JD-PhD Joint Degree

Contact

Program Director: Shari Diamond

Program Overview

Northwestern's JD-PhD program is open to students who intend to pursue an academic or research career and whose teaching and research will be enriched by both degrees. The program is designed to allow students to complete both degrees more effectively than they would through consecutive degree programs.

Graduation Requirements

The JD and PhD degrees are awarded concurrently after all degree requirements are satisfied for both programs, including completion of:

  • Two years of Law School credit (at least 59 credit hours) in addition to the 14 credit hours awarded for law-related interdisciplinary graduate course work, 
  • All Law School JD requirements apart from course hours, and
  • All course work and other requirements, including the dissertation, that are necessary for the PhD (as prescribed by TGS). 
    • 12 credit hours will be awarded toward the JD upon completion of the dissertation
  • JD-PhD students are required to have a member of the Northwestern Law faculty on their dissertation committee.

Typical Program Structure1

Year Course
Year One Graduate School course work
Summer - Graduate School research
Year Two Graduate School course work
Summer - Graduate School research
Year Three Law School course work
Summer - Graduate School and/or Law School research
Advancement to PhD candidacy before start of year four
Year Four Law School course work and Graduate Assistantship or TA
Summer - Submission of prospectus before start of year five
Year Five Research at the Law School or Graduate School
Summer - Submission of prospectus before start of year six
Year Six Writing and completion of dissertation