Northwestern's JD-PhD program is open to a small number of students who intend to pursue an academic 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. Students are able to complete the entire program, including dissertation, in six years.
Northwestern JD-PhD graduates have obtained faculty positions in law and graduate schools as well as prestigious judicial clerkships, including with the United States Supreme Court.
Advantages of Northwestern's JD-PhD Program
The Most Integrated Program of its Kind
The program offers a coherent course of study on a set track that integrates the rigorous terrains of doctoral and law studies. Faculty members from each of the schools jointly supervise students' research and dissertations.
An Accelerated Course of Study
Students complete the entire program in six years, earning both degrees more quickly than they would through consecutive degree programs. JD-PhD students spend the first two years doing graduate-level course work in various disciplines through The Graduate School, the following two years at the Law School, and the final two years completing their dissertations.
A Strong Community
Students from various doctoral programs are treated as a cohort, so they have a community of peers in law, in their disciplines, and among those seeking the combined degree. Both law and graduate school faculty are involved at every step to support students' progress in the program and to ensure that each student progresses consistently.
An Important Qualification
There is a growing trend among top law schools to hire faculty who have PhDs as well as law degrees. Northwestern's JD-PhD program presents the most efficient option to obtain these credentials.
Interdisciplinary study is a hallmark of Northwestern and the Law School has a higher percentage of PhD-trained scholars than any top law school in the country.
The Most Generous Funding in the Country
Northwestern offers the most financially generous JD-PhD program in the country, typically providing full funding—including tuition and living expenses—for six academic years and three summers, for up to five students per year.