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Dual Degrees

USC Gould offers 15 dual degrees in partnership with USC's other renowned professional schools and the California Institute of Technology.

A dual degree enables you to gain thorough competence in another discipline with direct relevance to the roles lawyers play in society. You'll also be able to count certain law school courses toward your other graduate degree, and vice versa, allowing you to complete both degrees in less time than it would take to earn them separately.

Considerations in Deciding to Pursue a Dual Degree

Dual degrees are typically best suited for the student who enters USC Gould with a clear career path already in mind — one that would be enhanced by a second advanced degree in a particular field. Keep in mind, if you intend to practice law after graduation, the JD alone may offer just as many career options as the dual degree.

Also keep in mind that the USC Gould curriculum is already strongly interdisciplinary in nature. For instance, if you are interested in a JD/MBA, you may want to focus instead on our Business Law curriculum and one or more of our business-related certificates. In addition, non-dual-degree students can take up to 12 credits of USC graduate-level courses outside the law school and have them counted toward the JD.

To earn your JD, you must complete 65 units of law classes, including 35 graded units after your first year. Note that courses taken toward your other graduate degree do not count toward fulfillment of either requirement.

Dual Degrees Offered

Application Process

You must apply separately to USC Gould and the other department, and follow the admission requirements for each degree. We recommend that you seek admissions counseling from the other department prior to applying for the dual degree.

You may apply for a dual degree upon your acceptance to USC Gould, although most students do not apply until the first year of law school. Law students interested in pursuing a dual degree must consult with the USC Gould registrar before beginning the application process and must notify the registrar after acceptance by the other department.

Most of our dual degrees require that you successfully complete the first year of law school before beginning work on the other degree. However, the JD/Doctor of Pharmacy dual degree requires that students begin their studies at the USC School of Pharmacy.

Restrictions

Please be aware of the following restrictions before enrolling in a dual degree:

  • Credit toward the JD or other degree may not be awarded for graduate work completed prior to completing the first year of law school.
  • You will not be eligible for either degree until you complete the requirements for both.
  • Students may not take other courses outside the dual degree for credit toward the JD.
  • Transfer students are not eligible to enroll in a dual degree.
Thai Phan, JD/MPP 2016

I wanted a Master of Public Policy and JD dual degree. I thought if I am going to write policy, I should know the law. I was able to blaze my own path. It was a really easy process. My legal analysis and legal writing helped me write policy, and my work in policy helped me look beyond the legal minutiae. I took a class at the law school that helped draft a piece of legislation. We went to Sacramento to help lobby for the bill, which passed. At USC Gould, I was able to effect change while still in school.

Thai Phan, JD/MPP 2016