One of the more popular combined, graduate-to-graduate degree programs at Iowa is Law (J.D.) combined with Urban and Regional Planning (M.S.).


Combined Law-Planning degree graduates typically obtain employment as city managers, city attorneys, city planners or planning administrators. They also practice at law firms or advocacy organizations as land use, housing, transportation or environmental law specialists.


Students will be expected to meet the admission requirements of the respective programs, take the requisite admission exams and provide appropriate admission materials. The two programs will make admission decisions independently. Students should begin taking Law courses in advance of Planning courses. All requirements for each degree must be satisfied separately, which includes passing the final examination for each program.


The J.D. degree requires 84 credit hours, typically completed in three years; the M.S. requires 50 credit hours, typically completed in two years. Law will apply a maximum of 12 hours of planning courses toward the J.D. requirement. (Six of those hours may be outside of Law [example, URP] and the other six are discretionary credits.) Planning will apply 15 hours of law courses toward the M.S. requirement. With approval of the student’s Planning advisor, three hours of law courses can be used to meet the requirements of the concentration.

Combined program students typically complete both degree requirements in four years. Taking classes over a summer term may be required to meet this target. A total of 107 hours of graduate work is required for the combined degree, including a minimum of 35 hours in planning and 72 hours of law.


Combined degree students with Law will be assessed tuition at the College of Law rate except for any semester or summer session in which the student is not enrolled for any Law credits and none of the credits being earned that semester or term will be applied toward the student’s J.D. degree. All combined degree students pursuing a J.D. degree will be assessed at least 6 semesters of Law school tuition.