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. Graduates will be prepared to work in the social justice and public policy arenas, provide legal assistance, and minister to congregations.
There are two joint degree options: the Master of Divinity/Juris Doctor and the Master of Arts in Religion/Juris Doctor. Pursuing the two degrees simultaneously allows students to complete both degrees in less time than if the degrees were pursed consecutively. Candidates for the joint degree may apply to the Divinity School and the Law School at the same time or in separate years.
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. 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 degreem while those seeking to combine law and religion in a profession that does not require ordination may choose the MAR degree.