M.S./J.D. Program

The M.S./J.D. program is designed to enhance students’ learning and provide vital preparation for careers in environmental decision-making. Lawyers with a background in environmental policy are equipped to understand complex environmental problems, enabling in-depth analysis and problem solving in the scientific, political, and economic arenas. A law degree allows policy-makers to work in high-level positions drafting and analyzing legislation and regulation.

Pace Law School has an excellent selection of courses that cover national and international environmental, climate, energy, and land-use topics, an abundance of research opportunities, expert faculty, and hands-on experiences available to its students.
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In their words . . .

Steven Sarno MS/JD '09

Corporate Counsel, Environmental Compliance, Amazon
“The Bard CEP program offers a great refresher on the many technical aspects of environmental issues that no serious environmental law student should miss.”

Curriculum

The M.S./J.D. program consists of four years in residence, two-and-a-half years at Pace and one-and-a-half years at Bard. Students usually begin the dual degree at Bard in either environmental policy or climate science and policy, and gain a strong foundation in environmental economics, science, policy, and law. 

After completing the first year of coursework at Bard, students begin a full-time course of study at Pace for the next two and a half years. The Bard CEP first year curriculum sets the stage for study in environmental law. The internship requirement for Bard CEP may be fulfilled through completion of a previously approved Pace internship, externship, or clinic program that has an environmental focus. (First-year law students at Pace can apply to the dual degree, and if accepted, commence their M.S. degree in year two, and then return to Pace for three more semesters.)

All students return to Bard in the spring of the fourth year to complete final courses and a master’s thesis, supporting the development of deep individual expertise. In this way, students develop broad knowledge of environmental policy and law; a suite of analytical, communication, and problem solving skills; professional experience in their chosen field; and finally, they become experts on topics that they have selected.

Course Work

  • Year 1       First-year M.S. course work at Bard 
  • Year 2       First-year L1 course work at Pace Law School 
  • Summer   Pace internship or externship 
  • Year 3       Second-year L2 course work at Pace Law School  
  • Summer   Pace internship or externship 
  • Year 4       Completion of Pace classes (fall) and second-year Bard classes (spring)