In order to encourage the study of legal history and to attract able students into the field, the School of Law and the Corcoran Department of History offer a dual-degree program leading to the degrees of J.D. and M.A. in history.
FAQs About the Program
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 and Sciences may be made prior to entrance or while the applicant is a first-year student or — under certain conditions — a second-year student at the School of Law. In all cases, the applicant will be held to the same standards as any other applicant, and the fact that he or she is a candidate for the dual-degree program will not be considered in the admissions process. J.D. students applying for the M.A. degree may submit their LSAT scores in lieu of the GRE. Once admitted independently to each school, the student may make application to the Program Committee for admission to the dual degree program. Admission to the dual-degree program will be judged according to criteria developed by the Program Committee and will not be guaranteed by virtue of acceptance at both schools.
The program will take three years to complete and will require the student to take 98 total credits. The J.D. requires 86 credits, and the M.A. requires 30 credits. Normally, a student would have to take 116 credits to complete both degrees. In the dual-degree program, however, the School of Law offers 12 credits for M.A. courses, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers 6 credits for J.D. courses, so a student in the program needs to take only 98 total credits.
M.A. in History
The M.A. has the following three requirements. (1) Students are required to take 30 credits toward the M.A. (2) Students are required to complete a Master's Thesis, which is a 40-50 page paper of publishable quality. (3) Students are required to pass an oral examination in two historical fields (one of which is usually American Legal History).
12 credit hours will count only toward the M.A. These will not count toward the student's School of Law GPA or be formally graded on the School of Law curve. Students must register for these courses in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
12 credit hours will count primarily for the M.A. and receive credit toward the J.D. These may be selected from courses offered in the History Department or from courses that are offered in the School of Law but cross-listed in the History Department. These 12 credits will not count toward the student's School of Law GPA or be formally graded on the School of Law curve, but they will count toward the total number of J.D. credits that a student needs to fulfill the degree requirements (as described below). Even if the courses are cross-listed, students must register for these courses in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, not in the School of Law. Students should consult with the faculty advisors about the availability of cross-listed courses each year.
The final 6 credits for the M.A. will be earned through the successful completion of School of Law coursework from an approved list of courses that are taught at the School of Law. Students should again consult with the faculty advisors to identify these approved law courses.
The J.D. requires 86 credit hours. A maximum of 12 credits may come from courses taken at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (as approved by the Program Committee and described above). The additional 74 credit hours will be earned through regular School of Law coursework. Students should again be aware that 6 of these credits will be used toward the M.A. degree and must be taken from an approved list of School of Law courses (as described above).
The student will take the required School of Law courses during his or her first year at the School of Law (i.e., Civil Procedure, Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Property, and Legal Research and Writing) and will fulfill the remaining requirements (professional responsibility, a professional skills course, and the writing requirement) during the remaining semesters at the School of Law. Students must comply with all other requirements for the J.D. degree and may not take more than 17 credits in any given semester.
The student will take the required law school courses during his or her first year at the law school (Civil Procedure, Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Property, Legal Research and Writing) and will fulfill the remaining requirements (professional responsibility, a professional skills course, and the writing requirement) during the remaining semesters at the law school. Students must comply with all other requirements for the J.D. degree. They must take at least 12 J.D. credits per semester, and they may not take more than 17 credits in any given semester.
Change of Status
At any point in the program, the participant will be permitted to terminate plans for a dual-degree and to continue toward a single degree at either school. He or she will then be required to satisfy the normal requirements for the school he or she has chosen, which may include credit for some of the work done in the other school as determined by the appropriate officials of the school in question.
Tuition and Fees
During all three years of the program, students will pay tuition to the Law School. During the third year of the program, the Law School will provide a funds transfer to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to recognize certain costs relating to the administration of the M.A. degree.
Because students in the program will be paying tuition to the School of Law, financial aid will be provided by the School of Law. As for all students, financial aid is not guaranteed and is subject to Law School and University availability and regulations.
The student will be eligible to participate in the extracurricular activities of both schools to the extent time permits. Because of the possibility of over-commitment, however, counsel of the Program Committee is recommended.
The student is required to meet the grading standards of both schools independently to remain in good 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 dual degree program will be dealt with by the Program Committee, in consultation with the Office of the University Registrar (UREG). Grades will be recorded on the student's transcript under the system in effect at the school in which the course is taken.
The deans of each school will appoint a faculty member to advise students in the program.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Director of the Program, Charles Barzun.