Students in discussion during an MPA class.

Villanova’s Charles Widger School of Law and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences jointly offer the JD/MPA Program, which enables students who are enrolled in the JD program to simultaneously earn an MPA degree, all within three years.

This dual degree program is designed for students who are interested in careers in public service and an interdisciplinary education that examines the relationship between law, public administration and management. In addition to the JD degree requirements, JD/MPA students are exposed to the theoretical aspects of public administration and organizations, as well as financial and human capital management, data analysis and leadership. 

The JD/MPA degree provides graduates with the values, roles, skills and practices that will help them become competent legal professionals who are also ethical, intelligent, inclusive and creative public service leaders. Pursuing a JD/MPA degree sets graduates apart and gives them an advantage when pursuing careers in competitive federal, state or local government agencies, nonprofit or quasi-governmental organizations and the private sector.



Students may complete one of Villanova’s joint graduate programs. For example, students may complete the JD/MBA or the JD/MPA, but not both.

Applicants must apply and be accepted into both programs.

The LSAT is required for JD admission and the GRE is required for MPA admission; however, the GRE will be waived and the LSAT be used to satisfy admission to the program.

All interested applicants in the JD/MPA degree must first apply to the JD program.  Upon acceptance into the JD program, they can apply to the MPA program. JD students may apply to the MPA program in the second semester of their enrollment in the JD program. While it is possible to start the JD program before taking MPA courses, it is not possible to start the MPA program before taking JD classes.

MPA applications should be submitted by May 1.

Students must maintain a 2.75 GPA in the School of Law and a 3.00 GPA in the MPA program in order to remain in the JD/MPA program.

12 Law credits will count towards the JD and the MPA degree.

12 MPA credits  will count towards the JD and the MPA degree.

The MPA Director and the School of Law’s Director of the JD/MPA Program identify the Law and MPA courses that double count in each program.

The School of Law will accept the 12 MPA credits toward the JD as long as the student earned a “C” or better. The School of Law will change the MPA courses to appear as a Law courses on the transcript, but the grades for those courses will not affect the Law school grade point average (GPA).

The Dean of Graduate Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will accept 12 Law credits toward the MPA as long as the student earned a “C” or better. The Registrar will list the Law courses as Law courses on the MPA transcript, but the grades will not affect the MPA program GPA. In short, the Law courses will be treated as “transfer” credits.

While completing the JD degree, students must complete at least the 12 MPA credits that will count only in the MPA program and the 12 MPA credits that will count in both programs. The remaining 12 MPA credits may be taken after completing the JD degree.

The MPA degree must be completed within the normal timeframe stated by Graduate Studies. Students in the JD/MPA join degree program must complete the six required MPA courses (MPA 8011, 8021, 8031, 8041, 8051, and 8061).

Students may not take MPA courses at another institution to complete the degree. Request for transfer credits will not be considered upon admission into the MPA program. Students may not take Law courses at another institution to complete the JD/MPA degree. This does not apply to students with advance standing (transfer students).

All JD/MPA students are required to take MPA 8010: Management Internship (3 credits) as part of their degree requirements. MPA 8010 will be waived if a law student has three years of relevant work experience. Additionally, MPA 8010 will be waived if a law student completes an externship approved by the Law School and by the MPA Director.

JD requirements include satisfying 6 credits of Experiential Learning that may be earned in a clinic or externship; however, if all are earned in a clinic, the JD/MPA student will be required to take MPA 8010. A three (3) credit externship, approved by the Law School and by the MPA Director, will otherwise satisfy the (MPA 8010) internship.

At the completion of the MPA program, students will be required to take the written comprehensive exam. The comprehensive exam serves as a capstone experience in the MPA program. It is designed to provide students with the opportunity to integrate and apply the knowledge gained through their coursework in the program.

Heather Baum
Professor of Law, Director of the JD/MPA Program


Dr. Adam Kuczynski
MPA Director