Five joint-degree programs
School of Law
School of Law and College of Business Administration
School of Law and Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies
- J.D./MPA (Master of Public Administration)
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at The University of Akron prepares students for public service management positions in local, state or federal government as well as a variety of human service and nonprofit organizations. The benefit of the JD/MPA degree is that the student will be prepared for the increasing number of positions in the public sector that prefer, or require, a law degree. The legal training received in the School of Law, along with the social science training received in the Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies, will strengthen a student's education and better prepare him/her for job opportunities.
School of Law and the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics
- J.D./MAP (Master of Applied Politics)
The Master of Applied Politics (MAP) program at The University of Akron is one of the few professional master's degree programs in the United States focusing on practical politics and efforts to influence political decisions. This includes winning elections, influencing legislation and strengthening political organizations.
Career opportunities for J.D./MBA, J.D./MTax, and J.D./MPA may include areas such as corporate law, business, academic development, tax accounting, human resources and employment, corporate finance, insurance and risk management, international affairs, trade and investment, or legal practice in government.
The Application Process
J.D./LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law:
J.D./MBA, MTax, MAP or MPA:
UA's College of Business Administration
To pursue a joint degree program, the student must be admitted to the School of Law and the Graduate School for the College of Business Administration, the Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies or the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics.
Most law students apply for admission to a joint degree program during the summer before the first year of law school or during the fall semester of the first year of law school. In order to apply, the student must fill out a joint degree program application, as well as an application to the graduate department offering the joint degree (the College of Business Administration, the Public Administration department, or the Political Science department). Generally speaking, the earlier a student applies for a joint degree program, the better his or her chances are to receive a graduate assistantship, which can pay for up to full tuition and fees for the remainder of the joint degree program past the first year of law school.
Students who are admitted into the law program can use their LSAT scores in place of other graduate admission exams for joint degree application purposes. If a student’s LSAT score is at an acceptable level, the appropriate graduate admission exam is waived. If the LSAT score is not at an acceptable level, the student may be required to take the appropriate graduate admission exam. Joint degree students are ALMOST NEVER required to take graduate admission exams apart from the LSAT.
Joint-degree program structure
A joint degree program allows a student to obtain a J.D. and a master’s degree at the same time. Joint degree programs save students time and money due to credit transfer agreements between the law school and the graduate school. The table below summarizes how this works.
|Program||Degrees Pursued Separately||Degrees Pursued Jointly|
Master of Applied Politics
Master of Business Administration (Foundations)
Master of Public Administration
Master in Taxation (Foundations)
The numbers shown in parentheses in the JD/MBA and JD/MTax rows in the table above include the College of Business Administration’s foundations courses (e.g., basic accounting, basic finance, business statistics, marketing, etc.) in addition to the core degree credits. Foundational or gateway courses are required for students who do not have a business background. Students who have a business-related degree (accounting, finance, marketing, etc.) will likely waive out of all of these courses. Students who have not taken these courses but who have practical experience may take exams to attempt to waive out of these courses. More information.
Joint degree programs typically require year-round attendance and add a semester on to the standard J.D. course of study. For example, a full-time student pursuing a joint degree would likely take three and a half years of year-round study to complete both programs, as opposed to three years with summers off for the J.D. program alone.
For full-time students, the law courses for fall and spring semesters of the first year are all required and may not be substituted or changed. Therefore, full-time students may begin taking joint degree courses in the summer term following the first year.
For part-time students, the law courses for fall, spring and summer semesters of the first year and fall and spring semesters of the second year are all required. However, there can be some flexibility with part-time students who are unemployed or only working part-time to enroll in graduate courses beginning the first semester of Law School.
Our joint degree programs are structured to keep students on pace to graduate with the J.D. in the standard amount of time for their chosen program. Returning to the example of the full-time student, that student would finish the J.D. in three years, take the bar exam in July following graduation, and then return to Akron in the fall semester to finish the graduate portion of the joint degree.
In the vast majority of cases, students pursuing a joint degree program begin law school before beginning the graduate school portion of the joint degree. Students may start graduate school prior to law school, but this is not recommended for two reasons. The first reason is that this plan might require a leave of absence from graduate school, especially for full-time law students, in order to complete the core requirements of the J.D. program.
The second reason is that any credits earned prior to matriculation in the J.D. program CAN NEVER be counted toward the J.D. program. For example, if a student were to take 12 credit hours in the MBA program in the spring semester and then start law school the following fall semester, none of these 12 hours would count toward the J.D. program. There is nothing wrong with this, necessarily, but this plan could weaken the credit-transferring benefits that occur as a result of joint enrollment.
Students may not create their own joint degree programs. The only available joint degree programs are the ones listed above. However, students may take up to SIX (6) hours of graded, graduate-level credit in another unit within The University of Akron to count toward the J.D. degree. Students not enrolled in joint degree programs must secure written permission from the Assistant or Associate Dean at the School of Law before enrolling in any graduate courses. Click here for a list of graduate programs offered at The University of Akron.
Students who already have graduate degrees may still pursue joint degree programs, as long as the joint degree program is different from the graduate degree they have already obtained. For example, if a student who already has an MBA would be permitted to pursue a J.D./MTax. Some of your MBA coursework may count toward the MTax program, but, as stated above, no coursework completed prior to matriculation in the J.D. program will count toward the J.D. program.
Graduate assistantships: J.D. with MBA, MTax, MPA or MAP
If you are a student in a joint degree program, you are eligible to apply for a graduate assistantship in the department in which you are enrolled for Master’s degree work. Graduate assistantships are only available to law students who have finished their first year of law school. They typically range in value from a few thousand dollars to full tuition for graduate and law tuition, plus a living stipend.
For more information on joint degree programs, graduate application requirements, and graduate assistantships, contact the following individuals:
MBA and MTax Programs
Myra Weakland, Assistant Director of Graduate Business Advising
Dr. Raymond Cox, Professor of Public Administration and Urban Studies
Dr. Karl Kaltenthaler, Professor and Dir. of Graduate Studies of Political Science