Explore the Possibilities
Earn both a J.D. and another master's degree in three years.
At the completion of 1L year, eligible students may apply to participate in one of the nine joint degree programs that operate in conjunction with other Master’s degree programs at the University of South Dakota, or in one of the dual degree programs that we offer in partnership with Vermont Law School.
Joint Degree Options
Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
The M.B.A. program prepares you to adapt to changing environments, make decisions and develop leadership ability and social responsibility in business and use analytical skill. A Juris Doctor (J.D.) combined with an M.B.A. can benefit your career in:
- Business law
- Corporate counsel
- Health care administration
Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Leadership - Adult and Higher Education
Our Master of Arts in Adult and Higher Education helps students develop expertise in the fields of adult education, higher education, and administration.
Graduates may go on to work in the following areas:
- A university General Counsel’s office
- Upper-level university administration
- Legislative bodies requiring experts in the field of higher education
- Nonprofit organizations
Master of Arts in English
Our joint degree uses the English specialties of exposition, argumentation and critical analysis of literature to give law students the skills to properly research, prepare and present briefs. Students with interdisciplinary training in both English and law will be better prepared for careers in both government agencies and private industry.
Master of Arts in History
Historians with legal training are exceedingly rare and there is an increasing number of career opportunities in public service for those who have this interdisciplinary background. These include employment in areas like:
- National and state government agencies
- Civil rights
- Indian law
Master of Arts in Political Science
Public service careers are among the opportunities available to those who have a combination of law and political science training. These opportunities include employment in:
- National, state and local governmental agencies
- Financial administration
- Public relations
Master of Public Administration
The Master of Public Administration joint degree program provides students with a wide range of professional opportunities. Our graduates serve at all levels of government and nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad.
Master of Professional Accountancy
The Master of Professional Accountancy joint degree program provides specialized training in accounting and related fields for those who wish to prepare for a career in public accounting, industry, government service or accounting education.
Master of Arts in Psychology (non-certified)
Since both psychology and law deal with human behavior, our joint J.D. and Master of Arts program in law and psychology provides a unique opportunity for those interested in incorporating psychology into their legal training.
Students trained in both law and clinical psychology are exceptionally qualified to work in the areas of:
- Professional ethics
- Individual rights
- Community relations
- Family law
- Child advocacy
Lawyers with backgrounds in social psychology are especially skilled in constitutional law, testimony and in such technical areas as jury selection. There are also other opportunities in fields such as personnel selection, industrial relations, product safety and environmental issues.
Master of Science in Administrative Studies (M.S.A.)
Our M.S.A. degree is a cross-disciplinary program which prepares students for administrative roles in public service-oriented organizations. Our students learn to lead organizations, solve problems and consider the ethical and legal implications of their decisions.. The program benefits mid-career professionals working in a variety of settings, including:
- Government agencies
- Nonprofit and social service organizations
- Health care
- Private sector organizations that provide public services
Dual Degree Opportunities with Vermont Law School
Master of Environmental Law and Policy (M.E.L.P.)
Students enrolled at the University of South Dakota School of Law have a unique opportunity to receive a Master’s degree, concurrent with the law degree, at Vermont Law School. They may earn a JD/Master of Environmental Law and Policy; a JD/Master of Energy Regulation and Law; or a JD/Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy.
Students may earn both a Juris Doctor (JD) from USD and a Master of Environmental Law and Policy (M.E.L.P) from Vermont Law School, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the best environmental law school in the country.
This unique opportunity will prepare you for a career in environmental law, which focuses on ethics, legislation and advocacy issues behind the human impact on the environment. With this joint degree, you could find yourself:
- Developing government policies regarding pollution
- Prosecuting businesses or people in violation of environmental law
- Advocating for industries like farming or fisheries