Law and Public Policy: JD/MPP

The Washington College of Law (WCL) and American University's School of Public Affairs offer a dual degree program in law and public policy. This unique combination of degrees is especially attractive for students intending to use their law degrees in the political, government or non-profit realms. The program provides a broad theoretical grounding in public analysis, program evaluation and successful policy implementation and provides students with the necessary skills to creatively address the political, financial, organizational, legal, ethical and constitutional challenges inherent in developing and delivering sound public policies. The program is designed such that both degrees can be completed in as few as eight semesters, for a total of 107 credit hours.

Admission to the Program

Candidates for the dual JD/MPP must satisfy the admission requirements of both the Washington College of Law (WCL and ) the School of Public Affairs (SPA) to be admitted into this dual degree program. For entering law students, applications for this program are first reviewed by the law school. Upon completion of your law school admissions file, WCL will forward a copy of your admissions file to the School of Public Affairs for its independent review and decision. SPA accepts LSAT scores in place of the GRE normally required for admission to the MPP program. For specific admission criteria employed by SPA, please contact the SPA Graduate Admissions Office at 202-885-6230 or spagrad@american.edu. Currently enrolled law students may apply during their studies at the WCL.

Admission to either WCL or SPA does not guarantee admission to the other school. Currently enrolled MPP students may apply to WCL but the LSAT would be required.

Degree Requirements


* 107 credit hours of approved graduate work (if earned as separate degrees, students must complete 39 credit hours for the MPP degree and 86 credit hours to earn the JD degree; however, dual-degree students may apply up to 12 credits from WCL courses to the MPP and up to 6 credits from SPA courses to the JD. Students who test out of the PUAD-601 course requirement noted below can earn the degree in 104 credit hours.)
* Comprehensive written examination
*The research requirement is satisfied by completing two of the following courses with grades of B or better:
PUAD-601 Methods of Problem Solving I (3)
PUAD-602 Methods of Problem Solving II (3)
PUAD-604 Public Program Evaluation (3)
PUAD-607 Economics and Politics of Public Policy (3)
PUAD-630 Public Managerial Economics (3)
LAW-516 Legal Rhetoric I and LAW-517 Legal Rhetoric II (4)

Course Requirements

PUAD-601 Methods of Problem Solving I (3) (Students may test out of PUAD-601)
PUAD-602 Methods of Problem Solving II (3)
PUAD-603 Policy Process (3)
PUAD-606 Foundations of Policy Analysis (3)
PUAD-630 Public Managerial Economics (3)
PUAD-631 Financing Government Services (3)
PUAD-684 Organizational Analysis (3)
PUAD-688 Policy Practicum (3)
One of the following courses:
PUAD-604 Public Program Evaluation (3)
PUAD-607 Economics and Politics of Public Policy (3)
PUAD-685 Topics in Policy Analysis and Management: Cost Benefit Analysis (3)

Area of concentration (9 credit hours)

Students should consult their MPP advisor about selection of these courses. This requirement may be completed through courses at the law school, so long as the approved SPA graduate credits add up to at least 27 (24 if the student has tested out of PUAD-601). Students may also design their own concentration in conjunction with faculty and their academic advisor. Areas include: Social Policy; Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy; Crime, Public Law and Policy; Public Financial Management; Non-profit Policy, Management, Leadership; International Development; Applied Politics, including Campaign Management and Women and Politics; Comparative Public Policy; and Advanced Policy Analysis. (With permission of instructor PUAD-604 and PUAD-607 may be taken as part of a concentration.)

Internships
Students without a significant professional work background participate in an internship, which may be taken for credit (PUAD-691). For students already employed, a formal internship is optional.

Required Law Coursework

LAW-601 Administrative Law (3-4)
Completion of 80 credits of coursework required for the JD