Why this graduate program may be for you
This interdisciplinary graduate program is designed for students who want a solid background in both public policy and law. The master’s degree (MS) in Law & Public Policy (LPP) prepares students for careers in government, nonprofit organizations, advocacy and legal organizations, and research. After completing the first year of the law degree, students take one year of courses in the LPP program, concluding with a capstone course. In their coursework, students examine a full range of strategies for creating and implementing policy change in different branches and levels of government. Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds and typically enter the program with several years of work experience, which make the classroom learning environment especially rich. Students can create a unique policy specialization from these focus areas: health policy; sustainability, climate change and the environment; urban policy; and crime, law and justice.
What can you expect from the program
Students begin with core courses in theories of public policy, research methodology, law and legal reasoning, economics and ethics. Then students develop a unique plan of study in their chosen policy fields. The program ends with a capstone project that allow students to integrate the subject matter of the program in an applied project.
Graduates will leave the program with a solid grounding in public policy theory and practice, research methodologies, and specialized expertise in one or more policy areas. Students will work with an individual faculty adviser in their policy focus area who will help choose courses and identify employment opportunities, during and after the time students are here. The School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs has comprehensive career advising services to help students find placements after graduation.
Course of Study
Information accurate as of October 2012. Requirements and policies subject to change. For up-to-date information, contact Kathie Simmons or visit the official graduate catalogue at http://www.northeastern.edu/registrar/catgrad1213.pdf.
It takes four years to complete the dual degree. Students take their first year of classes in the Law School followed by a legal co-op, Northeastern’s signature cooperative education program which alternates periods of academic study with periods of full-time co-op employment in positions related to a student’s academic and career interests.
Second year courses are taken in the School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs. Students then fulfill the remaining Law School coursework and co-op requirements.
Policy School Courses
The following courses are taken in the School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs:
- Economic Analysis for Law, Policy, and Planning
- Strategizing Public Policy
- Research and Statistical Methods
- Techniques of Program Evaluation
- Ethics and Public Policy
- 2 electives in policy focus area
- 1 Methods Toolkit
Law School electives
Additional designated courses are taken in the Law School and count toward both degrees:
- Interdisciplinary Approaches to Policy and Advocacy
- Law elective on courts and public policy from approved list
- Elective in policy focus area
Policy Focus Areas:
- Crime, Law, and Justice
- Health Policy
- Sustainability, Climate Change and Environmental Policy
- Urban Policy
- Len Albright
- Judith Barr
- Barry Bluestone
- Chris Bosso
- Ballard Campbell
- Alan Clayton-Matthews
- James Connolly
- Richard Daynard
- Joan Fitzgerald
- James Alan Fox
- Greg Goodale
- Thomas Koenig
- Steve Nathanson
- Stephanie Pollack
- Matthias Ruth
- Gavin Shatkin
- Michael Tolley
- Gregory Wassall
Financial Aid and Scholarships
In addition to needs-based financial aid, a limited number of tuition discounts and scholarships are available. We urge you to complete your application for admission as early as possible. Applications for financial aid are processed after students have been admitted into the program. For complete details, go to Tuition and Financial Aid.
For the JD/MS program, applicants must apply separately to the Law School (for the JD) and the Law and Public Policy Program (for the MS portion). The deadline for the Law School is March 1 each year for fall admission.
For the MS portion, students may apply when they apply to law school or during their first year of law school. Applications are accepted until August 1st.
To apply to the Law & Public Policy program, please submit:
- Completed application to both School of Law and Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities
- Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended
- Personal statement
- Current resume
- Three letters of recommendation
- Application fee
- LSAT scores
All applications must be submitted online.
- Law School (JD) – March 1st
- Law and Public Policy Program (MS) – August 1st