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J.D./M.S. Joint Program

J.D. / M.S. in  Human Resources and Employment Relations Joint Degree

Penn State now offers law students with strong interests in labor, employment, and workplace issues the opportunity to can gain an enriched educational experience and enhanced career preparation through the new joint J.D./M.S. in Human Resources and Employment Relations (HRER). In addition to preparing students for a broad range of careers, this program allows students to earn both a law degree and a graduate degree in four years, instead of the five years it would normally take to earn the degrees separately.

The joint degree program prepares students for careers in labor and employment law, human resource management, and labor relations. By experiencing perspectives from both law and social science, students develop a sophisticated understanding of today’s complex workplace as it is transformed by developments such as globalization, growing workforce diversity, and new ways of organizing work and employment relationships.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants to the joint J.D./M.S. in HRER program must have an outstanding academic record and in addition:

  • must have been admitted to the Dickinson School of Law.
  • must have successfully completed at least one semester at the Dickinson School of Law.
  • must submit two letters of recommendation from Dickinson School of Law faculty.
  • must submit a statement of career goals.
  • must submit a plan of study developed in consultation with the student’s law school advisor and the Director of the HRER graduate program.

Course of Study:

  • First two semesters - students take the normal first-year sequence of law courses.
  • Subsequent semesters - students take a combination of upper-year law courses and HRER graduate courses. This includes completing the normal requirements for the J.D. degree and 37 credits in the M.S. in HRER graduate program. Masters students must also complete either a thesis, which counts for 6 credits toward the graduate degree, or a research paper.
  • Twelve law credits in courses related to employment and labor law may be applied towards the M.S. degree credit requirements.

The Dickinson School of Law