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JD/MA/MS Agreement with Department of Criminology

  1. Overview
    1. The JD/Masters in Criminology is a joint program sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Department of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Students will have the opportunity to earn a JD/MS degree.
    3. Students can earn both degrees in three years (more on the sequencing of these years follows, below).
    4. Students in this program will have the opportunity to participate in a cross-disciplinary dual degree program that is unique in the Ivy League, combining the historical tradition and legal scholarship of Penn Law with the longest continuous program of research and teaching of criminology of any American university. It will thus produce future lawyers who are not only well versed in the law and legal tradition, but who also possess a robust understanding of social science and use of evidence-based approaches.


  2. Application Process
    1. Students will apply independently to each department through each program’s specified admission process. The Law School and the Department of Criminology will make independent judgments about each candidate.
      1. While the Law School and the Department of Criminology 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. Both programs will use materials submitted to the Law program for evaluation purposes.
        1. Students need only take the LSAT.
        2. Students can use, if they wish, the Law letters of recommendation for Criminology consideration.
        3. The Law School will cooperate with the Department of Criminology to get these materials to Criminology in as timely a fashion as possible.
    2. Applicants will have two options as to applying for the joint 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 year of the Law program.


  3. 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 Criminology 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 Masters program
        1. Masters students must complete 8 credit units. Of these required courses, M.S. students take one courses at Penn Law. M.S. students can also take their one elective course in the Law School.[2] Students in the joint program may thus apply two (M.S.) courses at Penn Law toward the eight required for the Masters in Criminology degree.
      3. Combining non-course/course requirements for the MS programs
        1. In lieu of a Thesis M.S. students must complete a Data Analysis Project requirement in Criminology 603, with prior written approval of and ongoing supervision by a Law faculty member (for senior writing) and a Faculty Member from the Criminology Department. It is anticipated that this approval will be granted by the Law School if the proposed project is at least in part an examination of legal issues and of the requisite quality and nature to satisfy Law School expectations and requirements. Similarly, it is expected that the Criminology Department will give its approval if the project entails, in part, crime-related social science research and meets the Department’s requirements as to rigor and quality. (Note: M.S. students in this combined program would have, as part of CRIM 603, an enhanced writing requirement.)


  4. Program Sequencing
    1. The joint degree is best earned in the following sequence:
      1. Year 1 spent at the Law School, completing the standard and required 1L curriculum, and Years 2 and 3 spent in residence[3] at the Law School but taking courses in both Law and in Criminology.
    2. Other sequences may be arranged on a case-by-case basis.


  5. Tuition and Financial Aid
    1. Law School tuition is paid when the student is taking only Law courses and Criminology tuition is paid in any semester/session in which the student is taking only Criminology courses.
    2. In other years, while the student is in residence at the Law School, students pay Law School tuition. The Law School is then responsible for payment of tuition for up to four courses taken at Criminology toward the completion of the joint degree.
      1. Penn Law students will be charged for any courses taken in the Criminology department 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.


  6. 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 Department of Criminology courses through the University’s registration period.
      3. These registration periods are typically held at the same time, but will require student action in the two systems.
      4. 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.


  7. Communication Issues
    1. Students with questions about the JD/Criminology program can address them to the following persons:
      1. Prospective students with questions about the JD program: Renee Post, Director of Admissions,
      2. Currently enrolled JD/Criminology students with questions about Law course selection, scheduling, tuition concerns, etc.: Gary Clinton, Associate Dean for Student Affairs,
      3. Currently enrolled JD/Criminology students with questions about financial aid: Anthony Henry, Director of Financial Aid, and Knakiya Hagans, Administrative Coordinator, Department of Criminology,
      4. Questions about the Criminology program: Freda Adler, Director, Master of Science Program, Department of Criminology,
      1. For the Law School: Jo-Ann Verrier, Vice Dean for Administrative Services
      2. For Criminology: Freda Adler, Director, Master of Science Program, and Department of Criminology.
    2. Each year, this document will be reviewed and re-approved by representatives of both departments. Currently, that review will be handled by:


  8. 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 Freda Adler, Director, Master of Science Program, Department of Criminology.


Adopted, Penn Law Faculty
March 21, 2005
Administrative Updates, October 2005

Adopted, Penn School of Arts & Sciences, on behalf of Department of Criminology
August 11, 2005

Administrative Updates, Summer 2006
Summer 2007

3 year sequencing adopted February 2008

Administrative Updates, Criminology, October 2011


[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 Criminology 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 Criminology program, and a 1 c.u. course in Criminology will be worth three semester hours at the Law School.

[2] While the Criminology Department as of the 2006-2007 Academic Year has dropped the M.S. program elective and instead has eight required courses in its curriculum, under terms of this agreement, it will continue to allow JD/MS students to take an elective course—as JD/MA students can—in the Law School. This will be in lieu of the newly added M.S. requirement, Criminology 602, Evidence-Based Sentencing.

[3] Law School accreditation requirements require that JD recipients are “in residence” at the Law School for six semesters.