Juris Doctor and Environmental Pollution Control

The Penn State Dickinson School of Law (DSL) of The Pennsylvania State University and the Penn State Harrisburg School of Science, Engineering, and Technology offer a joint program leading to the degrees of Juris Doctor, to be granted by Dickinson School of Law, and Master of Environmental Pollution Control or Master of Science in Environmental Pollution Control, to be granted by Penn State Harrisburg.

The Joint Degree Program

In this day and age of environmental concern and regulation, many lawyers seek and pursue graduate study in environmental pollution control. Similarly, many scientists and engineers who are employed by or are consultants to industries seek and pursue law degrees. This program allows persons from both areas to pursue jointly these graduate programs of vital interest to them. The benefits of interdisciplinary and joint study include a savings in time and the enhancement of understanding that a student realizes when enrolled in both programs.

The student enrolled in this program may transfer up to 12 hours of credit from the EPC program to be used toward the graduation requirements for the JD degree. Similarly, that student may transfer from 8 to 12 hours of credit from the law program to be used toward the master’s degree. All credits for transfer must be earned after the student has been admitted to both degree programs.

The EPC Program

The Environmental Pollution Control program is interdisciplinary, dealing with all aspects of controlling air, water, and solid waste pollution and disposal.

Two degrees are offered in the EPC program. The Master of Environmental Pollution Control degree (M.E.P.C.) is for those with science or non-technical backgrounds. The Master of Science in Environmental Pollution Control (M.S.E.P.C.) requires a thesis and thus is geared to those students with a strong science or engineering background who wish to obtain a more research-oriented education.

The two degrees are directed toward building skills for professional practice. Because of the advanced technical competence graduates gain through the program, they have a wide range of employment opportunities.

The Law Degree

Founded in 1834, the fully accredited Dickinson School of Law has a tradition of providing a broad-based theoretical and practical legal education that prepares students to practice law anywhere in the United States. Full-time professors, professor-administrators, and teaching fellows work with adjunct professors to teach more than 100 courses in the J.D. and Master of Laws curricula. Recognizing that advocacy skills are indispensable throughout the profession, great emphasis is placed on honing these skills through classroom work, clinical experience, and moot court competition. The School is also the home to the Dickinson Journal of Environmental Law and Policy.

Admission Requirements

In order to be admitted to the joint degree program, a student must first be admitted to The Dickinson School of Law (DSL) under its regular admissions procedures. DSL need not forward applications of all admittees who have expressed an interest in the EPC program and can withhold support for some admittees until they have demonstrated profi ciency in their legal studies and a capacity for dual degree study. Once DSL approves the student, the student must then make application to Penn State Harrisburg (PSH), which will make independent admissions decisions as to all dual degree applicants.

A bachelor’s or equivalent degree from an accredited college is a prerequisite for admission to DSL. However there is no standard prescribed undergraduate curriculum. An applicant should have acquired significant oral and written communication skills before entering law school. Students are admitted to begin classes in the fall only.

Applicants to the joint degree programs should do the following:

  • Complete application forms for DLS and Penn State Harrisburg Graduate School;
  • Take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT);
  • Complete an LSDAS report;
  • Submit a one-page personal statement;
  • Submit employment records since high school;
  • Submit two recommendations.

Undergraduate transcripts should indicate the completion of courses in mathematics through integral calculus, as well as two courses each in both general physics and chemistry.

Graduation Requirements

To be eligible to earn the Juris Doctor degree, a candidate must earn credit for 88 semester hours of course work. The EPC program requires 30 graduate credits (400 level or higher).

A maximum of 8 credits for Dickinson School of Law course work may be transferred for credit toward the M.S. in E.P.C. degree and a maximum of 12 credits for DSL coursework may be transferred for credit toward the M.E.P.C. degree at PSH, subject to PSH approval based on relevance to the EPC program.

A maximum of 12 credits for EPC course work with a grade of "B" or better may be transferred for credit toward the J.D. degree at DSL. Courses for which such credit may be applied shall be subject to approval by the DSL faculty.

It is anticipated that students will complete a minimum of 77 credits from DSL and 21 credits (not including an internship) from PSH in order to obtain the J.D. and E.P.C. degrees. A student in the program may, however, obtain either degree prior to completing all requirements for the other. Students must earn at least a 3.0 grade point average to be eligible for the E.P.C. degree.

Advising of Students

All students in the program will have two advisers – one from Dickinson School of Law and one from Penn State Harrisburg.


Dickinson School of Law and Penn State Harrisburg will each charge their own tuition to students in the JD/EPC program.

For a list of courses, visit the Whitebook.