The JD/MA in Sustainable International Development (SID) with Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management is a multidisciplinary development graduate training program that prepares students to become development professionals meeting the needs of poor communities throughout the world. Student combine the skills and knowledge acquired in the JD program with a sound theoretical foundation for understanding different approaches to development, as well as a broad vision of how these approaches function in diverse societies. Students also acquire practical skills that will enable them to work directly with governments, nonprofits and other organizations to alleviate poverty, provide health, education, sanitation and services, mitigate the effects of climate change and create more effective paths towards sustainable development.

Completion of the JD/MA dual-degree program takes four years, rather than the average five years if the degrees were obtained separately. A carefully sequenced curriculum allows some courses at each school to count for credit in both programs.

Examples of Northeastern Courses in the Program

  • Asylum/Refugee Law 
  • Comparative Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Global AIDS Policy 
  • Immigration Law 
  • International Business Regulation
  • International Human Rights
  • Law and Development
  • Public International Law

Examples of Brandeis Courses in the Program

  •  Economics for Management and Social Policy
  •  Frameworks for Development
  • Gender Analysis in Development Planning
  • Leadership and Organizational Behavior
  •  Micro-Enterprise Development and Finance
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Religion and Development
  • Rights-Based Approach to Development
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainable Energy: Technology and Economics
  • Theory and Analysis of Social Policy
  • World Health

Examples of Co-ops in the Sustainable International Development Field

  • Alternatives for Community and Environment, Boston
  •  Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, Geneva, Switzerland 
  • Ceres, Inc., Boston
  • Conservation Law Foundation, Boston
  • Global Justice Center, New York
  • Global Rights, Washington, DC
  • Human Rights First, New York
  • International Consortium for Law and Development, Boston
  • International Rescue Committee, New York,
  • Liberty, London
  • National Center for Law and Economic Justice, New York
  • National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Washington, DC
  • Oxfam America, Boston

Program Sequence

JD MA program curriculum

Admission

Students may apply to the JD/MA dual-degree program at the same time they apply to the School of Law. Admission to the School of Law is a prerequisite for admission to the dual-degree program. Students should apply online to the law school through LSAC. The Heller School application is available at www.heller.brandeis.edu/sid. The School of Law will forward the law admission file to the Heller School, including letters of recommendation, test scores and transcripts. GRE scores are not required for admission to the Heller School program.

Candidates for the JD/MA program must independently apply and gain admission to each program. Admission to the School of Law does not guarantee admission to the Heller School program.

The JD/MA dual-degree program also accepts applications during a law student’s first or second year of law school or from students transferring to the law school. Students in the master’s program at the Heller School may apply to the law school during their first year of studies, provided they take the LSAT by December and apply by March 1.