Joint Degree Programs

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Laewgbi
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:25 am

Joint Degree Programs

Postby Laewgbi » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:45 pm

Several schools offer joint JD/MS programs. In particular I am looking at Penn's JD/MSE (Master of Science in Engineering). I am very interested in the program, and I think it frames my "Why Penn" essay very well, but I am not 100% committed to it (a lot will depend on overall cost). That being said, how should I proceed? Should I simply commit to it during my applications? If so, can I back out if I am accepted? Or is acceptance into the dual degree program conditional on the fact that I pursue the dual degree and only the dual degree? What is the case for other dual degree programs? Some schools have very vague guidelines like "we are interdisciplinary...if you want to do a dual degree you can do it" while others have much more regimented programs.

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april_ludgate
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Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:28 pm

Re: Joint Degree Programs

Postby april_ludgate » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:56 pm

I'd just call admissions and ask, honestly.

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UVA2B
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Re: Joint Degree Programs

Postby UVA2B » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:00 am

Given your professional history, why does the joint degree actually serve your needs? Have you figured out a career path where the joint degree fits nicely to put you on that career path? Because that matters way more than setting yourself up for admission to a law school.

Joint degrees have varying levels of use, depending on the program and your goals. But keep in mind it'll cost more, so that should also be considered in whether the joint degree is a good move. Don't do a JD/MSE just because you think it frames your Why X essay well, but do the program if the MS helps you achieve a professional outcome better than what you already bring to the table.

I don't think you can "commit" to a joint program outside of applying to both programs, getting accepted, and deciding to accept the offers of admission to both. And only do that if you're absolutely certain it fits into your ultimate career goals.

TBH, you asked more questions than can reasonably answered without establishing more information like I've asked. But to be brief: don't spend extra on a joint degree unless it is specifically tailored to your professional goals with a JD. Otherwise you're just paying more for a useless academic pursuit.

Laewgbi
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:25 am

Re: Joint Degree Programs

Postby Laewgbi » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:04 am

april_ludgate wrote:I'd just call admissions and ask, honestly.


But then I'd have to talk with admissions... :oops:

UVA2B wrote:Given your professional history, why does the joint degree actually serve your needs? Have you figured out a career path where the joint degree fits nicely to put you on that career path? Because that matters way more than setting yourself up for admission to a law school.

Joint degrees have varying levels of use, depending on the program and your goals. But keep in mind it'll cost more, so that should also be considered in whether the joint degree is a good move. Don't do a JD/MSE just because you think it frames your Why X essay well, but do the program if the MS helps you achieve a professional outcome better than what you already bring to the table.

I don't think you can "commit" to a joint program outside of applying to both programs, getting accepted, and deciding to accept the offers of admission to both. And only do that if you're absolutely certain it fits into your ultimate career goals.

TBH, you asked more questions than can reasonably answered without establishing more information like I've asked. But to be brief: don't spend extra on a joint degree unless it is specifically tailored to your professional goals with a JD. Otherwise you're just paying more for a useless academic pursuit.


Thank you. That's a very good point.

I'm not sure if I need a joint degree. From what I'm hearing about IP is that Electrical Engineers are in hot demand, so I was trying to go that route. But honestly with no firsthand experience, I can't really say one way or other.

Would it be best to just mention I am interested in the possibility of a joint degree and be noncommittal but nevertheless interested?

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UVA2B
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Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Joint Degree Programs

Postby UVA2B » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:11 am

You seem particularly worried about your patent credentials, which is fair. If you can get the patent bar eligibility, that will help alleviate a huge concern.

Ignoring tech transactions as a separate practice, your concerns need to be understood within patent and IP law firm hiring.

If you want to go into patent prosecution, you should absolutely worry about your scientific background. That's what matters because you're effectively operating as a highly paid patent examiner, using your reg. number like a patent agent would.

But if you want to get into patent litigation, it entirely shifts. You should care about scientific background of course, but law school credentials will also play a huge factor.

If you want to go the extra leg and do a masters, you should signal that in your applications. But that signal should carry no weight in your applications otherwise.




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