The J.D./M.A. program leads to the J.D. in the William and Mary School of Law and the M.A. in American Studies. It is designed to encourage the interdisciplinary study of law and other aspects of American society and culture. For some students, the program may foster investigation of American legal history within the broader framework of U.S. cultural and intellectual history. Others may pursue inquiries on broad historical or contemporary themes, exploring the interplay between law and culture in forming institutions, policies, and thought within the United States.
The central premise of the program is that law, like every other element of culture, is at once a shaping force in American life and a product of history and society. Pursuing the two degrees simultaneously, students will invariably perceive connections between law and American culture that may enhance professional practice and scholarship in both fields.
Students begin their studies in the Law School. After their first year, students take a combination of Law and American Studies courses for the next two years. This allows completion of the J.D. in the requisite three years. A final semester devoted to writing the M.A. thesis in American Studies completes the program.
Tuition and fees are paid to the Law School for three years, and to Arts & Sciences for the remaining term that completes the program. Students may be eligible for financial assistance at either school, but may not use funding from one school to pay for tuition at the other.