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Harvard Law School (HLS) and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) offer a joint degree program in law and urban planning. The HLS/GSD joint degree program supports and encourages students seeking an interdisciplinary education in urban planning and law, and prepares them for leadership positions at the intersection of these fields. The joint program permits students to pursue a Juris Doctor (JD) degree at HLS and a Master in Urban Planning (MUP) degree at the GSD and to complete both degrees in four years, rather than the five years that would be required if the degrees were pursued independently. Students in the joint program must complete all of the basic requirements for both the MUP and JD degrees, as further described below.

A committee made up of HLS Professor Gerald Frug and GSD Professor Jerold Kayden (“Faculty Committee”) oversees the joint degree program. The Faculty Committee is responsible for making decisions regarding the structure and requirements of the program and for working with the students enrolled in the program.


Prospective JD/MUP students must apply, and be separately admitted, to both HLS and the GSD, each of which will independently review and admit applicants. Questions relating to the admissions process at each school should be addressed directly to JD Admissions at HLS and to the Admissions Office at the GSD.

Prospective JD/MUP students may apply to HLS and/or the GSD, concurrently in advance of admission to either school, or during the first year at either school. Students interested in applying to either school for matriculation the following September should note the HLS deadline is early February while the GSD deadline is in mid-January. All HLS applicants are required to submit an LSAT score, in accordance with application guidelines. All GSD applicants are required to submit a GRE score. Once admitted, students should follow the notification procedures at each school regarding acceptance of admission and plans to matriculate.

Joint Program Declaration of Intent

In addition, students admitted to both schools should email Jessica L. Soban, Assistant Dean and Chief Admissions Officer at HLS, and Sean Conlon, GSD Registrar, if they intend to enroll in the joint degree program

The joint degree program is currently limited to six entering students each year. If more than six eligible students seek to start the program in any given year, then the Faculty Committee will rank order the list of students, permitting enrollment of the top six.

Structure of Coursework

Students in the joint degree program have four academic years to complete both degrees and are expected to spend five semesters and two winter terms in residence at HLS and three terms in residence at the GSD, for a total of eight fall or spring semesters/terms and two HLS winter terms.

In the first two years of the joint degree program, students are required to enroll for one full year of study at HLS and for one full year of study at the GSD; either can come first. In the third and fourth years of the program, joint degree students will enroll in, and take courses at, both schools. Students must take the majority (at least 12 units of the required 40) of their coursework at the GSD during one of those terms. See below for more information about the coursework at each school.

Students in the joint degree program will have a primary faculty advisor at both HLS and the GSD. Faculty advisors will supervise a student’s academic work and assist in determining the most appropriate sequencing for each student’s course of study, keeping in mind the requirements for both degrees.

Tuition and Financial Aid


Enrollment in the joint degree program will result in significant tuition savings compared with the cost of pursuing the two degrees separately. Tuition is paid as follows: during the first two years, students will pay full tuition to the school in which they are enrolled. During the third and fourth years, students will pay 75% of HLS tuition and 25% of GSD tuition in each of the four semesters.

Financial Aid

Joint degree program students should apply for financial aid through the Law School’s Student Financial Services for the first year in the Law School and through the GSD Financial Aid Office for the first year there. For each of the four upper-level semesters during which they are in residence at both schools, students should apply to the Law School for financial aid.

Academics and Administration


Students will not be permitted to enroll in GSD and HLS courses with time overlaps and must allow fifteen minutes of travel time between courses.


Students will be expected to complete all HLS and GSD exams and reviews at the times they are scheduled; exceptions are at the sole discretion of each school, in accordance with their respective policies.


Grades earned in GSD courses will not be included in HLS GPA calculations or in the consideration of grade-based HLS prizes. In the same manner, grades earned in any HLS courses will not be used in the consideration of grade-based GSD prizes.


For each upper-level semester/term, students will be required to submit their course enrollment information and their completed course information to both the HLS and the GSD Registrars.

Mailboxes and Email

Students will be assigned mailboxes and remain on student e-mail lists at both schools for all four years of the joint degree program.


Once enrolled in the joint degree program, a student intending to leave it must petition the HLS Administrative Board and the GSD Master in Urban Planning Program Director for permission to leave the program and complete only one of the two degrees. Continuing HLS students must then complete all of the regular JD requirements in order to earn the JD degree. Continuing GSD students must complete all of any remaining MUP degree requirements in order to earn the MUP degree.

Contact Information

Harvard Law School

JD Admissions

617-495-3109 |

Student Financial Services

617-495-4606 |

Low Income Protection Plan

Program Information

Jessica L. Soban, Assistant Dean and Chief Admissions Officer | 617-495-3189

Graduate School of Design


Geri Nederhoff and Gail Gustafson, Admissions Directors | 617-496-1238

Program Information

Sean Conlon, Registrar | 617-496-5154

Financial Aid Office

617-495-5455 |