JD/MPP Dual Degree Program

Program Overview

For leaders who show high promise to act with determination, judgment and integrity in increasingly responsible positions in sectors that influence public policy, the JD/MPP program allows students to earn both degrees in four, rather than five years. Educated at both the Batten School and UVA’s School of Law, the lawyer and public policy leader will take uncommon analytical skills and practical knowledge into every sector, from government to business and industry to the nonprofit sector.

The JD/MPP program is particularly demanding, and unless a student is clearly able to see the applicability of both degrees to future career plans, he or she should not assume that the chance to squeeze one year from a normal five-year sequence is in itself a persuasive rationale for this undertaking. 

Admissions

A student who wishes to be admitted into the dual degree program must apply to each school separately and be admitted to both the School of Law and the Batten School through the normal admissions processes of each school. The fact that the student is a candidate for the dual program is not considered at this stage.  

Students who have been admitted to both schools and who wish to undertake the dual program should notify the registrar of each school and apply to the program committee for permission to do so. Entrance to the JD/MPP program will not be guaranteed by virtue of acceptance at both schools but will be judged according to criteria, which is the responsibility of the program committee.

Application to one school may be made either prior to entrance to or while a first-year student at the other. No students will be admitted to the dual program after fully completing the first year of Batten of the second year of Law.

Financial aid will be provided by the school to which the student is paying tuition during each semester. Financial aid is not guaranteed and is subject to individual school and University availability and regulations.

Curriculum

The program takes four years to complete. In brief, it consists of the complete first year program of each school followed by two years of courses taken from the curricula of the two schools and, in appropriate cases, from other graduate offerings at the University.

Students who have been admitted to the program may elect whether they want to start in the School of Law or the Batten School, and in any event, they must spend their first year in full-time residence in either the Batten School or the School of Law. The second year is spent in the other school, again in full-time residence, in effect, as regular first year students. During the third and fourth years, students must complete the required curricula of both schools. Students may not earn Law School course credit for the public policy internship that is required by the Batten School at the conclusion of the first year of the program.

At the conclusion of the fourth year, students who have earned a minimum of 74 credits in the School of Law and a minimum of 36 credits in the Batten School will be awarded the MPP and JD degrees. The JD/MPP candidate is obligated to take, as part of these credits, all of the required curriculum in both graduate public policy and law. The remaining credits will be elective credits and can be chosen from the respective public policy and law curricula after consultation with the program committee. Under no circumstances will a dual degree student be permitted to complete the program in fewer than four years (eight semesters) of coursework.

Change of Status

At any point in the program, the student may terminate plans for a dual degree and continue toward a single degree at either school. The student must then satisfy the normal remaining requirements of the school elected, which may include credit for some of the work done in the other school, as determined by the appropriate officials of the school in question.

Grading Standards

In the first two years of the combined JD/MPP program, while enrolled exclusively in either the School of Law or the Batten School, students are required to meet the grading standards of the school in which they are enrolled. In the final two years, when taking classes in both schools, students are required to meet the session and cumulative grading standards of each school independently to remain in good standing.

Administration of the Program

The program is administered by a program committee composed of one member of the public policy faculty and one member of the law faculty, as designated by the respective deans. The responsibilities of the program committee extend to admission to the dual program, coordination of curricula for the students involved, resolution of problems that may arise, reconciliation of course and examination conflicts, and promotion of dual offerings by the two schools where that seems feasible. The deans from each school will also appoint a faculty advisor to the program who may or may not also serve as the school representative to the program committee.

* The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements.