Aug 21, 2019  
Graduate Record 2006-2007 
Graduate Record 2006-2007 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

J.D.-M.A. (English)

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The following J.D.-M.A. program was instituted in 1994 by the School of Law and the Department of English.

Administration of the Program Management of the program and advising of participant students are entrusted, on the Law School side, to a faculty member designated by the dean, and, on the side of the Department of English, to its director of graduate studies.

Admission to the Program Admission to the program requires three steps. (1) The student must secure admission to the English department graduate program through the department’s normal admissions process. A student will be held to the same standards as any other applicant, and candidacy for the joint program will not be considered at this stage. A student may apply to the English department either while a first-year law student or prior to entering the School of Law. (2) The student must secure admission to the School of Law through its normal admissions process. A student is held to the same standards as any other applicant, and candidacy for the joint degree program is not considered at this stage. (3) The student must secure admission to the joint program by petitioning the joint faculty committee.


The combined J.D.-M.A. program normally takes four years to complete. It may be possible to complete the program in less time, however, by additional summer work and by carrying a higher than average load. In brief, the program consists of the complete first-year program in the School of Law, followed by three years of courses taken from the curricula of the two schools and, in appropriate cases, from other graduate offerings at the University.

Students are required to meet all of the requirements set by the respective departments for the award of both the J.D. and the M.A. degrees. In the School of Law this means that the student is required to earn a minimum of 86 credits and complete the required curriculum of the Law School. In the English department, requirements for the M.A. degree vary from program to program. There are three: the M.A. in English, the M.A. in English and American Studies, and the M.A. in English and Medieval Studies. The programs’ different requirements appear in the department’s regulations for graduate studies, and all applicants should thoroughly familiarize themselves with these rules.

With the approval of the Law School representative on the program committee, students may receive up to 12 of 86 credits required for their J.D. degree in appropriate graduate-level work in the Department of English or other departments at the University. Graduate school courses in literary theory or cultural studies are the most likely candidates for such credit, and Law School credit is not usually given for literature courses. When directly relevant to a particular student’s Law School program of study, however, the Law School representative may grant Law School credit for literature courses containing a significant component of cultural studies, literary theory, or cultural, intellectual, or social history. In all cases, the Law School representative must approve credit for any course taken outside the School of Law before the student takes the course. Similarly, with the approval of the director of graduate studies of the English Department, a student may receive up to nine of the credits required for the M.A. in appropriate work in the School of Law. Whether a student may receive the full nine credits varies from program to program within the English department.

Change in Status

At any point in the program, the student may terminate plans for a joint degree and continue toward a single degree at either school. A student is then obligated to satisfy the normal requirements of the school elected, which may include credit for some of the work completed in the other school, as determined by the appropriate officials of the school in question.

Financial Aid

During the first year, financial aid is available to law students on the usual basis by application to the School of Law. Financial aid during remaining years may be available from each school under that school’s normal procedures in proportion to the number of credits taken in each school and depending on the availability of assistance.

Extracurricular Activities

The student is eligible to participate in the extracurricular activities of both schools to the extent that time permits, but should be particularly alert to the possibility of over-commitment, and should seek the counsel of the program committee before undertaking any formal extracurricular activities of a time-consuming nature.

Grading Standards

In the first year of the combined program, while enrolled exclusively in the School of Law, the student is required to meet the grading standards of that school. In remaining years, when enrolled in both schools, the student will be required to meet the session and cumulative grading standards of both schools independently to remain in good standing. Grades will be recorded on the student’s transcript under the system in effect at the school in which the course is taken.

Faculty Advisors

The Law School Faculty advisor for this program is Professor George Rutherglen.

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