Combining the JSP and JD Degrees
Student at Boalt Hall can work simultaneously toward a JSP PhD and the professional law degree (J.D.). Some students embark on both degree programs at the same time. Others are already enrolled in one program when they first decide to apply and to pursue study in the other Program. In every case, separate application and separate admission is required to each program (More information about Admissions is available here.) And students who pursue both the J.D. and the Ph.D. degrees must fulfill all of the academic requirements of each separate degree program. Yet the high level of integration permitted by having both programs in the same school typically allows joint degree students to complete both degrees faster than elsewhere.
Additional information concerning the combination of the two degree programs is provided in the section on Curriculum and Requirements.
As in the case of most Berkeley doctoral programs, students are only rarely admitted to pursue an M.A. degree. For JSP doctoral students, the M.A. degree is optional. JSP students may also pursue an MA in a related field, e.g., International Studies. Under special circumstances, a Boalt J.D. student may be admitted to pursue the M.A. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy as a terminal degree.
For details and requirements concerning the M.A. degree, please see below.
M.A. in JSP
As in the case of most Berkeley doctoral programs, students are only rarely admitted to pursue an M.A. degree. For students in the Doctoral Program, the M.A. degree is optional. Under special circumstances a J.D. Student may be admitted to pursue the M.A. as a terminal degree.
A minimum of two semesters of academic residence is required for the M.A. degree. In order to obtain the degree students must pursue one of two plans. Plan I requires at least twenty semester units of upper division or graduate courses and a thesis. Plan II, preferred by the program, requires at least twenty-four units of upper division or graduate courses and a comprehensive M.A. examination. Whatever plan is chosen, student must have taken, as part of their course work, two basic law courses, the advanced legal research course, the first-semester JSP Orientation Seminar, and two of the five “foundation” courses.
The master’s examination is an oral examination conducted by an Examination committee appointed by the Chair of the JSP Program. For this examination the student should prepare a file of papers written for core courses or individual study and should submit copies of the file to the examination committee at least two weeks before the examination. Students are expected to take the examination during the semester in which they will complete the 24 semester units required by the Graduate Division.