Joint Degrees

GW offers joint degree programs for both JD and LLM degree students.

Joint Juris Doctor/Master's Degree Programs

For JD candidates, the law school offers joint degree programs with four other schools within the University:

School of Business

  • JD/Master of Business Administration (57 credits, 12 cross credits allowed from MBA to Law and 14 cross credits allowed from Law to MBA.)

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

  • JD/MA: (36 credits, 12 cross credits to and from each program, except Women's, Gender, Sexuality Studies.) Three degrees possible: History (with a concentration in U.S. legal history);  Women's, Gender, Sexuality Studies (6 Law cross credits); Women's, Gender, Sexuality Studies (with a concentration in Public Policy) (6 Law cross credits).
  • JD/Master of Public Administration (40 credits, 12 cross credits to and from each program).
  • JD/Master of Public Policy (40 credits, 12 cross credits to and from each program).

Elliott School of International Affairs

  • JD/MA (40 credits, 12 cross credits to and from each program)

Milken Institute of Public Health

  • JD/Master of Public Health (45 credits, 8 Law credits applied to MPH, 12 health credits apply to Law)
  • JD/Public Health Certificate (18 credits, 6 credits cross credits to and from each program)

Graduate School of Education and Human Development

  • JD/Master of Education Policy (36 credits, 12 cross credits to and from each program)

Students must be admitted to both the law school and, separately, to the school that will confer the master's degree. Each school must separately approve a student's application to pursue a joint degree program. Students can normally complete the two degrees in four years of full-time study. Once a student has been admitted to both schools as a joint degree candidate, the first year of study must be devoted exclusively to the first-year law curriculum.

Credits

After the first year of law study, the law school will allow joint degree students to count up to a maximum of 12 credit hours of coursework completed in a master’s program. These credits will count toward completion of the 84 credit hours required for the law degree of which 67 law credits must be for a letter grade. The grade of Credit (CR) or No Credit (NC) will be recorded on the Law School transcript for each master’s program course and a student must receive a grade of at least B- to receive a grade of Credit. Grades of Credit resulting from courses taken in other master’s programs will count toward the total of 17 credit hours under the Credit/No Credit option allowed after completing the first year of law school. (Note: students transferring into the GW Law program are limited to a maximum of 8 Credit/No Credits.) Under American Bar Association guidelines, law students receive 1 credit hour for each 700 minutes of scheduled class time in a semester; therefore, a law student may in some cases earn only 2 credits for a course offered by another graduate program at the University for 3 credits. Online coursework offered by another GW school may not be undertaken by a law student for credit toward the law degree.

Registration Guidance

With the exception of the MBA program, which requires one year of exclusive residency and enrollment, joint degree students may enroll in a combination of law and master's level courses each semester after the first year of law study is complete. There are many employment and other advantages to beginning the joint degree program after the second year of law courses. Students may enroll in a minimum of 12 credits to be considered full-time, and a maximum of 17 credits per semester. Any combination of law and master's level credits is acceptable. Joint degree students may also be part-time (less than 12 total credits per semester).

Law school tuition rates govern, unless a joint degree student is enrolled exclusively in master's program courses. In such semesters or summer sessions, the graduate tuition rate will apply.

Graduation Requirements

The joint degrees must be conferred simultaneously and only after all requirements for both degrees have been met. The Records Office in consultation with Student Affairs will transfer 12 credits to the law school transcript in the final month before graduation. It is the responsibility of each joint degree student to ensure that grades from the final semester or summer of study are transferred to the law school for credit to qualify for graduation. Capstone projects, language requirements, and/or any other requirements must be fully met before the law degree will be conferred. Eligibility to sit for a state bar exam is usually contingent on completing the law degree, which will only occur when the master's degree requirements have also been fulfilled.

Financing the Degree

As a rule, law students are eligible for three years of financing through law school funds, or four years if a student is enrolled in the part-time program Check with the law school Office of Financial Aid for specific guidelines on funding available to joint degree students whose enrollment will exceed the established matriculation periods.


Joint Master of Laws/Master's Degree Programs

The law school offers two joint degree programs for LLM candidates.

Students must be admitted to both the law school and, separately, to the school that will confer the other master's degree. Each school must separately approve a student's application to pursue a joint degree program. The joint degrees must be conferred simultaneously and only after all requirements for both degrees have been met.

The law school will allow 6 credit hours of work completed in the other master's program to count toward completion of the 24 credit hours required for the LLM degree. The grade of CR (Credit) or NC (No Credit) will be recorded for such courses; a student must receive a grade of at least B- to receive a grade of Credit. Law students receive 1 credit hour for each 700 minutes of scheduled class time in a semester; therefore, a law student may in some cases earn only 2 credits for a course offered by another school of the University for 3 credits.