A new joint-degree program, a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Policy, has been created at Miami Law in partnership with the University of Miami's Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. The degree will enable students with strong interests in environmental policy and law to prepare for careers in either the private or public sector in a shorter amount of time than if they pursued the two degrees separately.
"This partnership between the Abess Center's Ph.D. program in Environmental Science and Policy and the Law School's J.D. program further expands the already interdisciplinary nature of the Abess Center's doctoral program," said Sandra Abraham, Executive Liaison for Interdisciplinary Programs and Initiatives at the School of Law. "It will provide essential legal knowledge and training to those students whose policy research has a strong legal component. For our law students with an interest in the environment, the program provides an opportunity for them to follow a rigorous research route and obtain a Ph.D. in addition to their J.D."
In multiple arenas, including environmental security, transnational security, international environmental law, energy technologies, climate change, and emissions reduction, there is a demand for researchers and policymakers with interdisciplinary training in both law and environmental science. The intensive six-year program is especially suited to students who are interested in environmental policy and regulation at the state or national levels, who want to engage in cutting-edge research in an academic setting, who would like to serve as environmental legal consultants or litigators, or who are interested in working with international agencies, governments, or organizations.
Students in this program will need to fulfill all requirements of the current J.D. and Ph.D. programs, including completing and defending a doctoral dissertation. One full year of the six will be spent taking courses at the School of Law, and the other five years will be spent taking both Law and Environmental Science and Policy courses.
"In today's job market, it is very helpful to have credentials which more clearly establish the job candidates' area of expertise," Abraham said. "It's a wonderful opportunity for students in both schools."