Coastal Law and Jacksonville University develop JD/MPP degree

Florida Coastal’s Terri Davlantes and Peter Goplerud, with Jacksonville University’s Kerry Romesburg and Rick Mullaney sign agreements at Jacksonville University for the joint Juris Doctor and Master of Public Policy (JD/MPP) degree program.

Florida Coastal’s Terri Davlantes and Peter Goplerud, with Jacksonville University’s Kerry Romesburg and Rick Mullaney sign agreements at Jacksonville University for the joint Juris Doctor and Master of Public Policy (JD/MPP) degree program.

On Wednesday, December 12, Coastal Law Dean Peter Goplerud and Jacksonville University President Kerry Romesburg signed an agreement, making official plans to offer Florida’s first joint Juris Doctor and Master of Public Policy (JD/MPP) degree. Beginning in fall 2013, the JD/MPP program will be designed to meet the needs of students who seek careers in government, politics, nonprofit management, and other fields.

“This JD/MPP program offers an unparalleled combination of legal and public policy education not found anywhere else in the state of Florida,” said Terri Davlantes, Coastal Law vice president of strategy and general counsel. “Much like our other partnerships ​with Jacksonville University, including our JD/MBA degree program, this new initiative represents a wonderful joint effort between our two schools.”

Featuring courses in economics, political science, statistics, quantitative analysis, ethics and leadership among others, the JD/MPP program will give students a more tailored education that will provide a competitive advantage when entering their field. Taking only four years to complete, the program shortens the amount of time it would take to pursue each degree individually and is accomplished through the collaborative work of each school’s advisors. Each student will meet jointly with JU and Coastal Law to develop his or her individual academic plan.

“If you wanted these two degrees and you were taking them at different schools there would be no coordination of effort,” said Danielle Noe, assistant dean of academic affairs. “Getting both degrees would be very difficult – if it was even possible. In this situation it will simplify the program greatly for the student. Both schools have a vested interest and an understanding of how to make this successful for the students.”

Applicants to the JD/MPP program will be required to meet the entrance requirements for both programs and must be formally accepted into each institution. Students will be able to transfer credits from each program to more efficiently attain their degree. For example, 12 of Jacksonville University’s MPP program credit hours will transfer into a student’s 90 credit hours required for their JD degree.

In their first year, students will complete the entire first-year curriculum in either the JU MPP program or the Coastal Law JD program. In their second year, the other school’s first-year curriculum will be completed. In the third and fourth years, students will take a mix of law and policy courses.

“This collaboration will better enable both institutions to attract students from a broader geographical area,” said Rick Mullaney, the JU Public Policy Institute Founding Director. “It advances our mutual goal of developing leaders of communities and organizations of tomorrow.”