The Saint Louis University School of Law and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology offer a dual degree program (J.D./M.A.). This specialized program combines the J.D. and M.A., broadly focusing on the relationship between law and society. The dual degree capitalizes on the advantages of legal training and social science research expertise. Graduates of the J.D./M.A. are prepared to interpret legal issues and implement administrative policy.
This specialized program allows students to earn both degrees in roughly four years instead of the typical five, saving a considerable amount in time and tuition. The program attracts highly qualified students from outside the region as this is one of the only J.D./M.A. programs of its kind in the middle of the country.
Fieldwork and Research Opportunities
Sociology students at SLU examine different ways people relate to one another through the organization of society and how it influences lives. Students explore large- and small-scale organizations, families, beliefs and social classes with opportunities for hands-on experience in the St. Louis area. In the J.D. program, students can then see how these families, organizations and social classes interact with the justice system and conceptualize new ways of problem-solving. SLU LAW's legal clinics and field placements give students the opportunity to represent clients, advocate for neighborhoods, assist entrepreneurs, gain experience in government and the courts, intern for nonprofit agencies or corporate counsel offices, and work in criminal defense or prosecution offices.
Graduates of this program enjoy an increased number of job opportunities in federal and state law enforcement, corrections and judicial positions and are more competitive in the job market compared to graduates with only one of the degrees. Further, graduates find their education useful as social entrepreneurs applying their legal, administrative and research knowledge in policy areas from mental health, economic development, and environmental sustainability to issues of civil rights, immigration, international human rights, and employment discrimination. Graduates can pursue careers as nonprofit administrators, policy analysts, program evaluators or directors, market research analysts, policymakers and more. Graduates may also choose to practice at specialized law firms and incorporate pro bono work into their caseload or consider pursuing judiciary service.
For additional information see the catalog entries for the following programs:
Saint Louis University School of Law has been continuously accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) since December 1924. The accrediting body is the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-988-6738.
Students wishing to enter the J.D./M.A. program must fulfill all admission requirements for the School of Law and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. They must apply to each separately. Students may apply to both schools during the same admission period, or may wait to apply to the M.A. program during their first year in the School of Law.
Students must complete the basic first-year requirements for the School of Law before beginning their studies in the M.A. program. Thereafter, students attend classes in both the School of Law and Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Students complete a total of 106 credits of academic work, including a summer internship, in order to complete the J.D./M.A. (82 credits in the School of Law and 24 credits in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Of the 91 credits required for the J.D. degree, nine credit hours are satisfied by sociology and anthropology courses and nine credits of law school courses are accepted toward the 33 credits required for the master’s degree.
Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.