Program Structure

JD-PhD Course of Study

Students can select a doctoral program in any discipline, provided they can incorporate their interest in legal studies with their graduate research, and they can complete a dissertation that integrates both disciplines.

The JD-PhD Program has a strong relationship with the American Bar Foundation (ABF), a research institution dedicated to the study of law and legal institutions through the lens of social science. Several ABF researchers teach at Northwestern University and are eager to work with JD-PhD students. For more information, visit www.abf-sociolegal.org.

Program Structure

Year 1 Graduate School course work
Summer Graduate School research and cohort study
Year 2 Graduate School course work
Summer Graduate School research and cohort study
Year 3 Law School course work
Summer Graduate School research
Advancement to PhD candidacy before start of year 4
Year 4 Law School course work and Graduate Assistantship or TA
Summer Submission of prospectus before start of year 5
Year 5 Research with Visiting Assistant Professor (VAP) position at the Law School or Research and Writing
Summer Submission of prospectus before start of year 6
Year 6 Writing and completion of dissertation

Both degrees are awarded concurrently after all degree requirements are satisfied for both programs, including completion of (a) 2 years of law school credit hours in addition to the 14 credit hours awarded for law-related interdisciplinary graduate course work, (b) all law school requirements apart from course hours, and (c) all course work and other requirements, including the PhD dissertation, that are necessary for the PhD.

JD-PhD students are encouraged to have a member of the law faculty on their dissertation committee. Doing so will also satisfy the Law School writing requirement.