Advocating for children's legal right to education


In this dual degree program offered by the School of Education and the School of Law, you'll conduct original research at the intersection of education law and policy to improve education practices for every student.

Upon graduation with a dual degree in law and comparative education from Loyola, you will possess the following knowledge, skills, and professional values necessary to commence a career analyzing and developing sound educational policy, with a special focus on international education.



You will understand the knowledge bases of the counseling professions, as well as the social-cultural contexts of human development, and apply this expertise in an ethical, reflective, and culturally-responsive manner.


You'll achieve all the learning outcomes of both the JD and MA degrees, including development of expertise in the analysis, research, and improvement of education policy and practice. You'll learn how to conduct your own in-depth research, recognizing the cultural dimensions of education and leveraging cultural analyses in your work to improve educational experiences and institutions. And, you'll facilitate educational research as the foundation for forming and implementing educational policy and practice.

Professional Values

You will understand and engage with policy as advocates, leaders, analysts, researchers, activists, educators, and lawyers committed to social justice and equity in our local and national educational systems.


To complete the JD/MA program, students must complete 65 Law credit hours and 24 Education credit hours, for a total of 89 credit hours. The JD and MA degrees are awarded concurrently upon the successful completion of degree requirements for both programs. Pursuing this dual degree allows you to earn both degrees at a much lower cost and in less time than if you enrolled in them independently.

While this dual degree program has courses with a prescribed sequence, each follows the university's regular program. All program requirements apply for each area, as well as each school's broader policies and procedures.

Sample Course Sequence

The curriculum provided below offers a suggested course sequence. Courses taken and their sequencing may vary, depending on course scheduling, availability, program requirements, and student interest. Changes to this suggested curriculum may be made in consultation with the student’s advisor in the respective program.

First Year

Fall Semester Hours (14)

  • LAW 110: Civil Procedure
  • LAW 150: Property
  • LAW 160: Torts
  • LAW 190: Legal Writing

Spring Semester Hours (16)

  • LAW 120: Constitutional Law
  • LAW 130: Contracts
  • LAW 140: Criminal Law
  • LAW 194: Legal Writing
  • ELPS 455: Comparative Education

Second Year

Fall Semester Hours (16-18)

  • LAW: Core Foundational Course
  • LAW: Core Foundational Course
  • LAW: Skills or Experiential Learning Course
  • LAW 410: Advocacy
  • ELPS 420: Philosophy of Education or ELPS 410: Sociology of Education
  • RMTD 400: Research Methods

Spring Semester Hours (14-15)

  • LAW: Core Foundational Course
  • LAW: Skills or Experiential Learning Course
  • LAW 461: Education Law & Policy
  • ELPS 420: Philosophy of Education or ELPS 444: History of American Education
  • ELPS Advanced Seminar Elective

Third Year

Fall Semester Hours (15-17)

  • LAW 414: Professional Responsibility
  • LAW: Core Foundational Course
  • LAW: Education Law Practicum (LAW 166) or ChildLaw Clinic (LAW 620) or Legislation and Policy Clinic (LAW 606)
  • ELPS: Advanced Seminar Elective
  • ELPS: Advanced Seminar Elective or Additional RMTD: Research Methods Course

Spring Semester Hours (11-13)

  • LAW: Elective
  • LAW: Elective
  • LAW: Skills or Experiential Learning Course
  • ELPS: Advanced Seminar Elective

Recommendations for Course Selection

Students are required to take a minimum of two advanced seminar elective ELPS courses in their depth area, specifically focused on comparative and international education. Possible courses include ELPS 458: International Education and ELPS 550: Globalization and Education. The two remaining ELPS advanced seminar electives may focus more broadly on cultural and educational policy studies issues and/or may be additional research methods courses.

In consultation with their advisor, students may choose to take additional research methods course(s) to assist with the thesis design and execution, which takes place as an independent student project during the third year of study. Possible courses include RMTD 404: Educational Statistics and RMTD 420: Advanced Qualitative Research.

Courses that are highly recommended for JD students include: LAW 221: Administrative Law, LAW 270: Business Organizations, LAW 210: Evidence, and LAW 280: Federal Income Tax.

JD students are required to take a Perspective Elective course prior to graduation. Education Law and Policy (Law 461) satisfies this requirement as do the other courses listed here.

JD students are required to obtain a minimum of two credits in Skills courses (see list here). They must also earn a minimum of six credits in Experiential Learning courses, of which at least three credits must be earned through Live-Client Experience courses. The Education Law Practicum (Law 166), ChildLaw Clinic (LAW 620), and the Legislation and Policy Clinic (LAW 606) each count toward the Experiential Learning (Live-Client Experience) requirement. More information is provided here.