Information Security Policy

Pitt Law and Heinz College offer a joint degree program to train students for careers in which management, information security, and law overlap. Participants will emerge with a broad knowledge of the fundamental intersections of law, government, privacy and information security, and management. The multidisciplinary nature of this program allows for practical skill sets to solve economic and social problems that require technological, managerial, and legal expertise.

Cybersecurity, information privacy, intellectual property law, cybercrime, and other IT-related sectors are growing rapidly. There are many job opportunities in this emerging space, many with legal dimensions. Joint degree program graduates will be better prepared to compete for and succeed in those jobs. 

Curriculum & Requirements

The joint degree program is designed to be completed in eight semesters over four academic years instead of the five years required if pursued separately. Students can pursue both programs simultaneously. During the first year, students study at either Heinz College or Pitt Law, taking the standard first-year curriculum of the respective school. The second year involves full-time study at the other school. For the third and fourth years, students take courses at both schools. To graduate with both degrees, students must fulfill both schools’ degree requirements.

Heinz College and Pitt Law have different degree requirements. CMU's courses are counted in units, and the University of Pittsburgh's in credits. A 12-unit course is the equivalent of a 4-credit course. To fulfill Pitt Law's program requirements, students must complete 88 credits, while Heinz College requires 198 units. Students in the joint degree program can transfer 30 units to the Heinz College degree after completing their JD degree and 14 credits to the JD degree after completing their Heinz College degree.

Students must register for at least one class per semester at Heinz College during years 3 and 4 to qualify for credit transfer between institutions. A complete listing of Pitt Law's graduation requirements may be found here.

Before selecting courses, students must meet with their Academic Advisors at both programs. In addition to the coursework for both programs, Heinz College students must complete a summer internship after their first year at Heinz College. The Professional Development Office can assist students in securing an internship.

Application Instructions

Admission to the joint degree program may be obtained before or during the first year of study at either institution. Applicants to the program must complete each institution’s application for admission to the institution’s degree program and be admitted to that degree program. The current admission deadline for the School of Law is May 1, and for Heinz College is January 10. Applicants must also complete the online joint degree program application.

Candidates interested in the joint degree program should refer to each institution’s website for specific admission requirements. Applicants to the joint degree program must take the GRE or GMAT for Heinz College and the LSAT for Pitt Law. Neither test will be substituted for the requirements of the other degree program. Students are encouraged to take both tests early to ensure timely receipt for a complete application. To participate in the joint degree program, student candidates must satisfy the admission criteria of both institutions.

Tuition & Financial Aid


Students accepted into the program, regardless of whether they have completed their first year at Heinz College or the School of Law, are charged tuition based on year of study. During the first year at Heinz College, students are charged tuition by Heinz College at the then-current Heinz College full-time tuition rate.  For the first year at the School of Law, students are charged tuition by Pitt at the then-current School of Law tuition rate. Tuition for the third and fourth years in the program is as follows:  At Pitt Law, tuition is equal to the sum of 85 percent of the then-current School of Law tuition. At Heinz College, students are charged the MSISPM program per unit rate for enrollment of up to 35 units per semester. Students enrolling in over or equal to 36 units are charged the then-current Heinz College full-time tuition rate.

Financial Aid

During years one and two, students may apply for financial aid (scholarships and federal financial aid) from the school they are enrolled in. In the third and fourth years, eligible students may apply to the University of Pittsburgh for federal financial aid.

Year School Tuition Scholarship Eligible Federal Aid Processor
1 Heinz Full-time rate Yes Heinz
2 Pitt Law Full-time rate Yes Pitt Law

Heinz Per-unit rate Yes-Prorated
Pitt Law
Pitt Law 85% of FT Yes

Heinz Per-unit rate Yes-Prorated
Pitt Law
Pitt Law 85% of FT Yes

Students pay the relevant tuition and required fees (e.g., technology fee) to the institution(s) at which they are then enrolled in classes.