Juris Doctor / Master of Divinity
As a joint venture, the Brandeis School of Law and the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary offer a double competence program leading to both a Juris Doctor and Master of Divinity degree. Applicants must be admitted independently to both the School of Law and the Master program at the Seminary. Students must also be admitted to the dual degree program by each school.
To earn a dual degree, Master of Divinity students must be admitted to the dual degree program and should apply to the School of Law prior to completing 30 credit hours of graduate divinity course work. Law students must be admitted to the dual degree program and apply to the Master of Divinity program prior to completing the first semester of the second year of law school.
Generally, students complete two years of seminary study before beginning law classes. These seminary students should contact the Associate Dean for Student Life at the School of Law before they begin their law classes. In the first year of law study, whether before or after the student has matriculated at the seminary, the participating student may take only law classes. Thereafter the student may combine law and divinity classes.
Nine (9) hours of approved coursework from the Master of Divinity program can be counted as electives in the School of Law. Thus, students will complete 81 hours in the School of Law (instead of the usual 90). For the Master of Divinity degree, normally 90 hours are required, but when combined with a law degree, only 63 hours are required.
Careful curriculum planning is required for the JD/Master of Divinity degree. Upon admission to the program, the student should work with academic advisors from both schools to develop a schedule for his or her course of study. Some courses are sequenced or have prerequisites. In addition, law students may not receive credit for any seminary classes taken before their matriculation in law school. Thus a minimum of nine (9) credit hours from the Master of Divinity program must be taken after the student’s first year of law school. In addition, the School of Law limits the number of credit hours a student may take in any one semester. Students may thus need to take summer classes. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor and update the course of study as needed.
Students must complete the requirements for both degrees before either degree is awarded.