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

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

The following J.D.-M.A. program was instituted in 1970 by the School of Law and the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics.

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.

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.


The J.D.-M.A. program normally takes three and one-half 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 two and one-half years of courses taken from the curricula of both schools and, in appropriate cases, from other graduate offerings at the University.

The student must 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 Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, requirements for the M.A. degree in foreign affairs or government include 24 course credits plus 6 non-topical research credits, satisfactory performance on two comprehensive examinations, completion of a thesis under the supervision of two faculty advisors, and demonstration of appropriate competence in a foreign language or in quantitative research methods.

With the approval of the School of Law representatives on the program committee, a student may receive up to 12 of the 86 credits required for the J.D. degree in appropriate graduate-level work in the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics or other graduate offerings at the University. 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 graduate advisor of the Department of Politics, a student may receive up to six of the 30 course credits required for the M.A. degree in appropriate work in the School of Law.

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 Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, 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 John Norton Moore.