JD Law/MA in Economics

Student in UB Law Library.

The Department of Economics and the UB School of Law offer a collaborative program in law and applied economics that leads to a JD degree and an MA in Economics. 

Economics provides a central point around which to focus a law career, and many of the courses offered as part of the MA in Economics program have elements that overlap with the UB School of Law curriculum. The School of Law has consistently offered a course in Law and Economics, and concern for the economic effects of law guide much of the teaching and analysis.

Degree Requirements

The combined JD/MA in Economics is designed for students to obtain both degrees in three and a half (3.5) years or in three years plus two summer terms. Students must be matriculated in the School of Law for a total of six semesters, or for five semesters plus two summer terms. Students typically are matriculated in the Department of Economics for one semester and take a number of economics courses while in the School of Law.

Credit Hours 
To earn the combined JD/MA in Economics, students must complete a total of 108 credit hours:

  • Department of Economics: 27 or 24 credit hours (Of the 30 total credit hours required for the MA in Economics degree, at least 24 credits must be taken in the Department of Economics.)
  • School of Law: 81 or 84 credit hours

Course Sharing
The UB Graduate School allows course sharing for this collaborative degree. The total shared credit hours chosen from Law and Economics courses cannot exceed 12. To fulfill the JD/MA degree requirements, a student has three options:

  1. Take the full 30 credit hours of Master's-level economics courses.
  2. Take 27 credit hours of economics courses and share three (3) credits from a law course, allowing nine (9) credits of economics courses to apply toward the JD program.
  3. Take 24 credit hours of economics courses and share six (6) credits from the law courses, allowing six (6) credits of economics courses to apply toward the JD program.

MA Required Courses*
Depending on whether a student chooses option 1, 2 or 3, they must complete 24 or 27 economics credits, including the following five core courses and a selection of electives:

  • ECO 505: Microeconomics Theory
  • ECO 507: Macroeconomics Theory
  • ECO 506: Topics in Microeconomics
  • ECO 580: Econometrics I
  • ECO 581: Econometrics II
  • ECO Elective
  • ECO Elective
  • ECO Elective 
  • ECO Elective or outside approved elective

*Please note: None of the MA required courses may be used again for the JD degree requirements. 

Comprehensive Exam
To receive the MA in Economics portion of the degree, students must also successfully pass the Comprehensive Exam.

Program Sequence

Please note: In order to satisfy the School of Law residency requirements, students will need to begin with a full year in the JD program and begin the MA courses in the second year.

Upon entering the program, students take the required 32 units in the core first-year program of the School of Law. After the first year, students matriculate for one semester in the Department of Economics, completing 15 credits in Economics. Subsequently, during four additional semesters (or three semesters, plus two summers) in the School of Law, students take a blend of School of Law and Department of Economics courses.

A student finishing in three and a half years will need to take an average of 15 credits per semester during seven semesters. An accelerated three-year program requires an average of slightly more than 15 credits per semester for six semesters, plus six credits during each of two summer terms at the law school.

Students will receive both degrees after completion of 108 credits drawn from the core program and electives of both schools, as well as successfully passing the Comprehensive Exam

How to Apply

Applicants must submit separate applications and be admitted to both the UB School of Law School and the UB Department of Economics. Applications may be simultaneous, or students admitted into one program may opt to apply to the second program after beginning their first year. 

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