Joint Degrees

In addition to certificate programs, we also offer the following joint degree programs to help you shape your law career:

  • JD/Master of Public Administration
  • JD/Master of Business Administration
  • JD/Master of Environmental Studies
  • JD/Master of Social Work

A current student interested in pursuing a joint degree program should set a meeting with the law school's Acting Dean of Students right away but in no case later than the beginning of the second year of law school.

Future law students should email our admissions director if interested in joint programs. To do so, please send them an email.

JD/Master of Business Administration

The joint program in law and business administration allows you to take advantage of the real-world need for a combination of business and law to complete a JD and MBA in a shorter period of time than would be required if the degrees were taken consecutively without the joint program.

JD/Master of Environmental Studies

Because the world of environmental law in inherently interdisciplinary, the environmental lawyer of the 21st century will benefit from an education that reaches beyond the bounds of traditional law school. Environmental legal problems invariably involve scientific, policy or ethical issues, and the University of Montana is uniquely qualified to bridge the legal, social and physical sciences. We have combined a strong environmental and natural resources law curriculum with an established graduate program in environmental studies to provide the joint program in law and environmental studies.

JD/Master of Public Administration


Under the joint program in Law and Public Administration, a student may complete two separate degrees, the Juris Doctor and the Master of Public Administration, in a shorter period of time than would be required if the degrees were taken consecutively.

The purpose of the joint program is to provide a public law option for students anticipating careers as governmental administrators. It is increasingly apparent that managers in both the private and public sectors are constantly involved with programs requiring legal knowledge. At the same time, lawyers are increasingly being called upon to perform management tasks, particularly in government agencies. The joint JD/MPA program is appropriate for those students who would find it helpful in their career objectives to be cross-trained.

The JD/MPA degree shall be earned in four years, and the customary sequence is:

  • The first two years as a full-time student in the School of Law. No M.P.A. courses may be taken during the first academic year.
  • The third year as a full-time student in the public administration program.
  • The fourth year devoted to third-year courses in the School of Law.

The JD/MPA credits are earned in the following way:

  • The School of Law shall accept toward its degree 9 semester hours of approved credit earned in the Public Administration program.
  • Law students must notify the School of Law's Academic Standards Committee of which MPA courses they plan to take for law credit the semester before they take the course(s).
  • The Public Administration program shall accept toward the MPA degree a maximum of 9 approved credits earned in the School of Law.
  • Students electing the field practicum option under the Public Administration program are not required to earn the required 4 credits in the School of Law clinical program.

JD Courses for the MPA Degree

Suggested for the MPA program are 9 credits from among the following (all 3-credit courses):

  • Advanced Legislation
  • Administrative Law
  • Employment Law
  • Local Government Law
  • Federal Indian Law
  • Land Use Planning

Other law course may also count toward the MPA degree at the discretion of the director of the MPA Program.

In order to be admitted to the joint degree program, a student must separately apply and be admitted to both the School of Law and the MPA program. It is possible for a student to be enrolled in one program and later seek enrollment in the complementary program. Application to the Law program requires taking the LSAT and the GRE is required by the MPA program.

Because the specific needs of each student in the joint program differ, every effort will be made to tailor the program to the individual student's requirements.

The law school's associate dean of students serves as student advisor for the course of study taken at the law school, and the director of the MPA program advises students on the public administration aspects of the program.

Dr. Shannon Vaughan
Department of Political Science
The University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
(406) 243-4702

JD/Master of Social Work

The law and master of social work join degrees offers you an opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration while preparing you to respond to the unique needs of a rural state like Montana. Recruitment and retention of qualified professionals in rural areas can be particularly challenging. Those with a broad skillset can provide a range of services not otherwise available in rural areas and, therefore, close the gap in needed resources for underserved populations.