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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.


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.


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 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 
  • YEAR 2 34 credit hours pharmacy
  • 2 Martin School courses fall only: PA 651, PA 642
  • 2 Martin School courses spring only: PA 652, PA 602
  • Summer: Pharmacy Clerkship (12 credit hours)
  • YEAR 3 2 Martin School courses fall only: PA 623, PA 711 (fulfilled by pharmacy rotations)
  • 1 Martin School course spring only: PA 681 Capstone
  • Pharmacy Clerkship (8 credit hours)
  • Summer: Pharmacy Clerkship (12 hours)



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.


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: official transcripts, and resume.  You can apply to UK Law School here:


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 12 hours

  • 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 3

Fourth Semester (SPRING) MPA Courses 9 hours

  • PA 622 – Program Evaluation 3
  • PA 652 – Public Policy Economics 3
  • PA 602 – Org. Change and Strategic Planning 3

YEAR THREE: Fifth Semester (FALL) MPA Courses/JD Courses

  • PA 711 – Internship** 3
  • Law Course 3
  • PA 623 – Decision Analysis 3
  • Law Course 3
  • PA 631 – Public Financial Management 3
  • Law Course 3


Sixth Semester (SPRING) MPA Courses/JD Courses

  • PA 681 – Capstone 3
  • Law Electives 15
  • PA XXX – Elective in Public Administration 3


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

  • PPL 575 – Education: Economics and Policy
  • Law 911 – Education Law
  • PA 683 – Tax Policy
  • Law 860 – Taxation I
  • PPL 584 – 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)


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.


Director of Graduate Studies, MPA and MPP

Caroline Weber

Caroline Weber Director of Graduate Studies, MPA and MPP

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Meet Dr. Caroline Weber
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431 Patterson Office Tower