of Rutgers Law School and the School of Criminal Justice have collaborated in the development of a juris doctor/master of arts (J.D./M.A. criminal justice) degree program.
Purpose of the Program. In the past decade, virtually every aspect of the criminal justice system has come under intense legal scrutiny. Similarly, many legal norms in the system have been subjected to extensive empirical research. There is, consequently, a growing need to prepare teachers, research workers, administrators, and criminal justice leaders with skills that enable them to combine both methodological and broad criminological expertise with legal education.
Program Requirements. Normally, it takes four and one-half years to obtain both the M.A. and the J.D. degrees. This program allows the candidate to finish the process in four years. Each candidate must successfully complete:
- All first-year required law subjects and four seminars required by the School of Criminal Justice (525 Justice, Law, and Policy; 522 Research and Evaluation; 523 Data Analysis and Management; 553 Master's Project Seminar).
- A minimum of 16 additional credits from a list of law school courses dealing with issues of criminal justice and institutionalization.
- A joint-degree paper, for which 6 credits are awarded in each school.
- Usual requirements for each degree.
6-credit paper is the unique part of the joint-degree program. It is intended to ensure the cross-fertilization of disciplines. Each student is assigned, generally at the beginning of the third year, a joint-degree committee that discusses with the candidate possible topics, subjects of investigation, and methods. The committee works closely with the candidate, throughout the remainder of the program, on every aspect of the paper to ensure that it will be of acceptable quality by the end of the process.
Thus, the typical program consists of:
First year: 31 credits at Rutgers Law School
Second year: 30 credits at the School of Criminal Justice
(15 required credits)
Third year: 31 credits at Rutgers Law School*
Fourth year: 16 credits at Rutgers Law School
12 credits for joint-degree essay
(6 credits toward each degree)
Students are enrolled for one year at the School of Criminal Justice and for three years at Rutgers Law School.
Admission Requirements. To
be considered for admission into the joint-degree program, a candidate must be admitted independently to Rutgers Law School and to the
School of Criminal Justice. Admission to one school does not ensure admission to the other.
A "notice of intention" to apply to the joint-degree program may be filed at any time before the candidate has completed either the second year at Rutgers Law School or the first year at the School of Criminal Justice. Usually, such a notice is filed with the application for general admission to one or to both schools.
Once the candidate has been admitted to both schools, and the notice of intention has been filed, the candidate meets with the joint-degree committee, which consists of members of both faculties. The committee screens applicants to assess their experience, interest, and suitability for the program. Since the number of persons who can actually be admitted to the program is small, it is possible that not all qualified candidates will be admitted.