Introducing the New MA/JD Dual Degree Program at CUNY Law School

October 1, 2017

How long has the MA/JD program been part of John Jay?

We just created a new MA/JD program w/ CUNY law school .  It was officially approved last year. Still In effect is the MA/JD pro


gram with New York Law School, which has been in existence for the last four years.


What are some of the major differences between the two programs?

Developing the program with CUNY seemed to be a natural fit because CUNY law school is dedicated to public service and the law school fees at CUNY are about $17000/year as opposed to $50,000/year at New York Law School . The New York Law School program specializes in mental health disability law, whereas the CUNY Law School specializes in several concentrations including family law, international human rights, criminal law, health law, and other areas relevant to a forensic psychology background


Is it possible for current MA students to apply for the MA/JD program?

Yes, a first-year student can apply and be admitted to the MA/JD program, the dual degree program at both schools (and at either law school). Once accepted, they can transfer their current courses into the dual degree program.

What is the advantage of the MA/JD program vs going through each program separately?

Both of our law school dual degrees accept 12 MA credits towards the JD and both of our MA programs accept 12 JD credits towards the MA. Consequently, a dual degree graduate will save a combined 24 credits that would otherwise be doubly counted and a full-time student would be able to graduate in 4 years instead of 5


What kinds of careers are available to MA/JD graduates?

The dual degree will appeal to a number of law firm and agency employers with special clients having mental health issues. For example, criminal lawyers have many clients with possible defenses involving insanity, extreme emotional disturbance, or drug and alcohol problems that could be diverted to specialized courts. Juvenile delinquents have many psychological issues related to adolescent development, family lawyers are regularly involved with evaluations for custody, abuse, and termination of parental rights. International human rights lawyers need familiarity with the psychology of victims and traffickers. Healthcare lawyers often deal with mental disability. The dual degree program trains and enhances these specializations for our graduates, preparing them for these types of legal and public policy careers.


Who are the associated faculty and staff?

Dr. Wulach helped to create the program and is the technical coordinator, while Mark Fondacaro, Ph.D., J.D. is the Excellence Fee Mentor.


Are there any opportunities for advanced training?

We expect that some graduates may go on for a doctoral degree in psychology with this background, and others may develop careers in public policy and administration or as law school professors


How should students decide if this program is right for them?

The dual degree program is looking for top students who want to practice law with a mental health specialization.   Successful applicants will need at least a 3.3 GPA and LSAT of at least 150 or higher. LSAT scores are necessary for application.


For more information on the program and the application process, please contact, or our MA/JD Excellence Fee Mentor, Dr. Fondacaro at



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