J.D.-M.A. Program in Foreign Affairs

The School of Law and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GSAS) offer a J.D./M.A. combination-program in Foreign Affairs designed to accommodate the interests of students who desire to complement their training in law and theoretical, historical, interpretive and quantitative methods derived from the study of foreign affairs and politics.

Admission to the Program

The student is obligated to secure separate admission to both the School of Law and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.  Application to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences may be made prior to entrance or while the applicant is a first-year student at the School of Law.  In either case, applicants to the Program will be held to the same standards as other applicants to each school. Applicants’ status as a candidate for the Program will not be considered in the admission process.  Once admitted independently to each school, the student may make application to the Program Committee for admission to the Program.  Admission to the Program will be judged according to criteria developed by the Program Committee and will not be guaranteed by virtue of acceptance at both schools. 

Graduate Admissions  Law School Admissions


The Program will take seven regular semesters to complete (summer semesters do not count); under no circumstances will a student be allowed to complete the program in less than seven semesters.  In brief, the program consists of the complete firs t-year program in the School of Law (two semesters) followed by five semesters of courses taken from the curricula of the two schools and, in appropriate cases, from other graduate offerings at the University.

Students must comply with all of the policies and meet all of the requirements set by both schools for the award of both the J.D. and the M.A., including the required curriculum and minimum academic standards.  The student must complete a minimum of 86 credits in the School of Law and a minimum of 30 credits in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

With the approval of the School of Law representatives on the Program Committee, students may earn one residency semester and receive up to 12 of the 86 credits required for the J.D. degree in appropriate graduate-level work in the Department of Politics or other department at the University.  Students must receive approval from the School of Law representative on the Program Committee prior to enrolling in any courses outside the School of Law.  Similarly, with the approval of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences representative on the Program Committee, a student may receive up to six credits toward the M.A. degree through the successful completion of coursework from an approved list of courses that are taught at the School of Law.  Students should consult with the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences representative on the Program Committee prior to enrollment to identify these approved courses.  NOTE: In accordance with ABA standards, J.D. degree candidates may not receive credit toward the J.D. degree for more than 17 credits total in any given semester.  In addition, credit towards the J.D. degree cannot be granted for course work completed prior to matriculation at the School of Law.

Change of Status

At any point in the Program, students may terminate plans for a combination-degree program and continue toward a single degree at either school. The student then must satisfy the normal requirements of the selected program, which may include credits completed in the other school, as determined by the appropriate officials in the selected program. Students put on probation or suspended for academic reasons from one program will be evaluated by the other program to verify their good standing for continued enrollment. Students must remain active in both programs to be awarded combination degrees.

Tuition and Fees 

During the first five semesters of the program, the student will pay tuition to the School of Law according to its tuition schedule.  During the final two semesters of the program, the student will pay tuition to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences according to its tuition schedule.

Administrative Stewardship

Administrative stewardship for a program participant at any given point in time during the program is the School of Enrollment: the School of Law for semesters one through five, and GSAS for semesters six and seven.  For example, because GSAS is the School of Enrollment for a program participant during their sixth semester in the program, GSAS administers the course enrollment process for the sixth semester following its enrollment policies and practices.  The School of Law and GSAS Registrars coordinate closely for course enrollments and other program issues, but the School of Enrollment is the controlling one for administrative issues.

Program Semester

School of Enrollment


School of Law


School of Law


School of Law


School of Law


School of Law





Financial Aid

Financial aid (including loans and scholarships) will be provided by the school to which the student is paying tuition in a given semester. Financial aid is not guaranteed and is subject to individual school and University regulations and availability. Students must meet the satisfactory academic progress standards of the school providing the financial aid in a given semester.

Extracurricular Activities

Students are eligible to participate in the extracurricular activities of both schools to the extent that time permits.  Because of the possibility of over-commitment, however, counsel of the Program Committee is recommended.

Grading Standards

The student is required to meet the grading standards of both schools independently to remain in good academic standing. Each school retains the right to drop students from its degree program following its usual academic standards and procedures. Problems that arise in translation of different grading scales resulting from the combination program will be dealt with by the Program Committee. Grades for each course will be recorded on students’ transcripts under the system in effect at the school in which the course is taken.

Administration of the Program

Management of the program and advising of participating students are entrusted to Professor John Norton Moore in the School of Law and the graduate advisor in the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Law School faculty advisor, Professor Tom Nachbar.