Apr 21, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Administration/Juris Doctor, M.P.A./J.D.

Return to: 2130 Department of Public Management and Policy  

The College of Law and the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies offer a joint Master of Public Administration/Juris Doctor degree. This joint program provides an opportunity to pursue studies in law and public affairs and public management concurrently. Students in the joint program use credit hours earned in one program to satisfy some or all of the elective course requirements for the other program, thus earning both degrees one to two terms earlier than would be required to earn each separately.

A joint M.P.A./J.D. enhances the employment opportunities for graduates of both programs by preparing students to meet the growing demands for lawyers with expertise in public management and for public administrators with legal expertise. Many recent law graduates are employed directly by government agencies, and others are employed by private and nonprofit sector organizations concerned with issues of public policy and public administration. Training in public administration is valuable to law graduates who seek this kind of employment. The field of public administration is also changing, with greater emphasis now on administrative law in M.P.A. curricula and greater attention to legal requirements in the training of public managers.

This joint degree is especially valuable to Georgia State University graduates, given the university’s location in downtown Atlanta and proximity to numerous federal, state, and local government agencies and to other private and nonprofit organizations with broad public affairs interests. The credibility of the joint degree nationally is evident through the many elite institutions that currently offer comparable programs.

Applicants must be separately admitted to both the J.D. and M.P.A. programs and must request admission to the joint program. The Andrew Young School will permit a law student to begin the joint degree program only if he or she has completed 40 or fewer hours of coursework. The College of Law will allow M.P.A. students to begin the joint program only if they have completely 20 or fewer hours of coursework.

For information about applying to the M.P.A./J.D. program, see section 2020.40 Application Procedures within this graduate catalog. To apply to the College of Law, go to law.gsu.edu/admissions/.

Degree Requirements

The M.P.A./J.D. curriculum consists of 21 credit hours of required courses, a minimum of 15 credit hours of electives, and a three-credit hour internship. Courses are three credit hours unless otherwise indicated.

Electives (15 Credit Hours)

Students in the joint program use credit hours earned in one program to satisfy elective course requirements for the other program. The College of Law accepts up to 15 semester hours of approved 8000-level M.P.A. coursework with grades of “B” or better, and the M.P.A. program accepts up to 15 semester hours of approved law coursework. Typically, the student completes the first year of law courses prior to taking any public administration coursework. This is consistent with the College of Law requirement that students complete their first year without outside electives. Public administration courses are taken as electives during the second year and/or summer sessions.

Internship or Practicum (3 Credit Hours)

  • PMAP 8941 - Internship : An internship is required of M.P.A./J.D. students who do not have significant prior administrative experience in a public or nonprofit agency or related organization. The internship is expected to provide the student with an opportunity to apply concepts and skills associated with their M.P.A. curriculum. This opportunity for professional growth and development requires enrollment in three hours of PMAP 8941 . Students in the joint M.P.A./J.D. program can fulfill this requirement through internships in legal affairs and administrative law offices and law firms. Students who are taking an externship through the College of Law may be able to use that work experience to fulfill the requirements of the M.P.A. internship. That option should be discussed with the M.P.A./J.D. Faculty Program Director and the M.P.A. faculty internship coordinator prior to beginning the externship. Students with substantial prior administrative experience may petition to waive the internship requirement by completing this online Graduate Internship Waiver Petition form: aysps.wufoo.com/forms/graduate-internship-waiver-petition/.
  • PMAP 8981 - Practicum : M.P.A./J.D. students have the option to conduct a practicum-an applied research project in a work setting-in lieu of an internship. The practicum option is designed principally for working students who do not qualify for an internship waiver. In a practicum, the student plans and conducts a research project in their employing agency in consultation with a PMAP faculty supervisor and a supervisor at the employing agency. The project should involve application of material learned in the MPA curriculum, and should result in a substantial combined final report and term paper. The student receives three credits upon successful completion PMAP 8981 . Pursuit of the practicum option requires prior approval of a faculty supervisor and the Director of PMAP Master’s Programs. Any student who might be interested in a practicum should review the Practicum Proposal Guidelines.