J.D.-M.A. Program in English

J.D.-M.A. Program in English

The J.D.-M.A. Program in English was instituted in 1994 by the School of Law and the Department of English.

Administration of the Program 

Management of the program and advising of participant students are entrusted to Professor George Rutherglen in the School of Law and the director of graduate studies in the Department of English.

Admission to the Program

Students are required to secure admission separately to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Law through the normal admissions processes of the two schools. The applicant will be held to the same standards as any other applicant, and the fact that s/he is a candidate for the dual-degree program will not be considered in the admissions process. Once admitted to the two schools, the student may apply for admission to the dual-degree program. Students may seek admission to the Graduate School and initiate the dual-degree program after matriculating in the School of Law. Graduate Admissions | Law School Admissions


The J.D.-M.A. program normally takes four years to complete. NOTE: In accordance with ABA standards, J.D. degree candidates may not enroll in more than 17 credits total in any semester. In brief, the program consists of the complete first-year program in the School of Law followed by three years of courses taken from the curricula of the two schools and, in appropriate cases, from other graduate offerings at the University.

Students are required to meet all of the requirements set by the respective departments for the award of both the J.D. and the M.A. degrees. In the School of Law this means that the student must complete the required curriculum, meet minimum academic standards, and earn a minimum of 86 credits and six residency semesters in the School of Law. In the English department, requirements for the M.A. degree vary depending on the program, the M.A. in English or the M.A. in English and Medieval Studies. The programs’ different requirements appear in the department’s regulations for graduate studies, and all applicants should thoroughly familiarize themselves with these rules.

With the approval of the School of Law representative on the program committee, students may receive up to 12 of the 86 credits required for the J.D. degree in appropriate graduate-level work in the Department of English or other departments at the University. Graduate school courses in literary theory or cultural studies are the most likely candidates for such credit; Law credit is not usually given for literature courses. When directly relevant to a particular student’s Law program of study, however, the School of Law representative may grant Law credit for literature courses containing a significant component of cultural studies, literary theory, or cultural, intellectual, or social history. In all cases, the School of Law representative must approve credit for any course taken outside the School of Law to be applied towards the J.D. degree before the student enrolls in the course. NOTE: Credit towards the J.D. degree cannot be granted for course work completed prior to matriculation at the School of Law. Similarly, with the approval of the director of graduate studies of the English Department, a student may receive up to nine of the credits required for the M.A. degree in appropriate work in the School of Law. Whether a student may receive the full nine credits varies depending on the program within the English department.

Change of Status

At any point in the program, the student may terminate plans for the dual degree program and continue towards a single degree at either school. The student then must satisfy the normal requirements of the school elected, which may include credits completed in the other school, as determined by the appropriate officials.

Financial Aid

Financial aid 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.

Tuition and Fees

J.D. degree candidates must complete six residency semesters in the School of Law and pay School of Law tuition and fees. For any semester in which a student is in full-time residence in the Department of English, the student must pay tuition and fees as a regular student in that department.

Extracurricular Activities

Students are eligible to participate in the extracurricular activities of both schools to the extent that time permits, but should be alert to the possibility of over-commitment.

Grading Standards

Students are 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. Course grades will be recorded on the student’s transcript in accordance with the grading system in effect at the school in which the course is offered.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Law School faculty advisor, Professor George Rutherglen