MA in Sustainable International Development and LLM from Northeastern University School of Law

What is a dual degree?

Students in dual degree programs fulfill the complete requirements for each degree, earning degrees for both programs.

What is a joint degree?

Joint degree programs are created by special agreement between programs, allowing students to fulfill a modified set of requirements. Please note that students in joint degree programs earn only one degree.


Together with the Northeastern University School of Law (NUSL), the Heller School offers a dual degree LLM/MA in Sustainable International Development. The accelerated two-year program gives students a course of study that combines advanced legal knowledge with training and field experience in international development policy and practice.

Program Description

The dual degree option awards a Master of Laws degree from NUSL and the MA-SID degree from Brandeis in two years of study and a field placement. (Individually the NUSL LLM is normally earned in one year and the Brandeis MA-SID in two years).

The program requires two academic years in residence (late August to May), one at NUSL and one at the Heller School, and a 3-month summer practicum. Students can start at either NUSL or Heller.


  1. Students must complete all required courses and a minimum of 32 credits at Brandeis for the MA-SID degree in one year in residence (two semesters).
  2. Students must complete 33 (quarter) credits in one year (three quarters) at NUSL for the LLM degree, including courses in legal research, legal writing, and an introduction to US law and legal institutions.
  3. For the LLM degree, students must complete a substantive program of upper-level legal courses relevant to development in areas such as trade, environment, human rights, poverty and economic development, health, immigration, labor, intellectual property, social change, and/or public international law. An approved piece of legal writing, such as a final research paper completed in conjunction with a seminar, is required of all students. A legal placement experience is available.
  4. For the MA-SID degree, students must satisfactorily complete a 3-month practicum related to sustainable development, ideally one that would be linked with legal and policy aspects also relevant to the LLM degree.
  5. For the dual degree, students must fulfill appropriate final paper and Capstone presentation requirements, integrating their learning from legal and sustainable development perspectives.

Visit the the LLM Program at Northeastern University web site for more information.