Nature of the Program
The combined J.D./M.A. in economics, law and economics track program, is offered jointly by the Dedman School of Law and the SMU Department of Economics in Dedman College. The program is designed for law students who have some prior background in economics and who wish to develop further their abilities to deal with complex economic issues. Through the program, the combined degrees can be obtained in four academic years or even in as little as three years and one additional term if classes are taken during at least one summer term.
Structure of the Program
The M.A. in economics, law and economics track, is a 30-hour nonthesis program that can be completed in part-time evening study. For students in the combined J.D./M.A. program, the Economics Department will accept up to nine hours of law school credit toward the M.A. degree. Dedman School of Law will accept up to six hours of graduate economics credits toward the 87 hours required for the J.D. degree. Thus, the student in the combined J.D./M.A. program will be able to receive both degrees with a total of 102 hours of credit.
The first year of the program consists entirely of law school courses, and students may apply for the joint degree plan at any time during their first year of law school. The economics curriculum consists of five required courses (15 credits), of which one may be the Dedman School of Law course LAW 6423 - Economic Analysis of Law; three elective courses (nine credits), of which one must be a 6000-level course; and up to three additional law school courses (nine credits). These economics courses will be taken along with law school courses during the remainder of the student’s period of residency after the first year. Many of the economics classes are taught in the evening or during the summer term, and generally are small classes (fewer than 20 students).
The M.A. program also is available to those who have received the J.D. degree. Credit from law courses, however, cannot be counted toward the M.A. degree once the J.D. degree has been conferred. Likewise, a student who has completed the M.A. degree or the joint B.A./M.A. degree cannot receive credit toward the J.D. degree for any courses prior to entering the Dedman School of Law.