College of Education > News and Publications > News Items Folder > College of Education and Dickinson School of Law to Offer New Joint Graduate Degrees

College of Education and Dickinson School of Law to Offer New Joint Graduate Degrees

By Nicole Gallo (February 2008)

As of Fall 2007, the College of Education and the Dickinson School of Law offer a joint degree program in both education and law. Participants will be able to obtain both a juris doctor (J.D.) and a master’s or doctoral degree from one of the following College of Education programs: College Student Affairs, Educational Leadership, Educational Theory and Policy, or Higher Education.

Preston Green, Associate Professor of Education Leadership and Law in the College of Education and the Law School, emphasizes that graduates from this new program will be able to pursue careers in both educational law and policy.

“Many lawyers represent school districts and universities as part of their legal practice.  Also, as Brown v. Board of Education illustrates, lawyers have been in the forefront in advocating for equal educational opportunity for all children.  Further, attorneys work as policymakers in state and federal departments of education,” said Green.

The joint degree program will appeal to educators who want a thorough knowledge of the law, but do not wish to practice.  Furthermore, the joint degree program offers two graduate level degrees in less time that it takes to complete the two degrees separately.

“It took me three years to attain a law degree, and three years to attain my doctorate in educational administration, for a total of six years.  By contrast, a person participating in the joint degree program could conceivably earn both degrees within 4 ½ to 5 years,” said Green.

Green believes that this will most-likely become a huge selling point for prospective Penn State students who are considering studying law and education. 

“For a joint degree program to be successful, you need institutional support, high-quality faculty, and student interest. We have all of these here at Penn State,” said Green.

More information regarding the program is available on the College of Education Web site.