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University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law

The urban public law school with a small liberal arts feel

The Combined JD/MPA Program

University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law

The Bloch School of Business and Public Administration

A combined program leading to the degrees of Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) is available at UMKC. This memorandum provides details of the program.

The program represents the combination of two separate degree programs: one leading to the Juris Doctor degree, the other leading to the Master of Public Administration degree. Students involved in the program are those who have been admitted to both the School of Law and the Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration who desire to pursue both degrees with the benefit of cross-acceptance of a certain number of credit hours. A major benefit of the program is that it results in a reduction in the number of semesters a student would normally need to obtain both degrees –  a reduction of at least one semester.

No combined transcript is used nor is a combined degree awarded upon completion of the program. Students simply advance in each school toward its respective degree and may apply for graduation to either school upon meeting the requirements for its specific degree whether or not the requirements for the other degree have been met.

I. Cross-Acceptance of Degree Hours.

The School of Law will accept up to ten (10) credit hours of MPA courses toward the ninety-one (91) hours required for the JD degree. The only exceptions are courses that are not graduate-level courses (if any) or courses that cover the same material as Law courses (such as an introduction to business organizations course or BMA 510: Legal and International Managerial Environment). The Associate Dean of the School of Law will review each student’s course request to determine whether the courses are acceptable toward the JD degree.

In addition, the student may apply twelve (12) credit hours of public policy or other appropriate law courses towards the MPA degree. Each course transferred must meet acceptable grade requirements of the transferor school. See section IV and V for JD and MPA grade requirements.

II. Application Procedure, Admission and Program Approval

The normal application process for admission to each program must be followed and the usual requirements for admission to each apply. There are no special admission requirements for entry into the combined JD/MPA program. Students may take advantage of the program provided that, by the end of their first academic year (or two years in the case of a part-time or “Flex” Law student), admission has been secured to both degree programs (JD and MPA). Admission standards for the MPA program normally include review of a GRE score and undergraduate grade point average. However, students who have been admitted to the Law School will be automatically admitted to the MPA program upon the Bloch School receiving the graduate application, official transcripts and LSAT score. Students should develop a planned program of courses and submit the plan to each unit for approval. The program plan must meet the Juris Doctor and MPA degree requirements (see sections IV and V).

III. Enrollment

Students may take MPA courses before regular enrollment and matriculation in the Law School, but these courses cannot transfer to the JD program. The first-year law curriculum must be taken as a "one year package" and only MPA courses completed after this time (i.e., after completing the first-year law curriculum) will apply to the law degree. Law courses completed before admission to the MPA program can be applied to the degree.

IV. JD Requirements

1. Completion of 91 credit hours, 81 of which must be in law school courses. At least 76 must be in courses requiring actual attendance in regularly scheduled class sessions in the Law School.

2. Cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. The grade in transferred courses from the MPA program will not transfer into the JD cumulative GPA. Instead, the course grade will be converted to “credit,” (i.e., the student will receive the course credit on a “pass” basis) provided the grades are at least C (2.0) or better in 500-level coursework. If the grade received is insufficient to be converted to credit, the course will not be accepted towards the ninety-one (91) hours required for the JD degree.

3. At least six semesters in Law School residence, with not less than 10 Law School classroom credit hours per semester. Two summer sessions may be considered a semester for residency purposes provided at least 10 Law School classroom hours are completed in the two summer sessions.

4. Satisfactory completion of all required courses. Students in the program must complete all of the following first-year required courses during their first year in Law School:

Students in the program must complete all of the following first-year required courses during their first year in law school:

Fall Semester Credit Hours
Contracts I 3
Criminal Law 3
Intro. to Law and Lawyering Processes I 3
Property I 3
Torts 3

Winter Semester Credit Hours
Contracts II 3
Constitutional Law I 3
Intro. to Law and Lawyering Processes II 2
Property II 3
Civil Procedure I 3

Students must also complete the following additional required law courses during their second, third and fourth years in the program:

Course Credit Hours
Business Organizations 4
Criminal Procedure I 3
Evidence 3
Federal Taxation 3
Professional Responsibility 2

5. Completion of the Law School's Research and Writing requirement. This requirement is designed so that each law student will have a rigorous writing experience evidencing legal analysis resulting in a paper of professional quality. It may be completed in various ways, such as writing an extended seminar paper, an elective course paper, or an independent study paper. It may also be satisfied by writing a faculty supervised Law Review comment, Urban Lawyer annotation, or an Appellate Advocacy brief.

6. Completion of the Law School's UCC Requirement. This requires students to take at least one of the following courses: Commercial Transactions, Secured Transactions, or Sales and Leasing.

7. Completion of the Law School's Jurisprudential requirement. This requires students to take at least one course from a particular group of elective offerings, including Comparative Law, History of Law and Jurisprudence.

8. Regular and punctual class attendance. Students are required to maintain a record of regular class attendance throughout their course of study at the Law School.

9. Successful completion of all course work within five years from the day the student began his or her course of studies leading toward the degree. A student will not be allowed to enroll in any course after the five-year period.

V. MPA Requirements

1. Completion of 36 (thirty six) credit hours.

Courses Credit Hours
i. MPA core courses 15
ii. Emphasis courses 9
iii. Electives (from Law School) 12

2. Cumulative graduate grade point average of 3.0 or better.

3. Grades of B (3.0) or better in 80% of the MPA courses completed. Due to differing grading standards, the transferred law hours are not included in the 80% calculation.

For students pursuing the JD/MPA combined degree program the requirements are as follows:

Core Course Requirements

Course Number Credit Hours
PA 510 3
PA 525 or PA 544 3
PA 526 3
PA 530 3
PA 548 3

Emphasis.(9 hours) Students in the combined JD/MPA program must select from one of three emphases:

Nonprofit Management
Health Services Administration
Urban Administration

The precise courses selected in an emphasis should be done in consultation with the student’s adviser.

Electives. The 12 (twelve) hours of Law School courses that will be used for credit toward the MPA constitute the “electives.”


Jeffrey B. Berman
Associate Dean
UMKC School of Law
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110

Office of Student Services
Henry W. Bloch School of Business & Public Administration
5110 Cherry Street, Room 115
Kansas City, Missouri 64110
(816) 235-2215


5100 Rockhill Road Kansas City, Missouri 64110


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