Keeping legal education relevant requires offering more than one traditional law degree. To broaden perspectives or to help prepare for careers in special fields, Cumberland School of Law students have the option to pursue nine different joint degrees.

Applicants must be admitted to Cumberland School of Law and will typically apply to the secondary institution housing the selected joint degree in the spring semester of the 1L year. Each institution offering a joint degree has advisers to help you schedule your course work so that you can complete your joint degree in the same three years as you would a traditional Juris Doctor, with the exception of the two programs offered in conjunction with Beeson Divinity School.

Joint degrees are awarded when the student has completed both degree programs.

Applications must be made during the spring semester of the first year of law school. To be admitted to joint degree programs, students must have completed their first year of law school, earned a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 and satisfied the particular joint degree program’s admission requirements. In addition, students must first complete the joint degree form and meet with the director of the Office of Student Records.

Joint Degree Brochure

Juris Doctor/Master of Laws

The Juris Doctor/Master of Laws (J.D./LL.M.) program, offered with Cumberland's School of Law online graduate programs, offers four concentrations including financial services regulatory compliance, higher education law and compliance, health law and compliance, and legal operations. The program prepares you for a future in compliance or legal operations and is also beneficial to those interested in pursuing a career in health law, higher education or the financial industry. For the financial services regulatory compliance, higher education law and compliance, and legal operations concentrations, 18 credit hours of master’s-level courses are required. For the health law and compliance concentration, 21 hours of master’s-level courses are required. Nine to 12 hours of master’s credit can be applied to your J.D. requirements so that your total credit hours for both degrees will be 99, regardless of your chosen concentration.

More information about the LL.M.

Paige Price, Assistant Director of Graduate Programs 
cprice7@samford.edu • 205-726-4093

Juris Doctor / Master of Accountancy

The Juris Doctor/Master of Accountancy (J.D./M.Acc.) program, offered in conjunction with Samford University’s Brock School of Business, prepares you for a career in an accounting firm, a general practice law firm with certain legal specializations, or a law firm as a managing partner or an in-house counsel. As a second- or third-year law student in the program, it is typical to take 18 credit hours in fall and spring, and between three to nine credit hours in the summer.

More information about the M.Acc.

Elizabeth Gambrell, Associate Director of Academic Programs
eagambre@samford.edu • 205-726-2040

Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration

The Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration (J.D./M.B.A.) program, offered in conjunction with Samford University’s Brock School of Business, prepares you for a career in corporate law, which may include the role of a managing partner or in-house counsel. Prerequisites for the program include certain accounting, economics, statistics and finance courses that can be taken as part of the M.B.A. program (ACCT 511, ECON 512, and FINC 514). Exemption from those three courses may be awarded with an earned C- or better in an approved undergraduate accounting, economics, statistics or finance course at a regionally accredited institution. As a second- or third-year law student in the program, it is typical to take 18 credit hours in fall and spring, and between three to nine credit hours in the summer.

More information about the M.B.A.

Elizabeth Gambrell, Associate Director of Academic Programs
eagambre@samford.edu • 205-726-2040

Juris Doctor/Master of Divinity

Graduates from the Juris Doctor/Master of Divinity (J.D./M.Div.) program, offered in conjunction with Samford University's Beeson Divinity School, tend to work in nonprofit/ministry work upon graduation or simply integrate their theological training into their legal profession, depending upon their goals in obtaining the joint degree. Beeson Divinity School will grant 12 semester hours of elective credits for law school courses, and the law school will grant 15 semester hours of elective credits for divinity courses. This effectively reduces the total number of hours for the two degrees by 27. Pursued separately, the J.D. (90 hours) and the M.Div. (87 hours) would require a total of 177 semester hours. Pursued together, the total number of required semester hours is 150.

More information about the M.Div.

Sherri Brown, M.T.S., Director of Admission
sbrown5@samford.edu • 205-726-2169

Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Theological Studies

Graduates from the Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Theological Studies (J.D./M.A.T.S.) program, offered in conjunction with with Samford University's Beeson Divinity School, tend to work in nonprofit/ministry work upon graduation or simply integrate their theological training into their legal profession, depending upon their goals in obtaining the joint degree. The divinity school will grant six semester hours of elective credits for law school courses, and the law school will grant 12 semester hours of elective credits for divinity courses. This effectively reduces the total number of hours for the two degrees by 18. Pursued separately, the J.D. (90 hours) and the M.A.T.S. (37 hours) would require a total of 127 semester hours. Pursued together, the total number of required semester hours is 109.

More information about the M.A.T.S.

Sherri Brown, M.T.S., Director of Admission
sbrown5@samford.edu • 205-726-2169

Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Environmental Management

The Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Environmental Management (J.D./M.S.E.M.) program, offered with Samford University’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences, prepares students to work in government organizations such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, EPA, ADEM, FERC, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; in companies such as Alabama Power and Southern Company; in environmental law firms, banks, consulting companies and major manufacturing plants; in educational institutions such as large high schools and universities; or in nonprofit organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, and various zoos and river keeper organizations. It is suggested to complete the core courses first, then begin adding electives. A new calendar offers A and B sections in the fall and spring, with one session each summer. Students who take a three-hour course in both fall and spring A and B sessions have more than ample time to complete the online program in three years.

More information about the M.S.E.M.

David Frings, Associate Director
dmfrings@samford.edu • 205-726-4537

Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration

Options for students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration program (J.D./M.P.A.), offered in conjunction with the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, include a multitude of public service jobs in the military; federal, state, and local government; politics; nonprofits; management/human resources; public policy; and particular types of law such as environmental, criminal and social justice. The J.D. requires 90 hours of course work and the M.P.A. requires 42 semester hours. Twelve hours  of M.P.A. courses can be applied to the J.D., and UAB will accept 12 hours of transfer credits for approved Cumberland courses that are successfully completed. Students must complete 30 hours of public administration courses in residence at UAB. Students with no prior full-time public administration or nonprofit experience must complete one three-hour externship at either UAB or Cumberland School of Law.

More information about the M.P.A.

Carin Mayo, Program Manager
ccmayo@uab.edu • 205-975-3413

Juris Doctor/Master of Public Health

The Juris Doctor/Master of Public Health (J.D./M.P.H.), offered in conjunction with the University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Public Health, prepares students to work for public health departments, private nongovernment organizations, and communities to develop policies and/or draft legislation and regulations for domestic or global public health matters. Graduates may perhaps work as a general counsel in a public or private hospital, as a lawyer or legal adviser for a state or federal public health agency, or in a similar capacity. The total credit hours for the M.P.H. is 48, which includes 13 shared credit hours from Cumberland School of Law.

More information about the M.P.H.

Brenda Campbell, Coordinator of Graduate Academic Programs
bcampbel@uab.edu • 205-934-3939

Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Bioethics 

The Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Bioethics (J.D./M.S.), offered in conjunction with Albany Medical College, provides students an opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the intersection of law and the expanding field of bioethics. Graduates will be able to demonstrate to future employers their understanding of complex issues, which have an enormous practical impact on society at every level. Some graduates may choose to work in areas specifically related to academic bioethics, while others may work in health care and health law, private industry, government or public policy. Career opportunities will be expanded, because the joint degree program provides a new base of knowledge and further develops a student’s critical thinking skills. Each student must complete a total of 10 courses for 30 graduate credits. Students can partially satisfy master’s degree requirements by taking three specified courses at Cumberland School of Law, which satisfy at least nine credit hours in the program. Students can also count 12 credits earned in the M.S. program toward their J.D./M.S. requirements at Cumberland School of Law.

More information about the M.S.

Megan K. Applewhite, M.D., M.A., Interim Director, Center for Medical Ethics, Education and Research
applewm@amc.edu • 518-264-0949