Juris Doctorate / Master's in Education Policy

The close connection between law and public policy is well established and is increasingly leading law students and education students into seeking careers in public policy. Law and education policy have long had strong interconnections, and GW's Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) continues to engage in activities that address the cross-section of education policy and law.

This program joins the GSEHD Education Policy master's program and the JD in the GW Law School. The Master of Arts in Education and Human Development degree (MAEd&HD) in Education Policy requires 36 credits and, similar to the other joint degrees, the Law School accepts 12 credits of Education Policy courses toward the 84-credit requirement for graduation. Similarly, GSEHD also accepts 12 credits in the Law School toward the MAEd&HD. In addition to the required eight courses for the MAEd&HD, Education Policy and other GSEHD potential elective courses are required to complete the Masters in Education Policy degree.

Students who enroll full-time in the joint J.D./MAEd&HD program should normally be able to complete both degrees in four years. During their first year, students are in residence at the GW Law School, taking exclusively first-year law courses. Thereafter, students take a mix of classes in both the Law School and GSEHD.



Students must be admitted to both the Law School and, separately, to the Masters of Arts in Education & Human Development/Education Policy program in GSEHD. The GW Law and the Education Policy program in GSEHD must separately approve a student's application to pursue a joint degree program. Only students admitted by both programs will be admitted to the joint JD/MAEd&HD degree program in Education Policy. Students enrolled in full-time study, should normally complete the two degrees in four years. Once a student has been admitted to both schools as a joint degree candidate, the first year of study must be devoted exclusively to the first-year law curriculum.

Students who register first in the Law School must apply to GSEHD by the end of their third semester as JD candidates. Current second and third year GW Law students interested in applying for this joint JD/MAEd&HD degree should apply and secure admission to the Education Policy program in GSEHD.

For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.



The Education Policy program at GSEHD has been ranked among the top Education Policy programs in the US. Faculty are nationally recognized in their respective areas of expertise and have many years of extensive experience working in key policy organizations including the U.S. Congress, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Urban Institute, Center on Education Policy, National Science Foundation, National Research Council, the World Bank, the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), U.S. Department of Education, National Education Association, American Council on Education, and other organizations that play key roles in education policy. Alumni of the program have held positions at key policy organizations such as Congressional Research Services, the American Institutes for Research, Children's Defense Fund, Annie E. Casey Foundation, National Governors Association, to name a few.

To complete the joint Law-Education Policy Masters degree, law students must complete the following 36 credit program:

Required Courses

EDUC 6314 History of American Education Reform
EDUC 6368 Leadership and Education
EDUC 6371 Education Policy
EDUC 6381 Program Evaluation: Theory and Practice
EDUC 6388 Analysis of Ed. Policy Issues (to be taken in last year of coursework)
EDUC 8122 Qualitative Research Methods
EDUC 6116 Introduction to Educational Statistics

One of:

EDUC 6601.10 International and Comparative Education
EDUC 6602.10 Comparative Solutions to Education Problems
EDUC 6610.11 Programs & Policies in International Education
EDUC 6650.10 Education and National Development

Elective Courses in the Law School for GSEHD students (12 hours)

Below is a sample listing of courses from the law school that may be accepted for joint degree students. Joint degree students must seek prior approval from their GSEHD faculty advisor to ensure that any course taken will be considered toward the MA.Ed. electives.

  • Constitutional Law and the Supreme Court (6395)
  • The Law of Democracy (6398)
  • Constitutional Law Seminar (6399)
  • Civil Rights Legislation (6388)
  • Courts & Civil Litigation: Law 6230-6249
  • Commercial, Business & Labor Law: Law 6250-6298
  • Property, Family Law & Torts 6330-6354
  • Criminal Law & Procedure: Law 6360-6379
  • Constitutional Law & Civil Rights: Law 6380-6399
  • Administrative Law & Government Regulation: Law 6400-6426
  • Intellectual Property Law 6470-6496
  • Government Contract Law 6500-6512
  • Gender Discrimination and the Law (6392)
  • Law of Race and Slavery (6596)
  • Race, Racism, and American Law (6595)
  • Family Law (6348)
  • Family, Child, and State (6349)
  • Family Law Seminar (6352)
  • Housing Law and Policy (6338)

Elective Courses in GSEHD for Law Students (four courses or 12 Law credit hours )

GSEHD courses from which joint degree students may choose are listed below. The Law School Dean may approve credit for additional GSEHD courses that are law-related and develop policy analysis skills. Research methods courses or other courses as they become available may also be counted towards meeting the Masters in Education Policy elective requirements. Below is a list of potential elective courses to be taken only after the designated advisor's approval of them.

EDUC 8323 Policies of Education Equity
EDUC 6100 (section varies) English Learners and Education Policy Issues
EDUC 8320 The Politics of Education
EDUC 8321 Economics of Education
EDUC 6236 School Law and Policy
EDUC 6258 School Finance
EDUC 8322 Education Policy Implementation
EDUC 8325 Policy Design
SPED 8352 Disability and Public Policy
CNSL 6397 Law and Rehabilitation Counseling

Sequence of Courses

Joint degree students may enroll in a combination of law and master's level courses each semester after the first year of law study is complete. Students may enroll in a minimum of 12 credits to be considered full-time, and a maximum of 17 credits per semester. Any combination of law and master's level credits is acceptable. Joint degree students may also be part-time (less than 12 total credits per semester).

Graduation Requirements

The degrees of the joint program in JD/MAEd&HD in Education Policy must be conferred simultaneously and only after all requirements for both degrees have been met. Capstone projects, language requirements, and/or any other requirements must be fully met before the law degree will be conferred.



Feuer, Michael Dean, The Graduate School of Education and Human Development; Professor, Education Policy
Nakib, Yas Associate Professor, Education Policy
Rotberg, Iris Research Professor, Education Policy


Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Juris Doctor/Master's in Education Policy program located on campus (202-994-9283).