Dual Degrees

Getting a dual degree is a great way to enhance the value of your legal education. The University of Denver Sturm College of Law has a number of dual degree programs, offered through the law school and through other University of Denver departments, that allow you to receive both a J.D. and an advanced degree in another field. Read more about Dual Degrees at Denver Law here.

Please read the official Office of Graduate Studies Formal Dual Degree policy here.
For more information regarding Flexible Dual Degrees (for those programs that currently do not have a set formal dual degree curriculum), please click here.

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Full-time students can usually complete both degrees in four years and may transfer 10 semester hours of approved credits toward the J.D. program. The Sturm College of Law requires that first year law students take only law classes. Please also note that you must be accepted to both programs separately.

Dual Degree students must inform the Graduate Legal Studies department regarding the course split between each program at the end of each completed term to ensure that the student is on track to graduate with both degrees.

Dual degree credit transfer privileges only apply to work completed at the University of Denver while the student is working toward either degree but prior to receiving either degree.

Other option: LLM and JD with Advanced Standing

Please contact the Graduate Legal Studies department directly with questions regarding dual degree requirements and application process.

Application Process and Eligibility

Students wishing to pursue the two degrees concurrently shall make separate application to both the Sturm College of Law and to Graduate Legal Studies for admission to their respective programs. An offer of admission to either degree program is not contingent upon an offer of admission to the other. Students pursuing a JD degree with another graduate program (LLM or MSLA) at Denver Law should apply after first semester grades are available.

Dual degrees must be pursued concurrently, not consecutively. In order to meet this requirement, students interested in pursuing a dual degree must be matriculated, pursuing coursework, in both programs for one full academic year (three quarters or two semesters). Students in a one year program must matriculate into the second program no later than the first admission term following fifty percent (50%) coursework completion of the first program.

A student may not apply for admission to the dual degree program after either degree has been completed. The provisions of this agreement are intended to apply only to students who are working concurrently on the two degrees at the University of Denver.

Sturm College of Law Provisions

The Sturm College of Law will accept the equivalent of ten semester credit hours (15 quarter hours) of approved course work in the LLM Program as part of the 90 semester credit hours required for the JD degree. Thus, joint degree students, in most circumstances, will be able to complete the requirements of both programs with 104 credit hours (80 JD + 24 LLM), except the Graduate Tax Program requirements are 125 credit hours (80 semester credit hours for JD and 45 quarter credit hours for Taxation LLM).

Upon completion of JD and LLM elective courses, the student shall provide the Sturm College of Law Registrar with a transcript of the course work, identifying the courses to be applied toward each degree. Only those LLM-approved courses that exceed the 24 credit hour LLM degree requirement can count toward the JD degree. Only courses in which the student has received a grade of “B” (3.0) or better are transferred for degree credit. The LLM courses will be recorded as passed, but will not be included in the Sturm College of Law grade point average.

Dual degree credit transfer privileges only apply to work completed at the University of Denver while the student is working toward either degree but prior to receiving either degree.

Granting of Degrees

Dual degrees must be pursued for the most part simultaneously. While students are encouraged to complete courses from each field concurrently, in some cases, electives may be taken consecutively. Students have up to 18 months to complete the second degree; however, students will not be awarded the degree of Juris Doctor until all requirements for the second degree, i.e. LLM, are met. Students cannot be certified to take any bar examinations until they have been awarded the degree of Juris Doctor.

If one degree is completed prior to the completion of the requirements for the other degree, the LLM degree may not be awarded until all requirements for the JD have been completed.

If a student changes his/her plans, and elects to earn only one degree, the student must complete the full requirements for the degree, and the usual departmental or divisional requirement for use of elective credit will apply. Any student not electing to complete the JD degree will not be awarded an LLM, as a JD is a prerequisite for the LLM program.

JD/International Business Transactions LLM

The Joint JD/IBT LLM is a specialized program available to students pursuing or intending to pursue their JD at the Sturm College of Law who wish to supplement or focus their legal training in the area of International Business Transactions as well as to enhance the value of their on-going legal education.

The objective of the Joint JD/IBT LLM degree is to offer a comprehensive JD curriculum supplemented with in-depth exposure to international commercial law. The LLM degree enhances JD program objectives by providing a strong theoretical and practical education equipping graduates with the skills necessary to provide immediate and valuable contributions to the legal community. Cooperatively, the programs will also provide a platform for participating students to interact with employers, practitioners, and scholars in the field of international business.

We are accepting Joint JD/IBT LLM degree applications on rolling basis from students meeting required prerequisites.

Requirements for JD/IBT LLM

JD Program Requirements remain unchanged except for a 10 semester credit hour reduction of the total requirement necessary for graduation (from at least ninety (90) to at least eighty (80)).

All Roche LLM in IBT Program Requirements remain unchanged. All students (domestic and international) must complete LAWS 4315 (International Business Transactions: Survey) for 3 semester credits. In addition, all students must complete at least additional 21 semester credit hours of approved electives. All students must have at least one approved course focused on drafting and/or negotiation.

Juris Doctorate: completion of at least 80 semester credit hours with passing grades. Students must comply with the current J.D. requirements.

1st Year Fall Semester:
Civil Procedure (4)
Lawyering Process I (3)
Two of the following 4-credit courses: Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Torts (4)

1st Year Spring Semester:
Lawyering Process II (3)
Constitutional Law (4)
Two of the remaining 4-credit courses: Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Torts (4)

Other Required Courses:
All students must successfully complete the following courses in any semester prior to graduation:

Legal Profession (3)
Evidence (4)
Administrative Law (3)

Other Graduation Requirements:
Completion of (1) the Upper Level Legal Writing Requirement and (2) the Public Service Requirement.

Master of Laws (L.L.M) in International Business Transactions: all students in the IBT LLM must complete a minimum of twenty-four (24) semester credits and maximum of twenty-eight (28) in the IBT LLM curriculum. The twenty-four semester credits of coursework must include:

Required: – International Business Transactions: Survey Course – At least one of (i) Contracts Drafting, (ii) Corporate Drafting Seminar or (iii) Negotiation and Drafting in an International Business Transactions Context or (iv) another course focused on drafting and negotiation skills approved by the Director of the IBT LLM

Any courses not listed in the IBT curriculum must receive pre-approval from GLS/Program Director.

JD/Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy LLM

A specialized program available to students pursuing their JD at the Sturm College of Law who are interested in concentrating on environmental and natural resources issues. By specializing in this area while enrolled in the JD program, students obtain a strong theoretical and practical education with in-depth skills in environmental and natural resources. Students wishing to pursue the two degrees concurrently make separate applications to the JD and LLM programs. A student may apply for the dual degree program after he/she has begun to work on the JD degree, but generally no later than completing the third semester of the JD degree (or 50% of total JD credit requirements). Any student applying to the dual degree after completing the third semester of the JD program must first obtain permission of Graduate Legal Studies to be considered eligible.

JD/Taxation LLM

A specialized program available to students pursuing their JD at the Sturm College of Law who are interested in concentrating on taxation. By specializing in this area while enrolled in the JD program, students obtain a strong theoretical and practical education with in-depth skills in taxation. Students wishing to pursue the two degrees concurrently make separate applications to the JD and LLM programs. A student may apply for the dual degree program after he/she has begun to work on the JD degree, but generally no later than completing the third semester of the JD degree (or 50% of total JD credit requirements). Any student applying to the dual degree after completing the third semester of the JD program must first obtain permission of Graduate Legal Studies to be considered eligible. Graduate Tax Program students will be able to complete the requirements of both programs by completing 125 credit hours (80 semester JD + 45 quarter LLM).

JD/Master of Science in Legal Administration

The MSLA program blends well with the JD degree. In the dual degree program, students may first complete the MSLA coursework and then, once admitted, begin the J.D.; or, the law student seeking a dual degree must first take the first year of JD classes in their entirety, then MSLA classes may be interspersed with second and third year JD coursework. The dual degree program can be completed in three and a half years. As a dual degree program within the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, the student receives a cross-credit allowance of 10 credits toward the JD degree.

Court Administration
International Court Administration
Law Firm Administration

Master of Legal Studies/Master of Social Work

The dual MSW/MLS degree will help individuals advance in their profession as a social worker and enable graduates to effectively interact with lawyers, assess risks and opportunities, and understand the legal, legislative and regulatory landscapes in which they operate. This degree option allows those who are not interested in practicing law to enrich their knowledge and skill-set through a selected group of course offerings at SCOL and SOWK without having to commit to pursuing the dual JD/MSW program.

Students must separately apply and be accepted by each program. Students are able to start in either the MSW or the MLS program and work with respective advisors to make sure that they comply with dual degree program requirements and procedures. Compliance with the established Dual Degree policy as per the Office of Graduate Studies. Students may not count any MLS coursework toward a future JD degree.

Students will be required to complete 75 quarter credits (instead of standard 90 credits) for the Master of Social Work and 24 semester credits for the Master of Legal Studies (instead of standard 30 credits).
MLS coursework will be selected based on individual student needs with a GLS advisor.

LAWS 4707 Introduction to the American Legal System– 3 credits (Required)

Two of the following:

  • LAWS 4025 Administrative Law – 3 credits – highly recommended
  • LAWS 4195 Criminal Law – 4 credits – highly recommended
  • LAWS 4120 Civil Procedure – 4 credits
  • LAWS 4164 Constitutional Law – 4 credits – recommended
  • LAWS 4175 Contracts – 4 credits
  • LAWS 4610 Property – 4 credits
  • LAWS 4610 Torts – 3 credits
  • LAWS 4425 Legal Profession – 3 credits
  • LAWS Electives (flexible)

Recommended electives: Family Law, Advanced Family Law, Elder Law, Health Law, Juvenile Law, Poverty Law, Psychiatry and Law, Race, Class and Reproductive Justice, Sexuality and the Law, International Human Rights, Forced Migration and Human Trafficking, Marriage Equality and Religion Seminar

For MSW requirements, please click here.

Flexible Dual Degree with Master of Legal Studies

The Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program is designed for graduate students and professionals whose interests and areas of employment would be enriched by the study of law, the legal system, and legal reasoning. The degree can be earned as part of a Flexible Dual Degree by a student pursuing a graduate degree from another unit or department at DU.