Combined Joint Master of Regional Planning and Doctor of Law (MRP/JD)

Albany Law School, University at Albany

Date Posted: Sept. 5, 2019
Submitted by: Genevieve LaMarr LeMee
Sustainability Topic: Curriculum
Content Type: Academic Programs
Program Type: Joint Degree


Given the significance of legal issues in planning, and the importance of land-use, housing, transportation, environmental and other planning issues in law, in 2001 the State University at Albany and the Albany Law School received approval for a jointly registered MRP/JD program, constructed from the two institutions’ existing Master of Regional Planning (MRP) and Juris Doctorate (JD) programs. The MRP program at the University at Albany is a 48-credit graduate program, ordinarily completed over two years. The JD at the Albany Law School is an 87-credit program, ordinarily completed over three years.

Students matriculated into the joint program normally do the first year at the Albany Law School, and then spend the next three years completing both degrees. At least five full-time semesters must be completed at Albany Law School to fulfill residency requirements of the American Bar Association. To complete the joint program at least 39 graduate credits for the MRP (none of which are earned at the Albany Law School) and 75 credits for the JD degree (all of which are earned at Albany Law School or approved by Albany Law School as transfer credits from another law school) must be completed. Thus, the joint program requires a minimum of 114 graduate credits, 21 fewer than would be required if the two degrees were done completely independently. The course reduction for the MRP results from the elimination of the formal specialization requirement. Students must simply take all the course courses and electives to reach a total of 39 credits. The course reduction for the JD results from the elimination of 12 elective credits.

The joint program requires independent admission for each program. University at Albany registrations should be at the University at Albany, paying University at Albany tuition and fees. Albany Law School registrations should be at Albany Law School, paying Albany Law School tuition and fees. Students who are already matriculated as candidates for the MRP degree may apply for admission to the JD program at Albany Law School, and thus to the joint program, providing they have not registered for more than 24 credits towards the MRP degree by the time that they begin the JD program. Albany Law School applications require the LSAT.