To earn the MA degree, students must complete eight graduate courses (normally 32 credits) in English. To earn the J.D. degree, students must earn at least 84 LAW credits, and must comply with additional School of Law requirements. The dual degree program allows students to receive joint credit for some courses taken in BU Law and in the Department of English, subject to limitations described below.
The Department of English requires that dual degree students complete at least six graduate-level courses in the Department, including one course in literary theory and one Directed Study, which is devoted to the required J.D./M.A. thesis. Of the six English courses, at least four must be graduate seminars (courses numbered 700 or higher).
Four of the literature courses taken to satisfy M.A. requirements also may be applied to the J.D. degree, up to a maximum of 12 LAW credits total. (NOTE: The Law School must adhere to ABA accreditation requirements, which typically means that a 4- credit GRS course ordinarily will yield 3 LAW credits. Please check with the Law Registrar’s Office to determine how many LAW credits may be granted for a GRS course). Students apply these literature courses to the J.D. degree during their second and third years of law school (typically one course per semester).
Students also must take at least two Law School courses during their second and third years of law school that are approved by the Joint Advisory Board as relevant to the dual program.
To complete the M.A. in English, students must take two English courses beyond those needed to complete the J.D. degree. These can be completed in one of four ways, three of which permit the student to earn the J.D. and M.A. degrees in six semesters. The fourth option involves taking the remaining M.A. courses in the summer after receiving the J.D. degree, or in a seventh semester after receiving the J.D. degree.
The core requirement of the joint J.D./M.A. in English program is the thesis. Students must write a thesis that is a work of original scholarship and research and that substantially engages both legal and literary subjects, methods, texts, and/or analysis. This paper must:
- satisfy BU Law’s Upperclass Writing Requirement;
- be jointly supervised by a faculty member in the law school and in the Department of English;
- be registered and counted as a Department of English Directed Study course;
- be approved, in its final form, by a faculty member in BU Law and in the Department of English;
- not substantially duplicate written work submitted for other courses either in the Department of English or in BU Law.