1.17 Joint and Concurrent Degrees

Law students have or are currently pursuing concurrent or joint degrees in Business, Computer Science, Economics, International Relations, Linguistics, Public Policy, and Religious Studies. Please note, per the American Bar Association, no coursework completed prior to matriculation at the Law School may be counted toward the J.D. degree. Students interested in applying to another program in the University should speak with the Dean of Students or the Associate Director of Student Affairs about the application process and the transfer of credits.      

Joint Degree Programs

The Law School participates with several other areas of the University in formal joint degree programs. These programs have specific admission requirements and candidates are able to count coursework in each area toward the academic requirements in the other area, thus reducing the time and expense involved in earning both degrees.  The Law School has formal joint degree programs with the Booth School of Business (both M.B.A. and Ph.D. degrees), the Harris School of Public Policy Studies (M.P.P.), and the Divinity School (M.Div.). 

Students pursuing joint J.D. and Masters’ degrees may, with the approval of the Law School Dean of Students, count up to 12 credits of coursework outside the Law School toward the J.D. degree and towards the quarterly residency requirement.  Joint degree students must also pay tuition at the Law School for eight quarters.  This requirement cannot be waived.  In addition, they must be in residence as full-time students at the Law School for nine quarters, in each of which they must earn at least nine credits towards the J.D. degree in either LAWS-prefixed classes or classes that earn credit toward the J.D. degree.  For each quarter considered in residence at the Law School, a student must be enrolled in at least one LAWS-prefixed class.   

Concurrent J.D./Masters’ Degree Programs

Law students have or are currently pursuing concurrent Masters’ degrees in Computer Science, International Relations, and Linguistics.  Students pursuing concurrent J.D. and Masters’ degrees may, with the approval of the Law School Dean of Students, count up to 12 credits of coursework outside the Law School toward the J.D. degree.  Concurrent degree students must also pay tuition at the Law School for eight quarters.  This requirement cannot be waived.  In addition, they must be in residence as full-time students at the Law School for nine quarters, in each of which they must earn at least nine credits towards the J.D. degree in either LAWS-prefixed classes or classes that earn credit toward the J.D. degree.  For each quarter considered in residence at the Law School, a student must be enrolled in at least one LAWS-prefixed class.   

J.D./Ph.D. Programs

Other than the joint J.D./Ph.D. program with Booth, the Law School currently does not have a formal joint J.D./Ph.D. degree program with any other area of the University.   Candidates who wish to earn the J.D. in the Law School and a Ph.D. concurrently in another area of the University have found ways to facilitate and expedite a dual course of study, however, and the Law School has taken steps to make the process more flexible.

Students who are enrolled in concurrent J.D. and Ph.D. programs at the University of Chicago can count up to 25 credits earned outside the Law School towards their J.D. degrees. This credit is only awarded for: (1) graduate coursework undertaken in a Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago; (2) only for coursework undertaken after a student has matriculated at the Law School; and (3) only for coursework approved by the Deputy Dean in consultation with the Dean of Students.  Students permitted to count up to 25 credits toward their J.D. degrees also must pay tuition to the Law School for six quarters and be in residence at the Law School for six quarters.  These benefits are limited to students who complete both degrees.  Students who have not earned a Ph.D. by the time they receive their J.D. may apply no more than 12 credits earned outside the Law School towards their J.D. degrees, must pay tuition at the Law School for at least eight quarters, and must be in residence at the Law School for nine quarters.   Students who began their studies in a Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago before matriculating at the Law School are eligible to count up to 25 credits earned outside the Law School toward their J.D. degrees only if they have matriculated at the Law School within three years of beginning their Ph.D. programs.  

Students in J.D./Ph.D. programs who began their law studies at the Law School need to complete at least 80 credits of coursework at the Law School to obtain their J.D.s.  These 80 credits may be earned during two years of intensive study at the Law School. All J.D./Ph.D. students who transferred to the Law School from another school must  discuss their specific graduation requirements with the Registrar upon matriculation.  As of the time of this rule’s adoption in 2012, any J.D./Ph.D. students planning to seek admission to the New York Bar must earn 90 credits at the Law School because of that state bar’s rules for admission.  J.D./Ph.D. students planning to practice outside New York should research the rules of the state bar to which they are hoping to be admitted.  In addition, any student wishing to pursue a J.D./Ph.D. must keep in mind that American Bar Association rules require all J.D. degrees to be completed within 84 months of a student’s matriculation to law school.

The Law School is flexible in giving students leaves of absence so that they may register full-time in other areas of the University, so long as such a leave will not prevent the student from finishing the J.D. within the ABA’s 84-month time limit.  Some J.D. candidates working concurrently on Ph.D. dissertations with a law-related component have found that their studies in the Law School may enable them to complete their dissertations in a shorter time than other Ph.D. students.

Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy

In addition, the Law School has joined several other professional schools on campus (Booth, SSA, and Public Policy) and offers law students an opportunity to earn a Certificate in Health Administration and Policy (GPHAP) while simultaneously obtaining a J.D.

The GPHAP is a certificate program designed to train and prepare future leaders in health care, and it draws together students and faculty from various fields for the purpose of providing students with deep interdisciplinary training in policy, management, finance, and social service delivery.  Health lawyers play an important role in many aspects of the health care field, including: health law practices in firms, serving as in-house lawyers in health care organizations, addressing issues related to health care reform in all settings, pharmaceutical policy and administration, medical device policy and administration, medical innovation, public health, health care regulation and accreditation, and much more.  GPHAP also has a global health track for students interested in international law and health.

Students admitted to the program must take four classes (two required and two elective), complete a supervised practicum, and attend three health-related workshops, seminars, lectures, or GPHAP special events offered on campus each quarter. Students must provide a short synopsis of each event attended.  Regarding the practicum, this may be fulfilled by a law student’s summer internship if related to health care.  In addition, GPHAP offers paid health related internships that count toward the practicum requirement.

Any law student interested in the program is encouraged to apply before the beginning of their second year of law school.  For additional information on the GPHAP program, please see https://ssa.uchicago.edu/gphap