• Home
  • Academics
  • Degrees
  • Juris Doctor
  • Joint Degrees
  • Political Science

JD/MA in Political Science

The program combines into three years and one semester the normal 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.

If you are a prospective law student, contact the KU Law Office of Admissions, 785-864-4378, admitlaw@ku.edu; or Megan Wilson, graduate affairs, 785-864-9056, meganwilson@ku.edu.

If you are a current KU student, contact Assistant Dean Leah Terranova, law school, 785-864-4357, leaht@ku.edu; or Megan Wilson, graduate affairs, 785-864-9056, meganwilson@ku.edu.

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

  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
Political Science courses required of all joint-degree candidates 9 6
Elective law courses 29 0
Elective political science courses 0 15
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 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
Law 850 Administrative Law   3
Law 954 Legislation and Statutory Interpretation  3
Law 934 Jurisprudence  3

Political Science courses required for joint degree candidates:

Course Credit hours
POLS 705 Research Design for Political Science       3
POLS 706 Research Methods I       3

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

  1. 30 semester 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 2 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 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

  Law Political Science 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
Political Science 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 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 Law School Catalog for details.

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.

Academic Calendar
Contact KU Law Admissions

Steven Freedman, Assistant Dean
Bryanna Hanschu, Director of Recruiting

103 Green Hall