The joint J.D./M.P.A. degree program provides advanced practitioner-oriented education in legal, administrative, and policy processes that are essential to the effective management of legal practices as well as health care, nonprofit, and public organizations. The combination of skills and theory is also ideal for pre-career and in-career students who aspire to careers in court administration, criminal justice, regulation, drafting legislation, lobbying, senior management, and politics. Law courses are offered at the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School. M.P.A. courses are offered on the main campus in Kalamazoo and the University’s regional location in Grand Rapids-Beltline.
Applicants must meet the minimum requirements for each program. The Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School J.D. program and the Western Michigan University M.P.A. program maintain independent admission requirements, processes, and committees. Consequently, admission to one degree program does not guarantee admission to the second program.
Students are urged to consult an advisor before pursuing the joint J.D./M.P.A. degree.
Joint degree students must fulfill the requirements of both degrees. Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School students may transfer a maximum of six credit hours and waive three credit hours of PADM 6110 (Legal and Regulatory Environment of Public Service) or equivalent course applied to one of four M.P.A. concentrations (health care administration, human resources administration, nonprofit leadership and administration, and public management) with an advisor's approval. The combination of transfers and waiver may reduce the M.P.A. program requirement for in-career students from 36 to 27 credit hours.
M.P.A. students may transfer to the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School J.D. program a maximum of six credit hours of M.P.A. courses and three credit hours of PADM 6000 (Fundamentals and Ethics of Public Service) or other appropriate M.P.A. core courses.