The University of Utah Master of Public Policy/Juris Doctor joint degree is designed to combine students’ applied interests and training in public policy with the comprehensive legal training gained through the S.J. Quinney College of Law JD program. Both programs recognize the growing interrelationship between the public and private sectors and the increased need for leaders with a combination of policy-related skills and specializations in analysis, economics and law. One important career path for attorneys lies in the field of public policy and lawyers who pursue this career path will benefit by an education that includes policy content and process coupled with grounding in analysis, statistics and economics. Likewise, career professionals in public policy can function more effectively when they have a working understanding of law and legal institutions.
The S.J. Quinney College of Law program and the Master of Public Policy Program provide individual attention to help you realize your professional goals. The Law program is well established and well regarded, combining professional training in legal substance and methods with practical applications. The Master of Public Policy program provides analytical training and opportunities to participate in the policy process beyond the classroom. Both programs are small, and provide opportunities to study issues you care about in real world settings.
Students can earn both the MPP and JD in a four-year period. Individuals considering a career in policymaking in government, nonprofits, and in the private sector that require professional training in both legal and policy analysis are encouraged to apply.
To apply for the joint degree program, students must submit separate admissions applications to the College of Law and the MPP program meeting the requirements for each. Admission to one program does not guarantee admission to the other. Students may apply to both programs at the same time, however, a law student may apply to the MPP program during their first year of law school and thus be able to complete the joint degree program. Students are required to satisfy the regular admissions requirements for each program and be accepted into each program.
Students spend their first year in the joint program at the Law School completing the required units of law courses. During the second, third and fourth years, students are able to take law and/or public policy courses. Students may count up to nine credit hours of College of Law class work toward fulfilling the 40 credit-hour requirement of the MPP degree, and may count up to twelve credit hours of MPP class work toward fulfilling the 88 credit-hour requirement of the JD degree. Upon completion of all requirements of both programs, students earn two separate degrees, a JD degree awarded by the College of Law and a MPP degree awarded by the College of Social and Behavioral Science.
The overall credit requirements for both degrees is reduced by 21 credit hours, and students can expect to complete the two degrees in approximately eight semesters of full-time study. Students admitted in the JD/MPP Joint Degree Program must complete all JD and all MPP requirements before either degree will be awarded.