Public & International Affairs

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) provide 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 influence the work of public managers and planners more than ever, although most 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 develop marketable professional skills that are usually acquired through single-degree programs. Professionals trained in both law and public and international affairs enjoy expanded career opportunities.

This program is unique because of the range of master’s degree options. The MPA degree offers three fields of study, including urban and Regional Affairs majors, 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 choose two significant fields: Development Planning and Environmental Sustainability or Non-Governmental Organizations and Civil Society.

Curriculum & Requirements

The structure of this four-year degree program is flexible. A student may begin study in either school. The only requirement is that the first year of Pitt Law is taken 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, a student who resigns from one program and elects to remain in the other must 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. 

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

Tuition and Fees

All JD/MPA, JD/MPIA, or JD/MID program students are subject to full-time tuition and fees by Pitt Law and GSPIA. JD/GSPIA students will be charged full-time law school tuition for five of the six semesters required by the Pitt Law.

Financial Aid

Students may apply for financial aid from each school; awards apply only to terms in which most coursework is carried out in the school offering the funding.