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JD/MUP (Urban Planning)

The joint degree program in law and urban planning is designed for students intending to practice law who might become concerned with the problems of housing, land use, transportation, environment, or urban and regional development. The course of study provides a method to develop professionals capable of dealing with both the legal and planning aspects of urban problems. Graduates with these two degrees will be able to apply their skills in both the public and private sectors.

The program combines into four years the normal three-year J.D. program offered by the School of Law and the two-year Master of Urban Planning program offered by the Urban Planning Department in the School of Architecture, Design, and Planning. Students in the program must complete 76 credit hours in law and 39 credit hours in urban planning. Near the end of the course of study, each candidate must successfully pass a written comprehensive examination administered by the Urban Planning Department or write a thesis approved by the student's thesis committee in urban planning.

If you are a prospective law student, contact the KU Law Office of Admissions, 785-864-4378, admitlaw@ku.edu; or Professor Stacey Swearingen White, urban planning, 785-864-4184, ubpl@ku.edu.

If you are a current KU student, contact Assistant Dean Leah Terranova, law school, 785-864-4357, leaht@ku.edu; or Professor Stacey Swearingen White, urban planning, 785-864-4184, ubpl@ku.edu.

Admission Requirements

The joint J.D./M.U.P. 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 urban planning programs. Applicants for the J.D./M.U.P. program must meet the admission requirements of the School of Law, the Urban Planning Department and the Office of Graduate Studies. 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) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required. A student who decides to enter the program while enrolled in the first year of the J.D. or M.U.P curriculum must consult and obtain approval from the School of Law and Urban Planning Department as soon as possible. No student may enter the joint degree program after completing more than three full semesters in the School of Law or in the Urban Planning Department.

Degree Requirements

Summary of Degree Requirements

Law Courses
First-Year Courses 29
Other Required Courses 10
Required Electives 9
Additional Electives 8
Other Law Courses 20
Urban Planning Courses
Core Curriculum 21
Major 12
Electives 6
Planning Courses Counted Toward J.D. Degree 14
Law Courses Counted Towards MUP Degree 9
Total LAW Degree Requirements 90
Total MUP Degree Requirements 48

J.D. Requirements
All candidates for the J.D. must complete the following required courses:

First Year
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
Three courses from among:
Law 892 Business Organizations 4
Law 873 Commercial Law: Secured Transactions 3
Law 881 Conflict of Laws 3
Law 837 Contracts II/UCC Sales 3
Law 878 Criminal Procedure 3
Law 909 Family Law 3
Law 845 Jurisdiction 3
Law 996 Trusts and Estates 4
Required courses:  
Law 908 Evidence 3
Law 972 Professional Responsibility* 2

In addition to all J.D./M.U.P. program course requirements, students must satisfy the Upper-Level Writing-Intensive course requirements and the Experiential Course Requirements in the School of Law. Please refer to the current School of Law catalog for details.

Required Elective Courses for all Joint Degree Candidates
LAW 850 Administrative Law 3
LAW 956 Local Government Law 3
LAW 954 Legislation and Statutory Interpretation 3
Total Credits 9

* only if advisor in the Planning Program approves for an elective assuming that the course contains planning related subject.

Additional Elective Courses for all Joint Degree Candidates
At least 8 credits from the following list:
LAW 860 Alternate Dispute Resolution 3
LAW 904 Environmental Law Seminar 3
LAW 920 Health Law & Policy 3
LAW 941 Land Transactions 3
LAW 963 Energy Law and Policy 3
LAW 966 Oil & Gas 3
LAW 967 Native American Natural Resources 3
LAW 975 Public Lands and Natural Resources 3
LAW 976 Public Policy Practicum 3
LAW 992 Water Law 3
Urban Planning Courses Required of all Students
Core curriculum:
UBPL 736 Planning Institutions 3
UBPL 850 Urban and Regional Theory 3
UBPL 741 Quantitative Methods I 3
UBPL 742 Quantitative Methods II 3
UBPL 815 History and Theory of the Planning Process 3
UBPL 763 Professional Practice 3
UBPL 705 Economic Analysis for Planners 3
Total Credits 21

At least 12 credits in one of the following specialty areas: Environmental Planning, Housing and Development Planning, Land Use Planning and Urban Design, or Transportation Planning. One course in the area of specialization must be an implementation seminar. No minor is required.

At least 6 credits from Urban Planning courses.

Additional Information

The University of Kansas Graduate Studies Catalog states specifically that all course work counted toward a master's degree requires a B average for the award of the degree. The School of Law Catalog states specifically that all candidates for the J.D. degree must attain a grade point average of 2.0 in all coursework taken to fulfill degree requirements. All joint degree aspirants must fulfill the writing requirements of the School of Law. Please see the current School of Law catalog.

Typical Program Format

  Law Urban Planning Total Credits
First Year 29 0 29
Second Year 2* 24 26
Third Year 22 9 31
Fourth Year 23 6 29
Total Credit Earned 76 39 115

*Must include Professional Responsibility.

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.