s Master of Public Administration Program and its outstanding faculty have greatly influenced the growth and development of public administration and policy. Maxwell School alumni worldwide work in federal, state, and local governments; nonprofit agencies; private firms; and colleges and universities.

    Students may obtain the J.D. and M.P.A. in three years instead of the four necessary to earn both degrees independently.

    Learn more.

    The Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Library and Information Science is a combined degree which may be conferred by the School of Information Studies and the College of Law. Students admitted to this program have the opportunity to obtain both the Juris Doctor and the M.S. in Library and Information Science in substantially less time than would be required were the two degrees obtained independently. Because a joint degree program involves reciprocal application of electives, students are not awarded either degree until the requirements for both degrees are completed.

    The Juris Doctor/Master’s of Science in Forensic Science (General Forensic Track or Forensic Laboratory Track) are combined degrees which may be conferred by the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Law. A student who is admitted to one of these programs has the opportunity to obtain both the J.D. degree and the M.S. Forensic Science degree in substantially less time than would be required were the two degrees to be obtained independently. Learn more.

    The Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in History is a joint degree which may be conferred by the College of Law and the Syracuse University Department of History. The students enrolled in this program may obtain their J.D. and M.A in History in substantially less time than would be necessary if both programs were separately pursued. Candidates for admission to the joint degree program must first gain admission to the regular program of each participating academic unit.

    Questions and inquiries may be directed to Paul Hagenloh, Associate Professor of History and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of History, 145 Eggers Hall, 443-4144 phagenlo@syr.edu. Students with general questions and inquiries concerning procedures regarding joint degrees should contact the Office of Student Life at the College of Law at 315-443-1146

    The Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Philosophy and Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy are joint degrees which may be conferred by the College of Law and the Syracuse University Department of Philosophy. Students enrolled in these programs may obtain their J.D. and M.A or Ph.D. in Philosophy in substantially less time than would be necessary if both programs were separately pursued.

    Questions concerning and general inquiries should be directed to Professor Thomas McKay, Philosophy Department, 541 Hall of Languages (443-2536; tjmckay@syr.edu). Students with questions and inquiries concerning procedures regarding joint degrees should contact the Office of Student Life at the College of Law at 315-443-1146.

    The Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work is a joint degree which is conferred by both the Syracuse University College of Law and the Syracuse University School of SocialWork. Students enrolled in this program may obtain their J.D. and M.S.W. in substantially less time than would be necessary if both programs were separately pursued.

    Questions and general inquiries should be directed to Adrienne Renfroe, LMSW, Coordinator of Graduate Admissions, 419 Sims Hall (443-1443; alrenfro@syr.edu). Students with general questions and inquiries concerning procedures regarding joint degrees should contact the Office of Student Life at the College of Law at 315-443-1146.