The Juris Doctor and Master of Arts in Social Gerontology joint degree program (“J.D./M.A.”) is designed for law students who desire to develop a unique expertise and knowledge in the field of elder law, or who are considering an administrative position in the area of gerontology and seek to bring a legal perspective to their administrative work.

Application Procedure

New Students

Must apply independently for admission to both the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law and the Department of Gerontology through Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. The student must indicate that he or she is applying for admission to the J.D./M.A. joint degree program and must comply with the application requirements of both the College and the Department.

College of Law Students

A student who already is enrolled in the J.D. degree program at the College of Law may apply for admission to the joint degree program prior to the completion of more that three semesters as a full-time J.D. student. Minimum GPA requirements apply.

M.A. Students

A student who already is enrolled in the M.A. in Social Gerontology degree program may apply for admission to the joint degree program prior to completion of more than 18 hours of courses. A student may not receive credit for any courses taken at the College of Law prior to admission to the College of Law.


Degree Requirements

The College of Law normally requires 93 credit hours for the J.D. degree. The Department of Gerontology normally requires 36 hours for the M.A. degree. A joint degree student will receive both J.D. and M.A. credit for nine hours of law courses and nine hours of gerontology courses.

A joint degree program student must complete the required first-year curriculum at the College of Law and the upper division courses required of all J.D. degree-seeking students. In addition, a joint degree student must complete the following additional law courses:

  • Elder Law (3 hours)
  • Wills & Trusts (3 hours)
  • Individual Income Tax (4 hours) (prerequisite for Estate Planning)
  • Estate Planning (3 hours)
  • One of the following three courses:
    Law & Medicine, Law of Patient & Provider, or Bioethics (3 hours)

Gerontology Courses Required for Joint Degree Students

  • Applied Social Gerontology (3 hours)
  • Psychology of Adult Development & Aging (3 hours)
  • Programs & Services for the Elderly (3 hours)
  • Practicum (3 hours)
  • Graduate Seminar in Statistical Applications (3 hours)
  • Dying, Death and Grieving (3 hours)
  • Structural Equation Modeling (3 hours)
  • or Health Aspects of Aging (3 hours) **
  • not required for non-thesis option
    can be substituted for the Structural Equation Modeling course for those pursuing a non-thesis option

In addition to the J.D./M.A. program described above, the College of Law also offers a joint Master of Legal Studies and Master of Arts in Social Gerontology ("M.L.S./M.A.") program.