Joint Programs

Students may choose to pursue multiple graduate or professional degrees at the University of Kentucky. Joint degree programs are offered for PharmD/MPA, JD/MPA, and the University Scholars Program.

PharmD/MPA

Since 1997, the Martin School and the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy have jointly provided this unique dual degree program, the first of its type to be offered in the nation. This program provides a pathway to increasingly in-demand careers analyzing complex drug policy issues, serving as administrators of pharmaceutical and healthcare systems, or serving in public regulatory agencies. Past graduates have secured positions in a wide variety of organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Admissions

Students are required to meet the admissions standards of both programs separately, meaning they secure admission into the Martin School, the Graduate School,and the College of Pharmacy. Students independently pursuing either the PharmD or MPA may be considered for admission to the dual degree program. A student will be eligible for consideration before the end of their second year of study in the PharmD program and before the end of their first year of study in the MPA program.

Curriculum

Whereas the MPA program alone is 40 credit hours, the joint PharmD/MPA program requires 30 hours of MPA coursework. The electives, ethics course, and internship credit are satisfied by the PharmD program. It's important to take PA 621, 622 and 623 sequentially as well as PA 651 and 652. Below is a sample program of study.

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Full-time pharmacy (42 credit hours)

34 credit hours pharmacy

2 Martin School courses fall only: PA 621, PA 631 

1 Martin School course spring only: PA 622 

34 credit hours pharmacy

2 Martin School courses fall only: PA 651, PA 623

2 Martin School courses spring only: PA 652, PA 711 (fulfilled by pharmacy rotations)

Summer: Pharmacy Clerkship (12 credit hours)

2 Martin School courses fall only: PA 642, PA 602

1 Martin School course spring only: PA 681 Capstone

Pharmacy Clerkship (8 credit hours)

Summer: Pharmacy Clerkship (12 hours)

JD/MPA

Initiated in 1984, the JD/MPA dual degree program is the only one offered in the Commonwealth. The dual degree program permits the student to gain both degrees in a total time period of four years, one year less than if the degrees were earned independently. The dual degree can be valuable for persons seeking careers as city managers, administrators of judicial and quasi-judicial organizations, staff members in governmental agencies, and legislative researchers, among others. Students who have earned both the JD and MPA degrees from the University of Kentucky have gone on to careers with private law firms, trust institutions, and the Kentucky Bar Association. One UK JD/MPA graduate won a prestigious national competition for a city manager internship.

Admissions

Students interested in the joint JD/MPA program must apply to each program separately through the Graduate School’s Apply Yourself system. Generally, students enroll in one program first, usually Law, and during the first year apply to the second program, usually the MPA. Since the student has already applied to the Graduate School once, all they will need to include in their second application is:

  • Student’s information
  • 2 Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

The Graduate School will already have on file: Standardized test scores (LSAT can be used in place of GRE), official transcripts, and resume.  You can apply to UK Law School here: https://law.uky.edu/admissions

Curriculum

Whereas the MPA program alone is 40 credit hours, the joint JD/MPA program requires 31 hours of MPA coursework and 81 hours of JD coursework. The electives are transferrable from the JD to the MPA and vice versa. If scheduling problems do arise, the MPA and JD program representatives will resolve such problems on an ad hoc basis. An example four year sequence, starting in Law School is below: 

YEAR ONE: First and second semesters: Required law courses (30 Credits)

YEAR TWO:

Third Semester (FALL)

 

MPA Courses

Credits

PA 621 – Quantitative Methods of Research

3

PA 642 – Public Organization, Theory & Behavior

3

PA 651 – The Policy Process

3

PA 691 – Ethics in Public Policy

1

ECO 201 (or equivalent if necessary)

3*

TOTAL CREDIT HOURS

10 (or possibly 13)

 

Fourth Semester (SPRING)

 

MPA Courses

Credits

PA 622 – Program Evaluation

3

PA 652 – Public Policy Economics

3

PA XXX – Elective in Public Administration

3

TOTAL CREDIT HOURS

9

YEAR THREE:

Fifth Semester (FALL)

 

 

 

MPA Courses

Credits

JD Courses

Credits

PA 602 – Org. Change and Strategic Planning

3

Law Course

3

PA 623 – Decision Analysis

3

Law Course

3

PA 631 – Public Financial Management

3

Law Course

3

TOTAL CREDIT HOURS

9

 

9

 

Sixth Semester (SPRING)

 

 

 

MPA Courses

Credits

JD Courses

Credits

PA 681 – Capstone

3

Law Electives

15

PA 711 – Internship**

3

 

 

TOTAL CREDIT HOURS

6

 

15

Required area of concentration: Students must take at least two of the following pairs of courses (not necessarily in the same semester):

Area of concentration

MPA course

Law course

Education policy

PA 675 – Education: Economics

and Policy

Law 911 – Education Law

Tax Policy

PA 683 – Tax Policy

Law 860 – Taxation I

Environmental Policy

PA 684 – Environmental Policy

Law 890 – Environmental Law

Required during one summer session: Law externship: City Attorney, County Attorney, UK Health Care, UK General Counsel, or Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (2)

TOTAL CREDIT HOURS: MPA 31 / Law 73

Limits on credit hours: No more than 18 hours in one semester total. Exceptions for PA 711 as it is satisfied by a Law externship.

Required law courses in addition to program courses (24):

Law 851 – Business Associations (4) Law 822 – Constitutional Law II (3) Law 858 – Nonprofit Organizations (3)

Law 890 – Evidence (4)

Law 920 – Administrative Law (3) Additional professional skills credits (4) Seminar / writing requirement (3)

Law free electives (10-11)*

*If students select the Tax Policy concentration, Taxation I is four credits

Omitted MPA Courses:

**PA 711 – Satisfied by Law Externship, however students will still need to enroll in PA 711, because it is 3 credit-hour requirement.

University Scholars Program

The Martin School offers particularly gifted and highly motivated students from the University of Kentucky, Georgetown College, and Morehead State University the opportunity and the challenge of integrating their undergraduate and graduate courses of study in a single continuous program culminating in both a Baccalaureate degree and a Master of Public Administration. Students can begin graduate coursework in the fourth year of undergraduate study.

The total number of hours for the combined programs may be up to 18 fewer hours than the total required for earning both the Bachelor's and Master's degrees separately. Undergraduates must meet all requirements for the Bachelor's degree as specified by their respective degree programs as well as all the requirements of the Graduate School and the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. The student's department chair and the Academic Policy Committee must approve students before they are permitted to enter the program.

Application to the program should be submitted at the end of the student's junior year in college. Applicants should have completed at least 90 credit hours of work or have senior standing in the semester when they are admitted to the program. The student's undergraduate grade point average must be at least 3.5 in the applicant's major field and at least 3.2 overall.