J.D./M.A. in Communication

A powerful background in law and communications can be a launching pad for a career in law, business, entertainment or government. Through this joint program with University of Miami's School of Communication, students can acquire a law degree and a master's degree in communications in less time (3 to 3 ½ years) while studying at a top law school and a top communication school.

Who Should Consider this Joint Degree?

This combination of degrees is ideal for Law School students looking to:

  • Practice in a communication-related field such as journalism or strategic communication with a law-related emphasis
  • Work as in-house counsel for new communication technology companies
  • Serve with government agencies concerned with communications law, or with law firms practicing in that field
  • Receive a solid grounding to become a future journalists looking to report on legal affairs

In addition, this program is also ideal preparation for the rapidly growing field of public affairs management, in which practitioners work in business, government and non-profits to communicate with key audiences.

Choose from 3 Programs of Study

In this joint degree program, law students can choose from three different M.A. programs within the School of Communication. Within these programs, there are different tracks available to develop individual concentration. The specific programs include:

1. Journalism:  This program has four tracks to choose from: News Writing/Reporting and Journalism, Television Broadcast Journalism, Multimedia Journalism, or Communication for Social Change

2. Public Relations

3. Communication Studies: This program has three tracks to choose from: Communication Studies, Health Communication, or Intercultural Communication


Snapshot: Timing & Credits Saved

Begin Taking Graduate Courses

2nd year

Shortest Completion Time

6 semesters + 2 summers

J.D. Credits Required


Graduate PGM Credits Required


Number of Credits Saved

15 (6 J.D., 9 M.A.)

During their 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 may take Summer law courses which may reduce the length of the joint degree program by up to a semester. There are summer courses taught in the School of Law and the School of Communication.

Credits & Requirements

Students must complete all J.D. requirements and all M.A. requirements as defined by their programs.

  • The J.D. program students will complete 82 credits in the School of Law. Additionally, 6 credits from the School of Communication program will be applied to their Law School transcript, for a total of 88 required J.D. credits.
  • The M.A. students will complete 27 credits in the School of Communication.
  • Additionally, 9 law school credits will be applied toward their Masters degree, for a total of 36 required M.A. credits.
  • As defined above, 15 credits will be counted toward both degrees: 6 credits from the School of Law and 9 credits from the School of Communication.
  • Participants in the joint J.D. /M.A. program are not required to complete the 6-credit 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 SoC.
  • Students may not take more than 16 credits/semester. Seventeen credits/semester may be taken with permission from the Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, School of Law.

Click here for specifics on the Law School requirements and specifics on the School of Communication requirements.


Requirements for admission to the graduate studies for the Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Communication joint degree are:

  • Students must be admitted to the Law School first, prior to enrollment in the School of Communication, checking a box on their application indicating their interest in the joint degree program. Once accepted to the Law School, the student's law school application including LSAT score, undergraduate transcript, and letters of recommendation (two of them required for the J.D. program) will be sent to the School of Communication for review. The student will then receive notification from the School of Communication regarding his/her admission to the joint degree program.
  • LSAT score may be submitted in lieu of the GRE score.

General notes:

  • Students will be admitted to the Law School J.D. program and the School of Communication (SoC) master's program separately.
  • Students in this joint degree program must commence law study first.
  • Students who have already commenced work on the SoC M.A. are not eligible for the joint program.

For More Information

J.D. Program
Terrell E. West II
Associate Registrar
Office of the Law Registrar
Phone: 305-284-2685
Email: twest@law.miami.edu

M.A. Program
Samuel Terilli
School of Communication
Phone: 305-284-8451 
Email: sterilli@miami.edu