The dual degree program in Law and World Politics leads to two degrees: a Juris Doctor (JD) and a Master of Arts (MA) in World Politics. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in world affairs. Students can complete all requirements for both degrees in three-and-a-half years.

Careers might be pursued with internationally oriented law firms, national ministries of defense or foreign affairs, international governmental organizations, multinational corporations, and the news media.

Students usually devote the first year to the complete sequence of first-year courses in Law School. The second and third years are normally devoted to a mix of both disciplines. At the outset, students  are encouraged to work closely with an academic adviser in both schools.

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 in the Department of Political Science within 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 for the MA. If you are admitted to the Rackham Graduate School and choose to pursue the JD/MA program, you must notify both the Law School’s Office of Student Records and Office of Student Life.

  • MA Requirements

    The MA requires a minimum of 24 credit hours of 500-level+ political science coursework, in which at least half of the coursework needs to be in World Politics. 18 of the 24 credits must be political science; the other 6 credits are cognates. 6 credit hours may be satisfied by appropriate courses taken in the Law School.

    In addition to this coursework, the JD/MA program requires that you prepare a master’s thesis, and also defend the thesis.

  • Additional Requirements

    Applicants must gain separate and independent admission to both schools. Applicants may apply to Rackham only after completing their first year of Law School and PS 660 (Proseminar in World Politics). PS 660 can be taken during your first or second year in Law School. Applicants must also obtain a recommendation by the course instructor to be accepted to the program. Applicants 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 degree requirements of each school, and should consult with advisers in each school for the precise graduation requirements for each degree and for information about course offerings. Law School courses are not offered in the summer term. Students will not receive credit toward the JD for non-law coursework taken prior to matriculation at the Law School. Students should consult with the Political Science academic adviser concerning credit toward the MA for Law course work. 

    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 their Rackham academic adviser 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 Department of Political Science. 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 MA in World Politics. Students who are registered in their first or second year of Law School may apply 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]

Department of Political Science
Admissions Office
5700 Haven Hall
505 S. State St.
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-7045

Phone: 734.764.6313
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]