Increasingly legal employers are hiring candidates with advanced credentials in their specific areas of practice. At BU Law, you can gain a leg up on the competition—not to mention, enrich your studies—by pursuing one of 16 dual degrees, including four international programs. And because these programs are offered in conjunction with other Boston University graduate schools and through unique partnerships with international institutions, you can earn both your J.D. and your other advanced degree in as few as six semesters.
Dual Degree Programs with Boston University:
J.D./LL.M. in Banking & Financial Law
Though Dodd-Frank's effects have yet to be fully realized, one thing is certain: financial service lawyers will have tremedous opportunities in the near future. Students in BU Law's renowned Banking & Financial Law Program are learning the intracacies of this new legislation at the same as practicing professionals, as well as industry fundamentals, preparing them to succeed in an exciting career from the moment they graduate.
Highly motivated students can complete both the J.D. and an LL.M. in Banking & Financial Law on an accelerated basis through the six-semester or seven-semester enrollment options by taking qualifying courses during the second and third years of the J.D. program.
Students complete the following prerequisite courses in the J.D. program:
In addition to the prerequisite courses, students in the accelerated program earn credit hours from the following courses and seminars:
J.D./M.A. in English
"Law and literature" is an established scholarly field, the study of which can significantly benefit a student, regardless of his or her career path. Students who intend to practice law will benefit from the careful, critical approach to textual analysis taught in graduate literature courses, as well as enhanced writing skills, which are essential to law practice. Similarly, a student pursuing a career outside law, such as teaching literature, will benefit from the rigorous specialized training in the analysis of legal texts and issues that a J.D. degree provides.
The dual degree program, available through a partnership with the Graduate Program in English and American Literature, facilitates inquiry into the common terrain of the law and literature, including textual analysis and interpretative techniques, legal and literacy theory, rhetoric, and the role of law in literature.
J.D./M.A. in English students can complete both the juris doctor and master of arts degrees in as few as six semesters—as opposed to the eight necessary to obtain each independently.
J.D./M.A. in History
The J.D./M.A. in History facilitates inquiry at the two fields' intersection in legal history and can can improve students’ chances of securing academic appointments in law schools and, for those who pursue the Ph.D. in history, in history departments. But whether interested in academia, legal work, or a different career path altogether, this dual degree program will enhance critical analytical and writing skills and offer a broader array of coursework than either degree independently.
Students can complete the J.D./M.A. in History in six semesters, as some courses can be counted toward both degrees, thanks to a partnership with BU's Department of History. Required history courses include:
J.D./M.A. in International Relations
Recognizing the expanding role of international law and the increasing interrelationship between law and international affairs, the School of Law and the BU's Department of International Relations offer a J.D./M.A. in International Relations. This course of study provides an essential background for those assuming international positions in national governments or international agencies, and it gives the international lawyer an essential perspective on the environment in which he or she will operate.
Students can complete the dual degree program in just seven semesters, taking the perscribed first-year foundational law school curriculum followed by a combination of law and I.R. courses in the remaining five semesters.
J.D./M.B.A. in Law & Health Sector Management
The vibrant and growing field of health care increasingly will require professionals who can navigate both the legal and management nuances of this economic sector. Ownership of electronic medical records, public health and environmental risks, ethics and intellectual property rights involved with gene therapy, and countless other issues demand advanced training, available through unique programs like BU's J.D./M.B.A. in Law & Health Sector Management.
Students can earn both the J.D. and M.B.A. on an accelerated basis—9 semesters, rather than 10—through this dual degree program, offered in conjunction with BU's School of Management. A sample list of courses includes:
J.D./M.A. in Law & Preservation Studies
Preservation studies is a rich integrative field involving individuals, private agencies and government departments operating in the complex areas of zoning, financing and community planning. For over thirty years, BU's Preservation Studies Program has provided the interdisciplinary training necessary for the effective and judicious management of cultural resources. Now highly qualified law students may apply to receive both a J.D. and M.A. in Preservation Studies in just seven semesters (as opposed to nine) through a School of Law/American & New England Studies Program partnership.
This dual degree program blends academic training and hands-on experience—including a three-month paid summer internship—to give students a well-rounded experience in the field. Specifically designed preservation courses in historic building conservation, preservation management, adaptive use of older buildings, and neighborhood conservation are combined with in-depth training in such fields as architectural history, archaeology, material culture, decorative arts, urban history and geography, urban affairs, and law.
J.D./M.B.A in Law & Management
The worlds of law and business are more intertwined than ever, and attaining successful management results requires careful attention to legal and regulatory issues, often on a global scale. The J.D./M.B.A. in Law and Management provides the legal and analytical tools for results-oriented decision-making. Graduates of this program go on to work in law firms that have corporate legal practices, join the in-house legal departments of corporations, enter investment banking or financial services, or advise start-up companies.
Because BU's School of Law and School of Management share many areas of focus, students can complete both degrees in four years rather than the usual five.
J.D./M.S. in Mass Communications
The growth of new communication technologies has created a need for lawyers with special training in the technological, marketing, and legal changes brought about by a wide spectrum of new media. Recognizing the dramatic impact of these changes, BU's School of Law and the College of Communication offer a dual degree program that allows the student to acquire a law degree and a master’s degree in mass communication (normally a three-year plus a year-and-a-half sequence) in an accelerated program of seven semesters.
Graduates of the program work as in-house counsel for new communication technologies companies, serve with government agencies concerned with communications law, or work with law firms practicing in that field. This program also provides a solid grounding for future journalists who wish to report on legal affairs.
J.D./M.D. in Law & Medicine
The complex interactions of medicine and law combined with changes to health policy and government regulation and mandates have created a need for individuals trained in the nuances of each of the areas. Today those trained as both physicians and lawyers may find themselves at the juncture of these forces. Career paths for those holding both degrees may include working in health care administration, on a wide array of health law issues including legislation and programs to end health disparities, on intellectual property issues related to medical research and technologies, or in areas such as medical licensing.
Students earn both degrees one year sooner than they would if they pursued them independently. They complete the first three years of the medical school curriculum, then spend their fourth and fifth years fully integrated into the J.D. program at the School of Law. They fulfill their remaining medical and law course requirements in the sixth year of the program.
The program is conducted under the auspices of both Schools with simultaneous admission to both required for acceptance into the program. Matriculating students will be advised by faculty members from both Schools. Consistent with other M.D./J.D. programs, over the six years students will complete the required coursework in both schools. This will begin with the first three years of medical school, including the eight core clerkships, to gain a foundation of clinical medicine. It then will proceed with the required 58 credits of courses in law over the next two years, and in the final year combine medicine and law electives consistent with the area of concentration of the student’s choice.
Students will pay tuition to the School of Medicine during years 1-3 and fall of year 6, and to the School of Law during years 4 and 5 and the spring of year 6. They will be eligible for financial aid through the law school during years 4 and 5 and the spring of year 6.
J.D./M.A. in Philosophy
Public life in constitutional democracies depends on a theoretical understanding of the nature and application of law—the focus of the dual degree in Law & Philosophy offered by BU Law and BU's Department of Philosophy.
Students can earn the J.D./M.A. in Philosophy in as few as six semesters by taking courses in both the law school and philosophy department and by completing a master's thesis.
J.D./M.P.H. in Law & Public Health
Just as law is central to protecting public health, knowledge of public health disciplines is essential to today’s health law practice. Protecting and enhancing the health of populations, as well as individuals, demands multidisciplinary training to identify and resolve complex problems of major social and economic importance. The J.D./M.P.H. program is designed to train qualified students for leadership roles in both the public and private sectors. Graduates of the program enter careers in federal and state government agencies and legislative offices, private law practices, universities, hospitals, insurers, biotechnology companies, and non-profit organizations.
The University’s outstanding faculty and research resources—including the country’s largest concentration of health law faculty and courses—provide a rigorous, integrated curriculum in law and public health. BU Law's top-10 program in health law, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, complements BU's School of Public Health curriculum, which explores the nature and context of public health programs and the organizational, behavioral, legal and bureaucratic constraints they face. Students concentrate on:
Successful candidates receive the J.D. degree followed by the M.P.H.—a seven-semester sequence, rather than the minimum four and one-half years required to obtain each degree independently.
J.D./LL.M. in Taxation
Employers seeking help in the tax area are increasingly citing the LL.M. in Taxation degree as a prerequisite. As one of the premier tax programs in the country—ranked 7th in the nation by U.S. News in 2014—BU Law's program offers an ideal balance between tax law theory and practical application. The breadth of the curriculum allows students either to gain exposure to all areas of taxation or to specialize in a particular area, such as business organizations and transactions, estate planning and wealth management, or international tax.
Highly motivated students can complete both the J.D. and an LL.M. in Taxation on an accelerated basis through the six-semester or seven-semester enrollment options by taking qualifying courses during the second and third years of the J.D. program.
International Dual Degree Programs:
J.D./LL.M. in Asian Legal Studies (Singapore)
The dual degree in Asian legal studies, the first of its kind among U.S. law schools, enables students in the program to complete a full year of study at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Through this program abroad, qualified 3L students have the opportunity to receive both the J.D. degree from BU School of Law and an LL.M. in Asian Legal Studies from NUS.
Ranked as one of the top-30 universities in the world by Times Higher Education, NUS affords students the unique opportunity to study in a city, island and country all at the same time. As Southeast Asia's legal and business hub, Singapore allows students to immerse themselves in international business and finance topics that relate to the region's rapidly growing economies.
The program, taught entirely in English, allows students to study in-depth the laws, legal systems, institutions and legal traditions of South, Southeast, and East Asia, and to focus on particular areas of law (e.g., commercial law, constitutional law and international law) as these are treated across Asia.
A selection of Specialized Asian Legal Studies courses offered at NUS includes:
J.D./LL.M. in Chinese Law (Beijing)
BU Law students can take advantage of a unique opportunity to earn a J.D. degree from BU School of Law and an LL.M. in Chinese Law from Tsinghua University in just seven semesters. Students complete one fall semester in Tsinghua's LL.M. in Chinese Law Program—an English language program focusing exclusively on Chinese law and China's legal system—and one of the first of its kind in mainland China. After graduating from BU Law and within two years of your participation in the fall program, you can return to Tsinghua to earn your LL.M. degree.
Located in China's capital city, Tsinghua Law School has long been regarded as one of the top law faculties in the country, as well as one of the top 50 universities in the world, according to Times Higher Education rankings. The LL.M. program has a truly international feel, as all students come from foreign countries (not just the U.S.), and many of the program’s faculty members have studied outside of China.
J.D./LL.M. in European Law (Paris)
Students can now spend their entire third year abroad in Paris to graduate with a J.D. degree from BU Law and an LL.M. in European Law from the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) in Paris, renowned for its excellence in international and comparative law.
Participants will take classes taught in English from Paris II's European College of Paris. Courses may include:
J.D./LL.M. in International and European Business Law (Madrid)
Students have the opportunity to receive both the J.D. degree from BU School of Law and an LL.M. in International and European Business Law from the Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid (ICADE) by spending their 3L year abroad.
Since ICADE’s founding in 1956, the teaching of law at Comillas has been closely tied to the teaching of business and economics. Today, the Faculty of Law (Facultad de Derecho) at ICADE is still known for its focus on commercial law. One of the most attractive features of ICADE is its student-centered approach. The school’s philosophy is reminiscent of BU Law’s: the faculty is accessible and the administration is supportive. All visiting exchange students meet one-on-one with the vice dean and a faculty advisor to develop a customized study plan.
The year-long program, taught entirely in English, is focused n educating and preparing highly-skilled legal professionals to fully understand the rules governing international business and the internal EU market. Students enrolled in this program will study four “modules,” in-depth, throughout their year at ICADE:
The following list includes just a few of the many specialized courses offered through the International and European Business Law Program at ICADE: