To pursue a combined degree, students must apply to and be accepted in to both the J.D. program in the College of Law and another graduate program at the University of Iowa. Students typically seek admission to the second degree-granting program after matriculation in the College of Law by applying to the graduate program of interest during the first year of law school.  In some cases it may be possible to apply to both programs simultaneously. Similarly, students who have already begun graduate work at the University of Iowa may apply to the College of Law.  Students who have been accepted to the JD program and another graduate program at the University of Iowa must obtain the approval of the Dean of the Law School to be classified as a combined degree candidate.  The College of Law recommends that any prospective student interested in pursuing a combined degree contact the admissions offices of both programs to discuss the proposed program of study.

Students enrolled in combined degrees must satisfy the usual hours and course requirements that all other students must satisfy for each degree separately.  However, as an integrated plan of study, combined degree candidates have the option of crediting some courses towards both degrees.  These courses are typically electives in each discipline that satisfy the requirements for each degree separately.  As an example, a student enrolled as a JD/MPH candidate may be able to count both the Family Law and Introduction to the US Healthcare System courses toward the graduation requirements of both the JD and MPH degrees.

In general, a combined degree student may apply up to 12 non-law credits earned in the student’s second program of study at the University of Iowa toward the J.D. provided that the courses satisfy the College of Law policy on non-law courses.  Students considering a combined degree should keep in mind that the first-year program in the College of Law consists of required courses, and so usually may not take courses outside the College of Law that first year.

The amount of cross-crediting for the student’s second degree varies by program.  Established programs specify the number of credits that a student may cross-count (see Section XIII., subsection A.).  For example, the JD/MPH degree permits up to 12 credit hours of specific College of Law courses to count towards the MPH graduation requirements.  See the specific program requirements for additional details.  Outside of established programs, all other degrees offered through Graduate College, which includes most MA or MS degrees, allow students to count up to 6 credit hours of College of Law courses toward the non-law degree (See Section XIII, subsection A.).

A student who seeks a combined degree and obtains admission into one college but not the other may enter the college to which the student is admitted.  However, the student will not be granted combined degree status.  Likewise, a combined degree candidate who terminates work toward either degree may continue to work toward the other degree.

Law Combined Degree Student Tuition Assessment Policy

This policy applies to students enrolled in a combined-degree program seeking a JD degree and any other graduate program whose tuition is lower than that of the College of Law.  

The majority of students enrolled in a combined-degree program with a JD degree and any other graduate or professional program will be assessed at least six semesters of JD tuition. Additional semesters enrolled in the combined degree program will be assessed at the rate for the other graduate program.

For some of the formal, established combined degree programs where students spend a full upper-level year in the other program, students will be assessed the non-law tuition for that full second or third year of the combined degree, and pay the College of Law tuition in subsequent semesters.  Students enrolled in a combined degree program in which the tuition for the other program is higher than the JD program (such as the MD/JD) will be required to pay the tuition of the higher program for a certain number of minimum semesters.  Consult the formal program descriptions linked above and contact Amy Best (for prospective JD students) or Jason Rantanen (for current JD students) with any questions.


Prospective combined degree students must submit separate applications to the College of Law and the graduate program of interest.  Prospective combined degree students must take the LSAT for admission to the College of Law and comply with all College of Law admissions requirements. They also must meet the requirements and the testing requirements of the other graduate programs (e.g., GRE or the GMAT, depending on the graduate degree at issue).  Admission to the College of Law does not guarantee admission to the other graduate program, and vice versa.

Students interested in a combined degree should indicate they are seeking a combined degree on their applications. Students who are admitted to both colleges will receive separate letters of admission from those colleges as well as an official notification of being admitted to the combined degree program from the UI Office of Admissions. Info on applying to the College of Law (JD). Info on applying to a graduate program