Admission to the Program


First-year Entering Students

Complete the following steps to be considered for this dual degree:

1) On the law school application, select Full-time Division and then select JD/MPA degree objective.

2) Submit to the School of Public Affairs their online application form. Once your JD admissions file is complete and under review at WCL it will then be uploaded to SPA, but you still must submit the separate graduate program application form.  WCL will upload your LSAC CAS report with LSAT score, transcripts, and letter of recommendation for SPA to review.

If you complete these steps, you will receive a separate decision from both WCL and SPA. Admission to either WCL or SPA does not guarantee admission to the other. Students who have been admitted to the MPA program may apply to WCL. For specific admission criteria employed by SPA, see the graduation admission and degree requirements for the Master of Public Administration.

Current Degree-Seeking JD Students

Students currently enrolled in the JD program at WCL can apply during their first year to the dual degree program. After submitting the SPA online application form, email the WCL Office of Admissions at to request your JD admissions materials be forwarded to SPA for JD/MPA consideration.

Program Requirements


To receive the joint degree, you must satisfy the requirements for the JD in the Washington College of Law and also all requirements for the MS in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology of the School of Public Affairs You may apply 6 credit hours of law courses toward the MS degree requirements as well as 6 credit hours of Department of Justice, Law and Criminology courses toward the JD degree requirements. The dual degree option allows you to complete both degrees in approximately 3.5 to four years of full-time study, much sooner than if you pursued the degrees separately.

In this program, you enhance your general legal education with intensive study in the following areas:

  • philosophical and moral foundations of justice systems
  • nature and causes of social problems, crime, conflict, and injustice in society
  • analysis of the actual operations of the criminal, juvenile, civil, and international justice systems and their impact on society
  • the functioning of legislative and regulatory agencies
  • the broad range of laws, public policies, and informal mechanisms for dealing with crime, conflict, and injustice in society and for resolving problems of justice
  • theories of planning and management for courts, correctional, and law enforcement institutions
  • strategies for introducing constructive change in justice systems
  • institutions and organizations involved in justice issues, including legal, constitutional, civil, criminal, social, and mental health groups
  • methods of research study in justice