Public and International Affairs

This program provides rigorous, integrated training for students preparing for a professional career that combines law and public and international affairs. Increasingly, lawyers in the public and nonprofit private sectors work in managerial and policy-making capacities for which legal training alone does not prepare them. At the same time, legal considerations impinge more than ever on the work of public managers and planners, although most of them have had no exposure to legal training. Students in the joint-degree program gain a broadened knowledge base and a cross disciplinary approach to solving problems involving the intersection of law, policy, and management. They also develop more marketable professional skills than are usually acquired through single-degree programs. Professionals trained in both law and public and international affairs thus enjoy expanded career opportunities. The University of Pittsburgh’s program is unique because of the range of master’s degree options.

The MPA degree offers three fields of study, which includes majors in Urban and Regional Affairs, Public and Nonprofit Management, and Policy Research and Analysis.

Students in the MPIA degree program pursue majors in Global Political Economy or Security and Intelligence Studies. Students interested in international development have a choice of two major fields, which include Development Planning and Environmental Sustainability or Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society.


University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
3900 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 648-1413

Faculty Advisor (JD/MPIA and JD/MID)
Ronald A. Brand
Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg University Professor 
Director, Center for International Legal Education
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 648-1307

Faculty Advisor (JD/MPA)
Elena A. Baylis
Associate Professor of Law
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 867-8690

University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
3601 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
Pittsburgh, PA  15260

Curriculum & Requirements

The structuring of this four-year degree program is flexible. A student may begin study in either school. The only requirement in this connection is that the first year in the School of Law be taken in its entirety, with no outside courses. GSPIA also expects joint-degree program students to complete the required master’s degree core courses early in their program in GSPIA.

Degrees in the joint-degree program are awarded concurrently. Therefore, it is important to note that a student who resigns from one program and elects to remain in the other will be subject to all the requirements of that particular degree program. The previously described arrangement for awarding advanced-standing credits will no longer be in effect.

Each student must satisfy both schools’ requirements as modified by participation in the joint-degree program. The credit requirements are as follows:

Program Joint Degree Credits
Juris Doctor (JD) 79 Credits
Master of Public Administration 36 Credits
Master of Public and International Affairs 36 Credits
Master of International Development 36 Credits
Total Credits for Joint Degree 115 Credits

Application Instructions

Students seeking admission to this program must apply to, and be accepted by, both the School of Law and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. The School of Law only admits students in the fall semester. GSPIA encourages September admission and also admits a limited number of students for January enrollment. In addition, GSPIA students must take the LSAT in the year prior to, or no later than, February of the year in which admission to the School of Law is sought. Joint-degree students must be enrolled full time in the School of Law for five semesters.

Upon acceptance into both programs, students must complete the online Joint Degree Program Application, which notifies representatives of both schools of the student's desire to participate in the Joint Degree Program.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees

All joint-degree students in the JD/MPA, JD/MPIA or JD/MID program are subject to full-time tuition and fees by the School of Law and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. JD/GSPIA students will be charged full-time law school tuition for five of the six semesters required by the School of Law.

Financial Aid

Students may apply for financial aid from each school; awards apply only to those terms in which the majority of course work is carried in the school offering the funding.