At Rutgers–Camden, the School of Law and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offer a four-year dual degree option leading to the Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) degrees. The MPA program offered by the FAS Department of Public Policy and Administration includes the opportunity to specialize in Public Management or Community Development.  Students interested in this rigorous course of study must be accepted independently by the School of Law and the Graduate School’s Department of Public Policy and Administration.  

Career Opportunities

Completing a Law Degree and a Master’s degree in Public Administration equips professionals with a unique combination of legal, administrative, and policy knowledge that enhances an attorney’s perspective, hones managerial and financial skills, and provides preparation in managing government, business, and nonprofit organizations.  The combination of law and public administration is also ideal for pursuing careers in criminal law, regulation and compliance monitoring, legislative drafting, public law, representing government or nonprofit organizations, and for advancement to senior positions in administration, or elected public office—all fields that require knowledge of government management and public policy as well as legal knowledge.


Option I

Students applying for admission to the Rutgers-Camden School of Law or having completed their first year of study in the School of Law may pursue the dual JD/MPA by applying for admission to the DPPA.  In either case, JD/MPA students must complete their first year of law study before matriculating in MPA courses. Under this option, the Law School and the DPPA independently evaluate applications based on student transcripts, LSAT, and other application materials specified by the Law School and Graduate School, respectively.

Students accepted into the program may count 12 law credits (4 courses) toward both degrees, thereby accelerating their progress. (Note: the Law School course in Administrative Law is accepted as the equivalent of the MPA core requirement, Law and Public Policy).

Option II

Graduating Law School students with a 3.0 cumulative GPA and/or LSAT of 160 or higher qualify for admission to the Rutgers-Camden DPPA upon the filing of the appropriate application materials. This extraordinary accelerated degree opportunity is available to any law student who is graduating this year or graduated last year. 

Students who do not meet the criteria simply need to apply to the DPPA directly.  Upon evaluation and approval, students are admitted, space permitting. The DPPA accepts LSAT scores in lieu of GREs.

As with Option 1 (above), any law student admitted to the MPA degree program may count 12 completed law credits (4 courses) toward the MPA. 

Residence Requirement

The Law School will award one residence credit for the full completion of the MPA degree. This residence credit counts toward the six residence credits required for the JD degree. In effect, this means that candidates will complete their MPA degree before finishing their JD degree.

Program Requirements

Students enrolled in the dual degree program must comply with the rules and regulations of each program and meet the requirements for each degree with the exception of the joint transfer of credits.  Students must complete the required core MPA courses and the Research Workshop course. The MPA program must be completed within six years.

Employment of Full-Time Students

All students taking MPA courses in the dual degree program must conform to the Law School requirement that any student who enrolls for more than 11 academic credits in a given semester (or more than five academic credits during a summer term) may not be employed for more than 15 hours per week. This restriction applies to all paid employment. This requirement is intended to ensure that full-time students devote the time necessary to complete a rigorous joint program.

Part-Time Students

The dual degree program is also open to part-time students. The MPA course of study for part-time students will be extended to no more than 16 semesters and is to follow the same basic sequence as outlined for full-time students.

Download a copy of the JD/MPA Program Worksheet.


Dr. Michael S. Hayes
Graduate Program Director, MPA program
Department of Public Policy and Administration