The Law School and the School for Environment and Sustainability offer a dual degree program, allowing interested students the opportunity to study concurrently for the Juris Doctor (JD) and the Master of Science (MS) in Environment and Sustainability degrees. 

The goal of this program is to encourage more effective integration of knowledge of environmental sustainability and environmental problems with the methodology and skills of a lawyer. The program is designed so that all requirements for both degrees can be completed in four years.

Most students enrolled in this dual program begin at the Law School. They then take a mixture of Law and environmental sustainability coursework during the remaining three years of the program, which concludes with the master’s opus project (thesis or practicum may be permitted by petition) required for the Master of Science degree.

Career options for program graduates are varied. Among the alumni, one has served as an attorney for the U.S. Department of the Interior, supervising the implementation of natural resource laws and regulations; another has been a member of the legal staff of a large power company; and a third has served as director of a major state environmental action council. The dual JD/MS program might also be attractive to students interested in the practice of law for corporate clients who are engaged in the use of natural resources, and to students who foresee careers in trial practice in which use of expert witnesses in the fields of ecology and natural resources may be necessary.

Information contained herein is valid as of 2/26/19 and is subject to change.

Contact the applicable admissions office or dual degree resource for more information.


  • JD Requirements

    Students entering the Law School must complete the required first-year law curriculum. Students must take one elective course of three or four credit hours during their second semester. All students must complete the following before graduation: at least one international or comparative law course of two or more credit hours, at least one upper-level course with a rigorous writing component, one statutory or regulatory course of three or more credit hours, one course in professional responsibility of two or more credit hours, and two credit hours of experiential learning. Separate courses must be taken to fulfill the upper-level course with a rigorous writing component, the professional responsibility course, and the experiential learning course.

    The JD requires a minimum total of 83 credits earned between Law School courses and courses through the School for Environment and Sustainability, which is affiliated with the Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Students must earn at least 71 credits toward the JD through courses taken in the Law School.

    Twelve (12) credit hours may be taken from the satisfaction of requirements toward the MS degree. If you are admitted to the School for Environment and Sustainability and choose to pursue the JD/MS program, you must notify both the Law School’s Office of Student Records and Office of Student Life.

  • MS Requirements

    Completion of a total of 42 credit hours along with a master’s Opus (project, practicum, or thesis) is required for the Master of Science degree. Up to 9 of the required 42 credit hours may be earned for appropriate environmental law courses taken in the Law School.

  • Additional Requirements

    Applicants must gain separate and independent admission to both the Law School and the School for Environment and Sustainability, affiliated with the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, and should contact the admissions office of each school for application and admission information. If you are enrolled in a graduate program in another school or department at the University, the Law School will accept a valid GRE, GMAT, or MCAT score in lieu of an LSAT score; otherwise, a valid LSAT score is required.*

    Students must satisfy the requirements of each school for each degree and should consult with advisers in each school for the precise graduation requirements for each degree and for information about course offerings. Students will find a few courses available in the School for Environment and Sustainability during the summer. Law School courses are not offered in the summer term. Students will not receive credit toward the JD for coursework taken prior to matriculation at the Law School. Students should consult with the adviser at the School for Environment and Sustainability concerning credit toward the MS for Law course work.

    During the third and fourth years of the program, students are permitted to elect courses in both schools. Tuition will be assessed at either the Law School or the Graduate School rate, whichever is higher, when courses toward both degrees are taken in one term.

    At the beginning of their final year of study in the combined program, students should consult with the SEAS Registrar and the Law School’s Office of Student Records regarding forms that need to be completed prior to graduation. 

    Also at this time, students should submit a Dual/Joint Degree Election Form for approval from both the Law School and the School for Environment and Sustainability. Students may also consult with the Law School’s Office of Student Records if there are any questions regarding completion of this form.

    Dual/Joint Degree Election Form

    The combined degree is not open to those who have already earned either the JD or the MS. Students who are registered in the first or second year at the Law School or the first year of the SEAS’ program may apply for admission to the dual degree program.

  • Please Note

    Any JD who enrolls concurrently in another degree program will be awarded the JD degree after completing all of the requirements for the dual, joint, or combined degrees. (As a practical matter, this means that the student will receive the JD degree either after or at the same time as they receive the degree(s) in the other program(s).) This policy will not affect the student’s class year for purposes of the Law School’s commencement ceremony or alumni events, and it will not apply if a student discontinues the other degree program(s). A law student who believes that they will experience some hardship as a result of this policy may petition the Associate Dean for Academic Programming for an exception.

    JD courses traditionally have a later grading deadline than other degree programs. On some occasions, this later JD grading deadline may affect a student in their final term if another degree program desires all of the student’s grades prior to the JD grading deadline.

Contact Information

Law School Admissions Office
University of Michigan Law School
Jeffries Hall, Suite 2200
701 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1215

Phone: 734.764.0537
Email: [email protected] 

Office of Student Life (dual degree programs)
University of Michigan Law School
316 Hutchins Hall
625 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1215

Phone: 734.764.0516
Email: [email protected]

Office of Student Records
University of Michigan Law School
300 Hutchins Hall 
625 S. State Street 
Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1215

Phone: 734.763.6499
Email: [email protected]

SEAS Admissions
School for Environment and Sustainability
1520 Dana Building
440 Church St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1041

Phone: 734.764.6453
Email: [email protected]

Rackham Graduate School Admissions
0120 Rackham Building
915 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070

Phone: 734.764.8129
Email: [email protected]