Dual JD/MS in Mass Communication

The School of Law (LAW) and the College of Communication (COM) at Boston University offer a unique program that allows the student to acquire a Juris Doctor (JD) and a Master of Science in Mass Communication—normally a four-and-a-half-year sequence—in an accelerated program of only three-and-a-half years.

Program Requirements

JD Curriculum

Assuming normal progress, the JD is granted at the completion of six semesters of study that includes the complete first-year law curriculum.

After the first year of law school, students may apply toward the JD up to 3 credits per semester (up to 12 credits total) of graduate-level work taken at the College of Communication.

Note: Rules governing accreditation of law schools require that the School of Law grant credit according to the number of hours a course meets per week. Thus, if a COM course meets three hours per week but COM grants 4 credits for that course, the School of Law can apply only 3 credits for that course toward the JD.

MS Curriculum

The MS is granted after a seventh, post-law semester.

The program can be accelerated by summer work in the College of Communication. However, not all pertinent graduate courses are offered in COM every summer. Students must pay tuition for summer courses.

Each student in the dual degree program takes eight courses in the College of Communication:

  • Contemporary Mass Communication
  • Writing for Media Professionals
  • New Communication Technologies
  • Computers in Communication
  • Four College of Communication electives

The College of Communication will apply four LAW courses toward the MS. There are no specific LAW courses required for the MS. However, it is suggested that elective LAW courses taken while earning the JD include Administrative Law (preferably by the end of the second year of law school) and Antitrust Law.

Other suggested School of Law courses include:

  • Commercial Code
  • Copyright or Intellectual Property
  • Corporations
  • Corporate Finance
  • Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
  • Federal Courts
  • Local Government Law
  • Introduction to Federal Income Taxation

Master’s Thesis or Professional Project

In addition to the work outlined above, dual degree students are required to complete a thesis or professional project in COM.

It is possible to satisfy both the LAW Upperclass Writing Requirement and the COM thesis requirement with one paper if the paper is of sufficient magnitude. Prior approval must be obtained from the student’s advisors at both the School of Law and the College of Communication.

Sample Program

First & Second Semesters First-year law program
Third Semester Three (or more) LAW courses and one COM course
Fourth Semester Three (or more) LAW courses and one COM course
Fifth Semester Three (or more) LAW courses and one COM course
Sixth Semester Three (or more) LAW courses and one COM course
Seventh Semester The four remaining COM courses

Admissions

Students must apply separately for admission to the School of Law and to the College of Communication. For School of Law application procedures, please consult the School of Law website.

Students ordinarily apply to the College of Communication before or during their first year of law school to begin the master’s degree program in their second year of law school.

The College of Communication requires a separate application that includes:

  • Two required essays (must be new)
  • Recommendations (School of Law recommendations may be used)
  • Copy of your LSAT report (the College of Communication accepts the LSAT or the GRE)

Application Deadlines

College of Communication

February 1

School of Law

March 30

Tuition

Students attending both the School of Law and the College of Communication pay only one tuition. Tuition for summer coursework must be paid separately.