JD/Master's Joint Degree Requirements

Under the JD/Master’s joint degree structure, both the Law School and the other degree program reduce the number of credits required by an amount equivalent to a one semester course load. On the Law School side, this is a reduction from 87 credits required to graduate to 75 credits, 12 credits per semester being the minimum course load requirement for upper-level students. Because of the academic and financial concessions made by both degree programs, the two degrees are treated as one by the University and as such, neither degree can be conferred until both are complete.

Track your academic progress

Students enrolled in a JD/Master’s program must earn 75 law credits to graduate.  Those 75 credits must be comprised of the following:

  • The eight prescribed first-year courses:
  • JD Ethics Requirement:  A two-credit course in ethics and professional responsibility.
  • JD Substantial Research and Writing Project:  One faculty-supervised research paper for a minimum of two credits.  This may be fulfilled by way of a seminar or an independent study.  The SRWP paper must be a solo project; group projects may not be used to fulfill the requirement.  Seminars that satisfy the substantial research and writing project requirement are identified in the Course Browser by using the JD Course of Study drop-down menu and searching for “JD - substantial research and writing.”
  • JD Professional Skills/Experiential Learning Requirement:  A minimum six credits in simulation courses, clinics and/or externships.  Courses that satisfy the Experiential Learning Requirement are identified in the Course Browser by using the JD Course of Study drop-down menu and searching for "experiential learning."
  • Regularly-Scheduled Courses:  A minimum 64 of the 75 law credits must be earned in courses that require attendance in regularly scheduled classroom sessions or direct faculty instruction.
    • Regularly-scheduled law school courses include
      • Law School courses and seminars, including courses cross-listed at the Law School but originating in another school or department at the University.
      • Law School clinics
      • Regularly-scheduled courses completed at another ABA-accredited law school, including through the inter-institutional agreement with UNC and NCCU and transfer credits for students who completed the first year at another law school or who visited away at another law school.
      • Credits from an approved study abroad program.
    • Regularly-scheduled law school courses do NOT include
      • Independent study
      • Non-law courses
      • Externships
      • Research tutorials
      • Ad hoc seminars
 

The Law School offers joint degree programs in conjunction with the following schools and institute at Duke:

Duke Divinity School

JD/MTS, Master of Theological Studies.  The JD/MTS is a four-year program, with one full year at the Law School, one full year at the Divinity School (student may state their preference for the order of the first two years), and the remaining semesters arranged as necessary for successful completion of the program.  Additional information is available on the Divinity School website.  The academic advisors for JD/MTS students at the Divinity School are the MTS program directors, which is a yearly appointment.  The program directors for the 2016-2017 academic year are Prof. Jennie Grillo and Prof. Sujin Pak.

Fuqua School of Business

JD/MBA, Master of Business Administration.  The JD/MBA is a four-year program, with the first full year at the Law School, and the remaining semesters arranged as necessary for successful completion of the program.  Additional information about the JD/MBA is available on the Fuqua website.  The academic advisor for JD/MBA students at Fuqua is Anneli Richter.

Duke Medical School

The JD/MD is a dual degree program, meaning that the two degrees are treated separately by the University.  Students usually must complete both sets of degree requirements in full and pay full tuition to both schools.  Conferral of one degree is not dependent on completion of the other. 

The JD/MD is normally completed in six years.  The schools will work together to grant some exceptions to policy to facilitate the dual degree, including leave of absence from one program for a concentrated amount of time in the other.  Students will spend two full years at the Medical School followed by one full year at the Law School.  The remaining semesters can be combined as necessary for successful completion of both programs.  Additional information is available on the Medical School website.  The study program director for JD/MD students at the Medical School is Dr. David Edelman.

Nicholas School of the Environment

JD/MEM, Master of Environmental Management, and JD/MF, Master of Forestry.  The JD/MEM and JD/MF are four-year programs, with one full year at the Law School, one full year at the Nicholas School), and the remaining semesters arranged as necessary for successful completion of the program.  Additional information is available on the Nicholas website.  The contact persons for JD/MEM and JD/MF students at Nicholas are Prof. Deb Gallagher, Director of Professional Studies, Cindy Peters, Assistant Dean for Student Services, and Erika Lovelace, Registrar and Associate Director of Administration & Advising.

Sanford School of Public Policy

JD/MPP, Master of Public Policy.  The JD/MPP is a four-year program with the first full year at Sanford, years two and three at the Law School, and the final year requiring active registration in both programs.  Additional information is available on the Sanford website.

Duke Science & Society Initiative

JD/MA in Bioethics & Science Policy.  The JD/MA in Bioethics & Science Policy is a three-year program with a summer capstone project requirement.  Additional information is available on the Science & Society website.  The academic advisor for JD/MA students at Science & Society is Prof. Buz Waitzkin.

Sciences Po Law School

JD/MA in Global Business Law.  The JD/MA in Global Business Law is a three-year program with two full years at Duke Law School and one year at Sciences Po Law School in Paris, France. Students interested in this program should contact Dean Maher in International Studies regarding the MA program at Sciences Po and Dean Barnes in Academic Affairs regarding academic planning and eligibility to study abroad.

 

All students are responsible for monitoring their compliance with the graduation requirements.