Graduate Program

Asian Studies and Law (M.A./J.D. degree)

The concurrent M.A./J.D. degree program in Asian Studies and Law is designed to provide academic and professional training to students who intend to pursue careers, such as law practice in or with Asian countries; policy and planning analysis or legal advising for business, government, or nonprofit organizations related to Asia; or research regarding Asian law, governments, or business. Students admitted to the program are able to earn the J.D. and M.A. degrees in four years.

Degree Requirements

  • Students are required to complete a minimum of 105 semester units. 85 of the 105 units must be taken in the J.D. program and 20 units in the M.A. program.
  • For the 20 unit M.A. degree requirement, 10 of the 20 units must be taken at the graduate level. The remaining units may be at the upper-division level. Up to 10 units taken for the M.A. degree can be counted towards the 85 units. A minimum of three years of course work in an Asian language relevant to the student's regional specialization or evidence of equivalent preparation is also a requirement for completion.
  • Students usually complete their first year of study at the Boalt School of Law. The first year of the J.D. degree must be taken as a block of two back-to-back semesters of full-time study.
  • The remaining units, a combination of Law, Asian Studies and related courses must be completed in the second, third and fourth year of study.
  • During the third and/or fourth year of the concurrent degree program, students will work on a thesis supervised by both Asian Studies and Law faculty advisors. It will count for three units towards each program's requirements.


  • Applicants must satisfy the admissions requirements for both degrees. For a list of requirements and directions on how to apply for the M.A. degree, refer to the M.A. Admissions page on this website. For admissions information about the J.D. degree, refer to the School of Law
  • Applicants must apply separately to both the M.A. and J.D. programs. When submitting the Graduate Admissions application, indicate the concurrent degree when asked for the degree goal. You will also have to apply separately to the School of Law. Follow the link listed above.
  • Both programs separately review the applications according to their own admissions criteria. For the first year, admitted students gain admission to the School of Law only. The student is responsible for petitioning to add the second degree (M.A.) their second year at UCB.