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WMU, Cooley Law School launch third dual-degree partnership

by Jeanne Baron

Sept. 21, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of Drs. Linwood Cousins, Earlie Washington and John M. Dunn, WMU.
WMU's Linwood Cousins, Earlie Washington and John M. Dunn meet with Cooley officials.
KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University and the Thomas M. Cooley Law School have launched their third dual-degree partnership, providing West Michigan with its first-ever Master of Social Work/Juris Doctor program.

The two schools have begun recruiting for the joint program, which is expected to be offered in fall 2012. Graduates of the program will earn an MSW from WMU and a J.D. from Cooley.

Under the new partnership, students will take their law classes at Cooley's campus in Grand Rapids, Mich., and their social work courses at WMU's regional locations in Grand Rapids or Benton Harbor, or at its main campus in Kalamazoo.

During their studies, they will be able to combine such individual interests as:

"This is an example of a program designed to fulfill the needs of students who have unique career objectives that can be best met by completing two degrees instead of one," says Dr. Linwood Cousins, director of WMU's School of Social Work.

"Both schools are focused on providing students with the knowledge and skills that will make it easier for them to succeed quickly when entering professional employment," adds Nelson Miller, associate dean of Cooley's Grand Rapids campus. "We believe that combining these two degrees can provide the competitive edge executives and attorneys need in the marketplace."

The MSW/J.D. program could require some nine to 15 fewer credits than if the degrees were earned separately.

Individuals must apply for admission to the MSW and J.D. programs separately, although applications may be submitted at the same time, and must adhere to each program's admissions criteria.

The two other dual-degree programs WMU and Cooley are partnering on allow students to earn a J.D. along with either a Master of Business Administration or a Master of Public Administration.

For more information about the new MSW/J.D. program, contact Linwood Cousins, director of WMU's School of Social Work, at or (269) 387-3171.