JD/MA in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

University at Albany & Albany Law School

The JD/MA dual degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is an exciting new program articulated between the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Albany Law School. This program allows graduate students to combine their interests in feminist, critical race, and social justice issues with legal studies, leading to professional employment in law, advocacy, nonprofits, non-governmental organizations, and community organizing, to name a few.

Students in the JD/MA dual degree program will fulfill requirements for both degrees, which may be completed in four years or less. They will spend their first year at Albany Law School and their second year in the M.A. program. The arrangement of the remaining two years is flexible (see curriculum map as a model). Students wishing to enroll in a dual degree program must meet the admissions requirements of each school, including the completion of the LSAT for Albany Law.

Students in dual-degree programs must earn 87 credits to receive the JD degree. A maximum of 12 credits earned in the M.A. program may count toward the 87 required credits. This maximum means that students must earn 75 credits at Albany Law School to obtain both degrees.

The M.A. in WGSS requires a total of 32 credits, including several core courses, a Master's Final Project, and elective courses forming a cohesive cluster. A maximum of 9 credits earned in the J.D. program may count toward the 32 required credits (and may possibly form the cohesive cluster requirement).

Curriculum Map for JD/MA in WGSS

JD/MA in WGSS Fall Semester Spring Semester
Year 1

Law School courses
Torts (4)
Contracts I (3)
Civil Procedure (4)
Intro to Lawyering I (3)
Property (2)
Law School Success Seminar (1)

TOTAL credits = 17

Law School courses
Criminal Law (3)
Contracts II (2)
Constitutional Law I (4)
Intro to Lawyering II (3)
Property II (3)

TOTAL credits = 16

Year 2

A WSS 510 (1 or 2 cr.)
A WSS 565 (4 cr.)*
A WSS course (intersections or interdisciplinary) (3 or 4 cr.)

TOTAL credits = 8-10

A WSS 590 (4 cr.)
A WSS course (intersections or interdisciplinary) (3 or 4 cr.)
Cohesive Cluster course (3 or 4 cr.)*

TOTAL credits = 10-12

Year 3

2 more Cohesive Cluster courses (6-8 cr.)*
A WSS 689/597 (1-4 cr.)
Constitutional Law II (2)
Evidence (4)

TOTAL credits = 13-18

Law school courses
(11-13 credits)
A WSS 690 (3-4 cr.)**/ Clinic placement to satisfy A WSS 690 (4-6 credit)

TOTAL credits = 15-19

Additional Year or Semester

Law School courses
(13-17 credits)

*Courses that may double-count for both WGSS and Law School

**A WSS 690 – Final Project accepts written work and community-based work as a thesis-based project, which could apply to Law School’s Upper Level Writing Requirement or Clinic Requirement

Applicants will be reviewed by the graduate admissions committees in both the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the Albany Law School. Applications for the dual-degree program may also be considered after entry into either program. To Apply: Albany Law | WGSS

For Fall admission, applications must be received by June 1, at Albany Law and the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Be sure to indicate your interest in the JD/MA program on the MA application. Once you are admitted, expect to complete your first year in the Law School and to start your MA in WGSS in the second year (which would mean your matriculation into the MA program would be delayed by one year). You are encouraged to apply for a graduate assistantship approaching your second year, when you will be eligible to be enrolled in the MA program. Those wishing to be considered for a graduate assistantship in the M.A. program have a deadline of February 15 (other financial aid deadlines: January 15) each year.