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Law & Technology

Penn is uniquely positioned among top research universities to develop a cutting-edge program on technology and the law.

Committed to “integrating knowledge,” the University of Pennsylvania stresses interdisciplinary education.  Penn 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. 

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The Law & Technology Program - Joint Degree Programs

At a time when debates over technology policy are as significant as they are complex, Penn Law is developing one of the most comprehensive educational programs aimed at preparing students for careers at the intersection of law and technology.  Together with the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), we now offer two joint degree programs.  the JD/MSE and the JD/MCIT.

Joint Degree offerings

  • JD/MSE (Master of Science in Engineering) - applicants with the pre-requisite Engineering background may apply for the MSE degree.
  • JD/MCIT (Master of Computing and Information Technology) - ideal for those with no prior degree in engineering or computer science but who are interested in the practice of law and information technology.

Students pursuing either the JD/MSE or the JD/MCIT joint degree will typically spend their first year at the Law School and second at Penn Engineering. In years three and four, students will take classes in both schools and participate in a capstone course on Technology and Policy co-taught by faculty from both schools.

How to Apply

There are two methods of applying to the joint degree program:

  1. 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. In general, joint degree candidates are expected to apply initially to Penn Law and to apply to Penn Engineering after they have been accepted by Penn Law.
  2. Students already enrolled at Penn Law 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 pre-requisite 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 must take the LSAT for consideration as a Law candidate. The GRE is required for the application to Engineering.

Financial aid

Penn Law 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 2 when the student is enrolled in the Engineering curriculum, and Law School “home school” tuition is paid during years 1, 3 and 4. 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.

Degree requirements for the JD/MSE or JD/MCIT 

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 MSE or MCIT.

For Penn Law:

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) 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 (from an approved list), taken during the second or third year of Law study, towards the JD. 

Registration

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. 

Penn Law 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.