JD/MA in Economics

There has been a recent trend toward substantial use of economic analysis in many areas of the law (e.g., regulated industries, environmental law, torts, consumer law and labor law). The purpose of the joint-degree program leading to the J.D. and M.A. in economics is to develop a student’s understanding and appreciation of the converging disciplines of law and economics.

The program combines into three years and one summer session the normal three-year J.D. program offered by the School of Law and the program offered for the M.A. through the Department of Economics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students in the program complete 81 credits in law and 18 credits in economics. Near the end of the course of study, each candidate must successfully pass a written comprehensive examination administered by the Department of Economics. The J.D. and M.A. diplomas will be awarded concurrently after completion of the joint-degree program requirements.

If you are a prospective law student, contact the KU Law Office of Admissions, 785-864-4378, admitlaw@ku.edu; or Professor Ted Juhl​​, economics, 785-864-2849, econgrad@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 Ted Juhl​​, economics, 785-864-2849, econgrad@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 record indicates that the applicant has the capacity to complete the law and economics programs. Applicants for the J.D./M.A. in economics program must meet the admissions requirements of the School of Law, the Department of Economics 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 Admissions Test (LSAT) is the only required entrance examination for applicants. All undergraduate prerequisite courses (e.g., Economics 520, Economics 522, Math 121, Math 122 and Math 526) also apply. A student who enters the program while enrolled in the first year of the J.D. or M.A. in economics curriculum must consult and obtain approval from both the School of Law and the Department of Economics. No student may enter the program after completing more than 32 credits in the School of Law or 12 credits in the Department of Economics.

Degree Requirements

  Credit Hours
  J.D. M.A.
Law courses required of all J.D. candidates 37 0
Law courses required of all joint-degree candidates 11 12
Economics courses required of all joint-degree candidates 9 18
Elective law courses 33 0
Elective economics courses 0 0
Minimum hours required 90 30

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

First Year Upper Class
Course Credit Hours Course Credit Hours
Law 804 Civil Procedure 4 Law 873 Commercial Law: Secured Transactions
Law 874 Commercial Law: Payment Systems
Law 806 Intro. to Constitutional Law 4 Law 908 Evidence 3
Law 809 Contracts 4 Law 972 Professional Responsibility 2
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    

Law courses required of all joint-degree candidates:

Choice of four of the following:
Course Credit Hours
Agriculture Law 3
Antitrust Law 3
Energy Law and Policy 3
Federal Income Taxation 3
Adv. International Trade Law 3
International Trade Law 3
International Commerce & Investment 3
International Econ. Law & Development 3
Labor Law 4
Product Liability 3
Research Workshop (if topic is approved by Assoc. Dean in Law and Dept. of Econ. in advance) 3

III. Economics courses required of all joint-degree candidates (a maximum of 9 hours below the 700 level may be taken):

Course Credit Hours
At least 9 elective credit hours subject to the approval of the Dept. of Economics 9
Elementary Econometrics 3
Survey of Microeconomics 3
Survey of Macroeconomics 3

Typical Program Format

  Law Economics Total
First Year 29 0 29
Second Year 25 6 31
Third Year 22 6 28
Summer 5 6 11
Total Credits Earned 81 18 99
Law Credit Allowed   12 12
Economics Credit Allowed 9   9
Total Credit Allowed     21
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 economics 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 economics degree.

All joint-degree students also must fulfill the upper-class writing requirement and the Professional Skills requirement in the School of Law. Please see the current Law School Catalog for details.




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