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Joint Juris Doctor and Master of Arts in Public Policy (JD/MA) Degree

Overview: The Joint JD/MA in Public Policy program offers a unique opportunity for Stanford JD students to acquire technical analytic skills of use to lawyers who practice or represent clients in the public policy sector. By pursuing an integrated JD/MA program, students are able to obtain both the JD and MA degrees in three years. More importantly, rather than learning about law and policy analysis in two separate and disconnected educational environments – for example, a school of law and a school of public policy - students can pursue their interest in law and public policy in an integrated fashion, and interacting with law, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, and other faculty and graduate students on a continuous basis.

Time required: 3 years (136 units). The JD/MA joint degree is regarded by the University as a distinct degree whose requirements may differ from either degree considered separately. The JD and the MA degrees, earned independently, would require 4 years; because of overlapping curricula, the joint degree requires 3. However, the School of Law requires students in the joint program to satisfy all of its requirements for the JD Tuition for all three years of the program is paid at the Law School rate.

Requirements for admission: Admission to and matriculation in the Stanford JD program. Consent of the School of Law. Adequate preparation in mathematics and economics.

Admission: Students apply to the Law School, indicating an interest in the joint program. There is one admissions application and one fee. When a decision is made by the law school to admit such a student to the JD program, that student’s file is forwarded to the MPP program director. An admission decision, based on the information in the Law School application, will be made promptly, and the Law School will inform applicants of the decision. Students may also apply after they are enrolled at the Law School, up to the end of their second year of law school, by applying first to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the School of Law.

Advising: Each JD/MA student must have a faculty adviser in the School of Law, chosen from among the MPP-affiliated faculty.

Curriculum: The JD/MA program has three components: (1) the traditional JD curriculum, comprising a mix of mandatory and elective courses, seminars and clinical training; (2) a year of coursework comprising theory and methods of policy analysis, cross-listed as law courses and constituting JD electives; (3) a 5 unit Master’s Thesis. For JD students enrolled in the MA program, some law courses that would otherwise be treated as electives are mandatory (for example, administrative law, negotiation and uses of policy analysis in the law). JD/MA students typically complete their first year of coursework at the law school and their second taking the core graduate public policy courses. During their third year students take a mix of JD and Public Policy courses. In all, students complete 46 units of coursework for the MA, all of which is counted toward both degrees*.


Public policy curriculum for the JD/MA degree

Courses  Units

PUBLPOL 301A. Microeconomics

PUBLPOL 301B. Cost-Benefit Analysis and Evaluation 4
PUBLPOL 302B. Economic Analysis of Law 4
ECON 102A. Introduction to Statistical Methods 5
PUBLPOL 303D. Applied Econometrics 4
PUBLPOL 305A. Judgment and Decision Making 4
PUBLPOL 307. Justice 4
PUBLPOL 308. Political Analysis for Policymakers 4
PUBLPOL 310. Master’s Thesis 5
PUBLPOL 311. Colloquium 3
Policy Elective Units* 4

Total MA program units


 *Students may select any policy elective course that advances their knowledge of the tools of policy analysis or propose, by petition, a concentration elective course found on the Concentration Electives List.


* A maximum number of 35 quarter units of non-JD classes count toward the JD. This is 5 more than the 30 units permitted by the ABA, which is why every joint degree student must have at least 5 of the 35 units in cross-listed courses. 


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