This program allows students to earn a J.D. and an M.A. in Communication in 3 to 3½ years. The three School of Communication programs participating in the joint J.D./M.A. program are Communication Studies, Journalism, and Public Relations. This joint degree program will allow 9 J.D. credit hours to be applied to the M.A. degree and 6 M.A. credit hours to be applied to the J.D. degree, saving the student 15 credit hours between the two programs.

In the J.D. program, students will complete 82 credit hours in the School of Law. Additionally, 6 credit hours from the School of Communication program will be applied to their Law School transcript, for a total of 88 required J.D. credit hours. In the M.A. program, students will complete 27 credit hours in the School of Communication. Additionally, 9 law school credit hours will be applied toward their master’s degree, for a total of 36 required M.A. credit hours. As defined above, 15 credit hours will be counted toward both degrees: 6 credit hours from the School of Law and 9 credit hours from the School of Communication. During the first year of the joint program, students will be required to attend the J.D. program full-time. Students will be able to take courses in the School of Communication beginning in the fall of their 2L year. Students must complete all J.D. requirements and all M.A. requirements as defined by their programs. Participants in the joint J.D./M.A. program are not required to complete the M.A. capstone project. The thesis-track is not open to students in the J.D./M.A. joint program without specific approval of the School of Communication. Students may take summer law courses, which may reduce the length of the joint degree program by up to one semester. Students may not take more than 16 credit hours each semester, excluding summer sessions. 17 credit hours per semester may be taken with permission from the Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, School of Law. 

Law School Requirements

9 Law School credit hours should come from the following courses:

  • Administrative Law
  • Communications law
  • Constitutional Law II
  • Copyright Law
  • First amendment Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Internet Law
  • Mass Media Law

Additional law courses to be considered (depending on the student’s particular area of interest) are:  Antitrust, Art and the Law, Bankruptcy Law, BA, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law, Consumer Law, Corporate Finance, Criminal Law, Cultural Property & Heritage, Elder Law, Election Law, Employment Law, Environmental Law, EU Law, Evidence, Family Law, Financial Regulation, Florida Con Law, Florida Criminal Procedure, Immigration Law, International Finance, International Human Rights, International Law, Latin American Law, Law & Economics, Law & Medicine, Legal Research Techniques, Media & the Law, Mortgage Law, National Security Law, Press Freedoms in the Americas, Public Education Law, Race and the Constitution, Securities Regulation, Sports Law, State & Local Government, Substantive Criminal Law, and Trademark Law.

The Law School will accept 6 credit hours from School of Communication courses: (the courses selected will depend on the specific program, e.g., Communication Studies, Journalism, or Public Relations, though following consultation with, and approval by, a faculty advisor, substitutions may be allowed). Examples include:

COM 601Theories of Communication3
COM 602Foundations of Quantitative Communication Research Methods3
COM 603Qualitative Research Methodologies3
COM 605Theories and Methods for Mass Communication Research3
JMM 614Law and Ethics in Journalism and Media Management3
JMM 615Writing and Reporting Across Platforms3
JMM 637The Business of Modern Journalism3
STC 620Public Relations Fundamentals3