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Beyond the JD: Most Penn Law students explore graduate course offerings in other Penn professional schools

March 30, 2020

Over 80% of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s JD students take classes outside of the Law School to complement their legal studies. This kind of cross-disciplinary education is one of the core missions of our Law School, allowing law students benefit from unique experiences in these courses and, in turn, enrich the classroom atmosphere as well. We reached out to partners at some of our world class sister schools to get their thoughts on having law students in their courses, and here’s what they said.


MSSP (Master of Science in Social Policy)

“We love having JD students in the MSSP. The legal knowledge they bring to the classroom enriches the learning environment, which results in a more fulfilling educational experience for all. Their legal background also helps foster the interdisciplinary nature of the program and adds to the diversity of thought necessary to create rounded policy professionals. I believe JD students are drawn to the MSSP program for several reasons. In our advising meetings, they tell me how much they appreciate learning the quantitative skills that are key to success in the policy field. They also appreciate the social justice mission of the program, the small class size and, in general, the collaborative environment. And, of course, many of them are planning to work in policy and/or public service, so this degree prepares them to succeed in those fields.”

-Azahara Palomeque, Associate Director, MSSP Program, Penn School of Social Policy & Practice


Graduate Certificate in Social, Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience (SCAN)

JD students come into the SCAN program with a variety of interests – from intellectual property to criminal law – and with a range of familiarity with neuroscience. What they have in common is intellectual enthusiasm and critical thinking, which makes it very enjoyable to teach them.”

-Professor Martha J. Farah, Director, Center for Neuroscience & Society


MSEd (Master of Science in Education – Education Policy)

“Our JD/MSEd students add to the intellectual diversity of our master’s cohorts, contributing unique perspectives from their legal studies to class discussions on a range of issues, from school choice to education finance policy to issues surrounding special education.”

-Kristina Featherstone, Program Manager, Education Policy, Penn Graduate School of Education


Wharton Certificate in Management

“The JD students are intellectually curious about the connections between business and law, and they bring to the classroom great diversity in terms of background and thought processes. This makes for a very valuable teaching and learning experience.”

-Professor Rahul Kapoor, The Wharton School (faculty for Wharton Certificate in Management)

“It’s fun to work with such a dynamic group of students who are eager to receive the Wharton Certificate in Management. They thoroughly enjoy the sessions while giving wonderful constructive feedback to help potential future students. I have no doubt they enjoy the change of pace of the boot camp format as well as learning from our faculty in Wharton Executive Education.”

-Shannon Rola, Associate Director, Wharton Executive Education


MPA (Masters Public Administration)

“JD students are natural fits in Fels MPA classes – they are passionate and smart leaders who want to gain practical skills and impact the public sector – and Fels classes are a natural complement to the Penn Law curriculum. Fels certificate and degree programs enable JD students to grow their professional networks and build specific skills in data analysis, public finance, nonprofit administration, and political advocacy while completing their JD.”

-Faculty Directors John Lapinski and Matt Levendusky, Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania


MBE (Master of Bioethics)

“Our dual JD\MBE students have consistently been among our most successful graduates, utilizing the bioethics degree to shape impressive and unique legal careers. While many of our dual degree law students have built careers in traditional law firms, many of our graduates have gone on to careers in academic bioethics. The JD\MBE students thrive in our bioethics courses because they come to the program with very developed analytical and writing skills – the exact kind of academic skill set that enables one to excel in medical ethics.”

-Professor Autumn Fiester, Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania