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JD/MCP Agreement with the School of Design

  1. Overview
    1. The JD/Masters in City Planning (MCP) is a joint degree program sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Penn Design at the University of Pennsylvania. The aim of the joint degree program is to train leaders who can blend the professional concerns of law and city and regional planning.
    2. Students will have the opportunity to earn both degrees in four years (more on the sequencing of these years follows, below).
    3. This program is intended to:
      1. Provide valuable tools for state, local, and regional land-use planning departments and for state, local, national, and international policy makers.
      2. Expand the range of frameworks applicable to decision making in land use policy, real estate law, and related fields.
      3. Stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration in planning and implementation.

 

  1. Application Process
    1. Students will apply independently to each department through each program's specified admission process. The Law School and the MCP Program will make independent judgments about each candidate.
      1. While the Law School and the MCP Program will make independent admissions decisions, each application will invite the student to indicate that they have applied, or been admitted, to the other program.
    2. Applicants will have three options as to applying for the joint degree program:
      1. They may make contemporaneous applications to both programs prior to being accepted at either,
      2. They may apply to the MCP program in the first or second year of the Law program, or
      3. They may apply to the Law program in the first year of the MCP program.

 

  1. Degree Completion Requirements
    1. In order for a student to receive both degrees, he or she must complete the independent degree requirements of each program.
      1. For Law
        1. For the JD class of 2013 and beyond students must complete a minimum of 86 credits, 52 hours of which must be advanced credit completed in the second and third years of Law study. Students in the joint program may apply twelve semester hours (four courses)[1] taken in the MCP program or elsewhere in the University while in their 2L and 3L years of the Law program toward that requirement, reducing their upper level credit requirement to 40 credits. These four courses are the total number of non-Law courses that a Law student can take in other departments of the University. Law students enrolled in the joint program are not eligible to participate in Study Abroad Programs.
        2. Students must also satisfy the Law School's pro bono requirement via the Public Service Program and fulfill senior writing and professional responsibility requirements (more on these requirements can be found in the Law Student Guide to Policy and Procedures).
      2. For the MCP program
        1. Students must complete 19 course units for the Masters of City Planning (MCP) degree. Of these, ten cus are core requirements and must be taken in the MCP Program and 5 cus are courses taken in their area of concentration, selected from a list designated by the Department.
        2. Students are also required to complete four course units in the Law School selected in consultation with their Law School and MCP program advisors.
        3. Students may satisfy the elective requirements via City Planning related courses offered in the Law School. Electives must be approved in advance by the MCP Program Advisor
      3. Combining non-course requirements from both programs.
        1. MCP students must complete a non-credit bearing internship.
        2. If any of this internship is served during the academic year, students may be able to combine this internship with the Law School's Public Service requirement. This combination must be approved in advance by the Associate Dean for Public Interest Programs at the Law School.

 

  1. Program Sequencing
    1. The joint degree can be earned in one of three sequences:
      1. Year 1 spent at the Law School, completing the standard and required 1L curriculum, Year 2 spent at Penn Design, completing the standard first year MCP curriculum, Years 3 and 4 spent in residence[2] at the Law School but taking courses in both Law and in MCP, or
      2. Year 1 spent at Penn Design, completing the standard first year MCP curriculum, Year 2 at the Law School, completing the standard and required 1L curriculum, Years 3 and 4 spent in residence at the Law School but taking courses in both Law and in MCP, or
      3. Year 1 spent at the Law School, completing the standard and required 1L curriculum, Year 2 spent at the Law School, taking upper level JD courses, Year 3 spent at Penn Design, completing the standard first year MCP curriculum, and Year 4 spent in residence at the Law School but taking courses in both Law and MCP.
        1. Option (iii) is the least desirable, as it leaves only one year for students to take joint programming in both departments.

 

  1. Tuition and Financial Aid
    1. Law School tuition is paid when the student is enrolled and in residence at the Law School and MCP tuition is paid in the year when the student is enrolled at in residence at MCP.
    2. While the student is in residence at the Law School, the Law School transfers tuition to MCP for up to four courses taken at MCP toward the completion of the joint degree.
      1. The Law School will not be responsible for courses taken in MCP over and above the four courses that are counted toward the JD degree.
      2. The Law School will not be responsible for any tuition or fees incurred for courses taken during the summer months.
    3. Financial aid decisions are made independently by each school. Financial aid decisions are typically made by the school in which the student is in residence for that year.

 

  1. Scheduling Courses
    1. Students register for courses in one program in that program's registration period and according to that program's registration rules and procedures.
    2. Students must be aware of the differences in these procedures:
      1. For the fall semester, the two programs pre-register at different times and using different systems: the MCP course schedule is published and students pre-register in the spring, while the Law course schedule is published and students pre-register in the summer.
      2. Accordingly, students taking courses in both departments in a fall semester will have to pre-register for MCP courses without knowledge of the Law courses being offered.
      3. Oftentimes, students are able to resolve any issues which arise due to the registration differences during the drop/add period.
    3. The timing and location of course scheduling must also be considered so that students are best able to attend all classes.

 

  1. Communication Issues
    1. Students with questions about the JD/MCP program can address them to the following persons:
      1. Prospective students with questions about the JD program: Law School Office of Admissions, contactadmissions@law.upenn.edu
      2. Currently enrolled JD/MCP students with questions about Law course selection, scheduling, tuition concerns, etc.:  Gary Clinton, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, gclinton@law.upenn.edu
      3. Currently enrolled JD/MCP students with questions about financial aid:  Anthony Henry, Director of Financial Aid, henry2@law.upenn.edu and Joan Weston, Director of Admission and Financial Aid, School of Design.
      4. Questions about the MCP program: Prospective students with question about the MCP Program:  Eugenie L. Birch, chair or Thomas Daniels, associate chair.
      5. Currently enrolled JD/MCP students with questions about MCP course selection, scheduling, tuition concerns, etc:  Eugenie L. Birch, chair or Thomas Daniels, associate chair.
    2. Each year, this document will be reviewed and re-approved by representatives of both departments. Currently, that review will be handled by:
      1. For the Law School:  Jo-Ann Verrier, Vice Dean for Administrative Services
      2. For MCP: Eugenie L. Birch, chair

 

  1. Issues Particular to the Program
    1. Students in the joint degree program may have particular career interests and goals. They are encouraged to meet individually with a counselor in the Career Planning & Placement Office at the Law School and with Eugenie L. Birch, chair or Thomas Daniels, associate chair, Department of City and Regional Planning, 127 Meyerson Hall.

 

Last Update:

Administrative Changes, Law School

October 2005


[1] A note on classes and credits: the Law School operates, in order to comply with accreditation standards, on a semester hour basis, while courses in the MES program are typically worth 1.0 course units (some ½ semester courses may be worth 0.5 course units). In converting between the two programs, a Law course will count as 1.0 course units (or c.u.) in the MES program, and a 1 c.u. course in MES will be worth three semester hours at the Law School.

[2] Law School accreditation requirements require that JD recipients be "in residence" at the Law School for six semesters.

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