• Home
  • Academics
  • Degrees
  • Juris Doctor
  • Joint Degrees
  • Philosophy

JD/MA in Philosophy

This joint degree program leads to the J.D. degree and the M.A. degree in philosophy. It develops a student's understanding and appreciation of the disciplines of law and philosophy and their interrelationship. This program combines into three years and one summer session the normal three-year J.D. program offered by the School of Law and the M.A. in philosophy program offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. A student must be admitted by both the School of Law and the Department of Philosophy.

If you are a prospective law student, contact the KU Law Office of Admissions, 785-864-4378, admitlaw@ku.edu; or Professor Dale Dorsey, philosophy, 785-864-2139, ddorsey@ku.edu.

If you are a current KU student, contact Professor Elizabeth Kronk Warner, law school, 785-864-1139, elizabeth.kronk@ku.edu; or Professor Dale Dorsey, philosophy, 785-864-2139, ddorsey@ku.edu.

Admission Requirements

The joint J.D.-M.A. program is open to those who have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and whose undergraduate academic record indicates that the applicant has the capacity to complete the law and philosophy program.  Applicants for the J.D.-M.A. in Philosophy program must meet the admission requirements of the School of Law, the Department of Philosophy, and the Graduate School.  Applicants must apply and be admitted to each school separately prior to entrance into the first year of the program.  The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is the only required entrance examination for applicants.  All admissions requirements (other than the GRE) and prerequisites for courses in the Philosophy graduate program also apply.  A student who decides to enter the program while enrolled in the first year of the J.D. or M.A. in Philosophy curriculum must consult and obtain approval from the School of Law, the Department of Philosophy, and the College Graduate Division.  No student may enter the combined program after completing more than thirty-two credits in the law school or twelve credits in the Department of Philosophy.  

Degree Requirements

  Credit Hours
  J.D. M.A.
Law courses required of all J.D. candidates 43 0
Law courses required of all joint-degree candidates 9 9
Philosophy courses required of all joint-degree candidates 9 9
Elective law courses 29 0
Elective philosophy courses 0 12
Minimum hours required 90 30

I. Law courses required of all J.D. candidates:

First Year
Course Credit hours
Law 804 Civil Procedure 4
Law 806 Intro. to Constitutional Law 4
Law 809 Contracts 4
Law 814 Criminal Law 4
Law 820 Lawyering Skills I 2
Law 821 Lawyering Skills II 3
Law 826 Property 4
Law 831 Torts I 4
Upper Class
3 courses from among the following:
Law 865 Business Associations I 3
Law 892 Business Organizations 4
Law 881 Conflict of Laws 3
Law 878 Criminal Procedure 3
Law 909 Family Law 3
Law 845 Jurisdiction 3
Law 837 Contracts II/ UCC Sales 3
Law 873 Commercial Law: Secured Transactions 3
Law 996 Trusts and Estates 4
Law 908 Evidence 3
Law 972 Professional Responsibility 2

II. Law courses required of all joint-degree candidates:

Course Credit hours
Sample Listing of Pertinent Law Courses for Joint Degree Candidates: 
Constitutional Topics:   3
Health Law and Policy  3
Immigration Law  3
Indian Gaming  3
Independent Research  2
The courses listed in II above are examples only.  The actual courses utilized would depend on the courses offered in Law in the relevant semesters.

III. Sample Listing of Pertinent Philosophy Courses for Joint Degree Candidates:

Course Credit hours
Justice and Economic Systems       3
Political Philosophy       3
Contemporary Ethics       3
History of Ethics       3
Philosophy of Law       3

Typical Program Format

  Law Philosophy Total
First Year 29 0 29
Second Year 25 6 31
Third Year 22 9 31
Summer 5 6 11
Total Credits Earned 81 21 102
Law Credit Allowed     9 9
Philosophy Credit Allowed 9   9
Total Credit Required 90 30 120

The University of Kansas Graduate School Catalog states specifically that all course work toward any master’s degree requires a B (or 3.0) cumulative grade point average for the award of the degree. Students should understand that the grades received in any law courses that are credited toward fulfillment of the M.A. in philosophy degree requirements are incorporated into the M.A. grade point average, which ultimately must be B (3.0) for the award of the M.A. in philosophy degree.

All joint-degree students also must fulfill the Upper-Level Writing Intensive course requirements and the Experiential course requirements in the School of Law. Please see the current Law School Catalog for details.









Register for the Winter Open House in KC | January 10, 2017

Apply Now
Schedule a visit
Check application status

Office of Admissions
103 Green Hall

Academic Calendar
Why KU
  • One-third of full-time faculty have written casebooks and treatises
  • 2 KU law faculty were U.S. Supreme Court clerks
  • KU’s Project for Innocence: 34 conviction reversals since 2009
  • 7,600+ alumni in all 50 states, D.C., and 21 foreign countries
  • #18 “best value” law school in the nation — National Jurist Magazine
  • 12 interdisciplinary joint degrees
  • 20th nationwide for lowest debt at graduation. — U.S. News & World Report
  • 80 percent of upper-level law classes have 25 or fewer students
  • More than 600 employment interviews at law school, 2014-15
  • 92 percent overall employment rate for Class of 2014 – top 20 percent nationally
  • 23rd: for number of law alumni promoted to partner at nation’s largest law firms
  • #1 in Kansas and Missouri for July 2015 bar exam performance