JD/MS in Journalism
The JD/MS in Journalism program combines into approximately three and one-half years of full-time study the Master of Science (MS) in Journalism and the Juris Doctor (JD) programs offered by the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the KU School of Law.
The program is designed to offer students academic grounding in both disciplines to prepare them for the professional practice of journalism, law or a combination of media law.
This joint degree prepares students to address legal, ethical, and policy problems facing communicators and media managers, legal practitioners and scholars who face complex issues within their own disciplines as well as pressing societal issues in biosciences, technology, business, intellectual property and constitutional law. Graduates of this combined degree will assume responsibilities in the public and private sectors. The goal of the joint program is to develop leaders with technical and philosophical approaches to address and communicate complex issues to policymakers and to various communities and audiences.
To be admitted to the joint JD/MS program, an applicant must hold an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, complete the admission processes and meet the admission requirements for both the School of Law and the School of Journalism. Also, the applicant must be admitted by both schools no later than the end of the first year of study in the School of Law or the completion of more than 18 credit hours of graduate work in the School of Journalism.
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is the only standardized test required for an applicant to the joint degree program. An applicant or student who is interested in entering the joint degree program should discuss his or her plans with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Law and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the J-School as early as possible.
To receive the JD/MS, a student must complete a minimum of 108 credit hours. Of these, at least, 81 credit hours must be from courses offered by the School of Law and 27 must be from the master's program in journalism.
Students in the joint degree program should note that while the School of Law requires a 2.0 grade point average in JD coursework to remain in good standing and for graduation, the master’s degree in journalism follows the Graduate School regulation requiring a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for coursework that is counted toward the MS portion of the joint degree.
In planning their enrollments, students should inform themselves of course prerequisites and plan their course schedules accordingly. Please refer to the journalism school and law school websites for the most current information about admission and graduation requirements: www.journalism.ku.edu and www.law.ku.edu
All candidates for the JD must complete the following required courses:
|First Year||Upper Class|
|Law 804 Civil Procedure (4)
Law 806 Intro. to Constitutional Law (4)
Law 809 Contracts (4)
Law 814 Criminal Law (4)
Law 820 Lawyering Skills I (2)
Law 821 Lawyering Skills II (3)
Law 826 Property (4)
Law 831 Torts I (4)
|Law 873 Commercial Law: Secured Transactions (3)
Law 874 Commercial Law: Payment Systems (3)
Law 908 Evidence (3)
Law 972 Professional Responsibility (2)
Students must complete all required first-year courses (29 credit hours) during their first year of law school enrollment. In addition to these course requirements, the School of Law has an upper-class writing requirement, a residence requirement, and a time limit for completion of the degree. Please refer to the current School of Law Catalog for details.
In addition to the 37 credit hours of coursework (described above) required of all law students, students in the joint JD/MS program must complete the following coursework:
|Any four of the following courses|
|LAW 888 Copyright Law and Digital Works (3)
LAW 951 Digital Privacy Rights in an Open Society (3)
LAW 968 Intellectual Property (3-4)
LAW 958 Media and the First Amendment (3)
LAW 959 Media Law Clinic (3)
LAW 994 Special Topics (when offered for at least three credits on a topic related to media, law and technology)* (3)
|One or more of the following courses for a total of at least 2 credits|
|LAW 893 Topics in the Law of Cyberspace (2-3)
LAW 894 Externship Clinic
(when completed for at least three credits with a government agency or nonprofit or public international organization related to media, law and technology)* (3)
LAW 924 Independent Research (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology* for at least two credits) (2)
LAW 937 and/or 940 Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology* for at least two credits) (2)
LAW 950 Law Review (written work on a topic related to media, law and technology for at least two credits)* (2)
LAW 955 Legislative Clinic (2.5-3)
LAW 976 Public Policy Clinic (3)
|One or more of the following courses for a total of at least 2 credits|
|LAW 851 Contracts III (2-3)
LAW 867 Law and the Arts (3)
LAW 916 The State and Religion (2-3)
LAW 926 Insurance (2.5-3)
LAW 946 Law and Literature (2.5-3)
LAW 953 Legal Aspects of the Music Industry (1)
LAW 957 Sports Law (2-3)
LAW 964 National/International Moot Court Competitions (competition on the First Amendment or other media-related subject)* (1-2)
LAW 971 Product Liability (2.5-3)
LAW 977 Patent Law (2.5-4)
LAW 991 Torts II (2-2.5)
LAW 922 Introduction to Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works (1)
LAW 984 Research Workshop (on a media, law and technology topic)*(2-3)
|Two of the following courses|
|LAW 842 State Constitutional Law (2-3)
LAW 850 Administrative Law (2.5-3)
LAW 886 Civil Rights Actions (2-3)
LAW 887 Constitutional Topics (3)
LAW 891 Elections and Campaign Finance (3)
LAW 910 Federal Courts and the Federal System (2.5-3)
LAW 943 Law and Economics (2.5-3)
LAW 933 Judicial Clerkship Clinic (3)
LAW 954 Legislation (2.5-3)
LAW 956 Local Government Law (2.5-3)
LAW 984 Research Workshop (on a topic of interest to media and related to government and public policy)* (2-3)
|* Enrollment for credit toward the joint degree is subject to approval by the director of the Media, Law & Technology Certificate Program at the School of Law.|
The Academic Committee shall have the authority to make changes or substitutions to this list upon showing of changed circumstances, such as changes in the fundamental nature of a course or the discontinuance of a course.
In addition to the coursework described above, students in the joint JD/MS program may count 9 credit hours of master's journalism courses toward their JD degree. Students may choose courses to complete the remaining hours necessary to reach the total of 81 hours of law school credit needed for the joint degree from any part of the law school curriculum.
All candidates for the MS in Journalism must complete the following required courses:
|Final General Examination|
|Students in journalism must also complete a final general examination in the major field, as required by the Graduate School. The student's project/thesis committee administers the master's final general examination during the semester of the student's final enrollment in coursework and when the project or thesis has been substantially completed. A defense of the project/thesis does not take the place of the required general examination.|
|Advanced Courses (9 hours)|
|JOUR 840 Seminar in: _________ (3) (May be taken twice on different topics)
JOUR 898 Master's Research (3)
JOUR 899 Master's Project/Thesis (3)
|Professional Courses (6 hours)|
|Students in the joint degree must complete a minimum of 6 credit hours of professional journalism courses. These courses are numbered from JOUR 500 to JOUR 797. Students in the Strategic Communications course of study must include JOUR 676 Strategic Campaigns. Students in News and Information must include at least one course designated as advanced media.
In addition to the credit hours of coursework described above, students in the joint JD/MS program may count 9 credit hours of elective law courses toward the 15-credit hour professional course requirements of the master's degree.
|Core Courses (12 hours)|
|JOUR 618 First Amendment and Society (3)
JOUR 801 Research I: Theory (3)
JOUR 802 Research II: Methods (3)
JOUR 803 Survey of Mass Media and Popular Culture (3)
Continuous Enrollment in Project/Thesis
Master's degree students are subject to J-School and Graduate School rules relating to continuous enrollment (at least 2 hours of credit each semester, excluding summer session) while completing the project or thesis. Please refer to the J-School website for current rules, as well as the Graduate School Catalog. A student must complete the master’s degree program within seven years of admission.
Basic Skills Requirement
A student entering the joint degree program is expected to have basic journalism skills. This requirement may be fulfilled by significant professional experience or undergraduate coursework in journalism and mass communications from a school accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. Students who do not meet the requirement must complete the following two courses, which do not count toward the total graduate credit requirement:
- JOUR 445 Multimedia Writing and Production (3)
- JOUR 419 Multimedia Editing (3)
Typical Program Format
|Total Credit Earned||81||27||108|
|Law Credit Allowed||--||9||9|
|Journalism Credit Allowed||9||--||9|
|Total Credit Required||90||36||126|
The policies of the two schools (Journalism and Law) and the University of Kansas Graduate School govern waivers, substitutions and all other degree requirements. Students should consult the respective associate deans if they have questions about degree requirements.