Joint Degree Programs

St. Mary’s University and the School of Law have established several joint degree programs.  Once enrolled in a joint degree program, a law student usually may earn six hours of credit toward the doctor of jurisprudence by successfully completing a master’s degree. The students will also earn credit toward the selected master’s degree by satisfying the requirements for doctor of jurisprudence. These programs allow students at St. Mary’s to complement their training in the law with advanced study in another discipline.

The first year of academic work for a law student pursuing a joint degree consists entirely of law courses. During the second and third year, law and master’s degree courses are taken. Depending on the specific requirements of the master’s program, a student ordinarily can earn both a law degree and a master’s degree in three or four years.

An interested applicant must gain admission to both the Law School and  Graduate Studies, which make separate admissions decisions. Application to  Graduate Studies may be made after the student begins law school.

Following are brief descriptions of some of the joint-degree programs offered by St. Mary’s University, although other flexible options are available upon request.

Doctor of Jurisprudence
Master of Business Administration (J.D./M.B.A.)

The J.D./M.B.A. program is designed for students who wish to acquire a broad knowledge of business to complement their legal training.  Federal, state and corporate taxation, estate planning, banking and finance, accounting and corporate management are but a few of the areas in which law and business overlap.  Students who wish to serve as counsel to corporations, or specialize in business and commercial law, would benefit from an advanced degree in business.  Professor Mark W. Cochran is the J.D./M.B.A. advisor.

Among the courses offered in the M.B.A. program are Taxation for Corporations, Estate and Gift Taxation, Multinational Management, Advanced Managerial Accounting, International Banking and Financial Management, and Investment and Portfolio Analysis.

Doctor of Jurisprudence
Master of Arts in International Relations (J.D./I.R.)

The J.D./I.R. program is for law students who wish to gain specialized knowledge of issues related to international affairs.  Due to the internationalization of relations among the countries of the world, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the globalization of the world’s economy, there is an increased need for lawyers who have an international perspective on the practice of law.

Among the courses offered in the I.R. program are Current Problems in International and Public Affairs, Politics in Developing Areas, Politics of World Economic Problems, Comparative Political Systems, United States Foreign policy, Studies in Latin Inter-American Affairs, and 20th Century Political Thought.

Doctor of Jurisprudence
Master of Arts in Public Administration (J.D./M.P.A.)

The J.D./M.P.A. program is designed to provide interested law students with a broad knowledge of issues that arise in the public sector.  Controversies concerning the utilization of natural resources, land use (zoning, planning, and economic development), labor relations, the administration of justice, and civil rights all illustrate the importance of law in the public sector.  Associate Professor Emily Fowler Hartigan is the J.D./M.P.A. advisor.

Among the courses offered in the Master’s in Public Administration program are Social Responsibility and Business Environment, Financial Policies, Management and Organization Development, Organizational Behavior and Urban Political Institutions and Processes.

Doctor of Jurisprudence
Master of Arts in Theology (J.D./M.T.)

The J.D./M.T. program immerses students in the study of both the laws of society and the law of God.  The program is especially suited for students who wish to pursue a legal career as a form of ministry.  Professor Michael S. Ariens is the J.D./M.T. advisor.

Among the courses offered in the Master’s of Theology program are Foundational Moral Theology Ethics, Ecology and Christian Ethics, Dynamics of Spiritual Life, Marriage and the Family, Theology of Human Sexuality, and Principles of Theological Method.