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JD/MES Agreement with the Institute of Environmental Studies

  1. Overview
    1. The JD/Masters in Environmental Studies (MES) is a joint program sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the School of Arts & Sciences (SAS) at the University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Students will have the opportunity to earn both degrees in three years (more on the sequencing of these years follows, below).
    3. Students in this program will be prepared to assume positions of leadership in environmental law and policy making in both the public and private sector.

     

  2. Application Process
    1. Students will apply independently to each degree through each school’s specified admission process. The Law School and the School of Arts & Sciences will make independent judgments about each candidate.
  1. While the Law School and SAS will make independent admissions decisions, each application will invite the student to indicate that they have applied, or been admitted, to the other program.
    1. Students need only take the LSAT (rather than the GRE).
    2. Students can use, if they wish, the Law letters of recommendation for SAS consideration.
    3. The Law School will cooperate with SAS to get these materials to the College of Liberal & Professional Studies (LPS) which is the division administering this program, in as timely a fashion as possible.
  2. Both programs will use materials submitted to the Law program for evaluation purposes.
  1. Applicants will have two options as to applying for the Dual degree program:
    1. They may make contemporaneous applications to both programs prior to being accepted at either, or
    2. They may apply to the Masters program in the first semester of the Law 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 dual program may apply twelve credits (four courses)[1] from the MES program toward that requirement, reducing their 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 dual program are not eligible to participate in Study Abroad Programs.
    2. Students must also satisfy the pro bono requirement of the Public Service Program and fulfill their 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 Masters of Environmental Studies program
    1. MES students must complete a minimum of 12 course units (cu’s). Students in the dual program may apply 3 cu’s (three courses) from the JD program toward that requirement, reducing their credit requirement to 9 cu’s. These three courses must be pre-approved in the concentration requirement by the MES Faculty Curriculum Committee.
  1. Program Sequencing
    1. The dual degree may be earned in one of the following two sequences:
  1. For students accepted into both programs simultaneously:
    1. Summer Pre-Law Student takes 2 MES courses
    2. Fall Year 1 Student takes all required Law courses
    3. Spring Year 1 Student takes all required Law courses and substitutes ENVS 601: Proseminar for the general (non-regulatory) elective.
    4. Summer after Year 1 Student takes 2 MES courses.
    5. Fall Year 2 Student takes Law classes plus 1 MES course.
    6. Spring Year 2 Student takes Law classes plus 1 MES course.
    7. Fall Year 3 Student takes Law classes plus 1 MES course.
    8. Spring Year 3 Student takes Law classes plus MES Capstone course (ENVS 699).
  2. For students accepted to MES after first semester of Law:
    1. Fall Year 1 Student takes all Required Law courses
    2. Spring Year 1 Student takes all required Law courses and substitutes ENVS 601: Proseminar for the general (non-regulatory) elective.
    3. Summer after Year 1 Student takes 4 MES courses.
    4. Fall Year 2 Student takes Law classes plus 1 MES course.
    5. Spring Year 2 Student takes Law classes plus 1 MES course.
    6. Fall Year 3 Student takes Law classes plus 1 MES course.
    7. Spring Year 3 Student takes Law classes plus MES Capstone course (ENVS 699).

 

  1. Tuition and Financial Aid
    1. Law School tuition is paid when the student is taking only Law courses and MES tuition is paid in the summer sessions when the student is taking only MES courses.
    2. In other years, while the student is in residence at the Law School and taking MES courses, students pay Law School tuition plus a Program fee to MES to be determined by SAS annually.
      1. Penn Law students will be charged for any courses taken in MES during the academic year (that is, not in the summer sessions) over and above the four courses that are countable 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 to which tuition will be paid in any term.
  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. Students register for Law courses through the Law School’s standard registration system.
      2. Students register for MES courses in PennInTouch during the University’s registration period.
      3. These registration periods are typically held at the same time for the spring semester (in the fall), but will require student action in the two systems.
      4. Law registration for the fall semester takes place in the summer, after fall semester registration in SAS, requiring the student to carefully consult with both schools about schedule.
      5. 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/MES program can address them to the following persons:
  1. Prospective students with questions about the JD program: Renee Post, Director of Admissions, rpost@law.upenn.edu
  2. Currently enrolled JD/MES students with questions about course selection, scheduling, tuition concerns, etc.:  Gary Clinton, Dean of Students, gclinton@law.upenn.edu
  3. Currently enrolled JD/MES students with questions about financial aid:  Anthony Henry, Director of Financial Aid, henry2@law.upenn.edu
  4. Questions about the MES program:  Yvette Bordeaux, Director of Professional Masters Programs, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, bordeaux@sas.upenn.edu.
  1. Each year, this document will be reviewed and re-approved by representatives of both schools. Currently, that review will be handled by:
    1. For the Law School:  Jo-Ann Verrier, Vice Dean for Administrative Services
    2. For SAS: Nora Lewis, Vice Dean, Professional and Continuing Education

 

  1. Issues Particular to the Program
    1. Students in the dual 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 Yvette Bordeaux, Director of Professional Masters Programs, Department of Earth and Environmental Science

 

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

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