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Pursuing a Joint Degree

Pursuing a Joint Degree

by Cady Sinnwell Gerlach

I chose to attend Syracuse University College of Law specifically to pursue a joint degree with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and will complete a JD/MPA in only three years, under the same schedule as my law school classmates. Pursuing a joint degree doesn't have to be and often isn't a decision that everyone makes before they attend law school, however. Many of my classmates have found that after starting their coursework in law school, they'd like to diversify their experience and choose to apply and pursue a master's in business administration, international relations, public administration, political science, and a variety of other choices. The options provided to students at Syracuse are the best of both worlds, combining legal studies with another professional degree that will not only expand career options, but also diversify a student's legal background in practice post-graduation.

Syracuse makes it easy for students to complete the coursework for a joint degree, and support you as a student all along the way, offering academic counseling and support from the Office of Student Life. The programs have been developed by outstanding faculty across the University; classwork and courses offered have given me a strong academic record in both degrees. For example, during my second year, I'm taking Quantitative Analysis and Public Organizations & Management at the Maxwell School, while taking Evidence, Administrative Law, and Appellate Advocacy at the College of Law. It's been great for me to be able to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to my education and apply what I'm learning in both programs. Completing the JD/MPA has allowed me to full participate in all that SUCoL has to offer as well, and I still have time to compete on the National Appellate Team, work as an Associate Editor on the Journal of International Law and Commerce, participate as a member of Moot Court Honor Society, and work as the SUCoL Pro Bono Fellow. The best part of Syracuse University College of Law is the small community that allows you to develop your strengths in a variety of areas an activities.

Professional Development and the alumni networks are also strong at both schools, which gives those of us who pursue a joint degree access to two sets of outstanding resources as we take the next steps in planning both summer and post-graduation employment. Pursuing a joint degree gives students flexibility and only expands an already strong foundation that you receive from a legal education at the Syracuse Univesity College of Law.


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