Dual Degree JD/MA in Preservation Studies

First year Boston University Law students may apply to the joint Program during their first semester in the Law School. To earn the joint JD/MA degrees, students must complete two specific courses in the Law School: Historic Preservation Law and either Land Use or Real Estate Finance. Students should also consider Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Land Use, Introduction to Federal Taxation, Federal Law, Real Estate Transactions, and Housing Law. Within the Preservation Studies Program students are required to take a total of six additional courses. Three core courses are required, AM 746 Preservation Management, AM 751 Financing for Historic Preservation and AM 754 Planning & Preservation. One course is required in preservation planning, most commonly AM 750 Neighborhood Conservation. A major project is also required, accomplished either through AM 755 Preservation Planning Colloquium or through advanced research and writing in a master’s thesis or project. Related courses offered in allied departments are described on the list of Courses. Students must achieve a grade of B- or above in each course.


Students complete a paid internship during their course of study in the Program. Internships normally consist of ten weeks of full-time paid work or its equivalent. It is commonly completed during the summer between the student’s second and third year in law school, but in some instances may be completed during the academic year. Students who have accumulated extensive experience in preservation prior to joining the Program may have this requirement waived.

JD/MA Program Special Credit Considerations

After their first year in the School of Law, students may ordinarily apply up to three GRS courses toward the JD degree, three (3) credits per semester or twelve (12) credits in total. Rules governing the accreditation of law schools require that the School of Law grant credit according to the number of hours a course meets per week. Therefore, Graduate School courses that meet three hours per week earn only three credits toward the JD degree. During their three years of law school, students in the dual degree program pay only one tuition, to the School of Law. After their graduation from law school they pay tuition to the Graduate School for the completion of their MA degree requirements.

Typical program

  • Year One: First year LAW program only. Apply to Preservation Studies Program in GRS in January.
  • Year Two: Each semester three or more LAW courses and one Preservation Studies course.
  • Year Three: Each semester three or more LAW courses and one Preservation Studies course. JD degree awarded at the end of this year.
  • Year Four: Four additional courses in Preservation Studies, including either AM 755 Preservation Planning Colloquium or master’s thesis or project. MA degree awarded at the completion of requirements.