Public Administration, Joint MPA & JD

Earn Your Master in Public Administration and JD in our joint program. Complete two degrees in less time than if you attained them independently. Available to full-time and part-time students.

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About this Program

Earn Your MPA and JD Degrees Concurrently—in Less Time

Full-time students are able to complete both a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Juris Doctorate (JD) degrees in less time than it would take to complete them separately.

Specified courses taken at the Department of Public Affairs and Nonprofit Leadership within the College of Arts and Sciences may count toward the JD degree, and specified courses taken in the School of Law may count toward the MPA degree.

The joint degree program is also available to part-time students.

How It Works

The Seattle University joint MPA and JD programs allows students to choose whether their first year is spent in the Department of Public Affairs and Nonprofit Leadership or in the School of Law. Once a student chooses, they may not cross over into the other area during that first year.

The second year is spent in the other school (e.g., if the student chose law first, the second year would be in public administration and vice versa).

The last two years (or more) are mixed in that students may take courses in both IPS and the law school.

MPA and JD Joint Degree at a Glance

Learn how a joint degree from the Department of Public Affairs and Nonprofit Leadership and the School of Law will contribute to your career goals. Then, explore course requirements and see how impactful a Seattle University degree can be.

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) guides you through the intricacies of public service. You embark on a transformative journey, delving into policy analysis, leadership, and ethical decision-making. Your studies equip you with the acumen to navigate the complex landscape of government and non-profit sectors. With a focus on public policy and management, you hone your skills in organizational governance and strategic planning. The MPA not only broadens your understanding of societal challenges but empowers you to enact positive change.

Degree Requirements

For Academic Year 24-25, the estimated cost of the program, not including books and fees, is $48,393. However, that estimate does not include the JD part of this joint program.

Seattle University graduate public administration students should be able to:

  • Effectively utilize established concepts of management and organization to frame and interpret organizational issues.
  • Utilize reflective action to improve management skills.
  • Apply, analyze, and evaluate theories of the policy process and economics.
  • Ability to define and describe public problems and develop plans of action.
  • Create appropriate research methods and design to support empirical research objectives.

We offer several pathways across a range of specialties as one form of guidance for students in choosing courses. The pathways demonstrate sequences within and connections across the curriculum. It is not necessary for students to pursue a single pathway in depth, but many will find it worthwhile to do so. See course selection advice based on pathways.

Specialty pathways include the following:

  • Business and Corporate Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Environmental, Land Use and Natural Resources Law
  • Family Law
  • Health Law
  • Intellectual Property, Innovation and Technology
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Law and Social Inequality
  • Litigation
  • Real Estate Law
  • Tax Law

Required Courses

Upon successful completion of Seattle University Law’s JD program, you will obtain the ability to think like a lawyer, possess a basic proficiency in lawyering skills, and understand the professional, ethical and moral values and responsibilities of law-trained individuals.

Legal Analysis, Knowledge and Problem-Solving

Outcome 1

Graduates will be able to:

  • Integrate information from multiple sources (e.g., opinions, statutes, regulations, rules, scholarly analysis) to identify operative legal rules, principles and concepts.
  • Retain a working knowledge of essential rules, principles and concepts.
  • Articulate and deploy these rules, principles, and concepts in a variety of contexts.

Outcome 2

When presented with a problem, graduates will be able to:

  • Generate legal arguments, plans, and strategies that link pertinent legal authority to legally significant facts.
  • Identify, assess, and discuss relevant policy arguments.
  • Make reasoned judgments as to the likely success of competing legal arguments and alternative courses of action in light of client objectives or other goals.

Outcome 3

Graduates will be able to:

  • Describe the primary formal structures and processes of the American legal system,
  • Recognize and critically describe the influence of extra-legal factors, such as politics, history, and culture, on the legal system, and
  • Develop and advance solutions to important social problems, demonstrating:
  • Commitment and capacity to improve the quality of and access to the justice system for all members of society;
  • Awareness of lawyers' varied roles; and
  • Understanding of effective leadership and collaboration.

Lawyering Skills

Outcome 4

Graduates will be able to communicate effectively, demonstrating the ability to:

  • Produce clear, well-organized, properly sourced written work tailored to audience and objectives; and
  • Make oral presentations and engage in other verbal interactions in a manner that is appropriate to the circumstances, respectful of other actors, and well-designed to achieve objectives.

Outcome 5

Graduates will be able to:

  • Design and execute plans for developing facts necessary to achieve lawyering objectives;
  • Use legal analysis to develop a legal research strategy, efficiently search a variety of resources, and identify, evaluate, and analyze information to resolve specific issues.

Outcome 6

In addition to the fundamental skills identified immediately above, graduates will also possess a set of additional lawyering skills (e.g., litigation skills, transactional skills, policy advocacy) that demonstrate their readiness to enter the profession.

Outcome 7

Graduates will be able to perform their lawyering tasks consistent with professional ethical requirements and with the cultural competence necessary for effective, respectful interaction with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Learner Skills

Outcome 8

Graduates will demonstrate the capacities to:

  • Reflect on and learn from experience;
  • Apply skills and knowledge learned in one context to other relevant contexts; and
  • Assess and promote the development of their professional knowledge, skills, and values.

Adopted April 4, 2017

Students in the joint program are required to complete 90 semester credits for the JD degree and 57 quarter credits for the MPA degree.

In the joint degree program, students can satisfy the requirements for each degree by using a specified number of crossover credits to be chosen from a list of approved courses in each school. This allows the student, whether full-time or part-time, to complete the two degrees in a shorter period of time than if the student sought to obtain the JD and MPA degrees independently.

Of the 90 semester credits required for the JD degree, 12 semester credits can be satisfied by 18 quarter credits chosen from a list of specified courses from the Department of Public Affairs and Nonprofit Leadership. (One quarter credit is the equivalent of .67 semester credits. So, for example, a 3-quarter credit crossover IPS course could be used to satisfy 2 semester credits for the JD degree.)

Approved crossover courses can be used to satisfy elective credits toward the JD and MPA degrees. Not all courses are offered each quarter, semester, or year, and some courses may require particular sequencing or have prerequisites.

In addition to the approved crossover courses, students may, upon approval, receive crossover credit for other appropriate courses that may be offered from time to time. Crossover credit will not be granted for courses that are substantially similar to courses already taken in the other school.

What You’ll Learn

Learn about the classes you’ll take as a student here.

Career-Ready Education

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We offer an unparalleled experiential training program. From your first day, you'll learn to apply your classroom learning in situations helping real clients with real legal problems.

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Highly Respected MPA Degree

Our MPA educates public service professionals seeking to advance their careers in local, state or federal government or the nonprofit sector.

Our Mission

Seattle University’s Master of Public Administration program educates public service professionals primarily in the Pacific Northwest. We develop our students’ leadership and administrative potential to address public problems in the government and nonprofit sectors.

Our Values

  • Social justice and the engagement of diverse communities through policy and service.
  • Ethical standards of accountability, integrity and transparency in pursuing the public interest.
  • Positive relationships that foster respect and fairness for colleagues and community members.

Our holistic education prepares you with knowledge and skills in critical thinking, analysis, administration, management, policy and research. In our program, you learn:

  • Practical skills to address organizational problems.
  • Management and leadership skills that incorporate collaboration, teamwork and self- reflection.
  • Oral and written communication skills that emphasize cogency and professionalism.
  • Critical thinking skills to competently develop and design empirical research and engage in logical analysis.
  • Skills and expertise to be more effective participants and advocates in the public policy.


Earn your law degree in a top-rated JD program. With a solid grounding in legal theory and philosophy, practical training and experiential learning, you will be prepared to pass the bar exam and practice law effectively.

Our innovative approach to legal education combines exceptional teaching by a distinguished faculty with a variety of experiential learning opportunities.

With a solid grounding in legal theory and philosophy, you'll learn to apply your classroom learning in situations helping real clients with real legal problems.

Featured Faculty

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about the program or application, we’re here to help.

Destiny Ledesma

Senior Admissions Counselor

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