The J.D./M.A. dual-degree program is open to students who have received a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and demonstrated a satisfactory performance on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
The dual-degree program is designed to equip students for a career in law by teaching them to think about the law with a depth and facility that otherwise might not be developed.
The study of philosophy provides logical and analytical tools important for the study and the practice of law. In fact, a number of prominent judges and law scholars enjoyed the benefit of legal and philosophical training at The Catholic University of America.
The program requires a student to apply and be accepted by both the Columbus School of Law and the School of Philosophy. Upon admission to the program, with the approval of the dean of the School of Law and the dean of the School of Philosophy, the student designs an elective curriculum that qualifies the candidate for both J.D. and M.A. degrees. Certain courses in law are recognized as fulfilling requirements in the School of Philosophy, and certain courses in philosophy are accepted as fulfilling requirements in the Columbus School of Law. Sometimes, a student can complete both degrees in a three-year period rather than the four-year period that would be required if the degrees were pursued separately.
In fulfilling the normal course requirements of the Columbus School of Law, the student may take up to 12 credit hours of philosophy. In turn, the School of Philosophy recognizes up to six credit hours of work in law as fulfilling curriculum requirements. Given its emphasis on scholarship, the School of Philosophy additionally requires reading competence in a foreign language, plus an M.A. thesis and an oral comprehensive examination on the field of philosophy as a whole.
Typical courses that satisfy the program's cross-disciplinary requirements are Constitutional Law; Comparative Law; Law and Public Policy; Jurisprudence; Law, Science and Medicine; History of Early American Law; History of Modern American Law; Plato's Statesman; Aristotle's Posterior Analytics; the Politics of Aristotle; Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics; Foundations of Political Philosophy; and Philosophy of Law.