The dual degree program with the USC Gould School of Law and the USC Price School of Public Policy enables qualified students to earn a Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration (JD/MPA) in approximately four years of study.
Some of the topics covered in the law school are also covered in the program of the Price School of Public Policy, so some credit toward the law degree may appropriately be given for specified graduate work taken in the Price School of Public Policy. Similarly, some credit toward the master's degree may appropriately be awarded for certain work completed in the law school. The goal of the program is to encourage law students to gain a recognized competence in administration, which has a direct relevance for the roles lawyers are asked to play in society.
Students must apply to, and be accepted by, both schools. They may be accepted to a dual degree program at the time of their acceptance to the law school or at the beginning of their second year of law school. The program requires the completion of the required first year of law school and the fulfillment of a statistics prerequisite, which can be met by passing an undergraduate inferential statistics class with a grade of B or better at an approved university within three years of matriculation or taking PPD 502 x Statistical Foundations for Public Management and Policy and completing with a grade of "B" or better. To earn the JD, all students (including dual degree students) must complete 35 numerically graded law units at USC after the first year. The associate dean may make exceptions to this rule for students enrolled in law school honors programs.
Credit toward the law degree may not be given for graduate work completed prior to the completion of the first year of law school. The Price School of Public Policy, on the other hand, may allow some credit toward the MPA for approved work completed prior to the first year of law school.
Students are required to complete 97 units of course work.