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Master of Arts in Philosophy

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Joint J.D.-M.A. Degree Program

The joint degree program leading to the J.D. and the M.A. in philosophy develops a student’s understanding and appreciation of the converging disciplines of law and philosophy. The program combines into 3 years and 1 summer session the normal 3-year J.D. program offered by the School of Law and the 2-year M.A. in philosophy program offered by the Department of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students complete 81 credit hours in law and 21 credit hours in philosophy. The J.D. and M.A. diplomas are awarded concurrently after completion of joint degree program requirements.


The program is open to those who have earned baccalaureate degrees from accredited colleges or universities and whose undergraduate academic records indicate that they have the capacity to complete the program. Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the School of Law and the Department of Philosophy. They must apply and be admitted to each school separately before entering the first year. The Law School Admission Test is the only required entrance examination for such applicants. All admission requirements (except Graduate Record Examination scores) and prerequisites for the philosophy graduate program also apply. A student who desires to enter the program while enrolled in the first year of the J.D. or M.A. in philosophy must consult and obtain approval from the School of Law, the Department of Philosophy, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. No student may enter the combined program after completing more than 30 credit hours in the School of Law or 12 hours in the Department of Philosophy.

Typical Enrollment Pattern for J.D./M.A. Program

First Year (32 credit hours)

Law courses 32
Philosophy courses 0

Second Year (28 credit hours)

Law courses 22
Philosophy courses 6

Third Year (31 credit hours)

Law courses 22
Philosophy courses 9

Summer Session (11 credit hours)

Law courses 5
Philosophy courses 6

Joint J.D./M.A. Degree Requirements

Law courses required of all J.D. candidates 44
Law courses required for joint degree candidates 9
Philosophy courses required for joint degree candidates 9
Additional law courses 28
Additional philosophy courses 12
Total minimum credit hours required 102

It is essential for the student to consult the director of graduate studies in philosophy and a representative of the School of Law about specific courses required or recommended for this program.

For additional information, see the School of Law and Graduate Studies sections of the online catalog, or write to

The University of Kansas
School of Law
Associate Dean
Green Hall
1535 W. 15th St.
Lawrence, KS 66045-7540


The University of Kansas
Department of Philosophy
Director of Graduate Studies
Wescoe Hall
1445 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 3090
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594

For a detailed description, see the Guidelines and Information for Graduate Students available from the Department of Philosophy.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.