Joint Degree in Religion & Law

Students interested in the intersection of religion, politics, ethics, and public policy are invited to pursue a joint-degree program offered by Yale Divinity School and Yale Law School. As religion in public life and issues of social justice based on religious beliefs become more and more central to our common life, the integration of studies in both law and religion provides a unique background in both disciplines.

Students work toward both a Juris Doctor at the Law School and either a Master of Divinity or a Master of Arts in Religion at YDS. Joint-degree candidates who plan to pursue ordination with the intention of serving a faith community are advised to undertake the M.Div. degree, while those seeking to combine law and religion in a profession that does not require ordination may choose the M.A.R. degree.

Admissions decisions are made independently by each school. Accepted students must submit a joint degree proposal to a Law School committee after matriculating at the Law School and before completion of the Divinity School curriculum.  Although students often begin their course of study at the Law School, students may choose to begin at either school. However, courses taken prior to matriculation at the Law School cannot be credited toward the J.D. degree. Students generally alternate semesters or years in each school; tuition and financial aid will be determined by the school in whcih the student is “in residence.”  Joint degree candidates who intend to pursue ordination with the intention of serving a faith community are advised to undertake the MDIV degree while those seeking to combine law and religion in a profession that does not require ordination may choose the MAR degree. 

For more information, please email the Admissions Office at divinity.admissions@yale.edu or the Law School’s Admissions Office at admissions.law@yale.edu.

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