Public Policy

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College offer a joint degree program designed to train students for careers in which management, public policy, and law overlap. A successful partnership that has existed for over a decade, this program offers students a comprehensive education that marries the analytic and quantitative strength of Heinz College with the rigorous legal training afforded by the School of Law.

This joint degree offering is particularly beneficial since legal considerations affect many public management and policy decisions, and a clear understanding of public policy and management concerns enhances law practice. Participants emerge with a broad knowledge of the fundamental intersections of law, government, policy analysis, and management. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary nature of this program allows for practical skill sets to solve economic and social problems that require technological, managerial, and legal expertise.

Curriculum & Requirements

Heinz College and Pitt Law have different degree requirements. Carnegie Mellon University'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.

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.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Accepted students, regardless of whether they have completed their first year at Heinz College or Pitt 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 full-time tuition rate. For the first year at Pitt Law, students are charged tuition by Pitt Law at the then-current 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 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.

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

Students pay the relevant tuition and required fees to the institution(s) where they are enrolled in classes.