JD/MA in Political Science


This joint degree program combines into three years and one semester the three-year J.D. program offered by the School of Law and the two-year M.A. program offered by the Department of Political Science.

The program is designed for students who have interests in public law, comparative legal systems, international law and organizations, and public policy. It is ideally suited for those planning careers in the public sector or in law practices involving international or domestic administrative agencies.

Students in the program must complete a minimum of 81 credit hours in law and a minimum of 21 credit hours in political science.

Contacts for prospective law students:

Contacts for current students:


JD/MA in Political Science Program Information

Learn more about admission requirements, degree requirements and the typical program format for the JD/MA in Political Science 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

Candidates must submit separate applications and be separately admitted to the School of Law and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Political Science Master’s Program. Admittance into one school does not guarantee admittance by the other school.

Candidates must meet all applicable requirements of the School of Law, Political Science department and the Graduate School. Admission requirements include both the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) and GRE (Graduate Record Examination), along with other departmental and graduate school requirements.

No student may enter the joint program after completing more than 29 credit hours in the School of Law or 12 credit hours in the Political Science department.

Degree Requirements

The tables below outline the requirements for this joint degree program.

Total Credit Hours

Degree Requirements - total credit hours
Credit Hours Required:For JDFor MA
Law courses required of all J.D. candidates430
Law courses required of all joint degree candidates99
Political Science courses required of all joint degree candidates96
Elective law courses290
Elective political science courses015
Minimum hours required9030

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/MA in Political Science 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 academic catalog for details.

JD/MA in Political Science Joint Degree Candidate Requirements

Law courses required for joint degree candidates
CourseCredit hours
LAW 850 Administrative Law3
LAW 954 Legislation and Statutory Interpretation3
LAW 934 Jurisprudence3

Political Science Requirements

Political Science courses required for joint degree candidates
CourseCredit hours
POLS 705 Research Design for Political Science3
POLS 706 Research Methods I3

All candidates for the M.A. degree must complete, at a satisfactory level:

  1. 30 credit hours of graduate credit, 21 of which must be earned in courses at the 700 level or above;
  2. Research methods through POLS 706; and
  3. A comprehensive master’s oral examination.

The student selects a principal advisor from the graduate faculty by the end of the first year to choose courses and prepare for the comprehensive examination. The examination is administered by a 3-person M.A. committee that includes the student’s principal advisor and two other members of the KU graduate faculty selected by the student in consultation with the principal advisor. One member of the committee may be from another department (including special status members of the graduate faculty).

Directed readings courses in excess of 5 hours cannot be counted toward the 30 credit hours required for the degree.

Applicants who have not completed at least 15 undergraduate credit hours in political science may be admitted with the provision that they complete additional hours of course work.

All candidates must fulfill the requirements of either the thesis or the non-thesis option for the Master of Arts degree.

Non-thesis Option

Candidates may substitute a minimum of two 800- or 900-level research courses plus satisfactory performance on a comprehensive written examination administered by the three-person M.A. committee before the oral examination.

Typical Program Format

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 Political Science 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 Political Science 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 School of Law academic catalog for details.

Typical program format
 LawPolitical ScienceTotal
First Year29029
Second Year25631
Third Year22931
Summer5611
 
Total Credit Earned8121102
Law Credit Allowed-99
Political Science Credit Allowed9-9
Total Credit Required9030120

 

Admission Requirements

Candidates must submit separate applications and be separately admitted to the School of Law and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Political Science Master’s Program. Admittance into one school does not guarantee admittance by the other school.

Candidates must meet all applicable requirements of the School of Law, Political Science department and the Graduate School. Admission requirements include both the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) and GRE (Graduate Record Examination), along with other departmental and graduate school requirements.

No student may enter the joint program after completing more than 29 credit hours in the School of Law or 12 credit hours in the Political Science department.

Degree Requirements

The tables below outline the requirements for this joint degree program.

Total Credit Hours

Degree Requirements - total credit hours
Credit Hours Required:For JDFor MA
Law courses required of all J.D. candidates430
Law courses required of all joint degree candidates99
Political Science courses required of all joint degree candidates96
Elective law courses290
Elective political science courses015
Minimum hours required9030

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/MA in Political Science 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 academic catalog for details.

JD/MA in Political Science Joint Degree Candidate Requirements

Law courses required for joint degree candidates
CourseCredit hours
LAW 850 Administrative Law3
LAW 954 Legislation and Statutory Interpretation3
LAW 934 Jurisprudence3

Political Science Requirements

Political Science courses required for joint degree candidates
CourseCredit hours
POLS 705 Research Design for Political Science3
POLS 706 Research Methods I3

All candidates for the M.A. degree must complete, at a satisfactory level:

  1. 30 credit hours of graduate credit, 21 of which must be earned in courses at the 700 level or above;
  2. Research methods through POLS 706; and
  3. A comprehensive master’s oral examination.

The student selects a principal advisor from the graduate faculty by the end of the first year to choose courses and prepare for the comprehensive examination. The examination is administered by a 3-person M.A. committee that includes the student’s principal advisor and two other members of the KU graduate faculty selected by the student in consultation with the principal advisor. One member of the committee may be from another department (including special status members of the graduate faculty).

Directed readings courses in excess of 5 hours cannot be counted toward the 30 credit hours required for the degree.

Applicants who have not completed at least 15 undergraduate credit hours in political science may be admitted with the provision that they complete additional hours of course work.

All candidates must fulfill the requirements of either the thesis or the non-thesis option for the Master of Arts degree.

Non-thesis Option

Candidates may substitute a minimum of two 800- or 900-level research courses plus satisfactory performance on a comprehensive written examination administered by the three-person M.A. committee before the oral examination.

Typical Program Format

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 Political Science 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 Political Science 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 School of Law academic catalog for details.

Typical program format
 LawPolitical ScienceTotal
First Year29029
Second Year25631
Third Year22931
Summer5611
 
Total Credit Earned8121102
Law Credit Allowed-99
Political Science Credit Allowed9-9
Total Credit Required9030120