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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Juris Doctor / Master Public Policy (JD/MPP)

The Juris Doctor and Master of Public Policy (JD/MPP) degree program is a joint program between the School of Public Policy and the Caruso School of Law. It is designed to strengthen and perfect the preparation of those whose successful leadership depends on a fuller understanding and a stronger skill set for addressing issues of public policy in the practice of law or in the interface between the private business sector and an increasingly complex government presence. Reflecting a Christian commitment to subsidiary and grass-roots problem solving within community, the program addresses the management of nonprofit associations and foundations, understanding that at times, they may depend heavily on a carefully tended relationship with government or may be expected to provide social services on behalf of the government.

The Pepperdine program is unique in recognizing the growing importance of the intermediary institutions between the federal government and the individual as well as the critical role of local, regional, and state government. It further acknowledges the need for domestic and global business to appreciate more fully the implications of public policy both in the United States and other regions and how to manage those policies.

The Caruso School of Law program is well established and well regarded, blending substantial professional training in both legal substance and method with value-based and theoretical inquiry. The School of Public Policy program draws deeply on our nation's ethical and historic roots. Both programs aspire to train leaders of high competence and insight, who can digest and articulate complex legal and public policy materials in order to both shape and apply public policy in a free society. As the Caruso School of Law anchors students in a comprehensive understanding of public and private law, the School of Public Policy further develops the related analytic skills of political economics as well as the managerial skills of organization development and strategy.


The joint JD/MPP degree program requires a total of 130 units: 48 units of the public policy curriculum and 78 units of law courses. It thus permits the student to complete in four years what would ordinarily require five years if undertaken separately.

 JD Curriculum

First-year law students follow a rigorous course of study that covers the following subjects: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Introduction to Ethical Lawyering, Legal Research and Writing, Property, and Torts.

After the first year, students are required to complete 18-21 units of additional required courses (depending on the units offered for certain courses), including: Corporations, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Federal Income Taxation, Remedies, and Wills and Trusts.

Students also have the opportunity to select from a broad range of elective courses, clinics, externships, and student-edited journals.

 MPP Curriculum

The required 48 units of MPP study and other MPP-related requirements for a joint MPP/JD are as follows:

MPP 606
Public Policy and the Legal Framework (4 units)
MPP 607
Policy Seminar (4 units)
MPP 699
Summer Internship or Field Study (CR/NC)
School of Public Policy Electives (20 units)
MPP 600
The Roots of American Order: What is Public Policy (4 units)
MPP 601
Ethical Dimensions of Public Policy: Great Books and Great Ideas (4 units)
MPP 602
Applied Economic Analysis of Public Policy I (4 units)
MPP 603
Applied Research Methods in Public Policy (4 units)
MPP 604
Political, Organizational, and Strategic Aspects of Public Policy Analysis (4 units)
MPP 605
Applied Economic Analysis of Public Policy II (4 units)

School of Public Policy at Pepperdine in Malibu, California

School of Public Policy at Pepperdine

At the School of Public Policy, graduate students prepare to affect change in the public and private sector through coursework built on time-tested concepts and values. Leadership skills are emphasized, as well as a broad understanding of the history and philosophy undergirding free institutions.