JD/MS in Journalism


The JD/MS in Journalism program combines into approximately 3 1/2 years of full-time study the Juris Doctor (J.D.) and the Master of Science (MS) programs offered by the KU School of Law and the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

The program is designed to offer students academic grounding in both disciplines to prepare them for the professional practice of journalism, law or a combination of media law.

This joint degree prepares students to address legal, ethical and policy problems facing communicators and media managers, legal practitioners and scholars who face complex issues within their own disciplines as well as pressing societal issues in biosciences, technology, business, intellectual property and constitutional law. Graduates of this combined degree will assume responsibilities in the public and private sectors.

The goal of the joint program is to develop leaders with technical and philosophical approaches to address and communicate complex issues to policymakers and to various communities and audiences.

Contacts for prospective law students:

Contacts for current students:


JD/MS in Journalism Program Information

Learn more about admission requirements, degree requirements and the typical program format for the JD/MS in Journalism joint degree program using the tabs below.

Students must conclude their joint degree program enrolled in courses offered in the law school. In all cases, students must receive their joint degrees concurrently.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the joint JD/MS program, an applicant must hold an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, complete the admission processes and meet the admission requirements for both the Schools of Law and Journalism. Also, the applicant must be admitted by both schools no later than the end of the first year of study in the School of Law or the completion of more than 18 credit hours of graduate work in the School of Journalism.

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is the only standardized test required for an applicant to the joint degree program. An applicant or student who is interested in entering the joint degree program should discuss their plans with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Law and the Assistant Dean for Graduate and Professional Studies in the J-School as early as possible.

Degree Requirements

To receive the JD/MS, a student must complete a minimum of 109 credit hours. Of these, at least, 81 credit hours must be from courses offered by the School of Law and 28 must be from the master's program in journalism.

Students in the joint degree program should note that while the School of Law requires a 2.0 grade point average in JD coursework to remain in good standing and for graduation, the master’s degree in journalism follows the Graduate School regulation requiring a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for coursework that is counted toward the MS portion of the joint degree.

In planning their enrollments, students should inform themselves of course prerequisites and plan their course schedules accordingly. Please refer to the School of Journalism and School of Law websites for the most current information about admission and graduation requirements.

J.D. Requirements

The following law courses are required for all J.D. candidates. Learn more about J.D. Program Degree Requirements.

Law courses required for all J.D. Candidates
CourseCredit hours
First-Year Courses
LAW 804 Civil Procedure4
LAW 806 Introduction to Constitutional Law4
LAW 809 Contracts4
LAW 814 Criminal Law4
LAW 820 Lawyering Skills I2
LAW 821 Lawyering Skills II3
LAW 826 Property4
LAW 831 Torts I4
Upper-Level Courses
LAW 972 Professional Responsibility must be completed by the time a student finishes 60 hours.2
3 courses from among the following:
LAW 892 Business Organizations4
LAW 881 Conflict of Laws3
LAW 837 Contracts II/UCC Sales3
LAW 878 Criminal Procedure3
LAW 908 Evidence3
LAW 909 Family Law3
LAW 845 Jurisdiction3
LAW 873 Commercial Law: Secured Transactions3
LAW 996 Trusts and Estates4
In addition to all the JD/MS in Journalism program course requirements, students must satisfy the law school's Upper-Level Writing Intensive Course Requirements and the Experiential Course Requirements.

Students must complete all required first-year courses (29 credit hours) during their first year of law school enrollment. In addition to these course requirements, the School of Law has an upper-class writing requirement, a residence requirement, and a time limit for completion of the degree. Please refer to the current School of Law Catalog for details.

JD/MS in Journalism Joint Degree Candidate Requirements

In addition to the 43 credit hours of coursework (described above) required of all law students, students in the joint JD/MS program must complete the following coursework:

Law courses required for JD/MS in Journalism joint degree candidates
CourseCredit hours
Any of the 4 following courses
LAW 888 Copyright Law in a Digital Age3
LAW 951 Global Data Protection Law3
LAW 968 Intellectual Property4
LAW 958 Media and the First Amendment3
LAW 959 First Amendment Advocacy3
LAW 994 Special Topics (when offered for at least 3 credits on a topic related to media, law and technology)*3
1 or more of the following courses for a total of at least 2 credits
LAW 894 Field Placement Program (when completed for at least 3 credits with a government agency or nonprofit or public international organization related to media, law and technology)*3
LAW 924 Independent Research (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology* for at least 2 credits)2
LAW 937 and/or 940 Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology* for at least 2 credits)2
LAW 950 Law Review (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology for at least 2 credits)*2
LAW 955 Legislative Simulation and Study3
LAW 976 Public Policy Practicum3
1 or more of the following courses for a total of at least 2 credits
LAW 851 Contracts III3
LAW 964 National/International Moot Court Competitions (competition on the First Amendment or other media-related subject)*1-2
LAW 971 Product Liability3
LAW 977 Patent Law4
2 of the following courses
LAW 842 State Constitutional Law2
LAW 850 Administrative Law3
LAW 886 Civil Rights Actions3
LAW 887 Constitutional Topics3
LAW 891 Elections and Campaign Finance3
LAW 910 Federal Courts and the Federal System3
LAW 933 Judicial Field Placement Program3
LAW 954 Legislation and Statutory Interpretation3
LAW 956 Local Government Law2
*Enrollment for credit toward the joint degree is subject to approval by the director of the Media, Law & Technology Certificate Program at the School of Law.

The Academic Committee shall have the authority to make changes or substitutions to this list upon showing of changed circumstances, such as changes in the fundamental nature of a course or the discontinuance of a course.

In addition to the coursework described above, students in the joint JD/MS program may count 9 credit hours of master's journalism courses toward their JD degree. Students may choose courses to complete the remaining hours necessary to reach the total of 81 hours of law school credit needed for the joint degree from any part of the law school curriculum.

Journalism Requirements

All candidates for the MS in Journalism must complete the following required courses:

Journalism course requirements for Professional Track
Mass Communications (37 hours) and Joint Degree in Journalism in Law - Professional Track
Foundation Core Courses (16 hours)
EPSY 710/711 Intro to Statistics (4)
JOUR 801 Media and Communication Theory (3)
JOUR 802 Media Communication Methods (3)
JOUR 803 Research in Action (3)
JOUR 804 Qualitative Research (3) OR JOUR 805 Quantitative Research (3)
Advanced Courses (18 hours)
JOUR 840 Seminar (3)
JOUR 840 Seminar (3)
JOUR 851 Professional Skills I or Elective (3)
Elective (3)
Elective (3)
Elective (3)
Project/Thesis (3 hours)
JOUR 899 Thesis (3)

 

Journalism course requirements for Marketing Communications Track
Mass Communications (30 hours) and Joint Degree in Journalism in Law - Marketing Communications Track
Marketing or media-related experience:
2 years
Core Courses (12 hours)
JOUR 820 Marketing Fundamentals (3) OR JOUR 840 Marketing Fundamentals II (3)
JOUR 828 Financial Fundamentals (3) or JOUR 840 Financial Fundamentals II
JOUR 829 Marketing Communications Research 
JOUR 850 Capstone Course in Marketing Communications
Professional Courses (18 hours)
JOUR 819 Writing for Marketing Communications (3)
JOUR 821 Integrated Marketing Communications & Sales Strategies (3)
JOUR 822 Database Development and Management (3)
JOUR 823 Branding in Marketing Communications (3)
JOUR 824 Creative Process (3)
JOUR 825 Relationship Marketing (3)
JOUR 826 Innovation in the Management of Marketing Communications (3)
JOUR 827 Marketing Ethics (3)
JOUR 831 Technology in Marketing Communications (3)
JOUR 832 Leadership and Management in Marketing Communications (3)
JOUR 834 International and Multi-cultural Marketing Communications (3)
JOUR 840 Seminar in: ___ (3) May be taken twice on different topics

Graduate Degree Requirements (All Courses of Study): All Journalism master’s candidates must complete a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and 37 graduate credit hours in Mass Communications with at least a B (3.0) average. In addition, students must complete Core Course requirements, Professional Course requirements and Advanced Course requirements.

Core Course Requirements: The core graduate courses help students develop research and critical thinking skills.

Advanced Course Requirements: A Mass Communications student must complete a project/thesis. Two seminars on topics of current research or professional practice help students explore and learn to present research findings.

Enrollment Requirements after Completing Course Requirements: A student must enroll for at least 3 hours of credit in the semester in which he or she graduates. The student must complete 3 hours of JOUR 899 (Thesis/Project).

Enrollment in Elective Courses Outside the School of Journalism: Up to 6 credit hours of course work may be completed outside the School of Journalism & Mass Communications, with the approval of the graduate director or graduate committee. Students who wish to take a course or courses outside the School must have permission from both the instructor of the course and from the School. The student should submit a written proposal to the graduate director and should indicate how the course contributes to the student's master’s program.

Typical Program Format

The policies of the two schools (Journalism and Law) and the University of Kansas Graduate School govern waivers, substitutions and all other degree requirements. Students should consult the respective associate deans if they have questions about degree requirements.

Typical program format
 Law SchoolJournalismTotal
First Year29029
Second Year151833
Third Year211031
Fourth Year16016
 
Total Credit Earned8128109
Law Credit Allowed-99
Journalism Credit Allowed9-9
Total Credit Required9037127

 

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the joint JD/MS program, an applicant must hold an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, complete the admission processes and meet the admission requirements for both the Schools of Law and Journalism. Also, the applicant must be admitted by both schools no later than the end of the first year of study in the School of Law or the completion of more than 18 credit hours of graduate work in the School of Journalism.

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is the only standardized test required for an applicant to the joint degree program. An applicant or student who is interested in entering the joint degree program should discuss their plans with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Law and the Assistant Dean for Graduate and Professional Studies in the J-School as early as possible.

Degree Requirements

To receive the JD/MS, a student must complete a minimum of 109 credit hours. Of these, at least, 81 credit hours must be from courses offered by the School of Law and 28 must be from the master's program in journalism.

Students in the joint degree program should note that while the School of Law requires a 2.0 grade point average in JD coursework to remain in good standing and for graduation, the master’s degree in journalism follows the Graduate School regulation requiring a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for coursework that is counted toward the MS portion of the joint degree.

In planning their enrollments, students should inform themselves of course prerequisites and plan their course schedules accordingly. Please refer to the School of Journalism and School of Law websites for the most current information about admission and graduation requirements.

J.D. Requirements

The following law courses are required for all J.D. candidates. Learn more about J.D. Program Degree Requirements.

Law courses required for all J.D. Candidates
CourseCredit hours
First-Year Courses
LAW 804 Civil Procedure4
LAW 806 Introduction to Constitutional Law4
LAW 809 Contracts4
LAW 814 Criminal Law4
LAW 820 Lawyering Skills I2
LAW 821 Lawyering Skills II3
LAW 826 Property4
LAW 831 Torts I4
Upper-Level Courses
LAW 972 Professional Responsibility must be completed by the time a student finishes 60 hours.2
3 courses from among the following:
LAW 892 Business Organizations4
LAW 881 Conflict of Laws3
LAW 837 Contracts II/UCC Sales3
LAW 878 Criminal Procedure3
LAW 908 Evidence3
LAW 909 Family Law3
LAW 845 Jurisdiction3
LAW 873 Commercial Law: Secured Transactions3
LAW 996 Trusts and Estates4
In addition to all the JD/MS in Journalism program course requirements, students must satisfy the law school's Upper-Level Writing Intensive Course Requirements and the Experiential Course Requirements.

Students must complete all required first-year courses (29 credit hours) during their first year of law school enrollment. In addition to these course requirements, the School of Law has an upper-class writing requirement, a residence requirement, and a time limit for completion of the degree. Please refer to the current School of Law Catalog for details.

JD/MS in Journalism Joint Degree Candidate Requirements

In addition to the 43 credit hours of coursework (described above) required of all law students, students in the joint JD/MS program must complete the following coursework:

Law courses required for JD/MS in Journalism joint degree candidates
CourseCredit hours
Any of the 4 following courses
LAW 888 Copyright Law in a Digital Age3
LAW 951 Global Data Protection Law3
LAW 968 Intellectual Property4
LAW 958 Media and the First Amendment3
LAW 959 First Amendment Advocacy3
LAW 994 Special Topics (when offered for at least 3 credits on a topic related to media, law and technology)*3
1 or more of the following courses for a total of at least 2 credits
LAW 894 Field Placement Program (when completed for at least 3 credits with a government agency or nonprofit or public international organization related to media, law and technology)*3
LAW 924 Independent Research (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology* for at least 2 credits)2
LAW 937 and/or 940 Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology* for at least 2 credits)2
LAW 950 Law Review (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology for at least 2 credits)*2
LAW 955 Legislative Simulation and Study3
LAW 976 Public Policy Practicum3
1 or more of the following courses for a total of at least 2 credits
LAW 851 Contracts III3
LAW 964 National/International Moot Court Competitions (competition on the First Amendment or other media-related subject)*1-2
LAW 971 Product Liability3
LAW 977 Patent Law4
2 of the following courses
LAW 842 State Constitutional Law2
LAW 850 Administrative Law3
LAW 886 Civil Rights Actions3
LAW 887 Constitutional Topics3
LAW 891 Elections and Campaign Finance3
LAW 910 Federal Courts and the Federal System3
LAW 933 Judicial Field Placement Program3
LAW 954 Legislation and Statutory Interpretation3
LAW 956 Local Government Law2
*Enrollment for credit toward the joint degree is subject to approval by the director of the Media, Law & Technology Certificate Program at the School of Law.

The Academic Committee shall have the authority to make changes or substitutions to this list upon showing of changed circumstances, such as changes in the fundamental nature of a course or the discontinuance of a course.

In addition to the coursework described above, students in the joint JD/MS program may count 9 credit hours of master's journalism courses toward their JD degree. Students may choose courses to complete the remaining hours necessary to reach the total of 81 hours of law school credit needed for the joint degree from any part of the law school curriculum.

Journalism Requirements

All candidates for the MS in Journalism must complete the following required courses:

Journalism course requirements for Professional Track
Mass Communications (37 hours) and Joint Degree in Journalism in Law - Professional Track
Foundation Core Courses (16 hours)
EPSY 710/711 Intro to Statistics (4)
JOUR 801 Media and Communication Theory (3)
JOUR 802 Media Communication Methods (3)
JOUR 803 Research in Action (3)
JOUR 804 Qualitative Research (3) OR JOUR 805 Quantitative Research (3)
Advanced Courses (18 hours)
JOUR 840 Seminar (3)
JOUR 840 Seminar (3)
JOUR 851 Professional Skills I or Elective (3)
Elective (3)
Elective (3)
Elective (3)
Project/Thesis (3 hours)
JOUR 899 Thesis (3)

 

Journalism course requirements for Marketing Communications Track
Mass Communications (30 hours) and Joint Degree in Journalism in Law - Marketing Communications Track
Marketing or media-related experience:
2 years
Core Courses (12 hours)
JOUR 820 Marketing Fundamentals (3) OR JOUR 840 Marketing Fundamentals II (3)
JOUR 828 Financial Fundamentals (3) or JOUR 840 Financial Fundamentals II
JOUR 829 Marketing Communications Research 
JOUR 850 Capstone Course in Marketing Communications
Professional Courses (18 hours)
JOUR 819 Writing for Marketing Communications (3)
JOUR 821 Integrated Marketing Communications & Sales Strategies (3)
JOUR 822 Database Development and Management (3)
JOUR 823 Branding in Marketing Communications (3)
JOUR 824 Creative Process (3)
JOUR 825 Relationship Marketing (3)
JOUR 826 Innovation in the Management of Marketing Communications (3)
JOUR 827 Marketing Ethics (3)
JOUR 831 Technology in Marketing Communications (3)
JOUR 832 Leadership and Management in Marketing Communications (3)
JOUR 834 International and Multi-cultural Marketing Communications (3)
JOUR 840 Seminar in: ___ (3) May be taken twice on different topics

Graduate Degree Requirements (All Courses of Study): All Journalism master’s candidates must complete a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and 37 graduate credit hours in Mass Communications with at least a B (3.0) average. In addition, students must complete Core Course requirements, Professional Course requirements and Advanced Course requirements.

Core Course Requirements: The core graduate courses help students develop research and critical thinking skills.

Advanced Course Requirements: A Mass Communications student must complete a project/thesis. Two seminars on topics of current research or professional practice help students explore and learn to present research findings.

Enrollment Requirements after Completing Course Requirements: A student must enroll for at least 3 hours of credit in the semester in which he or she graduates. The student must complete 3 hours of JOUR 899 (Thesis/Project).

Enrollment in Elective Courses Outside the School of Journalism: Up to 6 credit hours of course work may be completed outside the School of Journalism & Mass Communications, with the approval of the graduate director or graduate committee. Students who wish to take a course or courses outside the School must have permission from both the instructor of the course and from the School. The student should submit a written proposal to the graduate director and should indicate how the course contributes to the student's master’s program.

Typical Program Format

The policies of the two schools (Journalism and Law) and the University of Kansas Graduate School govern waivers, substitutions and all other degree requirements. Students should consult the respective associate deans if they have questions about degree requirements.

Typical program format
 Law SchoolJournalismTotal
First Year29029
Second Year151833
Third Year211031
Fourth Year16016
 
Total Credit Earned8128109
Law Credit Allowed-99
Journalism Credit Allowed9-9
Total Credit Required9037127