Application Information

Application Process for Incoming Students

Applicants to Northwestern's JD-PhD program must meet the admission requirements of both the Law School and The Graduate School to gain admittance into the program. The program has a single, integrated online application, which means applicants need only submit one application.

Applicants should follow the instructions for applying as outlined on The Graduate School's website, as well as complete the additional instructions set out below. International students must also meet the requirements for certification of language proficiency. 

Within The Graduate School application, applicants will be asked to select their PhD program of interest. Then, on page 4 of the application applicants must also indicate that they are applying to the joint JD-PhD program.

Both The Graduate School and Law School admissions offices review each application. The schools sometimes award admission independently if the joint application does not result in an offer of admission.

Effective September 2016, individuals who have completed a year of law school at an institution other than Northwestern University will not be eligible to apply to the joint JD-PhD program. Such students, however, may apply separately to The Graduate School and, as a transfer student, to the Law School. Students who successfully gain admission to the Law School will be required to complete all requirements associated with transfer students, including two years in residence at the Law School. Financial aid will be awarded in a manner consistent with prevailing Law School practices and policies for transfer students. Students should consult The Graduate School for information concerning their related programmatic and funding policies.

Application Timeline

Prospective students may apply to the JD-PhD Program beginning on October 1. The Law School reviews all applications received by February 15. However, deadlines within The Graduate School vary by department. Please consult with The Graduate School for more details regarding their individual application deadlines. For full consideration, applicants to the joint JD-PhD Program are encouraged to submit the following by the corresponding PhD department deadline.

Law School Supplemental Application Items 

A complete application to the JD-PhD program includes all items required by The Graduate School, plus the following specifically for the Law School (instructions on how to submit these items to the Law School will be sent once The Graduate School application has been submitted):

CAS Report

All applicants must register with the Law School Credential Assembly Service (CAS), which contains a summary of each applicant's

  • Post-Secondary Transcript(s),

  • Results of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT; if a valid score is on record with LSAC)
  • At Least One Letter of Recommendation. (Separate from the letter of recommendation submitted to The Graduate School.)

Standardized Test Score

In addition to any tests required by The Graduate School, JD-PhD applicants can satisfy the Law School’s admissions test requirement by submitting either the LSAT, the GRE, or both. Through the CAS process, the Law School will be able to access LSAT results and will consider those results in its review if an applicant has previously taken it.

To submit your GRE score, use school code 2579 through ETS. 

To read more information on submitting your standardized test score results to the Law School, read our FAQ.

Interviews

Northwestern Law is the only law school in the country that attempts to interview everyone who applies. JD-PhD applicants are eligible to participate in an On-Campus or Video interview as part of their JD-PhD application.