Juris Doctor/Masters of Human Development & Family Studies
Dual Degree Program

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies and the School of Law offer an integrated program in which students may obtain both a JD degree from the School of Law and an MS or MA degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Although a Master's degree normally requires two years of study, and a JD requires three, many students will be able to complete the program in four years.

School of Law Required Courses

(89 hours required for graduation)

First Year

Second Year Second or Third Year

Human Development & Family Studies Required Courses

(39 hours required for graduation)

  • HDFS 8012 Family Dynamics & Intervention (3)
  • HDFS 8200 Research Methods (3)
  • HDFS 8220 Family Theories (3), or
  • HDFS 8210 Theories of Human Development (3)
  • HDFS 8710 Children, Families & Public Policy (3)
  • HDFS 9090 Thesis (3), or
  • HDFS 8090 Project (3)
  • Statistics (7000 level or higher) (3)

Law School Electives

Students must take a total of 89 credit hours to graduate, at least 83 of which must be law school credit hours. In addition, all students in the Dual Degree Program must take 5875, Research, for 3 hours of credit, and 5575, Family Law, for 3 hours of credit. Students must take 32 hours of elective credit in law to fulfill the degree requirements. At lease 6 credit hours of electives must be taken from the following list:

Human Development & Family Studies Electives

Requirements for the MS degree in HDFS are met with 27 credit hours of courses in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, 6 required and 6 elective credit hours within the School of Law, for a total of 39 credit hours. While approval of a detailed program of study does not require approval from the School of Law, it is strongly recommended that dual degree students obtain academic counseling from a law faculty member. Students must take 9-12 hours of HDFS electives, at least 6 credit hours must be at the 8000 level. These must include at least 3 of the following classes:

  • HDFS 7740 Parent-Child Relations over the Life Course (3)
  • HDFS 7630 Process of Divorce (3)
  • HDFS 8440 Social & Emotional Development (3)
  • HDFS 8087 Children & Families in Poverty (3)
  • HDFS 8610 Remarriage & Stepfamilies (3)
  • HDFS 8300 Advanced Seminar on Multicultural Families (3)
  • HDFS 8450 Seminar on Adolescence & Young Adulthood (3)
  • HDFS 8460 The Life Course Perspective (3)
  • HDFS 8210 Theories of Human Development (3), or
  • HDFS 8220 Family Theories (3)

Master's Paper

Students are required to complete and defend a Master's thesis in Human Development & Family Studies, normally undertaken in conjunction with HDFS 9090 or 8090. Students who successfully complete the JD/HDFS program need not take an upper-level writing section at the Law School.

Sample Course of Study

The following course of study demonstrates how a student might design a program to complete the Dual Degree requirements in four years. This brochure is not a contract. Actual course offerings and requirements are subject to change. Official course lists and requirements are available from the departments. Students are strongly advised to consult with academic advisors at both Schools before designing a personal course of study.

Application Procedure

Applicants to the Dual Degree Program must submit formal applications for admission to the School of Law and to the School of Human Development and Family Studies accompanied by a statement requesting permission to pursue the Dual Degree Program. Students must meet the requirements for admission to both programs. Contact the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and the School of Law for further information on admissions requirements. Both applications and the request must normally be submitted before a student has substantially completed the requirements of either program. However, petitions requesting admission to the Dual Degree Program from students at more advanced stages in either program will be considered.

Year 1:
First year required law courses (31 credit hours)

Year 2:
Second year required law courses (8-14 credit hours)
7000 level or above Statistics (3)
HDFS 8220 Family Theories (3)
HDFS 8012 Family Dynamics & Intervention (3)

Year 3:
Third year required law courses (6 credit hours)
HDFS 8710 Children, Families & Public Policy (3)
HDFS 8200 Research Methods (3)
HDFS or law electives (14 credit hours)

Year 4:
HDFS 9090 Thesis or 8090 Project (3)
HDFS or law electives (18 credit hours)

The detailed program of study is subject to approval by the student's advisor in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies. It is strongly recommended that Dual Degree students also obtain counseling from a law faculty member.

Regulations

  1. A Dual Degree candidate who subsequently decides to pursue only one of these degrees must complete degree requirements subject to the same rules as a student not pursuing a dual degree.
  2. Law students who receive credit under the Dual Degree Program for taking HDFS courses may not receive credit for taking other classes outside the School of Law.
  3. Student honors and class ranks at the School of Law will be computed based on classes enrolled in as law classes.
  4. The School of Law cannot award credit for any class taken before matriculation at the School ofLaw. Dual Degree candidates must therefore enroll at the School of Law before taking any HDFS courses to be counted toward the JD degree.
  5. The Department of Human Development & Family Studies and the School of Law reserve the right to limit participation in the program, including dismissal. Those interested in pursuing the Dual Degree Program are encouraged to discuss this possibility with advisors in both units, and to submit applications for admission, at the earliest possible time.

More Information

College of Human Environmental Sciences,
Department of Human Development & Family Studies

314 Gentry Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
School of Law Office of Admissions,
103 Hulston Hall
Columbia, MO 65211