Committed to “integrating knowledge,” the University of Pennsylvania stresses interdisciplinary education. The University of Pennsylvania Law School has joined forces with Penn Engineering to pioneer a comprehensive Law & Technology Program aimed at preparing students for careers at the intersection of law and technology.
Whether you are a JD student looking to gain additional expertise for a legal career at the intersection of law and technology, or a graduate student or member of the Penn community looking to expand your knowledge of related law and legal principles, we have a program for you.
At a time when debates over technology policy are as significant as they are complex, the Law School is developing one of the most comprehensive educational programs aimed at preparing JD students for careers at the intersection of law and technology.
The JD/MCIT (Master of Computing and Information Technology) is ideal for those with no prior degree in engineering or computer science but who are interested in the practice of law and information technology.
A four (4) year program, the JD/MCIT is usually completed in the following sequence:
- First year at the Law School taking the required 1L courses;
- Second at Penn Engineering taking exclusively engineering courses;
- Third and fourth years in residence at the Law School, but taking classes in both schools and participating in a capstone course on Technology and Policy co-taught by faculty from both schools.
*We have also had JD students apply to the MCIT in the beginning of their 2L year and spend year three at Engineering and then return to the Law School for year four where they take classes in both schools and participate in the capstone.
Students must complete the independent degree requirements of each program.
For Penn Engineering:
Joint degree students may count one (1) Law course from an approved list toward the requirements for the MCIT.
For the Law School:
Students must complete a minimum of 86 semester hours, 52 of which must be advanced credit completed in the second and third years of Law study.
Students enrolled in the joint degree program are not eligible to participate in Study Abroad Programs.
Students must also satisfy the pro bono requirement of the Public Service Program and fulfill their senior writing (through the Degree Synthesis Requirement), experiential, and professional responsibility requirements (more on these requirements can be found in the Law Student Guide to Policy and Procedures).
Joint degree students may count up to four (4) Engineering courses, taken during the second or third year of Law study, towards the JD.
Students must register for courses in each program during each program’s registration period and according to each program’s registration rules and procedures. 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.
The Law School registration for the fall semester takes place in the summer, after fall semester registration in SEAS, requiring the student to carefully consult with both schools about schedule. Oftentimes, students are able to resolve any issues which arise due to the registration differences during the drop/add period.
The Law School will charge students in the joint degree program an administrative fee to be determined annually, in consultation with Penn Engineering.
Penn Engineering “home school” tuition is paid during year two when the student is enrolled in the Engineering curriculum, and Law School “home school” tuition is paid during years one, three, and four. If a student takes courses outside of their current home school which cannot be counted toward that school’s degree, the home school may charge an additional fee to be determined annually.
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. Note that Penn Engineering does not offer any financial aid for students pursuing the master’s degree.
There are two methods of applying to the joint degree program:
- Students may apply to both schools during the same application cycle. Only students accepted independently by both schools will be admitted into the joint degree program.
- Students already enrolled at the Law School or Penn Engineering may submit an application to the other program.
Students must select the appropriate Engineering Master’s degree program based on their education and experience. Applicants with the prerequisite Engineering background may apply for the MSE degree. Students with no prior educational background in Engineering and Computer Science may apply for the MCIT degree.
Students with no prior educational background in Engineering and Computer Science may apply for the MCIT degree.
The GRE is required for the application to Penn Engineering. Applicants for the Law School may take either the GRE, GMAT, or LSAT.