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Joint Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration

UIC School of Law and the Department of Public Administration of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA) offer a joint program leading to the Juris Doctor (JD)/Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. The program integrates the legal analysis and doctrine taught in the School of Law with the multidisciplinary approaches to management and policy analysis taught in CUPPA. Full-time students may complete the program in four years.

Admission Requirements Heading link

Students must apply to the JD program and the MPA program and be admitted to each separately in order to be considered for the joint degree program, and must be approved by both units for admission into the joint program.

The policies of each program with respect to admission requirements, degree requirements, and other academic requirements are applicable. To be considered for admission to the joint program, students must take the LSAT or GRE, have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, and satisfy other application requirements for each college.

In the first two years of the joint degree program, students are required to enroll for one full year of study at the School of Law and for one full year of study at CUPPA; either can come first. Students return to the School of Law for the third year and then split the fourth year between the two units. Students have the option to enroll in summer courses in either or both programs subject to availability.

The JD/MPA program is primarily intended for full-time students. Part-time students are considered for admission to the program only on a case-by-case basis.

Students who are already enrolled in either individual degree program may be admitted to the joint program before their second year of study if they meet the admissions requirements of the other degree program and are admitted to both the other degree program and the joint program. The number of courses that may be shared between the two degrees may be reduced in such instances.

Students in the joint program will have two advisors, one from the Department of Public Administration and one from the School of Law, who will assist students with each respective program.

Degree Requirements Heading link

Students must complete the requirements for both the JD (90 hours) and the MPA (54 hours), with up to 28 hours being shared between the two degrees, for a total of at least 116 hours.

The normal requirements for the JD and MPA degrees apply, subject to the following modifications:

  1. Students must satisfy a JD Policy and Regulatory Focus Requirement consisting of at least 6 credit hours of elective JD courses.
  2. The MPA concentration requirement of 16 credit hours is reduced to 12 credit hours of coursework, subject to the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

Students must be in good academic standing to remain in the joint degree program. Students who, based upon their cumulative GPA, are subject to the additional academic requirements set forth in the School of Law’s Good Academic Standing Policy are ineligible for (or unable to remain in) the joint JD/MPA program.

Upon a student’s completion of all coursework and satisfaction of all program graduation requirements, UIC will award both the JD and MPA degrees. Absent approval of both units, the degrees must be awarded simultaneously. Such approval may be granted in appropriate circumstances, such as where a student has completed all of the requirements for the JD degree, remains on track to complete the MPA, and wishes to receive the JD in order to qualify to take a bar examination before completing the MPA.

Students who choose to drop one part of the program (JD or MPA) or who have not satisfied the academic requirements of at least one program will face the following implications:

  1. Students who do not satisfactorily complete the MPA degree requirements, by choice or for academic reasons, but who wish to continue in the JD program may do so if they meet the JD program requirements. After successful completion of the JD program, they will be awarded a JD degree. Students will be subject to the normal cap of 6 credit hours of non-UIC Law courses, and they may petition the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs for approval to count MPA courses previously taken while enrolled in the joint degree program for credit toward the JD. Typically, such approval will be granted for no more than one course.
  2. Students who do not satisfactorily complete the JD degree requirements, by choice or for academic reasons, but who wish to continue in the MPA program may do so if they meet the MPA program requirements. After successful completion of the MPA program, they will be awarded a MPA degree. The student may petition the Director of Graduate Studies for approval to count JD courses previously taken while enrolled in the joint degree program for credit toward the MPA.

Curriculum Heading link

JD Curriculum

JD Degree Requirements

JD/MPA joint degree candidates must complete the requirements for the JD degree (90 hours, including 50 hours of required core courses). Up to 16 hours of MPA courses may count toward the 90 hours required for the JD. Students must complete the JD Policy and Regulatory Focus Requirement, consisting of at least 6 hours of elective courses taken toward the JD degree.

In the first or second year of the joint degree program, students enroll for one full year of study at the School of Law, taking the same classes as other first-year JD students. Students return to the School of Law for the third year of the program and for one semester of the fourth year.

Students have the option to enroll in summer JD courses subject to availability. Students may not take courses at both units during the same term without prior approval from both units; such approval normally will be granted only for one course at a time and only during a student’s final year of study.

Shared Coursework

The following courses required for the MPA, totaling 16 credit hours, will count as elective courses toward the 90 credit hours required for the JD degree (in lieu of the normal cap of 6 credit hours of approved non-UIC Law courses):

  • PA 401 Foundations of Public Service (4 credit hours)
  • PA 403 Economics for Management and Policy (4 credit hours)
  • PA 505 Public Management Practices (4 credit hours)
  • PA 506 Public Policy Development and Process (4 credit hours)

Policy and Regulatory Focus Requirement

Students must complete at least 6 credit hours of coursework selected from the following list of courses, to count toward the elective requirements for the JD degree:

  • JD 420 Real Estate: Natural Resources Law (2 credit hours)
  • JD 426 Real Estate: Environmental Controls and Concerns (2 credit hours)
  • JD 452 Real Estate: Land Use Control and Zoning (2 credit hours)
  • JD 458 Real Estate: Public Finance Law (2 credit hours)
  • JD 498 Administrative Law (3 credit hours)
  • JD 499 Real Estate: Fair Housing and Fair Lending Law (2 credit hours)
  • JD 518 Information Law, Policy, and Privacy (3 credit hours)
  • JD 541 Fair Housing Clinic (3 credit hours)*
  • LAW 445 Environmental Law (3 credit hours)
  • LAW 450 Consumer Law (3 credit hours)
  • LAW 481 Local Government Law (3 credit hours)
  • LAW 482 Education Law and Policy (3 credit hours)
  • LAW 502 Labor Law (3 credit hours)
  • LAW 503 Employment Discrimination (3 credit hours)
  • LAW 504 Disability Law (2 credit hours)
  • TADR 472 Externship: Local Government and Non-Profit Fieldwork (2–3 credit hours)*
  • TADR 492 Clinic: Community Enterprise and Solidarity Economy Law Clinic (3 credit hours)*

Most of these courses have as prerequisites only the required courses that are normally taken by all JD students in their first year of study. JD 420, JD 426, JD 452, JD 458, and JD 499 have an elective course, JD 439 Real Estate Transactions, as an additional prerequisite.

Other School of Law courses may also count toward this focus requirement with approval in advance from the School of Law’s Vice Dean for Academic Affairs.

* These clinic or externship courses require concurrent enrollment in a classroom seminar component, which does not count toward this focus requirement.

MPA Curriculum

MPA Degree Requirements

JD/MPA joint degree candidates must complete the requirements for the MPA degree (54 hours, including 30 hours of required core courses, and coursework within an area of concentration as described below). Up to 12 hours of JD courses may count toward the 54 hours required for the MPA.

In the first or second year of the joint degree program, students enroll for one full year of study at CUPPA. Students return to CUPPA for one semester in the fourth year of study.

Students have the option to enroll in summer MPA courses subject to availability. Students may not take courses at both units during the same term without prior approval from both units; such approval normally will be granted only for one course at a time and only during a student’s final year of study.

Shared Coursework

The following courses required for the JD degree, totaling 12 credit hours, will count as elective courses toward the 54 credit hours required for the MPA degree:

  • JD 405 Contracts I (3 credit hours)
  • JD 411 Civil Procedure I (3 credit hours)
  • JD 414 Constitutional Law I (3 credit hours)
  • JD 424 Constitutional Law II (3 credit hours)

Area of Concentration

Students must select and complete coursework in one of four areas of concentration:

  1. Public Management
  2. Nonprofit Management
  3. Financial Management
  4. Urban Governance and Management

Students have the option to create their own specialized (self-directed) concentration with faculty approval.

The MPA normally requires completion of at least 16 hours of coursework within the student’s area of concentration. For students in the joint degree program, this requirement is reduced to 12 credit hours of coursework, subject to the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

Contacts Heading link

School of Law: Contact your assigned academic advisor or Ravi Sahota, Academic Advising Coordinator (rsahot1@uic.edu). For information regarding the application process, please contact UIC Law Admissions at law-admissions@uic.edu or (800) 537-4280.

College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs: Contact Elizabeth Meza, Academic Advisor, Public Administration, emeza3@uic.edu.