Dual and Joint Degree Programs
One of the many advantages enjoyed by Columbia Law School students is the opportunity to participate in the life of a great research university. Dual and joint degree programs enable students with interdisciplinary interests to further their intellectual exploration and career objectives by pursuing two degrees simultaneously.
To make this possible, Columbia Law School offers a wide range of dual degree programs with other graduate and professional schools at the University, as well as a joint degree program with Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Students approved to pursue a dual or joint degree program can save time and expense by spending less time in residence at both schools than would normally be required if each program were pursued separately: the Law School will generally accept one term of full-time residency and up to twelve academic credits for coursework completed at the other school, thereby reducing the student’s residency at the Law School to five semesters instead of six. The other participating school will generally likewise reduce its residency and/or academic requirements for work completed at the Law School.
However, there are certain exceptions to this arrangement, and prospective applicants should consult the links below for specific information about the residency and academic requirements for a particular dual/joint degree program.
Additionally, we strongly encourage prospective applicants to discuss the applicable residency and academic requirements for a particular program with the academic advisers at both schools before committing to the program.
Please also visit the FAQ Page for additional information about Columbia's dual and joint degree programs.
Recognized Dual and Joint Degree Programs (Program Overviews):
In addition to these programs, the Law School may, upon a student’s petition, accept one term of full-time residency and up to twelve academic credits for coursework completed toward a graduate degree program at another graduate or professional school, provided that the other school reciprocates.
Columbia Law School also offers several international dual degree programs, as well as other select study abroad programs that offer Columbia Law Students additional degrees and certificates.
Structure of Dual/Joint Degree Programs
Students pursuing a dual or joint degree program enroll at one school per term. The sequencing of enrollment varies by program, and students should work with their Academic Advisers and Registration Services at both schools to ensure proper registration.
The Law School’s academic requirements for dual/joint degree students are nearly identical to those for regular, full-time J.D. students: Students must complete (1) all first-year Foundation Courses; (2) a course in Professional Responsibility; (3) the Major Writing Credit; (4) the Minor Writing Credit; (5) a minimum of 40 hours of Pro Bono service; and (6) for students who first matriculated at the Law School in or after 2016, at least six points of Experiential Coursework. The primary distinction is that dual/joint degree students must earn a total of 71,* rather than 83, Law School credits in order to graduate.
* EXCEPTION: Dual/joint degree students who first matriculated at the Law School in 2017 must earn a total of 72 Law School credits, rather than the 84 points of credit generally required for the class of 2020.
For more information about the J.D. requirements, please visit the J.D. Rules Page. Dual/joint degree students should also familiarize themselves with their other school’s policies and graduation requirements before commencing their program.
Admissions, Tuition, and Financial Aid
Applications for admission to the Law School and the other school must be filed separately. With the exception of the Three-Year J.D./M.B.A. Program, there is no communication between the two schools at the application stage; each school’s decision to admit or not admit is based solely on that school’s selection criteria. Applicants may either apply simultaneously to both schools or apply initially only to the Law School and then apply to the other school at a later date. For many programs, this process may be reversed, as well. However, students who complete a degree program at another school before matriculating at the Law School will not be eligible for a dual/joint degree program and will thus not receive residence credit or academic credit toward the J.D. degree for their earlier work.
To ascertain each school’s entrance requirements, tuition, financial aid policies, and deadlines, interested individuals are urged to visit that school’s website for the most up-to-date information. With the exception of the Columbia Three-Year J.D./M.B.A. program, tuition will be charged according to the rates effective at the school in which the student is in residence each term.
Please contact the Law School's Admissions Office with any admissions-related questions. For more information about Columbia Law School’s dual and joint degree programs, please contact Robert Ford, Associate Director of Academic Counseling and Student Engagement, at r[email protected].
For more information about international dual degree programs and other study abroad programs, please contact Audrey Baker, Director of International Student Exchange and Dual Degree Programs, at [email protected].
Frequently Asked Questions About Dual & Joint Degree Programs