Dual Degrees

Notre Dame Law students have several opportunities to combine the study of law with another academic discipline, earning two degrees at the end of their course of study.

Dual-degree programs:

Enrollment in these programs requires the student to apply to and be admitted by both the Law School and the particular graduate program. Students who wish to pursue a dual-degree program not listed on this page may do so with the permission of the Law School and the appropriate graduate program.

Three-Year J.D./MBA

As with Notre Dame’s four-year J.D./MBA program, the accelerated three-year program requires students to apply to both the Law School J.D. program and the Mendoza College of Business MBA program. In addition, students applying to the three-year program must meet the requirements for participation in Notre Dame’s one-year MBA program.

Students in the three-year program must complete the same number of credits for their MBA as required for students who are only participating in the one-year MBA degree program (currently 46 credits) but may count up to 11 Law School credits toward this total. Dual-degree students are also required to complete 90 credits for the J.D. degree, toward which up to 15 MBA credits may be counted.

  • Application information
  • In the first year of studies, students in the program enroll in the normal 1L curriculum at Notre Dame Law School.
  • Students in the program may take the one-year MBA summer courses during the summer after their 1L or 2L year.
  • After the summer in which they take MBA courses, students will take a mix of Law School and MBA courses.
  • To receive both J.D. and MBA degrees in three years, participating students must complete:
    • 75 credits from Law School courses (including 1L and other required courses)
    • 35 credits from MBA courses (including summer and other required courses)

Questions? Contact the Notre Dame Law School Admissions Office at 574-631-6626 or lawadmit@nd.edu.

Four-Year J.D./MBA

In 1970, the Law School and the Mendoza College of Business introduced a combined four-year program of study leading to the degrees of juris doctor and master of business administration. Students in this dual-degree program divide their time between the Law School and the Mendoza College of Business, studying the full curriculum of both schools.

As with the three-year J.D./MBA program, the four-year program requires students to apply to both the Law School J.D. program and the Mendoza College of Business MBA program.

Students in the four-year program must complete the same curriculum for their MBA as required for students who are only participating in the two-year MBA program, but dual-degree students may count 16 credits of law courses toward their MBA requirements. Dual-degree students are also required to complete 90 credits for the J.D. degree, toward which up to 15 MBA credits may be counted.

  • Application information
  • In the first and second year of studies, students in the program focus exclusively on Law School courses.
  • In the third year, students take only MBA courses. In the fourth year, they take both law and MBA courses.
  • To receive both J.D. and MBA degrees in four years, participating students must complete:
    • 75 credits from Law School courses (including 1L and other required courses)
    • 48 credits from MBA courses

Questions? Contact the Notre Dame Law School Admissions Office at 574-631-6626 or lawadmit@nd.edu.

J.D./M.S. in Entrepreneurship, Technology & Innovation

The Law School has partnered with the IDEA Center, which is the University of Notre Dame’s collaborative innovation hub, to give law students an opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship, Technology & Innovation in addition to their J.D. from Notre Dame Law School. Students complete both degrees in three years, including one set of summer classes.

In this dual-degree program, law students combine their law studies with the curriculum of Notre Dame’s ESTEEM Graduate Program, which helps students develop technical expertise and business acumen with a focus on “fixing things that matter.”

This dual-degree program is administered through the Law School’s Program on Intellectual Property & Technology Law. More details about the dual degree are at iptech.nd.edu.

  • Application information
  • Prospective J.D. students may apply to the dual-degree program at the same time that they apply for their J.D. Also, first-year law students at Notre Dame Law School may apply to the ESTEEM program to pursue the dual-degree after they have matriculated.
  • After the first year of law school, students admitted to the dual-degree program spend the summer completing foundational courses in entrepreneurship with the entering ESTEEM cohort.
  • In the second and third years of the program, students take a mix of Law School and ESTEEM courses.
    • Required law courses in the second year include Technology Ethics, Business Associations, and the Intellectual Property Survey.
    • In the third year, students participate in the ESTEEM capstone, working on a project to develop commercialization strategies for an emerging technology. The capstone includes financial projections, a business plan, and an assessment of the intellectual property landscape.
    • Students participate in extracurricular experiences organized by the IDEA Center that emphasize the action of entrepreneurship and involve students in real-life business ventures. These ESTEEM program experiences supplement the Law School’s experiential learning opportunities, including the Corporate Counsel Externship and the IP & Entrepreneurship Clinic.
  • To receive both J.D. and M.S. degrees in three years, students must complete:
    • 75 credits from Law School courses (including 1L and other required courses)
    • 25.5 credits from ESTEEM courses

Questions? Contact Felicia Caponigri in the Law School’s Program on IP & Technology Law at fcaponig@nd.edu.

J.D./M.A. in English

In 1991, the Law School and the Department of English instituted a program that allows J.D. students to earn an M.A. in English. To complete the M.A., students typically take 21 hours of English courses and count nine hours of courses within the J.D. curriculum toward the M.A. degree. Normally, program participants would pursue the non-research M.A.; those who opt for the research M.A. must also complete an additional six hours of thesis research.

Since the Law School allows nine hours of electives, program participants may complete nine of the required 21 hours of course work in English during the regular three-year course of study toward the J.D. degree. The other 12 hours may be completed by enrolling for an additional semester after completing the J.D. degree. Upon admission to the program, the student creates a program of study with the advice of the director of graduate studies in English and the assistant dean for students in the Law School. The program of study is coordinated by the Graduate School.

The program is open only to students already admitted to the Law School. Participants must be admitted to the program through the procedures of the Graduate School and the Department of English.

For an application, please contact the Graduate School.

J.D./Master of Engineering

The dual-degree program in engineering and law is designed for law students who are interested in pursuing careers in patent, environmental, telecommunications, or similar law specialties. The dual-degree program can be completed in three years and upon completion students will receive both a J.D. and Master of Engineering. The engineering degree will have a concentration in one of the engineering disciplines offered by Notre Dame’s College of Engineering. Candidates must complete a minimum of 99 credit hours, including 75 hours in law and 24 in the engineering program.

To be eligible for admission, students must (i) have a bachelor of science in an ABET accredited engineering or computer science program, (ii) take both the LSAT and GRE, and (iii) be accepted for admission by both the Law School and the Graduate School’s Division of Engineering. Students must apply to both the Law School and the Graduate School.

For an application, please contact the Graduate School.

J.D./Master of Global Affairs

The J.D./Master of Global Affairs program allows students to earn a J.D. from Notre Dame Law School and a Master of Global Affairs (MGA) from the Keough School of Global Affairs in four years. The program exposes students interested in law to skills and concepts from the social sciences and other disciplines relevant to future practice in a global world.

The program is particularly suitable for students who are firmly committed to legal practice and who want to specialize in matters with a transnational focus and those who want to open the lawyer’s route to a career influencing international policy. The dual degree will make students uniquely qualified for a career with the government, multinational corporations, law firms, nongovernmental organizations, and international organizations.

Students in the J.D./MGA program are required to complete the requirements of both degrees. The J.D. requires 90 total credit hours of coursework. Fifteen credit hours taken in the Keough School may be counted toward the total credit hours required for the J.D. (J.D. 75 + MGA 15 = 90).

The MGA requires 48 credit hours, including mandatory courses in economics, methods of analysis, global actors, four integration labs, and two foundational seminars (totaling 24 credit hours). Nine credit hours taken in the J.D. program may be counted toward the total credit hours required for the MGA (9 J.D. + 39 MGA = 48). Three of the J.D. credits counted in the MGA must come from a course in international law.

  • Application information
  • To participate in the J.D./MGA program, students must apply separately to the Law School and Keough School and be accepted for admission by both schools. Prospective students may submit their applications at the same time or apply to one program after having already enrolled in the other.
  • Each school will evaluate applications independently, using the criteria applied to other candidates for that program.

Questions? Contact the Notre Dame Law School Admissions Office at 574-631-6626 or email lawadmit@nd.edu.

Other Dual Degrees

Where appropriate and with the approval of the department involved, other dual-degree programs may be fashioned to suit individual interests or needs. Typically, approval for such programs requires consultation with the assistant dean for students in the Law School and the appropriate administrator in the other graduate department or program. For information, please contact the Graduate School.