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Four students describe their experiences in the JD/MSEd joint degree program

March 11, 2022

The Law School offers several joint degrees that help students pave the way to the careers they want.

Students who are pursuing dual degrees from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and the Penn Graduate School of Education (GSE) can earn both degrees in three years. Dual degree students may apply up to four relevant courses taken at Penn GSE toward the JD and up to four Law School courses toward the MSEd in Education Policy or the MSEd in Higher Education.

Here, four JD/MSEd students – Leticia Salazar C’18, L’22, GEd’22; Jocelyn Walcott L’22, GEd’22; Hannah Rose Hintz L’22, GEd’22; and Madeline Feldman L’22, GEd’22 – describe their experiences in the program:


I am in the JD joint degree [program] with the Law School and a Master’s in Education Policy from the Graduate School of Education. I wanted to come to law school to understand the various levers for change in education, and I realize that law is just one of those levers, but policy is also an important way to impact change.

Penn by far had the best offerings.

I had spent many years actually thinking about law school prior to coming and Penn just sort of stood out from all of the other schools in the sense that they make it not only easy, but they encourage you to take classes in other schools and get certificates or joint degrees.

My favorite class in the Masters of Education Policy program was “American Education Reform” … “Property Law” with Professor Parchomovsky … “Education Finance” … “Politics of School Reform” with Professor Quinn.

There are so many professors that I love in both the Law School and the Graduate School of Education … and sort of seeing on the ground education policy while understanding sort of the legal structure of how it actually comes together was incredible. I learned so much and have already used that in the work that I’ve done.

I know at some law schools, if you want to take classes in another department, you have to actually go to another campus.

From the logistics perspective, taking classes both at the Law School and the education school is very easy. It’s around the corner and down the street there … so it’s a very short walk between the two, but also just the education itself really pairs so nicely.

The joint degree definitely keeps me busy, but I have downtime to do things that I’m very passionate about outside of that.

If anything has enabled me to be involved more.

So, after my one all summer, I worked for the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights in the Philadelphia office, and I had the opportunity to help clients who believe that their civil rights were violated in an educational context.

I’m the Editor-in-Chief of the [University of Pennsylvania] Law Review and that of course, takes on a lot of my time as well.

I am very involved with my journal, the Journal of Constitutional Law, where I’m now an articles editor, and I have also been very involved with the American Constitution Society – last year, serving as the Penn Law Chapter president and this year being recognized through the national organization as a Next Generation Leader, so in no way has it prevented me from getting involved, and I feel very lucky that I have been able to get so involved in the Law School community.

After graduation, I will be clerking in the Middle District of North Carolina and then going to a firm in D.C.

After graduation, I’ll be working for a Philadelphia firm, Holland and Knight. They have a great higher education litigation practice specifically, so I’ll be able to combine both of my degrees.

Both schools or both programs work together very seamlessly. It was something that really gravitated me towards the school, and I would make the same choice a million times over because it ended up being like one of my best choices, and I’m very happy with my decision. I love the Law School. I love the Graduate School of Education. I have phenomenal mentors and professors and people that I work with, and it’s been a great experience.

Highly recommended.

Learn more about joint degree programs at the Law School.

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